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Many credit cards, especially if they’re travel-branded, give you access to a concierge. However, most cardholders either don’t know their card comes with the perk or only use it during a travel emergency, so they’re missing out on a great benefit.
Take travel writer Valerie Stimac, 31, for example, who encountered a major problem during a trip to Germany in October 2016 — she had booked a car rental for pickup on a day that turned out to be a national holiday. “As such, all car rental facilities were closed that day. Nobody had mentioned that online when I booked the car,” said Stimac, who writes the Valerie & Valise blog.
The rental car facility was closed and the customer service line was automated — in German. Stimac carries The Platinum Card® from American Express, so she called the Premium Global Assist hotline for help.
“The concierge did a great job of trying to help find any rental agency in the surrounding region that was open, but there weren’t any,” said Stimac. “In the end, they just ensured that I wouldn’t pay for the car and helped me formulate a plan to get to my destination.”
Although the concierge wasn’t able to get her a car, having someone to help solve her problem provided some relief, said Stimac. “It was nice and familiar to interact with the Amex concierge who resolved the issue,” she said.
Your own personal task-master
Credit card concierges are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help with tasks beyond just travel-related issues, from comparing prices on home appliances to finding local emergency medical care.
We reached out to the top three card companies and asked them to share some of the more unusual requests their concierges have handled for cardholders.
Check out the best credit cards with premium concierge services.
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*
Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*
No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with access to the Premium Global Assist hotline. Not only does the card come with trip planning, coordination and assistance, but concierges are ready to help with special requests including:
- A Paris proposal. A concierge helped arrange a marriage proposal in front of the Eiffel Tower for a cardmember and his girlfriend, including setting up a table with champagne and hiring a professional photographer to capture it all.
- Special shopping. Concierges help card members buy special items from around the world, such as finding limited-edition Pandora charms that are only available in certain parts of Asia.
- Party time. Cardmembers have asked for help with planning celebrations, including sourcing specific items to fit a theme. For example, a concierge found a bakery to bake a pink Cadillac cake with miniature figurines for a unique Elvis-themed wedding celebration.
Terms apply to American Express credit card concierge services. See americanexpress.com for more information.
Having a World Elite Mastercard® gives cardholders access to a 24/7 concierge service that the company describes as “a relentless personal assistant.” Here are some examples of what concierges have done for cardholders:
- A theme trip. Organized an ostrich-and-dragon-themed trip with a full itinerary. The concierge found five options across Europe and created the final itinerary.
- What a ride. A concierge was able to arrange a ride in a private train coach for a customer traveling in Sri Lanka.
- I do! A cardholder got help planning a wedding proposal at the Tiffany & Co. boutique in Nice, France. The concierge also found the couple’s wedding venue and made arrangements for the event.
- Gotta fly. In the ultimate aviation geek fantasy, a concierge helped organize a private flight on a Russian MiG supersonic jet fighter for a cardholder.
Visa Signature Concierge offers cardholders help with travel planning, entertainment, dining and much more. Some of the more interesting concierge requests include:
- A “cheesy” request. During a trip to France, a cardholder requested help from a concierge to locate an extremely rare type of cheese only found there. They found the cheese and shared where it could be picked up. And because the cardholder wanted to bring the cheese back to the U.S., the concierge worked closely with them to ensure they were familiar with federal requirements to bring it back into the country.
- Go for a drive. A concierge helped a cardholder who wanted to drive a luxury car on Germany’s famous Autobahn highway system.
- A moo-ving experience. During a visit to Los Angeles, a cardholder wanted an experience that would let them milk a cow. The concierge found a dairy farm with a guest program for milking cows.
- Fresh meat. A cardholder wanted to take meat butchering classes in Chicago. The concierge was able to provide three options in the Windy City.
- I want to ride my bicycle. During a trip to Stockholm, a cardholder asked a concierge for help finding a local shop that could assemble a bicycle. The concierge offered up a few different shops that could help.
The bottom line
There’s power in your wallet when it comes to credit cards with concierge services. It’s nice to know that they are available 24/7 to help with requests that go far beyond help with travel when things go wrong. If you can think of something you need, it’s pretty likely that a concierge can help, based on the examples above.
But it’s important to know that the cardholder is responsible for any costs that may come with some requests. So the next time you need help with something — ranging from finding a home organizer to researching the best summer camps for your kids — pick up the phone and let your concierge do the work.