American Express

Credit Card Concierge Services

As most of you know, when you get a new Credit Card, it comes with a whole host of papers that describe the Disclosures and Card Benefits.

Like most people, I don’t ever take the time to read those additional Card Benefits because I am primarily interested in the Miles.

Well apparently there are some useful benefits like the Concierge Service that I never would have thought to use in a million years.

Tim Ferris of 4 Hour Work Week fame, did an extensive “test” of the limits of Credit Card Concierge Services, and the results are pretty hilarious like getting enough nacho cheese to fill a bath tub, information on going to Space, answers to the USA Today Crossword Puzzle, etc.

AMEX Platinum Concierge

Our friend Ashley came to Chicago for New Years. She stayed 3 nights at Park Hyatt Chicago, which is amazing by the way! 2 nights were free from the Chase Hyatt Card and 1 night was paid. Since 1 night was paid, I gave her a Suite Upgrade thanks to my Hyatt Platinum Status from SMD4, and she was allowed to stay all 3 nights in the Suite which was awesome!

Anyways, apparently in rushing to pack that Morning, she forgot to pack some New Years clothes. Since she was only here for a few days, instead of wasting time shopping for clothes, she had the brilliant idea of calling the AMEX Platinum Concierge line.

I personally have never used it before, so I was curious to see how it worked.

Although the Requests below were put in to the AMEX Platinum Concierge Line, almost all Travel Credit Cards (your Card should say Visa Signature, World Mastercard, etc) comes with this Concierge benefit. So feel free to try it out!

Request 1

For the first request, my Friend called the AMEX Platinum Concierge and told them about the clothing situation.

Believe it or not, the Concierge said Ashley could describe to them what she wanted, they would look for something, call Ashley back and describe what they found, and then have the Store walk it over to the Hotel……..all for FREE (except for the Clothes obviously).

After an hour or so, the Concierge called back and described over the Phone what they had selected from Saks Fifth Avenue. Whatever they had picked out sounded fine, so my Friend agreed and had them charge it to her AMEX Platinum. Since the Store was right down the Street from the Hotel, they said someone from Saks would bring it over to the Hotel by 7PM. They would either bring it up to the Room or if we weren’t there, then leave it with the Park Hyatt Concierge.

We ended up all going out to eat for Dinner, so when we returned to the Room around 7PM, someone from Saks delivered the bag.

My friend ended up not liking anything that the Concierge picked out, primarily because most of the stuff did not look anything like what the Concierge had described over the Phone. In my opinion, it would have been useful if they had emailed some photos of what they had selected, but oh well. Since Saks has a Return Policy, it wasn’t a big deal.

Request 2

For New Years Eve instead of going to a Hotel Party or Bar Party, a group of 15 of us went to a Concert.

I posted photos on Facebook, but basically it was awesome.

We ended up going to another Friend’s house to pre-game and in all the excitement we forgot to grab the Concert Tickets from the Hotel Room. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue and we would just just cab it back to the Hotel and grab the tickets, however since it was New Years, Cabs were in high demand and were nowhere to be found.

In any other situation we would have been screwed, but Ashley once again had the brilliant idea of calling the AMEX Platinum Concierge.

I was skeptical that this would work since they were Hard Tickets and they were locked inside the Hotel Room, but figured we had nothing to lose.

To my surprise, she called the AMEX Concierge and they said it was not a problem and they could take care of it.

The 2 options were:

1. Have a Courier go to the Hotel, get the Tickets from the Room by having Hyatt Staff let them in, and then  bring the Tickets to the Venue. The Concierge said this was the more expensive option and would cost around $100, which isn’t surprising since it was 10PM on New Years Eve.

2. Call Ticketmaster and have them re-issue the tickets electronically and then pick up the Tickets at Will Call. Cost: FREE!

Obviously, we opted for Option 2 since that was infinitely easier and was FREE! The best part is that instead of having to call Ticketmaster ourselves and waste valuable minutes not pre-gaming, we gave the AMEX Concierge all the info and they took care of it.

When we got to the Venue, we just went to Will Call and the Tickets were there waiting for us! AMAZING!

Recap

Although the 2 examples above are both vastly different, they show how useful your Credit Card’s FREE Concierge Service can be.

I would have never thought to use the Concierge Service for the above two problems, but both times the Concierge was happy to oblige.

After seeing the AMEX Concierge put to use, I really started to question what painstakingly slow tasks have I been doing that I could have the AMEX Concierge do for me. For example, just this week with Alitalia, I spent basically an entire day trying to get them to re-book my tickets.

I realized the main reason I have never called any of my Credit Cards Concierge Services with a request is because I always assume I can do it faster and I feel bad having someone else do my “dirty work” for free.

However the more I think about it, especially with the AMEX Platinum Card, I am paying $450 a year for the benefits of having the Card, so why shouldn’t I use it right?

Also the Concierge Line is great if you need any Restaurant Recommendations or Reservations at hard to get into places.

I think for my upcoming Las Vegas, Madrid / Istanbul, and Austin trips, I am going to call up AMEX and ask them to put together a list of must see attractions.

If you have any stories about your experiences with your Credit Card Concierge, please feel free to leave a comment!

-Parag

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5 Comments

  • Andrew says:

    My brother found out that they also has have access to hotel inventory, even when you cant see it on the website. He was able to get a room at the Andaz Napa when it showed as sold out online. He's not HGP Diamond or Platinum but he called the Amex Platinum Concierge and they got him the room. This can be a huge benefit. They're also good at nabbing restaurant reservations and getting prime tables and such.

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Andrew – Hmm that is really interesting. Thanks for sharing. I have used it for Restaurants and it has worked perfectly.

  • ed says:

    Doesn't sound like they'll do award booking because they don't have access to your accounts. But what if they could request to have them put on hold? Think there's any chance you could request specific flights/routes be put on hold under an account?

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Ed – Yeah that is true but I bet they could look for scheduling options or availability and send it to you.

  • SJ says:

    When my wife and I were planning our destination wedding, Amex Plat Concierge could get us an appointment with the "right" person to speak to in most of the hotels. For example, I was in Dubai for 24 hours, wanted to check out some of the top-of-the-line hotels and their wedding venues, and Amex could arrange for that within 48 hours. Much easier than calling the hotel, being transferred around, leaving voicemails etc. Most of these hotels are by appointment only, and only guests staying in the hotel are allowed on the property. I would have easily paid upto $50 for arranging some of these meetings, especially 4 or 5 of them within a couple of hours timeframe.

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