Many credit cards come with a “complimentary concierge service” listed as a card feature. The idea of the concierge service is to help credit card holders with things like hotel bookings, finding tickets or acquiring restaurant or event reservations. This week a member wonders if there is any real benefit to using the service.

Just wondering, for years my cards have had complimentary concierge services. I’ve never used any of them. Are they good for anything? Better than doing something one’s self?

I was wondering if any frequent user could elaborate, in case I’m missing out on something of real value.

It would seem that there is some usefulness in the service. Although most of our members agree that you are unlikely to save money by enlisting the services of a credit card concierge, they may make your life easier if you are short on time or having trouble finding what you are looking for. One member explains that they were able to use the concierge service to find tickets that were not otherwise available to the public. Another member shared a remarkable story where the service was able to get the member a table at a top restaurant, just after being turned away.

I’ve only used it once or twice, but found it very effective when needed. One example that springs to mind was getting myself and some family from out of town a table at a very nice restaurant/bar in Sydney. When we first walked in there was no chance, but a call to Amex Platinum had me with a stunning table in 15 mins.

However the quality of concierge services can vary considerably, according to our members. Our members are highly complementary of the Amex and Citi Prestige services but not so much about those of other credit card providers.

There are concierge services and then there are concierge services. The bank-issued cards seems to have call centres of young people using a concierge app; I can google all by myself and make better decisions/have more experience than these people. However AMEX often hires former hotel concierges for its offering and, while they struggle a bit to help you if you’re outside Sydney, I have found that if you latch onto the right one they can be very useful.

So, it would seem as though there is some value in concierge services when it comes to searching for hard-to-get tickets and reservations. But for simple things, most of our members would not even consider it. Most believe that they could get anything which is easily bookable online for less money and more quickly by simply booking it themselves.

Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]