Concierge services offered by credit cards are among the best perks that a credit card user can ask for. Originally, concierges were employees of hotel that looked after the customers’ needs. Banks, seeing the value of concierge services, started offering this service with their premium credit cards. Many clients have loved the service for its efficiency and time saving benefits. There are still others who do not require concierge services and don’t seek a credit card solely for it. In this article, we will talk more about what concierge is and how it can help you.
What is a concierge service?
Concierge cell at a bank looks after the needs and wants of their premium customers. Their job can range from booking tours, holiday packages, a round of golf, business services, event planning, pet care assistance, etc. Basically concierge serves as a personal assistant that looks after the small details of your life. Minor inconveniences will not bog you down. Some premium concierge services can act as a genie and make your wishes come true as well.
What services can you avail from the concierge desk?
Credit card providers define the concierge services that can be availed. Most credit card providers’ concierge services can be used to make routine tasks easier. These tasks include grocery delivery, pet care services, etc. Others such as the concierge services provided by The American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card can book an entire dream honeymoon for you that include a reservation at a restaurant on the Eiffel tower! Common Concierge services provided are:
- Travel Services which includes Inoculation or Visa requirement information, Hotel, Airline reservation, cruise reservation, etc.
- Golfing Services include all the golfing needs a customer might have including referral to golf courses and golf lessons.
- Wine & Dine Services Concierge services can also be used to go to wine tasting events, make dinner reservation, or book caterers, or even provide information on vineyards around the world.
- Arts & Culture information can be gathered from the concierge. They can refer you to tour agents or provide information on museums or theatre in the area.
- Shopping Services range from flower or gift delivery assistance to referrals to art and antique dealers in a city or country.
- Business Services include translation services, courier services, conference service, and messenger services.
- Event Planning Concierge services can refer you to an event planner.
- Miscellaneous Services include everyday tasks like grocery delivery, pet care assistance, Laundry pick up and drop off, massage, aromatherapy services, etc.
Should you get a credit card solely for its concierge service?
Concierge Services are provided by premium cards only. Premium credit cards that provide concierge services are not given to first time users. They also seek clients with a high annual income and great credit score. These cards also have an annual/renewal fees which is higher than the average fee. If you do not plan to make much use of concierge services then a premium credit card can become a financial burden. We will now outline the benefits of availing concierge services.
Emergency Flight Booking- Concierge services have tie ups with many airlines and in the event that you find your flight cancelled in a foreign land you can always call up the concierge services to book you in an alternate flight and make hotel bookings as well for the interim period.
Invitation Only Events- Whether it be fashion shows, private art gallery viewings, or other invitation only events. Concierge services can help you get in these events.
Reservations and Ticket booking- Concierge Services can make a wish come true. If you want to make a reservation at Gaggan, a world famous restaurant in Bangkok that has a wait list over a month. A concierge service can help you in getting a reservation. An American Express card member was able to use the service to walk down the red carpet at the Cannes film festival. Another person was able to meet and greet pop singer Shawn Mendes by using the concierge services.
Medical Concierge- Some credit cards provide medical concierge services as well. They can help take over the medical load in trying times. Texas Medical Concierge is one such service provider they can help by recommending you a specialist, arrange for an air ambulance. They store your medical records to make it accessible whenever you need it.
When his parent fell ill Hemant Jain was confused on choosing the best treatment plan from all of his options. It was Texas Medical Concierge who recommended him a global specialist on the disease from Baylor college of Medicine USA. Then through teleconferencing the specialist worked with his Indian counterpart and potentially saved Mr. Jain’s parent’s life. The Texas Medical Concierge is provided with The American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card.
Travel and Tourism- This is where the concierge services really shine. They can provide travel plans and hotel stays. It takes a lot of time to build an itinerary on your own so a concierge service can make the whole process hassle free, convenient and recommend site that the typical tourist might miss. They can also make your dream come true as one concierge service user found out. A lady wanted to hug a Koala (legally) on her trip to Australia. She called up the concierge services and stated for her birthday she was visiting Australia and wanted to hug a Koala. The concierge service made that wish come true.
Gifting– Concierge services can help provide memorable gifts for your loved ones; they can offer suggestions or help you in setting up the perfect gift. A wife booked a surprise Airbus factory visit for her husband in Hamburg. Another parent made his son’s honeymoon more memorable by arranging champagne and roses in the couple’s room with a private beach-side dinner.
Points to bear in mind when seeking a credit card for concierge service
Concierge services can prove to be quite helpful and good if you have time constraints and if you plan to use them frequently. We do recommend that you keep a few points in mind when it comes to having expectations from the concierge.
- It might seem that the concierge services are like a genie that can make any wish come true for a price that is. Still they are bound by law. Hence only requests that are legal will be considered.
- Sometimes what you seek like a dinner reservation or concert tickets might be sold out and the concierge might not be able to provide them to you.
- Concierge service might connect you with a professional instead of taking on the responsibility themselves. For example, they might refer an event planner instead of planning and executing the whole thing themselves.
- It is not necessary that the travel itinerary the concierge provides will be as good as the one that you can make. After all you know what is best for you, so don’t have stellar expectations from the concierge services. It is also possible that the itinerary that the concierge service makes for you might be better than the one you come up with.
- Concierge services are known for their ability to get things done. They might get you a discount on certain items but generally speaking you will end up paying more than the markup price. This is especially true when what you seek is hard to acquire. So, a sold out concert ticket that went for ₹ 3,500 might cost you upwards of ₹ 7,000 through a concierge service.
Concierge services work to save the clients’ time and energy. They take care of smaller stuff to free up the client. If you want to save time and energy, are not too bothered about the price, then credit cards that offer concierge services are a great tool for you. Besides concierge services, there are other benefits that come with premium credit cards. These standalone benefits lend more value to the premium cards also.
Top Credit Cards for Concierge Services
Suggested Reading: 7 Best Premium Credit Cards in India
Many credit cards offer concierge services; here we present a selection of credit cards and show the level of service provided. We also discuss other benefits offered by the credit card and possibly help you in making a well informed decision.
The concierge service that comes with The American Express Platinum Reserve credit card is known to make difficult wishes comes true. On top of this The Platinum Reserve Credit Card also offers Texas Medical Concierge service, a one stop solution for all health care needs. They can arrange air ambulance for you, refer you to a specialist, and get you a second opinion. They also offer you other standard benefits such as airport lounge access and hotel privileges. Users can also earn 1 reward points per ₹ 50 spent. American Express charges ₹ 5,000 for first year fee and ₹ 10,000 second year onwards with additional taxes.
We recommend the American Express Platinum Reserve credit card for their concierge service performance and for the additional benefit of Texas Medical Concierge, Max and Fortis Healthcare service. This credit card can come handy in most emergencies.
- Citi Prestige Credit Card
Citi Prestige credit card concierge services rivals those of American Express. Our findings show Citibank concierge services matching American Express concierge services over all. Citi Prestige offers lots of additional benefits which include a complimentary hotel night stay, meet and assist service at the airport, and unlimited Priority Pass lounge access. Users earn 1 reward point domestically and 2 overseas per ₹ 100 spent. Citi Prestige credit card charges ₹ 20,000 in annual fees which is steeper than other premium credit card options in the market.
We recommend Citi prestige credit card if the user seeks additional benefits aside from the concierge services provided. The Citi Prestige credit card is a great premium credit card that offers lots of benefits to frequent travellers and holiday goers. If the annual fee is not an issue then go for Citi Prestige credit card.
- HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card
HDFC Bank offers concierge service as well. You can use the service to make bookings, reservations, and itineraries. The Diners Club Black Credit Card offers other benefits as well such as low foreign currency markup fee of 2.00%. Spending over ₹ 5.00 Lakh in 12 months also gets the annual fee of ₹ 5,000 waived off. They also get to enjoy one of the lowest rates of interest at just 1.99% per month. Diners Club Black Credit card users get to earn 5 reward points per ₹ 150 spent. The conversion rate is also great with 1 Reward Point = 1 Air mile/1 Rupee. Miscellaneous services such as golf course referral, courier services, etc. are also available.
We recommend HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card for those who want to try the concierge services and don’t want to spend a hefty annual fee for it. The card allows user a chance to get the annual fee waiver. Also with the additional benefits offered the credit card is an excellent choice for travelers as well.
- IndusInd Bank Indulge Credit Card
IndusInd has brought out a premium credit card offered through invitation only- The Indulge Credit Card. The card comes with no preset spending limit and 22K gold inlay. The concierge services are there to give you the regal treatment. To fulfill the customers’ wishes no stones are left unturned. Clients can have a celebrity chef visit and cook for them. They can get access to VIP events like art shows or Biennale. Indulge credit card also rewards its users with 1.5 reward points for every ₹ 100 spent.
We recommend the Indulge credit card for its prestige. It is a status symbol that sets you aside, especially because of the 22 K gold inlay and a black core. The card can give the user a taste of the regal lifestyle by fulfilling their desires. You should consider accepting the card if invited.
- SBI Card Elite
The SBI Card Elite offers concierge services on gift delivery, customized holiday packages, movie, and hotel reservations. The concierge services can meet the everyday needs of the individual or help in case of emergencies. The card also comes with the lowest foreign currency mark-up fee at 1.99%. Users get to earn 2 Reward points on every ₹ 100 spent. 10 Reward points can be earned per ₹ 100 spent on dining, departmental stores and grocery spends. 6 Priority Pass lounge visits are also offered on this credit card. The annual fee and Renewal fee on this credit card is ₹ 4,999.
We recommend this credit card to international travellers who want to have the concierge service as an additional benefit. The low annual and renewal fee ensures that the credit card does not become a financial burden on the individual.
Also Read: Is a Credit Card with Annual Fees worth it?
Concierge service can be a great tool for those that value their time or want to make their wishes come true. However, if the service is not a make or break deal for the user then the additional cost of maintaining a premium credit card can be a real financial burden. So it is up to you to decide whether or not you want a premium card with concierge service.