When you're in the market for a credit card, you probably check out features such as its annual fee, its interest rate range, and the points, miles, or cash back that you might earn from it. Those are indeed excellent factors to assess. There's another feature to check out, though, if it's available: concierge service.
The concierge service on your Mastercard or other card will let you call and ask a personal assistant for all kinds of benefits that include helping you reserve a table at a hot restaurant, getting tickets to a concert advertised as sold out, and making travel arrangements, too.
Not every credit card offers concierge service, but if yours does, you should know more about it. And if it doesn't, you might want to consider getting one of the best credit cards that does. Here's what you need to know about concierge services and what some of the best ones are.
Identifying concierge services: Mastercard, Visa, and American Express
It's not rare that a card will offer concierge services, but it does tend to be the higher-end cards that do. Among the Mastercard family of cards, the ones designated "World Mastercard" or "World Elite Mastercard" do, and the service has been described like this:
World Elite Mastercard comes with a complimentary 24/7 concierge service that acts like a relentless personal assistant. Need to locate hard-to-find items or even reserve that perfect table? Our concierge is there to help. To contact the concierge, call the number on the back of your card.
If your Visa card is a "Signature" or "Infinite" one, you have access to concierge services, too: "Get assistance with travel planning, entertainment tickets and more." For American Express card holders, "Platinum"-designated cards are among those that offer concierge services. The company notes:
There is no cost to you for services a concierge performs on your behalf, although you are responsible for any purchases, fees and/or shipping charges you authorize to be charged to your Card account. We reserve the right to note profile and preference data for servicing and marketing purposes. We are not responsible for notifying a restaurant of any food allergies when suggesting or making reservations at restaurants.
The service might include...
The examples of concierge services above don't reflect the true range of requests that concierges receive -- though not all can be met. (The concierge did not arrange for escorts, for example, and was not allowed to tell one person on a card account what another person on the account, such as a spouse, had requested.) Several years ago on Reddit, a former American Express card concierge answered questions about the kinds of requests he'd gotten, and they included: arranging catering for a meeting, finding a hard-to-find toy for a child, ordering flowers, and even just looking up the nearest gas station for a cardholder. One customer asked the concierge to find out which of several concept cars that were not being produced might nevertheless be built for him. Another called from a bathroom stall after having had an embarrassing accident at a business meeting, and the concierge had a change of clothes sent to him quickly.
Access to a service like this might sound like a dream come true, but it's not perfect. A concierge might be able to get you into a booked restaurant or tickets to the Super Bowl, but many times, they can't. It's worth asking, though, because a concierge will typically know some of the best ways to try to succeed, such as knowing who to call, when to call, or what websites to use to fulfill a certain wish.
A concierge's results may not be entirely what you wanted, either. For example, if you asked for a list of the best things to do and see at a certain vacation destination, the list will likely leave out some sights or activities that you would have included had you done your own research and come up with your own list.
Still, if you're busy, or are not familiar with the best way to get a desired result, it's definitely worth trying a concierge. After all, their service is free! You might be traveling abroad, for example, and not be sure how to get a reservation at a desirable eatery or how to book a hot air balloon ride. A concierge may be able to get the job done while saving you a lot of time and hassle.
If your card doesn't offer a concierge service and you want a card that does, know that a high credit score is often required. It might be worth taking the time to increase your credit score.
Selena Maranjian owns shares of AXP. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MA and V. The Motley Fool recommends AXP. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool's alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. Review The Motley Fool’s ratings methodology to uncover how we pick the best credit cards.