In this installment of the Ultimate Credit Card Perks Guide, we’re going to look at the credit card perk that may be the most often overlooked of all: the concierge service. Unlike travel insurance, reduced rate car rentals, or roadside assistance, the concierge service offered by many of the best credit cards in Canada has a mystical, mysterious quality to it. What does it do? What can you ask of your concierge? Is it really available 24 hours per day?
Today we’re going to demystify your concierge service, show you where the value lies, and explain which credit cards offer the concierge service. Let’s dive right in.
What is a credit concierge service?
A credit card concierge services are similar to a hotel concierge service, but instead of suggesting restaurant reservations or booking spa services, credit card concierge services are available over the phone to help you with all manner of requests. Requests can range from simple, like restaurant reservations, concert tickets, or hotel bookings, to complicated, such as booking accommodations in a foreign country, sending flowers in another city, or completely rerouting your travel plans due to winter weather.
Your concierge service is usually open 24 hours a day and requires you to call the number on the back of your credit card, where you’ll be greeted by a customer service representative who will ask you to describe your request.
When requesting something from a concierge service, it’s important to be as specific as possible, and include your maximum budget. Otherwise, your concierge may suggest options that are out of your price range. For example, if you want your concierge to book concert tickets as soon as they become available at 10 am (while you are at work) make sure to clearly outline which seats you are looking for and specify that you only want to spend a maximum of $200 per ticket.
Concierge services can complete most requests in a matter of hours, but some complicated requests may take several days to fulfill. Finally, your requests through the concierge are confidential, and can’t be accessed by anyone, even your spouse or other cardholders. That said, any charges placed in your name will show up on your credit card under the regular vendor.
All concierge services offered by major credit card providers are free to use. You don’t have to pay for the services when you use them, but most of the credit cards that offer the service have an annual fee. You are paying for it, just annually, per use.
Concierge services by credit card provider
Concierge services are offered by Amex, Visa Infinite, and Mastercard World Elite. Here’s how each provider describers their concierge services:
Amex’s website tells us that their concierge service is available any time day and night as a personal resource for all aspects of your life. Whether you need to select a restaurant and arrange the details of an upcoming event, or you need help selecting the right gift, their concierge service is available to you.
It’s important to note that if you try to use the Amex concierge service to book travel, you’ll be passed over to their Platinum Travel Service, which offers customized travel planning 24 hours per day.
Top credit cards offering the American Express Concierge include:
- Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
- American Express Cobalt Card
- Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card
- The Platinum Card (American Express)
Another credit card provider that offers a 24-hour concierge service is the Visa Infinite program. This concierge service’s website tells users that their service can help you create “whatever your idea of great is.” Just call the Visa Infinite concierge service to make dining reservations, help plan a birthday, or build vacation itineraries.
The top credit cards offering the Visa Infinite Concierge include:
- Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
- Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards Card
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
- RBC Visa Infinite Avion
Finally, the third major concierge service in Canada is the World Elite Concierge. This concierge service describes itself as “your relentless personal assistant,” helping you locate hard-to-find items or reserve that perfect table.
Credit cards offering the World Elite (Mastercard) Concierge service include:
- BMO World Elite Mastercard
- PC Financial World Elite Mastercard
- National Bank World Elite Mastercard
Credit card concierge services are easily one of the most overlooked perks of credit cards, but once you start to use it, you’ll find ways for your concierge to be of use that you’d never considered before. Whether it’s sending a car service to pick up your children when your flight is delayed, or arranging the delivery of a new pair of slacks to a work conference after a coffee mishap, they’ve done it all. It’s time to let your concierge service make your life easier too.