- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4058
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
Concierge services can be useful, so long as the concierge can actually offer something of real value like:
1. Getting what you want at a better price (like 4th night free or some unusual rate for hotels)
2. Access (like getting a difficult reservation either through an official program like Platinum Dining or the concierge persuading the restaurant that you're a big shot)
3. Saving a lot of time (by finding some obscure item or piece of information)
Personally, I need to get a lot of value in one of those respects to bother with it. Most of the things they can do, I can do on my own with a smartphone. It takes time to explain to another person exactly what I want to do and make sure that they understand. Still, there is value in this. I've heard a lot more praise for the premium concierge services than the V/MC ones...though I suppose the sample size of V/MC cases I've read about is small, and YMMV as always.
On the shopping side of things, there are a lot of limitations and exclusions...not to mention complaints about paperwork and denied claims...to filing a price protection or extended warranty claim directly with V/MC.
It's the travel/tourism side of things that I think is really overrated. I did once "save" $2.50 for paying a NYBG admission fee with a MC through MC Priceless Cities. I later found out my AAA membership could save me a few dollars more, regardless of the card I used.
The "false savings" seem to be the case for a lot of VS/WEMC perks. Visa Signature advertised a "discount" at Madame Tussaud's, but I saved more money (not to mention time by avoiding the line) by just buying my ticket online. The "free upgrades" that come with many hotels often mean you're paying too high a base rate.
Cardholders have to pay for the roadside assistance perks from VS/WEMC when they use them, unlike roadside assistance on PRG/Platinum or AAA. VS/WEMC don't have the network of AAA, either (nor does Amex).
WEMC gives seating upgrades on full-fare (Y class) air tickets for some airlines on a space-available basis. But why do that when you can just buy a guaranteed first-class seat for much less? And how likely is it that someone buys a lot of full-fare airline tickets but doesn't already have (or will soon earn) elite status?
Maybe the airport concierge could be useful in an unfamiliar area...for a fee, of course...but they're not exactly the only ones who do that...
There was the MC Priceless Surprises promotion that gave IHG points…which was awesome…but that didn’t require an elite tier of MC.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt, Arrival
May close or PC: Prestige, BrooksBros
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech