Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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TXviking
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Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby TXviking » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:48 pm

I'm in Seattle for work this week. I wanted to take my department out to lunch, only to learn that my favorite Seattle steakhouse is under renovation, and the backup (Morton's) apparently closed permanently.

Rather than my usual combination of Yelp/OpenTable/Google, I decided to give the Visa Infinite Concierge a try. Having never used that perk before, I didn't have the number. So I called Sapphire customer service and asked to be transferred. "One moment, sir." Six minutes of above-average hold music later, I was unceremoniously disconnected.

Oh well. Phone systems screw up sometimes. Called back. This time, I was transferred to a series of voicemail menus. After hitting the option I thought would connect me to a human being, I was instead prompted for my "full sixteen-digit account number." While I'm looking for a place to pull over so I can safely read my card number and key it into the system, I get hung up on again.

I parked and called Chase Sapphire again. This time, I asked for the actual number so I could write it down. If anyone wants it, it's 877-660-0905. The CSR helpfully offered to transfer me and stay on the line to get me a human being. And she finally did.

That human being still wanted my sixteen-digit account number. And my full name, which I had to spell for her. And my phone number. And my email address, which I also had to spell for her, even though it's of the [email protected] variety. I realize Chase and Visa are not the same company, but I had HOPED that in 2017 customer service stuff would be slightly more integrated, especially for supposedly extra-special-super-valued Infinite customers. Color me disappointed.

In the end, the concierge got me a few options, and wound up making reservations for me....using OpenTable. She had no information on who might be better or worse. She had no inside access to reservations at restaurants that were otherwise full. In short, there was no real value-add that I could detect. :beat:

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but next time, I'll just use OpenTable directly.


Scoobynoodles
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby Scoobynoodles » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:25 pm

That's quite a bummer to hear. So, when Chase markets the card, is it CSR/P concierge service being utilized or Visa's? I was under the impression it was under Chase. Do you have Amex Plat Concierge? I wonder how the two stack up...but, in some of my recent experiences with Amex Plat, the service rep used the same online tools to find reservations for me as opposed to some "inside scoop" that I thought they would have. You have to wonder on the efficiency of such amenities based on how much lip service they put into benefits like, concierge. Well, interesting to know nonetheless.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:06 pm

Scoobynoodles wrote:That's quite a bummer to hear. So, when Chase markets the card, is it CSR/P concierge service being utilized or Visa's? I was under the impression it was under Chase. Do you have Amex Plat Concierge? I wonder how the two stack up...but, in some of my recent experiences with Amex Plat, the service rep used the same online tools to find reservations for me as opposed to some "inside scoop" that I thought they would have. You have to wonder on the efficiency of such amenities based on how much lip service they put into benefits like, concierge. Well, interesting to know nonetheless.

The Visa service definitely sounds like a disorganized mess, regardless of what services they can offer in the best of cases.

I've only used Platinum for "help me find item X" requests and Prestige for hotel bookings, but...

My understanding is that Amex Platinum has a special arrangement with a limited number of high-end restaurants. With those restaurants, I think Amex controls the reservation for (one?) table up until a few hours before service begins, when control reverts back to the restaurant if Amex hasn't assigned it. Amex may possibly arrange for you to get a free drink or appetizer.

So Platinum can work where other services don't...but only at some restaurants...and only if another Platinum customer hasn't gotten the spot you want first. The prevalence of Platinums in some rich and/or touristy areas can make it of limited value at times.

I think I read that Citi Prestige has some similar arrangement, but it doesn't get as much discussion as it's smaller in scale. I don't think there's a table set aside like there is with Platinum, and few places apparently participate in the "free drink or appetizer" deal a concierge can arrange.

Sometimes a concierge can call the restaurant and make you sound like a big spender, and the restaurant will accommodate you. I've heard a few reports of that with the R-C card concierge, but just to skip the line at places like the Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory.

I'm not aware of Visa Infinite having any official arrangement with restaurants, so I'm not very surprised that the concierge just used OpenTable.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
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TXviking
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby TXviking » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:35 am

Scoobynoodles wrote:That's quite a bummer to hear. So, when Chase markets the card, is it CSR/P concierge service being utilized or Visa's? I was under the impression it was under Chase. Do you have Amex Plat Concierge? I wonder how the two stack up...but, in some of my recent experiences with Amex Plat, the service rep used the same online tools to find reservations for me as opposed to some "inside scoop" that I thought they would have. You have to wonder on the efficiency of such amenities based on how much lip service they put into benefits like, concierge. Well, interesting to know nonetheless.


This was the Visa Infinite Concierge. Chase does not have one of their own, at least not for CSR cardholders. (JP Morgan/private client may be different.)

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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:58 pm

TXviking wrote:
Scoobynoodles wrote:That's quite a bummer to hear. So, when Chase markets the card, is it CSR/P concierge service being utilized or Visa's? I was under the impression it was under Chase. Do you have Amex Plat Concierge? I wonder how the two stack up...but, in some of my recent experiences with Amex Plat, the service rep used the same online tools to find reservations for me as opposed to some "inside scoop" that I thought they would have. You have to wonder on the efficiency of such amenities based on how much lip service they put into benefits like, concierge. Well, interesting to know nonetheless.


This was the Visa Infinite Concierge. Chase does not have one of their own, at least not for CSR cardholders. (JP Morgan/private client may be different.)

R-C definitely offers something called the JP Morgan Premier Concierge. It gets good ratings. Whether it's run by JPM employees or is outsourced, I'm not sure.

Some JPM Reserve ads talk about Visa Infinite concierge, but not a JPM one. The materials I saw could be incomplete, and a Chase-provided one might exist.

I'm not sure if the JPM Executive even still exists or was merged into JPM Reserve.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:17 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
TXviking wrote:
Scoobynoodles wrote:That's quite a bummer to hear. So, when Chase markets the card, is it CSR/P concierge service being utilized or Visa's? I was under the impression it was under Chase. Do you have Amex Plat Concierge? I wonder how the two stack up...but, in some of my recent experiences with Amex Plat, the service rep used the same online tools to find reservations for me as opposed to some "inside scoop" that I thought they would have. You have to wonder on the efficiency of such amenities based on how much lip service they put into benefits like, concierge. Well, interesting to know nonetheless.


This was the Visa Infinite Concierge. Chase does not have one of their own, at least not for CSR cardholders. (JP Morgan/private client may be different.)

R-C definitely offers something called the JP Morgan Premier Concierge. It gets good ratings. Whether it's run by JPM employees or is outsourced, I'm not sure.

Some JPM Reserve ads talk about Visa Infinite concierge, but not a JPM one. The materials I saw could be incomplete, and a Chase-provided one might exist.

I'm not sure if the JPM Executive even still exists or was merged into JPM Reserve.

Browsing on Reddit and FT further suggests that JPMR officially only gets VI concierge.

This is definitely surprising. Why would a bank favor people paying a $150 net AF ($450-$300) over people with potentially several million in assets with them? It also looks like "mere" CPCers who had Palladium get PCed to JPMR - a card for which they would likely not qualify if they were new applicants.

People generally seem happier with the JPM Premier concierge than with the VI. Some people do contact JPM Premier, anyway, and get helped.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

TXviking
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby TXviking » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:10 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:This is definitely surprising. Why would a bank favor people paying a $150 net AF ($450-$300) over people with potentially several million in assets with them? It also looks like "mere" CPCers who had Palladium get PCed to JPMR - a card for which they would likely not qualify if they were new applicants.

People generally seem happier with the JPM Premier concierge than with the VI. Some people do contact JPM Premier, anyway, and get helped.


They don't. CSR customers also only get the Visa Infinite Concierge. The bigger question is, why wouldn't a bank offer better service on both of their flagship credit card products (JPMR for the 1%, CSR for mere mortals)?

And to turn that question on its head, why would a 1%-er choose Chase to place significant assets with?

yfan
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby yfan » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:41 pm

TXviking wrote:CSR customers also only get the Visa Infinite Concierge. The bigger question is, why wouldn't a bank offer better service on both of their flagship credit card products (JPMR for the 1%, CSR for mere mortals)?

Money. Chase is offering basically the moon in terms of rewards potential, and something, somewhere has to pay for it. The CSR is so widely available, and apparently so widely held, that Chase simply does not find it profitable to offer both that type of rewards AND the best available concierge for $450 a year.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:15 pm

yfan wrote:
TXviking wrote:CSR customers also only get the Visa Infinite Concierge. The bigger question is, why wouldn't a bank offer better service on both of their flagship credit card products (JPMR for the 1%, CSR for mere mortals)?

Money. Chase is offering basically the moon in terms of rewards potential, and something, somewhere has to pay for it. The CSR is so widely available, and apparently so widely held, that Chase simply does not find it profitable to offer both that type of rewards AND the best available concierge for $450 a year.

That's a good explanation in the case of CSR, and perhaps for JPMR, too.

I think one problem Chase creates for itself is that it presents a card as highly exclusive, and then makes all kinds of exceptions to let other people get it (who won't be the highly profitable customers they were targeting in the first place). So they then have to trim the benefits and lose some of the interest in the card among the people whom they originally targeted.

They create a card like JPMR. If they really wanted it to be a spectacular card with amazing perks, they could limit it to people with a lot of money at Chase paying AUM fees (thousands of dollars per year). But then they extend the card to CPCers with Palladium...and people who manage their own investments (not paying AUM fees)...and form partnerships that let some companies' employees avoid the asset requirements. Pretty soon, they're paying a lot in rewards to people who use the perks but don't generate much in banking fees.

Years ago, brokerage houses could buy and sell investments in volumes that discount brokerages could struggle with. Now, very few people can't have their needs met by a discount brokerage. Still, some people like to outsource all their investment management.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

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Re: Visa Infinite Concierge: A disappointment

Postby flan » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:07 pm

TXviking wrote:
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:This is definitely surprising. Why would a bank favor people paying a $150 net AF ($450-$300) over people with potentially several million in assets with them? It also looks like "mere" CPCers who had Palladium get PCed to JPMR - a card for which they would likely not qualify if they were new applicants.

People generally seem happier with the JPM Premier concierge than with the VI. Some people do contact JPM Premier, anyway, and get helped.


They don't. CSR customers also only get the Visa Infinite Concierge. The bigger question is, why wouldn't a bank offer better service on both of their flagship credit card products (JPMR for the 1%, CSR for mere mortals)?

And to turn that question on its head, why would a 1%-er choose Chase to place significant assets with?


The service is contracted out. Chase gets the level of service they pay for. It's entirely possible that different product lines get different levels of service, even though it's both 'Visa infinite'. It's entirely possible for them to offer a different level of service to different card holders, based on what Chase thinks it's worth spending on them.

As for the concierge booking a table through opentable, that's not terribly surprising, it's what restaurants want you to do (answering the phone costs money, too). And they're using the corporate entities account, which is almost certainly got VIP status in opentable. That won't get them a table if they're none, but it will get noticed for special requests, better tables, etc. If you're traveling, the hotel's concierge is more likely to have personal connections at places, and get the table the house saves for special people.



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