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I am ashamed to admit that I’ve had the Chase Sapphire Reserve for over three years but had never used one of it’s listed benefits, the concierge service. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I got a chance to try out the credit card concierge service out see how well it works. And I have to say — I’m impressed!
My recent experience with the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s concierge service
I had a chance to use the concierge service on my Chase Sapphire Reserve a few weeks ago. I didn’t ask the concierge to recommend anything to me. Instead, I was trying to get an earlier dinner reservation for a special occasion. The only options on OpenTable were 5:30 PM or 9 PM. I made the reservation for 9 PM on but then tried calling the restaurant to see if they could accommodate a time closer to 7 PM. They said that all their tables were booked and that there were no available tables other than what’s shown on OpenTable.
I was going to try to find another place, but then I had an idea — why not try the concierge service on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. So I called the Sapphire Reserve customer service line, and they transferred me to the Visa Infinite Concierge.
How my request was handled
One thing to keep in mind is that concierge services for non-American Express cards are handled by either Visa or Mastercard, and not the issuer. The Chase rep transferred me over to the Visa Infinite concierge, and I was on hold for less than a minute. After speaking to the rep at the Visa Infinite concierge and providing all the details of what I was looking to do, they told me that they would follow-up within a few hours. Though within 30 minutes, I received an email confirming that my reservation had been changed. They were able to get a reservation for 7:15 pm instead.
What credit cards offer concierge service?
There are many credit cards that offer concierge services. The most popular ones are those found on premium travel cards like the:
Though you don’t need an American Express Platinum, Visa Infinite, or Mastercard Elite card to get concierge services. In fact, when I was researching this topic, I found that even most Visa Signature cards have access to concierge services. So, for example, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you have this benefit as well.
Managing expectations when using a concierge service
If you look online, you’ll see that people have mixed results when it comes to using a concierge service. I think it depends on your expectations and the type of request. For example, getting a reservation on a Saturday night in a popular restaurant seems like a reasonable concierge request. Whereas, getting last-minute tickets to a sold-out event is a more difficult ask, especially if you’re not willing to pay a premium price for the tickets. The key is having low expectations so you’re pleasantly surprised if they are able to deliver.
Scenarios for using your credit card’s concierge service
The type of requests that you ask the concierge ranges from basic recommendations and research to more complex and challenging tasks. However, I think there are valuable ways to use the service. This not only applies to your daily life but also when traveling.
1. Getting dinner reservations:
We’ve often struggled with getting a dinner reservation when traveling. This has always been the case whenever we’ve been to Sedona, Arizona. It seems the restaurants in the area get booked up quickly unless you plan way in advance. Seeing if the concierge can negotiate a reservation at a popular location is something I may try in the future, especially if I haven’t had a chance to plan ahead.
We’ve also had situations where we struggled to make an appointment at a local restaurant due to language barriers. Using a concierge service for this situation would be extremely helpful since they can link to representatives that speak the local language. For example, this happened to us in a small town near Lake Como, Italy. Luckily, we were able to ask our Airbnb host to help out. Though in the event that there isn’t anyone to help, your card’s concierge can be extremely useful.
2. Getting event tickets and bookings:
This is an obvious use of the concierge service. It’s one that I plan to try in the future. If you’re visiting a city like New York or Las Vegas, seeing a show is a common activity. Though getting tickets to popular shows can be tough. Also, trying to find secondary market tickets can be a pain. I’ll definitely be using this service in the future, especially if we’ve decided to take a last-minute weekend trip.
3. Making appointments:
A few years ago, I was traveling for work and did a CrossFit workout one morning. I ended up straining my back in the workout. By the time I left the gym, I could barely walk! I was able to book a last-minute massage therapy session to loosen up my back. Though if I had been in a foreign country, I might have struggled to book a therapist. That’s where a concierge service can help out.
Another situation where I wished I had used my concierge service was when I was traveling in Costa Rica. I asked my hotel to arrange transportation to the airport. I was surprised when the hotel quoted me a price that was double the rate that I expected. I ended up researching online and finding a few tour operators that offered shuttle services to the airport for the expected price. Though it took a while, and in retrospect, it would have been smarter to ask a concierge service to book the transportation within a specific price range.
Whether it’s booking a chiropractor appointment, private transport to the airport, or even a haircut, it’s worth leaning on a concierge service. This is especially useful if you don’t have access to one in your hotel or if there are any language barriers.
4. Locating difficult items:
Maybe you’re looking for something specific to purchase, but don’t want to have to call every store in the area to see if they have it. This is a perfect task to outsource to your concierge service. You can even ask them to get the prices for each store so you can pick which ones to check out first.
5. General location information and requests when you’re not staying at a hotel:
Most of us are accustomed to using the concierge or front desk when traveling. Though with Airbnbs, it can be tough since you often lose the convenience of having dedicated staff to guide you. In this type of situation, using your card’s concierge service makes a lot of sense, especially if it can save you time and effort for basic requests.
I would avoid using the concierge service for tasks that can easily be performed by you. This includes looking up restaurants or things to do in the area. Anything that I can easily do on my own through a Google search or through an app is probably not worth engaging the concierge team. However, I think concierge services work great for more difficult tasks where there may be language barriers or just a shortage of time and space. And if it lets you spend more time enjoying your trip than worrying about the logistics, then it’s invaluable!
Have you tried using your credit card’s concierge? If so, what has been your experience? I’m curious to hear whether you all are using this benefit.
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