Many credit cards come with extra perks and benefits far beyond just earning points. While some of these benefits are widely known and often used, others don’t get quite as much attention.
In this article, we’re going to explore a credit card benefit that is rarely discussed and infrequently utilized: concierge services.
While not every credit card comes with concierge services, a surprising number do. Exactly how the concierge service can help varies with the type of credit card and the issuer, but it could be worth using in specific circumstances.
The best part is that you’ll have access to a concierge service without having to pay anything extra for that benefit, as long as you have the right card.
What Are Credit Card Concierge Services?
Similar to a what you may see at a hotel, concierge services offered through credit cards can help you with a variety of requests.
Concierge services are most commonly used for restaurant reservations, buying event tickets, or booking travel; however, there’s a lot more you can use concierge services for. This can include assistance with shopping, gift-basket delivery, destination-specific advice, and more.
The range of requests that can be handled through concierge services varies by card.
Typically, premium cards have more exclusive benefits than lower-level cards. As part of this, the concierge service through a premium card might have better access to restaurants due to the service’s network of contacts than a mid-tier card’s concierge.
Your credit card should come with information about the specific types of requests that are available to you. However, you can always contact the concierge to see if they can help – it just might wind up saving you time or enhancing your trip.
In order to use your credit card’s concierge service, you typically have to phone in and speak with someone regarding your inquiry. In some cases, you can reach the concierge with an email, which is much more convenient.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Credit Card Concierge Services?
Concierge services can assist with many inquiries, whether it’s helping with a future trip, assisting in an emergency, or providing you with some personal shopping advice.
Generally speaking, the best ways to use concierge services save you time or give you access to something you can’t access on your own.
Contacting a concierge to get information for an upcoming trip can also be very useful, especially if you’re not familiar with the destination. You can ask for restaurant recommendations, car rental price comparisons, or the top things to do in a city you’ve yet to visit.
However, the truth is that most of the time you contact the concierge looking for information, the person on the other end is likely just googling the answer for you. Since it can take up to 24 hours to get back to you, it isn’t very helpful for time-sensitive requests.
Now, this isn’t to say that concierge services aren’t valuable, but you’re likely to save more time by just searching for the information on your own.
On the other hand, when planning an upcoming trip, you can think about what information you might need that’s easy for you to find on your own, versus what you can request from a concierge to save you time.
For example, if you need to contact a hotel to put in a special request for your upcoming stay, it’s not always easy to know the best number to call or person to talk to. By contacting your credit card’s concierge service, you can leave all of that communication up to them.
As for getting access to things you might not have access to yourself, this is where concierge services can actually go a long way.
Some concierges may have pre-existing relationships built with certain restaurants, hotels, airlines, or event venues.
This can certainly be true with trying to secure hard-to-find tickets to sporting events or performances, or reservations at some high-end restaurants. Even if they don’t have any special connections, they can still help you get the results that you may not have been able to get yourself.
Taking our previous example of using a concierge service to contact a hotel on your behalf, you’re giving yourself a better chance at getting what you want. This is because hotels might respond more favourably when there’s a professional concierge making the request on your behalf rather than you trying on your own.
While you’re on your trip, concierge services can also help with emergency assistance, such as lost passports, medical referrals, and other such requests.
Even if you’re not travelling, you can use concierges to help with personal shopping, gift sourcing and delivery, or really anything else you can think of, as long as it falls within the concierge’s scope.
Which Credit Cards Offer Concierge Services?
Concierge is a free service provided to cardholders, as long as you hold a credit card that comes with this benefit. With some cards, you’ll need to call in to access the concierge, while with others, you can simply send an email.
The utility and scope of the concierge service varies by card, so we’ll go over the services offered by many popular credit cards, as well as some examples of how (or how not) the concierge service has been able to help, as sourced through the Prince of Travel Discord community.
American Express Platinum Concierge
Perhaps the most commonly recognized credit card concierge service is offered as a benefit if you have one of the American Express Platinum Cards.
There are only two Canadian American Express cards that give you access to this service:
In order to access the American Express concierge service, you have to call the number on the back of your American Express Platinum Card and select the concierge service when prompted.
If you submit a concierge request that can’t be immediately answered, the American Express concierge personnel will get back to you within a set amount of time via email with the information or solution to your request.
In practice, we’ve heard many reports that the American Express concierge isn’t as helpful as other services. Part of this comes from having to call in for the concierge service rather than sending in a request by email, but in general, the Amex Platinum concierge seems to not pull through as often as we’d like.
Despite the high expectations that might come from a premium credit card, many users have been directed to find the requested information themselves, or reported that Amex hasn’t been able to come through with a reservation at a restaurant.
Visa Infinite Concierge
If you have a Visa Infinite card from any bank, you’ll have access to the Visa Infinite concierge service. If it’s your first time using the service, you’ll have to create a new portfolio over the phone, which takes around five minutes to complete.
If you’re in Canada, the toll-free number to call is 1-888-853-4458, and outside of Canada, you can call collect to 1-630-350-4545.
While the full list of all Visa Infinite cards with Concierge services can be found on the Visa Infinite website, some of the more popular cards include the following:
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
- CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card
- RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card
- Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
- TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
Generally speaking, the Visa Infinite concierge receives high praise from the community. This includes assistance with finding better deals on high-end products, such as perfume, as well as pulling through on requests more often than other cards.
Given that Visa Infinite products are mid-tier credit cards, it’s good to know that they punch above their weight in terms of concierge services.
Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge
If you have a Visa Infinite Privilege card, which is the next tier up from a Visa Infinite in the Visa credit card lineup, you’ll have access to a dedicated Visa Infinite Privilege concierge service.
While the concierge service appears to be the same as the Visa Infinite concierge service, there is a different number to call. You can call toll-free from Canada and the US at 1-855-822-1240, and outside of Canada, you can call collect to 1-303-967-1036.
Since Visa Infinite Privilege credit cards tend to come with a higher annual fee, and given that there is a dedicated phone number and team, it wouldn’t be surprising if you get special treatment when using the Visa Infinite Privilege concierge service over the Visa Infinite service.
The full list of Visa Infinite Privilege credit cards that are eligible for this service can be found on the Visa Infinite Privilege website, and the more popular cards are as follows:
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
- CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card
- RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege Card
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
By all indications, you can expect to have your queries and requests resolved by Visa Infinite Privilege concierges, in a manner similar to what’s offered through Visa Infinite concierges.
Other than Scotiabank Visa Infinite cards that have access to concierges through the Visa Infinite Concierge Service, Scotiabank has two other publicly available credit cards that come with this benefit:
(Keep in mind that the Scotiabank Gold and Scotiabank Platinum American Express cards are different from American Express’s own Gold and Platinum cards.)
Some of the general concierge services provided to eligible cardmembers are similar to those of other cards, such as assistance with a wide range of travel reservations, as well as some of the following, as detailed by Scotiabank:
- Private planes
- Concert tickets
- Sporting event tickets
- Tee times
- Cultural information
- Personal assistants
- Luminary experiences
- Meet and greet services
- Styling sessions
Similar to all of the concierge services we’ve covered thus far, there are no extra charges to access Scotiabank’s concierge service. All you have to do is hold an eligible card, and phone the contact number at 1-800-665-2582.
From the community, there are reports that the Scotiabank concierge service tends to come through with requests, albeit at a lesser frequency than the Visa Infinite concierge.
US-Issued World Elite Mastercards
Unlike Visa Infinite and Visa Infinite Privilege cards, anyone with a World Elite Mastercard in Canada doesn’t get any specific World Elite concierge service.
However, if you happen to hold a US-issued World Elite Mastercard, then you can access the service on the World Elite Concierge website.
If you’re a Canadian World Elite Mastercard holder, you may not be out of luck, though, as there are some banks that offer separate concierge service to their World Elite members, as we’ll detail below.
BMO’s in-house concierge service is perhaps the easiest on this list to use and navigate, especially if you want to make a golfing reservation or place a request for a limo service, which we’ll look at in a bit.
As a reminder, all BMO Visa cards have access to concierge services through Visa Infinite or Visa Infinite Privilege. However, BMO also offers its own concierge services to those who hold one of BMO’s three personal World Elite Mastercards:
- BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard
- BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
- BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
While BMO’s concierge service is comparable to the others we’ve covered, they allow for easier communication by simply sending a message without needing to call in. Of course, if you’d rather speak to someone over the phone, the number is 1-800-741-6758.
If you want to make a golfing reservation, there’s a dedicated page which allows you to select your location, course name, date of play, preferred tee time, handicap, and number of players. You can even select whether or not you want a caddy, buggy, or add any other special requests you may have.
Similarly, there’s a dedicated page for limousine reservations as well.
By all accounts, the BMO concierge is one of the more accessible and useful concierge services. If this is something that’s important to you, be sure to consider one of the credit cards that comes with this service.
PC Financial Concierge
PC Financial has three credit cards, and two come with concierge services:
- PC Financial World Mastercard
- PC Financial World Elite Mastercard
The PC Financial concierge service is provided by a third party company, Assurant Services Canada Inc. This service can be accessed by calling 1-866-892-8683. A list of some of the services can be found on the PC Financial website.
Similar to all of the other concierge services we’ve covered, the scope of services includes leisure, entertainment, medical assistance, and other services.
It’s been reported that PC’s concierge service has been scaled down recently, which is unfortunate, as it appeared to be quite useful before.
National Bank Concierge
National Bank offers concierge service only to National Bank World Elite Mastercard members.
In order to access this service, you can call 1-888-296-8881 from Canada and the US, or 1-416-734-3922 from elsewhere in the world.
National Bank also provides suggestions for ways you can use their concierge service, including travel reservations, information, assistance, sports event ticket reservations, and gift basket arrangements.
Interestingly enough, non-travel related services, such as gift basket arrangements and specialty services, aren’t offered worldwide, and are only available in major cities in Canada and the United States.
Concierge services may not be the deciding factor of whether or not to sign up for a specific credit card, especially when there’s already so much information and tools available to us online.
However, it’s still a useful benefit that can save you time and get you access to events, reservations at restaurants, and special requests granted at hotels, that you may not be able to get on your own.
Calling your preferred concierge service to get information on the best restaurants in a city you’re traveling to, send a gift basket to a loved one, or book a tee time, can be a valuable resource that can make your life just a little bit easier.
In the best-case scenario, you’ll score something that may have otherwise been hard to get, whereas at the very least, you may have saved yourself some time by having someone else cross something off of your to-do list.
Good article. Thank you. I’m actually going to call and inquire more about this service with the various cards I have