5 time-saving ways your card concierge can help your business
From planning efficient work trips to helping manage your cash flow, a card concierge can help with key business tasks.
Platinum-level business charge cards and credit cards frequently offer a concierge service: an expert assistant available by phone or email to help you with tasks ranging from booking a rental car to finding accommodation.
But your card concierge isn't just a luxury for your personal life. You can also use them as a key business tool. Using the suite of concierge services available can help you get a lot more value from your card.
BUSINESS WITH BENEFITS
Finder's Smarter Small Business series is presented by American Express. Reward your business spending with 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply for the American Express Platinum Business card by 11 March 2020 and spend $5,000 on your new card within 3 months. New Card members only. T&Cs apply.
A concierge can be a real asset to your business, helping you save time and money and getting you access to resources that might be difficult or impossible to procure otherwise.
Concierge availabilities and services differ depending on the card, but they're included on cards from American Express and Citi, among others. The concierge can also work with your business card account manager to make sure you're getting the best value from your card.
If it involves finding a service that can be paid for using your card, there's every chance that your concierge can help out. As long as it's legal and not subject to other restrictions (like needing a membership), your concierge should be able to help make it happen.
Here's our pick of five handy ways to use your card's concierge service to help your business grow.
1. Organise work and conference travel
Sorting out work travel is certainly possible online, but it's time-consuming. Getting your concierge to make the booking lets you concentrate on more urgent business tasks.
Using a concierge is particularly effective when you're considering a trip to somewhere unfamiliar for a conference and there are numerous potential airlines and hotels to choose from. Just pull together a list of your key requirements, including how much you're willing to spend, your travel dates and any preferences or must-haves, then they'll do the digging to find the best options that match. They can also identity opportunities where spending reward points to pay for travel is an option rather than paying.
2. Manage your cash flow more effectively
Some business cards will give you extended payment periods that you can use to balance your cash flow. For instance, the Amex Platinum Business Card offers up to 55 days to pay for purchases (depending on when you make it and when your statement comes out).
One way you can use that effectively is to take advantage of discounts for early payment from suppliers. Not all suppliers will promote the fact those discounts are available, so chat with your card account manager and seek their input on which industries typically offer those discounts.
Another option to help improve cash flow is using existing reward points to pay off part of the card balance, when available. If a new supplier won't accept your card, your concierge and account manager may be able to help set up a payment portal option so you can still earn points from the transaction. An Amex Platinum Business Card account manager told Finder that one customer used this feature to order a new drill bit from China that would have been impossible to obtain otherwise.
3. Helping organise events and conferences
Organising events such as business launches or training sessions is hugely time consuming. A concierge can assist with one of the most crucial early steps: booking the conference space you need. Work out your rough attendee numbers and what you need, then get the concierge to find suitable options that fit your budget. (Yes, you'll still have to send the invitations yourself.)
4. Restaurant and show reservations
Looking to impress a prospective new client? Book that work lunch at a swanky restaurant which is normally impossible to access.
Concierge services can often organise reservations at restaurants that will claim to be booked out if you contact them directly. The more notice you can give, the better, but a concierge can often pull off the trick. They can also offer suggestions if you're not sure where to pick.
As well as restaurants, concierges can also line up tickets to major events like sporting finals or concerts: an ideal way to reward a long-standing business partner or to score facetime with a new one.
5. Supplier referrals
Need to find a new supplier for office furniture/stationery/widgets and not sure where to start? Ask your concierge to assist with the process. Specify what you're looking for and how much you're hoping to spend and they can produce a shortlist of likely options for you.
Growing a business takes real effort. Any tasks that you can effectively outsource gives you more opportunity to concentrate on the most urgent priorities. A concierge fits the bill nicely, so make sure you're taking advantage if that's a service your card offers. And if it isn't, it might be time to consider making a switch to one that does.
Disclaimer: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before applying for any of the products mentioned, please read the product terms and conditions and consider whether that product is right for you.
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