How to get your credit card concierge to do the hard work this Christmas

Sally McMullen 30 November 2017

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From Christmas gifts to tickets to the Grammys, here's what your card concierge can and can't do for you this holiday season.

With only a few more weeks until the big day, the countdown to Christmas is officially on. But if you haven’t already started your Christmas shopping, you’re not alone. According to a recent finder survey, 30% of Aussies are planning to leave their Christmas shopping until after the first weekend of December. If you’re struggling to find the time to organise everything by 25 December, this is where a credit card with a complimentary concierge service could come in handy.

A mixture of a personal assistant and shopper, your concierge can help you achieve most things on your Christmas list this year. Give them a list of your loved ones and their interests and they’ll organise the perfect gifts. Or if you need to organise a Christmas party, your concierge can get the venue, decorations and band covered. Of course, you’ll have to pay for any of the gifts or services organised by the concierge, but they’ll do the leg work free of charge.

To give you some ideas, we had a chat with Citi’s head of cards and loans Richard Wilde about what you can and can’t ask from your concierge, as well as some of the most extraordinary requests they’ve granted for customers.

finder: What have been some of the most popular requests in 2017?

Citi: The most popular requests for Citi’s Concierge team in 2017 have been hotel bookings, luxury airport transfers or assistance with travel itineraries. Purchasing concert tickets on behalf of cardholders (tickets for P!NK's 2018 Australian tour have been a hot commodity) and providing restaurant recommendations and booking tables are other services in high demand from the Concierge team. Every year, our average number of calls doubles in November as our cardholders want to get organised for Christmas and holidays!

finder: And what are some of the most popular requests around Christmas time?

Citi: Each year there is a must-have gift that often sells out early or is tricky for parents to find. For example, last year we had an influx of calls from cardholders looking to find a Hatchimal! Citi’s Concierge team are often asked to source and purchase these hard-to-find items at the last minute and they have a high success rate. Assistance with or purchasing on behalf of family members is also very common during Christmas.

One year a cardholder presented our Concierge team with a list of their family members and their interests and asked us to complete their Christmas shopping for them! We happily obliged and the cardholder called to let us know his Mum was a big fan of the cookbook we had selected.

finder: What are some of the most outlandish requests completed by the Citi Concierge team?

Citi: Outlandish requests are a favourite of the team at Citi. Recently, a cardholder saw a pair of earrings in a music video and asked our help to source the very same pair as a gift for his girlfriend. After phone calls to the production company, the jewellery designer and a request to remake the out-of-stock earrings, we managed to source a pair in time for them to be a birthday present.

We’ve also been asked to deliver an elephant as a gift to a temple in India and had an Australian customer request to get a coffee delivered to his girlfriend who was working in New York.

finder: What is something that most cardholders don’t know they can do with their concierge?

Citi: A lot of cardholders don’t realise the scope of what the Concierge team can offer, from helping with simple everyday requests including what’s on at the theatre, providing contact details for a removalist or helping to purchase a car or even plan a wedding. One year we even helped source tickets and flights so a cardholder could fulfil his dream to walk the red carpet at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles with all his favourite stars.

finder: How can Australians make the most of their concierge service?

Citi: Australians can make the most out of their Concierge service by simply giving the team a call and asking how they can help. The Concierge team are able to provide access to exclusive lifestyle opportunities, complimentary privileges and expert advice. The time-poor should view this as a way to outsource some of the stress in their day and let someone else do all the leg work for them.

finder: What are some examples of things your concierge can’t help you with?

Citi: All Concierge requests must, of course, be moral, ethical and legal.

Although these are examples of what Citi's Concierge Service can offer its Platinum, Signature and Prestige credit card customers, there are plenty of other credit cards that offer similar perks on the market. Last year, we also spoke to American Express about its concierge service and some of the most popular requests they get over the holidays. You can also check out finder's guide to credit cards with complimentary concierge services to compare your options.

As a concierge service is a complimentary extra of many premium credit cards, it's an easy way to take some of the stress out of life while also getting your money's worth from your credit card. So whether you need help organising the ideal present for a loved one or want someone to organise your Christmas vacation for you, we hope you've got all of the inspiration you need to make the most of your credit card concierge these holidays.

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