Ah the fabled American Express Platinum Concierge! This is one of the perks that is always touted as a top benefit of the AMEX Platinum card.
When people think of this service, they usually equate it to a top tier personal assistant that is also able to get you access to exclusive events – at least that’s how AMEX is selling it.
Is this actually the case? We put the AMEX Platinum Concierge to the test, and will be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly in this review.
The Platinum Concierge is one of the benefits that comes with your AMEX Platinum card. This concierge service is generally considered to be the best one you can get without qualifying for uber-exclusive cards such as the AMEX Centurion (black card) or the JP Morgan Palladium.
From using the Platinum Concierge extensively, here are the things we love about it!
Access and Exclusivity. We have to give it to the Platinum Concierge when it comes to getting access to premier restaurants and events. They are excellent! Our team was in Las Vegas for a conference, and did not think about booking hotels until the last minute (oops).
Our searches directly with the hotels and on Expedia turned up nothing. We called up the concierge service asking for them to book us four rooms anywhere on the strip, and they were able to find us rooms at Caesars Palace – at standard rates!
The Platinum Concierge also has standing reservations at some top-tier restaurants across the world. These tables are generally reserved for AMEX Platinum and Centurion members. In addition, the concierge maintains good relationships with lots of popular restaurants so the manager is often willing to go out of his or her way to make things happen when the concierge needs a last minute reservation.
We also frequently used the concierge to help us book tickets that sell out quickly. After all, they’re able to be on the phone or online the second something goes on sale – while we may be stuck in a meeting at work.
Dealing with Crazy Requests. Back in 2016 word on the street was that Lamborghini was coming out with their first ever SUV. We asked the concierge to call every Lambo dealership in the United States to ask if we can see a brochure for it.
Of course Lamborghini completely denied that an SUV was coming out as it hadn’t been formally announced at the time. However, the concierge e-mailed us the details for every one of his calls with various dealerships across the country. In case you’re wondering, the SUV that was released turned out to be the Lamborghini Urus.
Confidentiality. The concierge service is frequently asked to arrange gifts and surprises. Sometimes nosy spouses will call the concierge to try and find out what was purchased. We tested this out with one of our staff members who had the Platinum Card and his wife has a supplementary card. The wife called in asking what request her husband made, and was promptly denied any information.
This isn’t necessarily terrible, but you need to be very specific with your requests. We need to remember that the concierge staff are dealing with lots of demanding customers every single day. Unfortunately, this means that as soon as the minimum requirements of the request are met, the concierge is keen to deliver the results to the customer.
For example, we asked the concierge to find us three estate planning lawyers. They found three that charged $500/hour which was out of the price range we were looking for. However, we never communicated the desired price range so the concierge was just working with the information they have.
Travel planning is terrible – or more accurately, non-existent. Since American Express has a dedicated travel department (AMEX travel), all travel related requests are passed over to them.
We tried using AMEX travel a few times, and had very underwhelming results. First, we asked them to plan a 10 day trip to Hawaii and all we got was an e-mail with five bullet points on potential activities as well a very overpriced Fine Hotel and Resorts accommodations. There was no flight options, no rental car options, and it looked like the five potential activities were just the top five from TripAdvisor.
Other concierge services such as the Visa Infinite Concierge will handle travel planning themselves, and they do a much better job.
We recommend you stay away from AMEX for any travel planning!
AMEX Compliance has cracked down on retail purchases. In the past, the concierge could buy items for you (eg. purses, wallets, computers etc.). However, they are no longer allowed purchase anything that has terms and conditions associated with it. For example, if you by something online the website may have certain terms that the purchaser must agree to. We understand the reasoning behind this, but it does take away a big benefit from the concierge service.
Overall we still believe the AMEX Platinum concierge is one of the best concierge service in the market, and should be used if you have the AMEX Platinum card.