Credit Card Concierge

Today we tried a new way to schedule travel…through our credit card concierge. Staci has a Visa Signature credit card through Capital One (which BTW is one of the best cards for traveling because they don’t charge a currency exchange fee) and they offer a free concierge service that can help with things like booking last minute restaurant reservations, ordering flowers for your mom on Mother’s day and scoring sold out tickets to concerts. The concierge service also has a “travel team” that can help schedule travel arrangements as well. After looking up plane tickets for our funky travel schedule from Philly to Belize to Seattle for hours, we decided to give the travel team a try.

We know it can be kind of weird using credit card services for the first time, so we want to share how our experience went so you can be more confident using your credit card’s concierge. Here’s what went down.

I {Staci} called the concierge service and spoke with the nicest lady (her name was Rose) who welcomed me to the concierge program and asked how she could help. I gave her the details of the flight and said that we needed an incoming flight to Belize from Philly on Oct. 17, then an outgoing flight to Seattle on Dec. 15. She asked if I had a budget and I let her know that any price was OK, but that we don’t travel on First or Business class. I guess I assumed that people who use concierge services are usually wealthy, so I felt awkward saying that we don’t travel First class because it made us sound cheap, but Rose didn’t make me feel cheap at all.

Rose also asked if I needed any help planning transportation to and from the airport which I thought was a great touch. And in fact we did need help finding a shuttle since we’re staying in Placencia which is 3 hours from the airport.

A little over an hour after my conversation with Rose, I received an email from the Visa travel team with a flight itinerary from Philly to Belize to Seattle that was a very good price with great travel times. We looked up the prices ourselves on the travel website they suggested and they were spot on with what the travel team came up with, so there was no discount or markup. The real benefit we found to booking travel through the travel team was that we didn’t have to spend time looking up flights. Now that we know we can have a team book our travel for us for the same price as we would find ourselves, we will be using the travel team to book every flight.

Right after the email about the flights, I received an email with shuttle information. The travel team had found several shuttles that I could not find on Google or through any other online sources and they turned out to be much cheaper than the ones I had found myself. In terms of airport transportation, score 1 for the travel team.

Overall, we were incredibly impressed with the concierge service. It was easy and quick to use, they didn’t make us feel stupid for using the service to book travel, and they came up with really great recommendations. By using the travel team to book future travel, I know that we’ll save several hours per trip by not having to do all the research ourselves…we can leave it to the pros!

Have you ever used your credit card’s benefits to book travel? What was your experience like?

(This post is in no way sponsored by Visa. It’s just an honest account of how we used their service.)

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