Bizzare Requests that Citi’s Concierge team receives

High-end credit cards differentiate themselves from their peers in several ways. Some of them include premium travel-related benefits such as airport lounge access, offers at hotels worldwide amongst others. A concierge service is one such benefit where a team of specialists will be ready to help you with your request. This service usually comes with premium credit cards or bank accounts.

Citi Concierge

Last year, I got the Citi Prestige concierge to do all the research for me when planning an Australian vacation. Not only did it save my time, but also, the team made some stellar recommendations unknown to me, such as small beach towns to stay over on our Gold Coast drive. To top it all, they got me a 45 AUD discount on my Hertz self-drive rental. This was in spite of me being a Hertz Gold Plus member.

My Hertz car in Australia booked through the Citi concierge

A concierge can literally be your virtual personal assistant and can help you save time, stress & money. It is one of the most useful benefits offered by premium credit cards such as Citi Prestige or American Express Platinum.

Recently, Citi Australia revealed the strangest request that their concierge team received in 2017. A cardholder contacted the concierge saying that he wanted to gift his girlfriend the pair of black & gold earrings worn by Britney Spears in her music video Criminal. He wanted the concierge to procure it for him. Sounds simple? Not really!

The team researched the name of the production house and contacted them. After talking to the production guys, they knew she was most likely wearing Pucci or Marchesa designer earrings. They contacted the brands only to find that those earring designs were not made by them. After that, a team of specialists rummaged through various Britney Spears fan forums and based on another lead contacted Chanel. However, that was another dead end.

Picture from Pintrest

Picture from Pinterest

Finally, the concierge team found that the earrings were made by a boutique jewellery store in Austin, Texas and cost a mere 18$. Even though the earrings were out of stock, the store agreed to remake them and the earrings were flown into Australia and safely handed over to the gentleman just in time for his girlfriend’s birthday. That was one happy card holder for Citi and a team of 30 experts working behind the scenes for days.

This is just one example of the great lengths concierge teams can go to fulfil their members’ wishes. Another strange request that Citi shared was when a cardholder requested the concierge to buy Christmas gifts for his family members based on each one’s interest.

You can now delegate gift shopping to the Concierge

You can now delegate gift shopping to the Concierge

A one is when a cardholder wanted to gift an elephant to a temple in South India and asked the concierge to organize the elephant delivery on his behalf. Yes sir, would that be an oz elephant, one from Africa or from Sri Lanka? Would you want to have a deer or a duck to go along as well?

Sold out tickets to concerts, events and getting a table last minute at popular Michelin restaurants are some of the most common requests that the concierge receives. Although, in a chatty mood once a Citi Prestige concierge representative shared with me that once a cardholder requested him to remind him a day before his wedding anniversary and wife’s birthday.

Do you use concierge services? What is the strangest request you have ever made to them?

Comments

  1. Hi Shipra & Ajay,

    Do you have any experience of using the concierge service of Diners Black Card?

    Is the service limited to booking flights, hotels, restaurants and gifting flowers?

  2. Hi Ajay, do you know if the Citi Prestige concierge in India works on requests beyond the stated benefits (4th night/meet & greet/…). Had assumed they only picked up requests for such stuff, since unlike Amex, they don’t call themselves a ‘do anything’ concierge. Have you tried them for requests beyond the card benefits?

    • @Venkat All through 2015 and 2016 Ajay and I have used the Citi Concierge for a number of various requests. When we were planning our Australian vacation they helped us with things to do, where we can stay along the way, recommended and booked for us hot air balloon ride in the Hunter Valley vineyards, places to eat, etc. etc.

      Ajay even once requested them to find bespoke tailors in Mumbai and the concierge came up with some very good suggestions.

      2017 onwards we found the quality of service drop significantly, so we rarely use the concierge now.

      • Thanks for this. Will try it out if an opportunity arises. I only used them once for a meet & greet and second time for getting some quotes for a 4-night stay in Kerala. They came back with a quote in USD!!

  3. Citi Prestige is going/gone downhill in Oz. Pathetic redemption rates to airlines, hotels, non-stellar earn rates and on top of these changes – a chunk of benefit reductions (ala status cuts across hotels, Km reduction for Airport travel etc..). The Annual Fee has always been large – but somewhat compensated by benefits – but alas no more. This is coming from a member for close to 8 years when they has the Citi Select moniker. The only constant is that concierge have however kept their good service

  4. I’m not with citi but I use my Amex Platinum Concierge quite a bit and I can tell you its pretty amazing. I was in Vegas with my GF for a special occasion and I ask them if they can recommend something special, I didn’t know what to expect but when I got to the restaurant they sat my GF and I in front of the bellagio water show. We had a nice dinner while watching a free show. There was only 3 small table available with this feature and I can imagine it’s quite popular

  5. Lucky you. I am a Citi Prestige cardholder as well , but I am yet to come across an executive who is polite enough , forget about great recommendations. I once asked them to suggest me a good hotel for a 5 night stay near Shinjuku station ( Tokyo ) , within the budget mentioned by me.But , the executive was so blunt , and told me in these exact same words “We aren’t supposed to filter our results according to such requirements” . What I got was a 20-30 page long email , with a zillion hotel names.
    I wish I could have similar experiences ( or even one ) with their team , in the future.

  6. Interesting article Ajay! I have Concierge services on my AMEX Jet Platinum but I have never used them since I didn’t know what all support one can get from them. This article opens up my mind on this. A couple of questions: Is there any fine print ? What are charges of concierge services? How do we pay for the services we procure through the Concierge ?

    • @Kiran no charges for the concierge service. when you buy something as a result of using the concierge you pay with the card who offered you the service.

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