Most people know that you can make special requests to hotel concierges to make your stay more comfortable or meaningful, such as booking transportation, arranging bookings at the hotel spa or restaurant reservations.
But global bank Citi also has a ‘concierge’ – think of it as a personal butler – where certain customers can ask it to arrange or make purchases on their behalf.
The concierge service is a complimentary service offered to Citi’s Prestige, Premier and Rewards credit card customers, who must earn more than $150,000 a year to be eligible for the card. Just the annual fees alone come to $700 a year. The Rewards card currently comes with a discounted annual fee of $49 in the first year and $149 in subsequent years, with the Premier card coming with a $395 annual fee.
During the restrictions of Covid-19, many customers asked Citi for assistance returning home from overseas; booking local holidays; and even virtual events such as wine tasting or exercise classes.
But according to exclusive data revealed to Yahoo Finance, some Aussies had some stranger requests.
One man asked the concierge service for help pulling off a major birthday surprise for his wife.
Doesn’t sound too extreme... Until you find out the man wanted Brisbane’s Cartier store to open privately just for a birthday viewing, accompanied by all the extra trimmings like champagne and cake.
But that wasn’t all – the concierge also organised a couples massage and a restaurant date to round off the special celebration.
Yet another customer stepped it up, and asked the concierge service for help with his marriage proposal. What would have otherwise been an ordinary flight booking became a helicopter flight and a special six-course degustation dinner for the couple.
On the other side of the spectrum, another man had a different request for Citi concierge: to help him update his look as a newly divorced man.
The customer was introduced to one of Citi’s stylists, and the pair spent the day picking out new wardrobe staples to help him get back onto the dating scene.
In such a competitive environment for bank and financial institutions, Citi head of cards and loans Choong Yu Lum told Yahoo Finance that the personal service was designed to provide “feel-good experiences”.
“Services like the Concierge are more important than ever before to ensure consumers feel like they are getting bang for their buck, in terms of getting the most out of their credit card,” he said.
At a time where overseas travel was not possible for many Australians, the personal service was a way for Australians to capitalise on their other credit card benefits.
“A lot of people think the Concierge is just available to help customers book travel, but really it can do so much more,” he added.
“Throughout Covid-19 it has helped customers with everything from finding flights home from overseas, to activity ideas during isolation or local holiday inspiration.”
In previous years, Citi was asked by one man to find an elephant for a birthday party in India, while another asked the concierge to track down earrings worn by Britney Spears in her ‘Criminal’ music video.
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