Sometimes I wonder how much money I lose every month,
paying for services that I never use. My
cell phone, for example, has a calculator in it. I’ve never used that. I don’t believe I’ve ever used my dashboard
dimmer switch in my car either. Someone
engineered it and built it and someone else installed it in my car; I wonder
that cost me? My handheld GPS unit can
tell me the phases of the moon, the tides, optimum time for hunting or fishing,
and it also has a calculator! All of
these features sound fancy, and I certainly paid for them, but I have never
“touched” them open, not once.
I’ll just bet that nearly every one of my readers has a
credit card that carries some sort of annual fee. Furthermore, I’ll bet that the credit card
company offers some sort of service or feature that is rolled into that fee
that you have never used. Have you ever
read the fine print on the credit card agreements that come in the mail? I bet you haven’t, and the credit card
companies are betting the same thing.
I found one type of service that actually seems like it
might be beneficial. Any Visa
“Signature” series credit card offers a “Concierge Service” for
cardholder. Having a personal concierge
is like having a personal assistant or intern who can track down things for you
so that you can use that time for other, more productive things. I scoured the web and found some very
interesting examples of what the Visa Signature person concierge is willing to
do for you. These examples are real,
reported by actual people who have actually called the concierge, and they
didn’t cost a single penny “extra” over and above the card’s annual fee:
- “I need a tub of nacho cheese” – In this example, the
credit card holder called the concierge, was met with a friendly English
speaking voice, and he told them, “I’ll be traveling to Austin, TX next Tuesday
and I’ll need a huge tub of nacho cheese to satisfy a craving.” A couple of hours later, Visa emailed him the
location, and phone number of a “Fiesta” grocery store that sells huge cans of
pre-made nacho cheese.
- “I am stuck on a crossword puzzle and cannot figure out
12 across” – This time, the caller was asked exactly which crossword puzzle he
was working. “I’m working the USA Today
puzzle,” he said, “and the clue says ‘Blue Grotto’ and it has 13 letters and
starts with the letter I”. He was placed
on hold for a few minutes. When the
concierge returned, she said “Island of Capri!”
That was, in fact, the correct answer!
- “I want to travel to space” – In this example the caller
asked, “Can you give me the details I need to know in order to travel to
space? Please include the cost,
timeline, dietary risks and considerations, etc.” The concierge returned an email that
contained the two companies who offer such a ride, the cost, and the details,
including the fact that one of the two space flight corporations offers peanuts
during the initial ascent!
Have a look at your favorite credit card. Even if it’s not a Visa Signature card, it
may have a similar service. Take advantage
of it! Why not? You paid for it…
you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc,
please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your
questions will be recorded and sent to him.
You can also follow Ken on Twitter @foodbreeze!