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Best credit card concierge for restaurant reservations?

ipsedixit May 6, 2007 07:50 PM

I've only used the Amex concierge service for reservations for last minute requests, and have been generally pleased with their results.

Any other experiences with other banks, e.g. MasterCard or Visa?

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  1. hotoynoodle RE: ipsedixit May 7, 2007 04:37 AM

    not to burst your bubble, but credit card concierges do not have special access to reservations. if there are no seats available, there are no seats. if something last minute opens up, they may get it. so would you if you called, however i realize it's more convenient for them to do the work.

    if a slot is being held open, it's more likely to go to a hotel concierge with whom the restaurant has a great reciprocal relationship, a last-minute vip, or a walk-in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      ipsedixit RE: hotoynoodle May 7, 2007 10:38 AM

      Actually, from what I understand, some of the credit card concierges do indeed have local connections (via hotel concierges, etc.) and some restaurants actually set aside certain tables for credit card companies.

      While I am by no means endorsing credit card concierges, wholesale, they do save a lot of time and trouble when trying to find a reservation last minute and reduces the hassle of calling several restaurants trying to find a table. I know at the very least it keeps me in good graces with my admin. assistant ...

      1. re: ipsedixit
        hotoynoodle RE: ipsedixit May 7, 2007 11:19 AM

        in no way am i diminishing the convenience factor!

    2. ccbweb RE: ipsedixit May 8, 2007 03:34 PM

      I've used Amex for this service but, honestly, I find that I prefer going with opentable.com where they have a big presence (NYC, San Francisco, etc).

      4 Replies
      1. re: ccbweb
        ipsedixit RE: ccbweb May 9, 2007 10:04 AM

        Actually, Amex was able to procure a reservation for me even when opentable.com (in Los Angeles) showed no open tables.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          ccbweb RE: ipsedixit May 9, 2007 10:08 AM

          Yes, I don't think restaurants make all of their tables available via opentable; I've had experiences where I've tried to make or change a reservation via opentable, been unable to and then called the restaurant at which point they were happy to help me out.

          If the credit card folks have personal connections, then that would be an advantage.

          1. re: ccbweb
            eatfood RE: ccbweb May 11, 2007 03:16 PM

            Like ipsedixt said earlier, I know Amex has agreements with certain restaurants here in NYC to "save" one table a night exclusively for the concierge service.

            I'm not sure how that works exactly, but I do remember reading some promotional material about it.

            1. re: eatfood
              psb RE: eatfood May 11, 2007 08:48 PM

              No out of this world stories from AmEx Centurion Card [the card formerly known
              as AmEx Black] holders?

      2. j
        JeremyEG RE: ipsedixit Oct 19, 2007 12:24 AM

        Which Amex cards come with this service? I have two but I'm not sure if I'm worthy of concierge service. : )


        5 Replies
        1. re: JeremyEG
          MMRuth RE: JeremyEG Oct 19, 2007 04:27 AM

          The AMEX Platinum desk made my husband reservations at Babbo - I don't think they have an "in" in terms of tables, but at least they did the dialing instead of him.

          1. re: JeremyEG
            Spiritchaser RE: JeremyEG Oct 19, 2007 05:07 AM

            AMEX Platinum is very good with thier service in general but if you happen to want a rez at one of the restaurants in thier Fine Dining system they have tables held for them and it works.

            1. re: Spiritchaser
              Cookiefiend RE: Spiritchaser Oct 19, 2007 11:56 AM

              I did find that when I contacted them for dinner reservations in LV, they gave me a list of restaurants - I assume their Fine Dining system. I ended up not using the Platinum service for dining reservations and made reservations myself either through Open Table or calling.

              But I did use them for tickets to a show, and they were very good seats.

            2. re: JeremyEG
              ipsedixit RE: JeremyEG Oct 19, 2007 11:36 AM


              Someday ... Amex Black ... someday ... maybe.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                ktmoomau RE: ipsedixit Oct 19, 2007 01:25 PM

                I can vouch for Amex Platinum and Black as being wonderful and yes they have tables held for their people or if they call in they will bump them up to the front of the list. I do not have one, but my best friend who I feel I am practically an admin asst for who pays me back in very good food outings uses his all the time. He got an awesome DC reservation for Valentines Day day of or night before...

            3. foodiegrl RE: ipsedixit Oct 19, 2007 03:36 PM

              I used to work very closely with Amex and they do have a relationship with many restaurants where a preferred table is set aside on most nights. However, come the rush nights like 8pm Saturday or high-demand holidays like Valentine's Day, all bets are off. Regardless, for a free service, it's a nice perk. I have not had occasion to use the service yet, as I can usually score the reservation myself online. Also, the cardmember benefits website is extremely confusing and difficult to navigate.

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