Make Credit Card Companies Your Bitch

Ever since the introduction of the uber-exclusive American Express Centurion (Black) Card, competing credit card companies have been jumping on the bandwagon offering their more upscale customers a wide array of value added services.  Prominent among them are so-called “concierge services” providing card members with assistance when it comes to travel plans, show tickets and hard to get restaurant reservations.

Unlike the pioneering Centurion Card, many credit cards providing these concierge services are available to us mere hoi polloi.  Now that you have access to your own credit card concierge — how far can you push the limits of this service? Notorious prankster John Hargrave devoted some time in pursuit of answering that question.

Mr. Hargrave obtained a Visa Signature Chase Freedom Card (yeah, the one with all those ads with that annoying couple), and he went about testing the limits to which Chase would go to keep him happy.  Upon making requests to your card’s concierge service, you are assigned a personal agent who sees through the given task from soup to nuts — or, in the case of Hargrave’s first request — nacho cheese.

Hargraves first task for Chase was to locate a huge punch-bowl sized tub of nacho cheese available for pick up at his next meeting locale — Austin, Texas.  Chase was not fazed by this request, and within 24 hours, arranged for this bath of cheese to be available for Hargrave at a downtown Austin supermarket named Fiesta.

Feeling he didn’t sufficiently push the limits with this first foray, Hargrave then called the trusty Chase concierge service and indicated he needed urgent assistance with a crossword puzzle clue — an 11 letter phrase which is the locale of the Blue Grotto.  After being put on hold for only 2 minutes, the concierge returned with the correct answer — Isle of Capri.  Now that’s service.

Hargrave then followed up by having Chase find him daily motivational messages along with full travel options, including pricing, for his pending “business trip into outer space”.  Each request was filled within 24 hours — except one.  When Hargrave requested a list of services which Chase will not provide, that took 3 days to compile.  Included among them are getting you a tryout or job with a professional sports franchise, getting you access to classified government documents, and they will not plan your wedding — but they will find a qualified wedding planner.  One imagines there are a few more restrictions on the list which Chase might have omitted out of a sense of decorum.



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