Using Citi Prestige Card Concierge For Restaurant Reservations

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Many premium credit cards offer concierge services, though I can’t say I use them very much. This is largely due to how useful the internet has become. I’d rather do my own research on where to visit, what to eat, etc., rather than outsourcing it to someone who isn’t actually an expert on an area. Similarly, lately I’ve found the concierge services haven’t been that great for getting restaurant reservations which are unavailable on OpenTable.

The only thing I frequently use a “concierge” for is the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit, and that’s simply because you have to book through the concierge in order to take advantage of that perk. Fortunately they made that process easier recently, as the Citi Prestige Card switched concierge services to Aspire Lifestyle. As I explained in a previous post, that shaves several minutes off the process of making such a reservation.

It seems there’s another benefit to Aspire Lifestyle which I wasn’t previously aware of. While virtually all concierge services will try to help with restaurant reservations, booking with Aspire Lifestyle (through your Citi Prestige Card) gets you special perks at select restaurants. It’s called Aspire’s Preferred Restaurant Program.

I phoned up the Citi Prestige Card concierge to ask about the perk, and the concierge asked which city I was interested in. When I said Los Angeles, she offered to email me a guide with the restaurants in LA where they offer special perks.

Citi-Prestige-Restaurant-Reservations

But you can actually access all of the restaurants online as well. Simply go to the Citi Concierge website and log-in with your card credentials. Once you’re logged in, click on the “Dining” tab at the top.

Citi-Concierge

There you’ll be given the option to select a location.

Citi-Restaurant

Then all the restaurants in Aspire’s Preferred Restaurant Program will display. If there’s a value-add perk, the top of the restaurant’s picture will have a star and say “Special Benefits.”

Citi-Restaurant-Concierge

Then if you click the restaurant it will indicate what the benefit is.

Citi-Concierge-Reservation

These benefits range from a free appetizer to free dessert to a free glass of wine, etc.

Bottom line

While this won’t be useful to everyone or at all restaurants, it is a great perk of the Citi Prestige Card to be aware of. For example, I’ve dined at some of the restaurants that are part of this program and didn’t take advantage of the Preferred Restaurant Program perks. From now on I’ll be visiting the Citi website before I make reservations at nice restaurants, to see if they have any value-add perks at restaurants I’m considering.

Can you see yourself using this Citi Prestige Card restaurant perk?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

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Comments

  1. this isn’t very vital for LA restaurants. given the lay of the land, you can generally walk in to any of the top places in town unless you’ve got a huge party. i’m curious what restaurants they could help you get into in nyc. if it’s places like fig and olive, not that impressive imho.

  2. also is the value-added benefit noted to the staff on your reservation or do you have to mention it? if the latter, seems super tacky.

  3. I had AMEX Platinum concierge make a NYC restaurant reservation and there was an appetizer that came out “compliments of the concierge.” I assume it was AMEX, but really was never sure. When they made the reservation, they said they “usually have a good relationship” with the restaurant.

    While these services often don’t do better than you can on the internet, I feel they’re useful when you’d have to call a foreign restaurant and get service in English or if they have some “in” where they can get you a table that you really can’t get on your own.

    Overall, it’s pretty hit or miss in my experience.

  4. There is a similar benefit for Amex Plat Canada called “Taste of Platinum” supposedly providing free appetizers etc at select restaurants if you book via concierge. In my experience, in about 90% of cases the benefit is never delivered, unless you specifically ask for it at a restaurant. I am not going to proactively ask for freebies at an upscale restaurant, so this benefit of no use to me. I suspect the Citi benefit is set up in a very similar way.

  5. @pavel – Do you live in LA and do you keep up to date on the dining scene in LA? Sure there are many places that you can just walk in without a reservation but try doing that at any of the popular restaurants in the city. Some of them, if you want a reservation on a weekend night, you have to book weeks, sometimes months in advance. The current wait for a table on ANY night at N/naka is 90+ days. Jump on Opentable and let me know when the next reservation for a party of 4 is open on a Saturday night at 7:30pm at Republique or Bestia. Now I don’t know if Citi will be able to get you a table at one of these places any more than you and I can get by just calling the restaurant, but your assumption of the LA dining scene is completely wrong.

  6. @Luis I walked into Bestia on a Friday about a month ago, party of 2, at 9pm. Did the same at Night + Market Song a month before that. The last reservation I’ve made in LA was for Red Medicine, about 3 years ago maybe? And it was half empty on Sat night. Maybe that’s why it closed.

    The only substantial wait I’ve had for a table in relatively recent memory has been kang ho dong in Koreatown. Which was 3 hours but tolerable bc of the bar across the alley.

    As they say, YMMV but in my experience reservations are not nearly the issue in LA that they are in SF or NYC.

    And I would agree with your guess that at the most popular places, the Citi concierge probably doesn’t pull any weight.

  7. @pavel – I would say you got very lucky at Bestia. Being a party of 2 and 9pm (late-ish dinner) probably helped a lot as well. I just checked opentable and there isn’t a single reservation available for a party of 4 on any weekend night through the end of March. So there you go.

    Night + Market Song, while does get busy, doesn’t take reservations at all, so your example isn’t a very good one.

    If Citi concierge can get me a table at Bestia on any given Saturday night, I would be super impressed. I doubt it though.

  8. Interesting. It appears that most restaurants don’t have special benefits (at least not in SF, Chicago or NY) and while there are some truly amazing restaurants included (Saison, Atelier Crenn, Benu, Le Bernardin, etc), I’ve never found those places particularly difficult to get reservations at by simply calling. Now if they start offering reservations at places like State Bird Provisions or the French Laundry, where reservations are difficult that’d be something.

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