A concierge service is one of the most useful services that you can get with a credit card. Oddly enough, it is also the most underused service because many of us do not understand what it is, and that is the purpose of this post. To cut to the chase, a credit card concierge service is a phone number that you can call to ask for help. Unlike the less-than-helpful people that you normally get when you call customer service, concierge representatives tend to be almost unbelievably friendly and helpful.

You can ask your concierge representative for help with all of those time-wasting research tasks that you would rather not do. For example, a concierge representative can help you to find the best deal on an airline ticket, or look up which stores in your town sell an uncommon item. But it doesn't stop there. Concierge representatives can also save you stress by offering suggestions for gifts or travel destinations, or even recommending the cheapest Chinese takeaway in your area. If you are on vacation your concierge can look up attractions and activities in your holiday location, or even offer language tips.

Pretty much, you can ask a concierge for help with anything that can be handled over the phone. I sometimes chat up a concierge representative with some random task just because I feel like talking to someone, though even I agree that doing that may be pushing the limits. In many cases they will offer a suggestion or answer a question in the first call, but more complex requests will usually require a short wait before they get back to you by phone or email. As a rule, they always get back to you pretty quickly. The cost of bookings or stuff you have them buy can be charged straight to your card, saving you the hassle of fussing with bill payments.

Visa Signature. If you have a Visa Signature card you can use the Visa Signature Concierge service, any time of day, night or year. Use your concierge to look up travel deals and make reservations, book tickets, find accommodation, locate and order that hard-to-come-by item, and more. The concierge service is available 24 hours a day at 1.800.953.7392 and I suggest you don't think twice about calling them next time you need a helping hand.

World MasterCard®. You can take advantage of MasterCard's concierge service if you hold a World MasterCard® or a World Elite™ MasterCard®. This is pretty similar to the Visa Signature concierge in that you can have a representative handle your travel, restaurant and event reservations or bookings. You can also have them look for the best deal on any item, help you choose the right gift for any occasion, organize shipping or delivery and perform other shopping related tasks.

American Express Platinum. If you have a Platinum Card® from American Express then I suggest you make full use of the Platinum Card Concierge to plan your special events (now there's a time-saver), make travel and event bookings on your behalf and look up the information you need. Restaurants that participate in the Platinum Dining℠ Reservations program from American Express actually reserve tables especially for Platinum card holders, so unless a bunch of Platinum card members show up at the same restaurant, you are almost guaranteed a table. There are 108 participating restaurants in New York City alone, and at least a dozen in most major US cities. Call up the Platinum Card Concierge 24/7 at 800.525.3355 to get the help you need.

Discover MyConcierge. If you own a Discover card you should be eligible for the concierge service from Discover. This service can help you with finding gifts and organizing events. You also get business and travel services. You can contact MyConcierge at 888.737.7924 and get them busy working for you.

Since credit card companies often have referral agreements with merchants (restaurants, retailers) they can often get you a better price than you can get on your own, or get you into a restaurant or event that might otherwise be fully booked.