Saturday, April 20, 2013

How-To: Book Reservations

I hate booking reservations. Over the years, it has gotten ridiculous hard to book regardless of what economic state this country is in. From Ticketmaster-like systems to simply dialing a phone number 100 times with no results, I've decided enough is a enough. I'm throwing in the towel and leaving it up to professional services to endure the agony.

Booking reservations at restaurants outside the U.S. have an additional layer of difficulty: Local time zone and language. Unless you're a local, sometimes you're required to call at a specific time for "English-speaking" diners.

Last year, I found out two of my credit cards had complimentary 24/7 concierge services. I decided to take a chance with the service to book dinner reservations at the elusive RyuGin in Tokyo, Japan. Within a few hours of filing out an online form from Visa Signature Concierge, I get this email.

No more waking up at 3am or practicing my dialing techniques. The service works and I'm never booking reservations myself ever again. The biggest challenge would be booking the French Laundry. I've tried for the last 5 years with no success. Maybe this year will be the year.

Overview of conceirge services:

Visa Signature Concierge
  • Complimentary 24/7 concierge service for Visa Signature cards
  • Requests via phone or online
  • Common cards: United Airlines Explorer or Hawaiian Airlines Visa Signature
Mastercard World Elite
  • Competitor to Visa Signature Concierge. Also complimentary 24/7
  • Requests via phone
  • No annual fee
AMEX Platinum Card Concierge
  • $450 annual fee
  • Requests via phone
  • Holds table reservations for card holders in certain regions.


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