The UK bank Lloyds TSB has launched a credit card that gives cardholders, among other things, a personal 'lifestyle assistant' while at the same time earning the usual rewards for purchases made using the card.
Lloyds TSB has launched the Lloyds TSB Premier American Express Credit Card. For a fee of 4.95 per month, the card takes the leg work out of card members' everyday lives. Whether they need help planning a holiday, booking a table at a restaurant, buying tickets for a show, getting their name on the guest list for a club or help finding a gift at the last minute.
All new cardmembers get the first month for free, and the bank's Premier Current Account customers get the first six months for free.
The lifestyle assistant is available to help twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The service is provided by lifestyle concierge providers, Ten UK.
Earning and burning
The card also enables card members to earn Premier Rewards on their everyday spending (such as at petrol stations and supermarkets as well as on travel and entertainment) at the rate of 1.33 reward points for every 1 spent.
Points can be redeemed for a range of Premier Rewards with a number of lifestyle partners including Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Abercrombie & Kent, Beachcomber Tours and Harrods. Card members can also choose to donate their rewards to charities including Save the Children, World Wildlife Fund and the British Red Cross.
For an extra 8.95 (approx. US$17) per month card members can buy Priority Pass Prestige membership, which gives them unlimited access to over 500 VIP airport lounges in 90 countries worldwide. No matter what airline they use, what class they travel or where they book their flights, every card member and one guest will be able to use the lounges, including free facilities such as internet access, newspapers, snacks and refreshments.
Not easy, but not impossible
Some of the requests met by Lloyds TSB lifestyle assistants have included:
- Five hours before her flight departed from Shanghai, a businesswoman decided to go for a walk, but got lost as all the road signs were in Chinese. She called a lifestyle assistant and a Mandarin lifestyle manager asked her to pass her phone to a local, who explained the dilemma and the local person walked her back to the hotel.
- A family from Sri Lanka, now living in Lewisham, UK, needed to find an elephant for a bride to arrive on for a wedding. A lifestyle assistant found one through Pinewood Studios after not being able to persuade either a zoo or a circus to part with their elephants.
- A couple went on a romantic weekend in Venice. Upon returning they regretted not buying a pair of earrings they saw in one of the side street jewellers. With only very vague directions to go on, an Italian lifestyle assistant tracked down the shop, arranged for a digital picture of the earrings to be emailed to the couple so that they could select the right pair. The lifestyle assistant then arranged for payment and delivery.
- A customer bought a designer bath before realising it would not fit up the spiral staircase in their Grade Two listed house (a historic, protected building). A lifestyle assistant arranged for the customer's street to be closed while a crane was brought in to lift the bath through a window. The window had to be removed by a master tradesman who specialised in period properties.