Editor's Note: The Select Card has provided Ryan Smith of TPG with a free limited-time membership to evaluate the benefits of this article. The opinions expressed below are those of Select Card alone and have not been endorsed by Select Card or its affiliates. We also have a link toTPG Readers Skip the Waitlistand get access to the welcome bonus, although we do not receive any compensation for this.
We regularly discussrising costs of annual credit card fees. However, the growing luxury club market is often overlooked.
What are they? For the annual subscription, you get access to benefits that are not available to the general public. Yes, you pay to access bonuses.
Before dismissing this idea, think about how muchthe money you spend each year chasing elite airline or hotel status. Does that automatically mean the Select Card — a new contender for luxury membership space — is worth its $450 annual fee? On the other hand, isn't it automatically worth it?
I recently tested the benefits of the Select card to see if it's worth paying for. Here's what I found and how you can decide if it's right for you.
TPG readers canClick hereto bypass the waiting list Select the card.
Choose card member benefits
to decide whetherselect a tabworth its annual fee, let's first look at its benefits. include:
- Discounts at participating hotels:They can vary. Sample rate analysis is below.
- Benefits of participating restaurants:Restaurants choose which perks to offer, which could be a free drink, a chef's choice, a free dessert, or a discount on the bill. Below is a breakdown of examples of restaurant benefits.
- VIP ticket packages:For example, tickets are available for the 2023 Miami Grand Prix, which include VIP seating and gourmet dining for $150 more than just three-day tickets.
- Exclusive events for cardholders:This includes social hours and members-only parties at events like Miami Tech Week and L.A. Fashion Week. Most events include one free guest and two free drinks per person and RSVP must be confirmed in advance.
- Beater detail:This includes 10% off scheduled Blade flights, 5% off Hawaiian Airlines reservations, up to $65 off Disneyland Resort tickets, and a variety of discounts (typically 20% to 40%) on Disneyland tickets. Major League Baseball (MLB). MLS), movie theaters and ski resorts. Other discounts include 15% off GoPro purchases, up to $3,000 on select BMW models, and dealer invoiced prices when purchasing a new Mini.
While shopping discounts may be available worldwide, other benefits may not be available. For example, participating restaurants are currently only available in the following locations: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orange County, New York area (including Long Island, Hamptons, and parts of New Jersey), Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Tulum (Mexico) and Washington, D.C. Please be aware of these location restrictions.
These benefits may be similar to those offered withfounder card, therefore, below, I will give an overview of the similarities and differences. First, let's take a look at the benefits available to Select Card members and their quantifiable value.
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Rating of hotel discounts
Select cardmembers can receive a discount at participating hotels. See how these prices compare to booking direct.
|hotel name||sample dates||Choose a card price||hotel price||Choose a price difference|
|Default - London.||1.-3. september 2023||494,61 USD.||743,16$.||$248.55 in savings.|
|Regis - Washington, D.C.||May 9-11, 2023||1 844,98 USD.*||1813,46$.||$31.52 legacy.|
|The Knickerbocker - Nova York.||18.-21. August 2023||1152,25 $.*||1280,28$.||$128.03 in savings.|
|Four Seasons - Seattle.||July 28-30, 2023||2367,60$.||2379,86$.||$12.26 savings.|
*Final price upon receipt of 10% cashback by check by mail.
Not all stays are cheaper on the Select Card portal. Some hotel perks are also advertised as a refund - it comes with a check in the mail, not a booking discount. In the example of reservations above, the Select Card portal offers discounts for three stays. The average benefit of the four assessment reserves is $89.33.
if you are wondering"lowest price" hotel guarantees.it is unlikely to apply. These guarantees require the course to be available to the public, which is not the case here.
It's also worth considering what you're willing to sacrifice when booking a hotel through Select. If you are (or are seeking) Elite status in the hotel program, booking a partner hotel through the portal may not be the best option, as these stays generally do not count towards status. It is also unlikely that you will be able to enjoy status benefits and earn points for these bookings.
Related:9 things to consider when deciding to book through a portal instead of booking directly
Of course, if you're looking for a hotel that doesn't participate in the rewards program, it doesn't matter. Ask for the cheapest price.
Please note that some Select Card hotels state that preferred rates are only available by contacting Select Concierge. If you're looking for a bargain, check other websites and the hotel's reservation system to compare prices.
Enjoy the benefits of the restaurant
You will also receive benefits at participating restaurants in the locations listed above. Restaurants choose the benefits they offer, which can vary. However, they usually include one of the following:
- Free drinks (chosen from a limited number of options).
- Free house drink (chosen by the restaurant).
- Free dessert (chosen from a limited number of options).
- Discount on final bill (usually 10%-20%).
- Choose from a free drink or free dessert (from a limited number of options).
Please note that some restaurants require reservations through Select Concierge to enjoy their benefits.
For example, Sushi Roku has an extensive drink menu, but members can choose from just four free drink options.
Here is an example of participating restaurants and the benefits they offer, along with the estimated value:
|The name of the restaurant||Location||Benefit offered||The value of the benefits|
|Katsuya.||Hollywood, California.||Free house sparkling wine and 15% discount on the final bill when purchasing an aperitif.||$15 per person and variable discount amounts.|
|Sushi Roku.||Newport Beach, California.||Free round of homemade sake, sparkling wine or Japanese beer or dessert plate for the table with the purchase of an appetizer.||$10 to $15 per person.|
|Tapete Chotto.||Miami Beach, Florida.||Free round of welcome cocktails with purchase of an aperitif.||$18 to $22 per person.|
|Center STK.||New York, New York.||Free round of Champagne on the house and 10% off the final bill with the purchase of an aperitif.||$18 per person and variable discount amounts.|
|Accident.||Tulum, Mexico.||Free round of homemade cocktails with the purchase of an appetizer.||$14 per person.|
Enjoying the benefits of nightlife
Nightlife is another important benefit category. Here you can enjoy perks like waived entrance fees, favorable pricing, or free drinks at participating locations.
Options include bowling, bars, pubs and clubs, among others. Depending on the benefit offered, you will earn an average of $15-$20 per referral. person.
Early access and exclusive events included
Select card members get exclusive access to VIP ticket packages or advance ticket sales to popular events. You'll find less regularity here because big events don't happen every day.
A current example is the offer for the May 2023 Miami Grand Prix. Comparable tickets are $1,350 for a three-day pass. Some cardmembers can purchase these tickets for $1,500, but have access to the VIP area that serves food and drinks.
In addition, there are semi-regular social events for Select Card members. The value you place on these networking opportunities and cocktail parties varies greatly from person to person.
Benefit test in 2 restaurants
Whenever I hear about a new product like the Select Card, I have a simple question: "Do the benefits work as advertised?" I admit that I was not familiar with the Select card when I started researching it for this article. So I was wondering if local restaurants would know what benefits to offer.
I made a reservation at Sushi Roku in Newport Beach, California on a not-too-busy Tuesday night for dinner with my wife. We booked through Select Concierge's online chat service, although no reservation was required.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, the host stand staff printed out a small note which our waitress read to describe our benefits. She provided a drink and dessert menu to help us choose.
Sushi e drinks no Sushi Roku. RYAN SMITH/CARA DO PONTO
When it was time to pay, the waitress asked for the Select card. She said the restaurant has been on several shows, but she had never heard of it before. However, the restaurant provided the expected benefits - and without our request.
The next day, Select Concierge emailed me asking how our dining experience was and making sure we were happy with our first use of the card's restaurant benefits.
A week later, my wife and I visited Katsuya Hollywood on a busy Saturday night. Again, we booked through the Select Concierge chat function.
Katsuya Hollywood Karry Blomkålsrulle special. RYAN SMITH/POINT GUY
We saw the restaurant hand our server paper, presumably informing him of our benefits. He disappeared without a word, only to reappear moments later with our free drinks. He also failed to mention our discount, which made us uneasy. However, our 15% discount ($10 in our case) was reflected in the final bill.
Based on these limited experiences, Select clearly communicates the benefits of restaurant memberships. However, I made reservations for both excursions. If you show up to a restaurant without one, you may need to show your membership card and explain your benefits.
Comparison with FoundersCard
Altogether, the Select Card offers the above benefits for an annual fee of $450.
A FoundersCard membership—another pay-for-benefits membership—is $595 per year, though you can get a better rate through many partners. For example usingLink to TPG FoundersCard Appcan get a reduced annual membership fee of $495.
With FoundersCard, you get many of the same benefits, as well as elite status with two airlines (The untouched Atlantic OceanEUCathay Pacific), discounts on flights with several airlines and hotel status in two programs (Hilton AwardsEUCesar Awards).
However, FoundersCard membership does not provide access to the same discounts, early access ticket sales, VIP offers or select member-only events.
FoundersCard is marketed to travel benefits and business people who want a discount on their expenses. The Select Card, on the other hand, advertises itself as a lifestyle product. Make sure you know what best fits your needs.
Is the Select card worth $450 a year?
After looking at the benefits and their value, the average person can get $15-20 in value for every night they spend away from home. Double that number for evens.
For hotel bookings, we saw an average discount of $89.33 across four sample bookings.
How often do you need to use these benefits to recoup the $450 annual fee?
This equates to five hotel bookings at an above-average discount. On the other hand, you can get your $450 back in 15 dates as a couple.
Is the Select card worth the annual fee?
when it's worth it
The Select Card is worth $450/year if you value VIP packages and networking opportunities at members-only events. It's also worth it if you live in the areas listed above (or travel there regularly), often eat together, with friends or business associates. You can only recoup your investment with free drinks, free desserts and discounts.
The Select card is also worth it if you regularly visit participating restaurants, like trying new restaurants (via recommendations on the Select website) and like the idea of a selection of drinks and desserts - so you can try new items.
When it's not worth it
The Select card won't be worth it if you don't live near (or travel to) an area with participating merchants and other benefits. Most major metropolitan areas have solid coverage, but many US states fall outside coverage areas.
You also won't find value if you don't regularly eat at participating restaurants. Even if you do, the card may not work if you don't drink alcohol, don't like others choosing products for you, or have dietary restrictions (such as allergies or religious/moral preferences).
What's more, you won't find value in hotel perks if you're chasing elite status or regularly redeeming points for award stays.
Review the benefits above and identify the value they provide. If you regularly visit these places with friends or a loved one, you might find value in free drinks and desserts. You can also recoup your annual fee with discounts and perks. However, you cannot.
Understand exactly what you are getting for your money and how these benefits add value to your lifestyle. For me, the benefits are not consistent with my lifestyle or travel destination. For others, being a Select member can be valuable - just make sure it's you before paying for benefits you won't fully enjoy.
To apply for a Select Card, visit the websitethe callto skip the waiting list. TPG does not receive commission from these applications.
Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed in this document are those of the author alone and not those of any bank, credit card company, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of these entities.