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Here’s Why The SELECT Black Card Is Such a Unique Membership Program
There are a myriad of VIP and Black Card programs on the market. These programs are often tied to premium credit cards and are typically limited in regards to benefits. From elite status to exclusive dinner reservations, these black card programs are becoming commonplace among even middle-income families. This is for a reason. Lately, thanks in part to premium credit cards, black card programs have become less exclusive and more affordable. However, they’ve also become extremely uniform and predictable. As much as I love premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card, its benefits are almost entirely travel-based. This is fantastic for someone like myself and other members of my family as we all travel a great deal. Yet, for many, $550 for just travel benefits might not be worth it. That’s where programs like SELECT come in to close the gap.
What Is SELECT?
SELECT is a VIP membership program that comes with a plethora of benefits related to travel, lifestyle, nightlife, and dining. Moreso, a SELECT membership truly opens up a world of activities accessible only to VIPs. SELECT is not just a card that gives members benefits, it’s a community.
SELECT usually costs members $300 a year for access to benefits and events. However, I’ve partnered with SELECT allowing TravelUpdate readers to receive a SELECT membership for $250 a year. As alluded to above, SELECT grants members access to VIP treatment at thousands of premier restaurants, travel partners, nightlife venues, retailers, and experiences. Members also receive airfare discounts, reduced rental car rates, complimentary elite status among others. What benefit sticks out the most is the fact that SELECT members have access to exclusive community events and network opportunities. This separates SELECT from many other programs.
Now, what you just read is the general pitch. Being a member myself, I’ve been able to dive deep into the benefits. Here are a few of my favorites and benefits I believe have the most value to BoardingArea readers.
Travel With SELECT
Obviously, the most attractive aspect of the SELECT program for BoardingArea readers is going to be the travel benefits. SELECT members receive a variety of benefits through dozens of partners. Here are a few examples.
Probably one of the most basic yet beneficial travel benefits through SELECT is the exclusive access to unpublished hotel rates. The phrase “unpublished rates” is usually a scam that third-party sites use to make their rates seem more attractive. However, you don’t have to look far to see that SELECT members actually receive deeply discounted rates. These are just a few nightly rates I came across for stays within the next seven days.
After one stay at say, the Marriott Marquis, you will have already saved $200 on hotel rates with SELECT. This benefit is potentially worth thousands of dollars a year in money saved using the SELECT hotel discounts.
In addition to the deeply discounted nightly rates, SELECT members also receive VIP treatment at select hotels. For example, SELECT members are eligible for space-available room upgrades at properties including The Standard Miami Beach and the W New York-Downtown.
Another fantastic benefit is that SELECT members receive 3 months of CLEAR expedited security screening for free. This is a perk valued at $42 in and of itself.
If you aren’t familiar with this service, CLEAR is an expedited security screening service available at over a dozen US airports. CLEAR coupled with TSAPreCheck is a combination that has been lauded across social media. I can attest to just how amazing CLEAR is especially at airports like Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Miami International Airport (MIA).
As for car rental discounts, SELECT members have access to discounted rates at nearly every major car rental company. My preferred benefit is the Avis 25% daily rates discount. Here’s an example of what 25% the daily rental rate looks like. I picked a random date picking up a car from Denver International Airport with Avis. The daily rate with minus taxes and fees is $37.00 a day. 25% off $37.00 would mean saving around $10 a day. $10 a day adds up quick. I like to think of these savings as an excuse to upgrade the vehicle class as well.
SELECT members also receive benefits on major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean. SELECT members receive credit that can be used onboard. That amount varies based on the type of room you book. For example, booking a basic interior room gets you $50 in onboard credit while booking a suite or upgraded room would mean $200 in onboard credit. I’m not a big fan of cruises, but I know many readers are. $200 could take care of a few rounds at the bar or an onboard activity or two.
These are just a handful of travel benefits I thought appealed most to readers. SELECT members also receive access to deeply discounted charter and shuttle flights and reduced pricing on baggage delivery services.
SELECT Lifestyle Benefits
In addition to exclusive travel savings and benefits, a SELECT membership is quite heavy on the lifestyle and activity categories of a black card.
One of my favorite benefits is the VIP access granted to members at a growing number of restaurants and nightclubs. I love acting like a VIP, and SELECT lets me. One of the more exclusive restaurants at which members receive priority benefits and a special benefit is BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. BOA is notoriously challenging to get reservations at so having SELECT’s priority reservations is very useful. SELECT members also receive a complimentary round of drinks for their party.
Though not for everyone, SELECT members also get access to nightclubs and resorts. The Peppermint Club in LA is just one of the guest-list-restricted clubs members have access to. My favorite benefit is beach access at the SLS Miami Beach. As a member, I get to access to SLS Hotel’s beachfront property and receive a variety of benefits and discounts that are typically reserved for VIP guests and those paying the resort fee at the hotel.
While in Miami, SELECT members can also charter yachts at an exceptionally reduced rate. Members receive 20% off Sailo rentals and charters. Sailo is available throughout North American and across the globe. A 1/2 day rental can run around $400 in Miami which means SELECT members pay just $320 for that same rental. If you’re in the market for some real yachting, members also receive $300 credit when they join YachtLife, a far more expensive though much more premium yacht service.
Finally, a benefit we can all appreciate, discounted movie tickets. No, this isn’t a discounted membership to the infamous MoviePass. SELECT members receive up to 60% off tickets at AMC Theaters nationwide. That’s a pretty significant discount.
Shop With SELECT
Another category I as someone who has little control over their spending is the retail discounts members receive. Here are a few of my favorite retailers with SELECT discounts:
- Cole Haan: 20% off online orders
- Brooks Brothers: 15% off online and in-stores
- Trunk Club: $100 off your first order and then a discounted membership
- Tumi: up to 60% online
- (Limited Time Only) Lululemon: 25% full-price and markdown items
Though not the most practical example for many readers, the following two benefits could yield the most savings. Members receive dealer invoice pricing and up to $1,000 off new luxury vehicles. A SELECT membership grants you deep discounts on new Audis and BMWs. Here’s an example of the 6% new Audis combined with the $1,000 pre-existing Audi customer bonus.
A brand new 2018 Audi Q5 at my local Audi dealership is going for $50,000. If you already own or lease an Audi from a certified Audi dealership, that price automatically becomes $49,000. Now, take an extra 6% off that price. That means SELECT members can buy or lease a brand new Q5 for $46,060, nearly 8% the MSRP. If you’re more of the BMW-type, SELECT members also receive dealer invoice pricing which can be upwards of 10% the sticker price.
SELECT Personalized Concierge Service
Finally, a benefit that doesn’t have the pizzazz and attractiveness as the benefits above is the fantastic concierge service that comes with a SELECT membership.
SELECT’s concierge is accessible online, on the MeetSelect app, or over the phone. The concierge team handles a variety of requests such as dinner reservations, suggestions of activities or attractions, special assistance, and can book special events hosted by SELECT. The concierge team is very professional and is quick to respond to requests.
The concierge benefit ties into the exclusive events SELECT members get to attend. A few past events that were members only include New Year’s Eve galas across the country, exclusive fare and wine tastings, and access to fashion and art galas. These might not appeal to everyone, but if you’re looking to be especially boujee, they’re right up your alley.
Overall, SELECT’s Exclusivity Separates Itself from Other Black Cards
There are a variety of black card programs not associated with credit cards out there. While they are all very similar, I’d argue that the exclusive VIP benefits and fantastic concierge service are what makes a SELECT membership worth it. Plus, if you apply through TravelUpdate, you automatically receive $50 off the annual fee. If these benefits aren’t that important to you, there’s good news. SELECT is currently expanding and is always adding new partners. As a SELECT member myself, I’m excited to see what SELECT will offer its members next.