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Amex Retention Offer
What’s a Retention Offer
Credit card retention offers are basically one time bonuses or discounts that your credit card issuer offers you in exchange for keeping your credit card account open. Of course there are some reasons to cancel a card that have nothing to do with the annual fee or any issue with your card like wanting to get a new sign up bonus on the same card or being over the issuers credit card limit. Amex for example has a limit on the number of credit cards you can have with them so if you wan to sign up for a new one you may have to close one you already have.
I have hit the retention offer jackpot so many times it’s worth taking a few moments each time your card comes up for renewal. Last year, I had 3 separate offers to reimburse the annual fee completely on different Platinum Cards- that’s over $2000! This whole guide is full of great advice, but the absolute best advice I can give you is to BE NICE. I know I probably don’t need to tell you that, but someone needs to hear it, you really do get more flies with honey than vinegar.
Types of Retention Offers
- Waived Annual Fee
- Bonus Points or Statement Credits
- Spend Challenge- Cash back or reward points after you spend a minimum amount on your card within a certain period of time.
Waived Annual Fee
This happens when the bank tells you they’ll waive the annual fee for you to keep your card for another year. The most common reason for cancelling a card is that you can’t justify paying the annual fee because the benefits or value you’re getting from the card are worth less to you than the cost of the fee. If the bank offers to waive the fee you get to keep the card and benefits at no added cost to you. That’s usually a no-brainer.
Bonus Points or Statement Credits
Banks may offer you a one time bonus of points, rewards or account credits to keep your account open. These types of retention offers can sweeten the deal a little and make it easier to justify holding onto the card for another year. Some people report that they receive the points and can still cancel the card but keep the points, this is not a strategy that I recommend since it’s very likely a negative to make the bank.
Bonus points or credits are contingent upon you meeting certain spending requirements. For example, they’ll offer you 10,000 Membership Reward points after you complete $1,000 in spend over the next three months. I recently was offered 55,000 Amex points to spend $4,000 in 3 months to keep my Amex Platinum Card open. I choose to accept since those points are worth at least $800 to me so it would cover the annual fee.
Why Should I ask for a retention offer?
Retention offers can be a great way to increase the value you get from a credit card for years after you receive the sign up bonus and they help you decide whether to close or keep a card after the annual fee comes due. It ALWAYS makes sense to contact your card’s retention department for an offer because it’s not always easy to decide whether to keep, close, downgrade or upgrade a card. You have to weigh the annual fee against the value of the perks of being a cardmember.
Rather than closing your card, you should call or chat to see if you can get a retention offer which can be very similar to a welcome offer in exchange for keeping the card open.
How to Get a Retention Offer
You can request a retention offer by calling the number on the back of your credit card. You can also use the online chat feature with American Express. Since there are some negative data points associated with stating that you’d like to cancel in the chat box or over the phone you want to prevent the automated system from canceling your card before you speak to the retention department- so ask for a rep or retention offer rather than saying you’d like to cancel the card.
How to Ask for an Amex Retention offer
There are several ways to get a retention offer from your bank. Here’s a script from Ask Sebby to use as a guide for your retention offer conversation. You can get a retention offer from your bank simply by asking! You can either call them, send them a secure message or message the bank through chat- either way, just do it before it’s too late.