American Express Platinum Retention Offer
The annual fee on my American Express Platinum card hit my bill a few weeks ago. Since I was flying Delta this past weekend I waited until a few days before the payment was due to cancel my card. I wanted to squeeze out one more lounge trip before shutting it down. I was semi hoping for one of those 30,000 MR retention offers I have heard about but wasn’t really expecting much.
Why I Wanted to Cancel
I have the Ameriprise Financial version which comes with no sign up but you get it fee free for the first year. Plus, you can add up to 3 authorized users for free for the first year. With Delta charging $29 per guest for lounge entry I thought that was a nice perk. I had been rotating who has the platinum card over the last few years with my wife. We each got in on a 100k offer for the standard version and then moved on to the Ameriprise version. My plan was to get my wife the Ameriprise version and add myself as an AU to keep our cost down.
The annual fee, plus the AU fee, came out to a whopping $725. I get nowhere near that amount of value out of this card, and I was not very happy with the $100 fee increase with the Uber “perk” being added on. I also do not have a lot of Delta travel booked over the next twelve months , at least for now, so I was 100% sure I would cancel.
Making the Call
When I called in I got connected pretty quickly with a very energetic rep. She asked me why I wanted to quit etc. and then went over some ideas to get the bill down. Her first suggestion was to remove the authorized users, or downgrade them to gold cards, and eliminate the $175 fee. Then she offered to downgrade it to the Premium Rewards Gold card, even though I closed mine this past June. Once she figured out I had the Ameriprise version she said I could only downgrade it to the Ameriprise Gold card, which I already have.
After jumping through these hoops she finally came out with the retention offers. The first one, which happened to be the best one, was for 5,000 Membership Reward points now and another 10,000 after spending $2000 in the next 3 months. I asked if there were any other offers and she said the only other one was for a $100 statement credit.
Crunching the Numbers
After hearing the retention offer my wheels started spinning and I started crunching the numbers. I would remove the AU’s to get the annual fee down to $550 per year. 15,000 MR points are worth $225 to me (1.5 cents a piece). I would get another $200 airline travel credit Jan 1 which I value at $180. That gets me up to $405 in value. I would guess I use the Uber credit around once a quarter, on average, which increases my value to $450.
Now the question is would I be willing to pay $100 for 5x earning on flights and the lounge access? I also starting thinking about Amex threatening people who close a lot of cards. After considering everything I decided that I would accept the offer. Then the rep asked if I wanted a metal replacement card sent out and I gladly accepted.
My Plan Going Forward
I am still considering downgrading the Platinum card to the Ameriprise Financial Gold version after I use the airline fee credit in January. This would get me a chunk of the annual fee back. With American Express eliminating prorated annual fees a year ago downgrading is the only option outside of 30 days to recoup some of your money. Then I would have my wife sign up for her own American Express Ameriprise Platinum and add me as an AU. I will make that decision after the first of the year…and a lot will depend on if the Ameriprise Gold card is still around at that time.
I was 100% planning on canceling this card when I called in. I decided to call in vs canceling via chat just in case they had a decent offer to extend me. Canceling via chat may not be an option for the Platinum cards anyways.
I think I will get enough value out of the retention offer, cardmember perks, amex offers, and lounge access to make it worth the $550 this time around. I may even be able to recoup some of that cost by downgrading down the road.
Have you gotten any good American Express retention offers lately? Would you have accepted my offer?