My Amex Green Retention Offer Chat Turned Into An Interesting Phone Call

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Amex Green Upgrade Offer

Amex Green Upgrade Offer

The $150 annual fee just posted on my Amex Green card and I decided to reach out to Amex to see if there were any retention offers on my account. You may remember that this is the card I shaved years off the Amex lifetime rule with. According to our massive retention offers database I had a chance at up to 15,000 Membership Rewards points. If I am being honest that is kind of meh and wouldn’t convince me to keep it. But, in the name of science (or content), I figured I would see if I could do better. Whelp, I couldn’t. I was hit with a big fat zero. That is when I asked the agent about an Amex Green upgrade offer, and things got interesting.

Upgrade Offer Details

The chat agent said they weren’t able to do upgrade offers because of verification purposes etc. but gave me a number to call. I thought maybe it was a super secret upgrade department phone number but it was just the number on the back of the card.

I called in right after my chat session ended and asked the representative about upgrade offers. The rep first asked if I had received an email or mailer for an upgrade offer. I informed them I had not and was simply inquiring about potential offers and the chat rep told me to call. He said he would check and see what he could come up with. After 3-4 minutes he came back and the long hold time had me thinking that either he was incompetent, fell asleep or that I was gonna hear some good news.

When the phone agent got back on the line he informed me that there were two offers I could get for my Amex Green upgrade offer. There was one for the Gold card (what I really wanted) and one for the Platinum card (have enough of these).

Amex Green Upgrade Offer

The offers were as follows:
  • 15,000 Membership Rewards points after upgrading from the Amex Green to the Amex Gold card and spending $1,000 within 3 months.
  • 25,000 Membership Rewards points after upgrading from the Amex Green to the Amex Platinum card and spending $2,000 within 3 months.

I decided to grab the Amex Gold card offer because that is the card I really wanted anyway. We are about to wrap up the 5X grocery earning on my wife’s Amex Platinum upgrade offer and we could use the 4X earning the Amex Gold card offers. You get that on up to $25,000 in spend at US supermarkets per calendar year.  That, plus the increase in annual fee on the Amex Platinum, made it so that I wasn’t even considering the other option. Now if the offer still had the 10X earning on restaurants etc. then I would have been singing a different tune.

Could I Have Done Better Though?

There was another option people should consider as well though. Well, at least if you have a two player system (spouse, significant other, family member that plays the miles & points game too). I could have closed the Amex Green card and had my wife refer me to the Amex Gold card instead. I would be ineligible for the welcome offer since I had the card a few years ago, plus I am in Amex pop-up purgatory.  The real problem was that her best refer a friend offer is for 15,000 points right now. It didn’t make sense to close and open a card to get the same result.

I currently have a 25,000 point refer a friend offer in my account though. Had the roles been reverse that would have made the decision more interesting. Would 10,000 additional points be worth the added hoops? Maybe, maybe not. If it had the 4X earning on spend, or 35K type of offers, than it probably would have been.

Another good thing about upgrading is you would keep the player 2’s refer a friend caps intact. I can always add a second Amex Gold, or another card, later on down the road too. Lots to consider for sure.

Upgrade To Amex Gold – Final Thoughts

All in all, I will call this a win. It sounds like your account doesn’t really need to be targeted to get either of these offers. Some restrictions you should consider before trying for these offers though:

  • The law requires that you hold a card for at least a year before upgrading to a higher annual fee. Amex couldn’t give it to you even if you wanted to.
  • If you have received a welcome offer, or had a retention offer, in the last 12 months you don’t want to do a product change since Amex doesn’t like that.
  • You also wouldn’t want to take the upgrade offer if you have never had the card you are upgrading into. By doing that it would make you ineligible for a welcome offer on the card.

If you meet this criteria, and don’t get a retention offer to your liking, then I would give Amex a call. You may be able to snag a similar offer yourself. Another bonus of going this route is it keeps my account active and open. That just may help get me off Amex’s naughty list.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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5 COMMENTS

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Have you ever had the Gold card before and did they read any disclaimer about having the card before? I called about upgrading my Surpass to the Aspire and they say I couldn’t if I had it before which I did a few years ago.

  2. “ The law requires that you hold a card for at least a year before upgrading to a higher annual fee. Amex couldn’t give it to you even if you wanted to.”

    Say what now? Huh? What law is this? Please cite your sources. Is this a state or federal law? Because why would any lawmaker care if you open a credit card then 2 months later upgrade to a higher annual fee? This doesn’t make any sense!

    • Federal Law – google Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act – or credit card act 2009

      “(a) Limitation on Increases Within First Year – Except in the case of an increase described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of section 171(b), no increase in any annual percentage rate, fee, or finance charge on any credit card account under an open end consumer credit plan shall be effective before the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date on which the account is opened.”

      It was put into place because of predatory lending practices.

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