My American Express Aspire Retention Phone Call Results

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Aspire Retention Phone Call

My American Express Aspire Retention Phone Call Results

Yesterday I had a post describing my decision process for year 2 of my Aspire card.  At the end of weighing all of my options I was leaning towards keeping since I knew I would be able to use the resort credit this year.  That is where I believe the decision lies with keeping the card or not, if you know you can use the resort credit.  At the end of the piece I said that I still planned on calling in to see if there were any retention offers for the card.

RELATED: Amex Platinum Retention Offer Results

The Phone Call

I honestly wasn’t expecting much since the card is already a losing proposition for American Express based on the perks package.  But I had my daughter sprinkle some Tinker Bell fairy dust on my phone before calling and ended up coming away with an offer:

  • 10,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2000 over the next 3 months.

Not the most lucrative offer (worth about $50 to me) but for a card I probably was going to keep anyway I’ll take it.  This made my decision even easier to keep the card.  I will essentially be earning 8 points per dollar on non-bonused spend for the next $2000. That brings me around a 4% return on my spend.  Not too shabby!

Aspire Retention Phone Call

What Did I Say?

When I called in I told them my annual fee posted and that I wanted to see if there were any retention offers on my account.  They forwarded me to a specialist who I repeated my response to.  She took a minute to check my account and came back with this offer.  I took it pretty quickly which I think surprised her.  Maybe I should have asked if there was anything else now that I think of it, dang it 😖!

One Word Of Caution

There are whispers that American Express is only allowing one retention offer per person, per year or two, across all cards.  I am not sure if that is legit or not but something to consider since this isn’t the most lucrative offer.  I don’t have another card right now that I would be looking for an offer on so it wasn’t really a risk for me.


This is how it is supposed to work.  American Express had to spend a very tiny amount of money to keep a premium cardholder.  Those 10,000 points cost them a lot less than the 150,000 points they use to draw in new cardholders.  I am not sure why they don’t offer retention offers on more cards but who am I to judge I guess. Retention offers are the only thing Citi does well.  I came away very happy though.  The offer brings my net value up to at least $700 on the card for a $450 fee.  I will take a 35% discount any day!

If your annual fee is posting soon I would encourage you to make the call and see what they have to offer.  It never hurts to ask.


Mark Ostermann
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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  1. I just called for a retention offer on my Amex Hilton Business Card. No offers available other than I can cancel and get my $95 fee back.
    * This was my first attempt. I’ve never received any retention offers from Amex in the past, or cancelled any credit cards before.

    • I think their business cards are tougher to get offers on which doesn’t make sense to me since bigger spend is done by businesses.

  2. Hey Mark, I received a retention bonus for the old SPG and I can’t find anywhere online if I can MS the spend requirement for the retention bonus? I know I shouldn’t for MSR but about for this? Same rules apply?

    • I haven’t heard anything on retention offers but they have clawed back spending offers. I would say avoid doing it if possible.

  3. I made this call last week on my Ascend card & got the same offer. I had already upgraded my other Ascend to an Aspire, a much more valuable card, so I don’t need the Ascend.

    AMEX is now paying for 60% of the AF, so I guess I’ll throw some groceries on there at 6x & hang in there another year before downgrading to a NF card.

  4. I’m still waiting for my Hilton Aspire upgrade offer, sigh, don’t really wanna close the old Ascend and get a new one.

    • Max, Did not get the close Ascend card and get a new one part. Isn’t Amex card just once per like 7 years? How would you be able to get a second one? Thanks.

  5. Thanks for the update. Helpful. I wonder though, might it be more accuate to say ‘probably doesn’t hurt to ask’? I’m not an expert but I do think we have customer scores with some companies. For instance, I think Amazon treats me different/better than some others based on my history with the company. Can we say for sure that asking for retention offers whenever an Amex renewal fee comes due doesn’t ding one’s Amex customer score? Might still be worth doing but I don’t think we really know that it ‘never’ hurts to ask.

    • Fair point Gus. No one really knows but I doubt it goes that far. Especially if they are limiting how many they will offer like is rumored.

  6. I didn’t get a retention offer, but ended up downgrading to no AF Hilton card after using up all my 2nd year credits. I’ll look for upgrade offer, and if none then I’ll sign up for a new one in December, sans the SUB.

  7. Thanks for the article and DP, Mark. I was not aware that there had been reports of one retention offer per cardholder. If this is indeed the case, it would explain my somewhat puzzling “no offer” retention calls on my $595-fee Biz Plat card over the past few days. I ultimately decided to downgrade to Biz Green, in hopes of receiving an upgrade offer within a few months (among other reasons), as I wrote about yesterday. ~Craig

    • It doesn’t make sense to me really. Some people have been getting no retention offers on the SPG cards before the changeover after spending 100’s of thousands of dollars out the door. Why risk that over $100 etc.

      But a few people have commented that they were told that by Amex reps etc. I think there is some truth to it but I’m not 100% on it.

  8. I am placing this comment with a burner ID so that I can escape safely after my comment posts.
    Speaking in all candor, those that squeeze the system constantly, applying for cards with bonuses and cancelling a year later are playing the system. It is obvious this was not the intent of the card issuer. I suspect that even you are cognizant of this noting how quickly you settled for an almost meaningless bonus offer.
    The end result of these games are cards with great offers, limits on how often you can apply and less desirable ongoing point promotions for normal use.

    • I said in the previous article that I was most likely going to keep the card either way. This was just icing on the cake. As a long term customer asking for something extra is nothing new. If you frequent any establishment you will most likely get a discount of some sort as a way to repay you being a long term customer. It is also much cheaper for a company to keep me than it is to replace me so it is in their best interest.

      As for the other part of it these companies offer a incentive to try their product. If it is a good product then I will keep it but if it is a bad product then I won’t. It is up to them to make it a compelling product. They are here to make money and do what is best for them. I am here to do what is best for me, not what is best for them.

      If someone offers you a sample at a store or fair etc. and you take it but don’t buy some after consuming it because you didn’t like it enough to should you spit it out and return it? Should you feel guilty for giving it a try and costing them money? How is this different?

  9. Congrats!! Thanks for the ‘One Word Of Caution’! I was not aware of this. Good to know since I have so many cards w/AF due throughout 2019. In December 2019, I did get a retention for my Gold card for 10KMRs ($195 AF).

    • Yeah it is not a set in stone thing but I think there have been enough mentions of it that it was worth noting and considering.

      • I called in to inquire about a retention offer on my Platinum in December 2018. The (not very helpful) agent mumbled something about not being able to offer me anything because I had already been granted a retention bonus on the same card in December 2017. That might fit with your data point about Amex limiting retention offers in general. FWIW, I cancelled the card.


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