Charles Schwab Amex Platinum Retention Offer
The annual fee on my wife’s Charles Schwab Amex Platinum card just posted. That meant I was scrambling to use the perks I had been too lazy to maximize earlier in the year, my Amex & chill moment, I was preparing to close the card. I mean, I really really wanted to close the card.
The Charles Schwab Platinum is an interesting alteration in the Platinum card lineup because you can use it to cash out your Membership Rewards points at 1.1 cents per point. This was very instrumental to me earning almost $14,000 in the first quarter. It isn’t as good as the 1.25 cents per point you used to get but the perk still sets it apart in the personal Platinum realm. It does require some hoop jumping to get but it is worth it for the large welcome offer and added cash out perk, which I have been wearing out.
Having said all that, I still really wanted to close the card. I am currently sitting on 4 other Platinum cards, between the business and personal variety, and I am tired of the calisthenics required to squeeze their annual fee lemons into lemonade. Wouldn’t you know it, Amex just added some new coupons to the coupon book too!
I couldn’t bring myself to simply closing the card though, the sane thing to do, so I reached out via Amex Chat to see if there was a retention offer attached to the account (my wife’s account really). The agent tried to pitch me the perks, as they always do and it tends to annoy me more than it should, to which I replied, just show me the money!
That is when the rep finally threw up the white flag, surrendered, and hit me with the retention offer.
The offer put before me was as follows:
- Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 within the next 3 months.
- Would need to pay the $695 annual fee.
- The card must be kept open, and not downgraded, for the next 12 months.
I looked it over, crunched the numbers, went back and forth and kept mumbling, close the card Mark! But, I did not close the dang card. The offer was just, by the hair on my chinny chin chin, good enough.
Breaking Down The Value
If you read my article on racking up $14K in the first quarter than you know that my Membership Rewards vault is laughably small at this point. A mere 30,000 points sit in there mocking me. That played a role in this decision for sure. Getting an infusion of 40,000 points would be a jump start back to respectability after all. That $695 annual fee was still nipping at my feet though, and it was starting to break the skin and draw blood. I need to close this dang card!
Before accepting the deal I did some back of the napkin calculations:
- 40,000 points worth at least $440
- $200 airline incidental credit starting January 1st worth $200 to me since I can use it on airfare. Plus you earn points on the booking so nothing lost there really.
- $200 Uber credit worth around $160 to me since you can get discounted Uber gift cards and they are annoying monthly credits.
- $100 Saks credit worth about $25 because they always trap me into spending a few dollars too.
- $200 Fine Hotels and Resorts credit. Worth about $100 to me since I used it already to have a spot to hang out in Vegas before a red eye flight. I will enjoy the $100 in food I get as a perk of the stay. Having a place to relax and store our stuff is another nice perk too.
- $20 a month streaming credit. I am not putting much faith in this one since this is hard to stack with multiple Amex Platinum cards. With the addition of Disney etc. maybe we will burn some. I’ll give it $5 a month or $60 over the next year.
If you add all of that up I get about $985 in value for the $695 I am spending. Not a home run by any stretch, more like a single. Man, I should have closed this dang card!
Charles Schwab Amex Platinum Retention Offer: Final Thoughts
If this was the only Platinum card we had then I would be a little more enthusiastic about this offer. An offer I added to our massive retention offers data base by the way. But, the fact that some of the Platinum perks don’t stack so well when you have multiple cards leaves me with less value. The second year, and beyond, is always a much more difficult decision as well for premium cards. That is because you can’t double dip the airline credits etc. like you can in the first year. A possibility in year one because the credits are based on the calendar year and not cardmember year.
Having a boost to my points stash will be a nice plus and probably played more into my decision to accept the offer than it should have. When you are points poor something big and shiny is hard to resist though!