My Schwab Amex Platinum Retention Offer Was Just Good Enough

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Charles Schwab Amex Platinum Retention Offer

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.

RELATED: American Express Platinum Card Benefits: Over 40 Unique Perks You Need To Know About

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.

Charles Schwab Amex Platinum Retention Offer

Offer Details

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!

crunching the numbers

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!

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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8 COMMENTS

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8 COMMENTS

    • I believe there is a Schwab Gold card but it doesn’t work like the normal Gold card and isn’t worth downgrading to.

  1. I have considered applying for an Amex Platinum and don’t currently have an Amex. I have a Schwab investment account as well. How does a newbie get the largest bang for the 695.00 bucks? Thank you for your guidance!

    Mike

    • The original Platinum offer is better than the Schwab one right now (which is also increased). If you can get the 150K regular Platinum offer I would take that. Then a year down the road you can grab the Schwab Platinum to keep the perks going and get that welcome offer. You would then be able to cash out the 150K from the first offer with the Schwab you now have (plus that bonus) if you so choose.

  2. If you transfer that 40K MR (+5K) to Virgin Atlantic, you can book a 1 way biz class seat to Japan on ANA. It’s worth thousands of $ now, yes?

    • Yes if you book premium international cabins with the points they would be worth much more. But I don’t calculate things that way when deciding on keeping a card or not. I usually focus on the easiest cash back option and what that would get me for the decision making process.

  3. I have thought about the platinum from time to time, and the current 125K or 150K offer is tempting me, but I love your phrase “tired of the calisthenics required to squeeze their annual fee lemons into lemonade.” That sums up how I feel about my gold card currently (Uber Eats and Grubhub are just a pain to use in my area), and the platinum is even worse I feel for hoops to jump through. I love the simplicity of our Venture X rather than Amex’s approach with credits / breakage.

    • Amex loves to make it hard on us for sure. I would be less worried about it in year one with the huge offers now though if you can get it. Airline fee still pretty easy to use for some airlines and that is $400 right off the top in year one. It is year 2 and beyond where you really need to squeeze it hard haha.

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