Citi & Chase Credit Card Retention
For my wife and I, the Fall is a busy time of year. There are of course the holidays and we do like to travel as well, but one other thing happens. A lot of our oldest credit cards seem to have their annual fees come due around this time. Recently my wife and I both made retention calls for Chase Ink cards and Citi AAdvantage American Express cards. The experiences couldn’t have been more different.
Citi AAdvantage Retention
Related: Full Guide to Citi Retention
Calling Citi these days is a rather pleasant experience. I don’t know if it is because I am a Citigold client, but everyone is super pleasant to deal with. Last week I called on my now three year old AAdvantage American Express card. The $85 annual fee had come due and I wasn’t sure if it was worth paying, so I called to see if there were any offers. At first I was transferred to a Citigold rep instead of retention, but that was quickly fixed.
When the retention rep came on the line, I explained my situation and I was given two offers. They were very clear that they couldn’t waive the annual fee for legal reasons, but this is what they could do:
- 3,000 bonus miles after $500 in spending each month for 3 months.
- $95 statement credit after 5 X $20+ purchases in 3 months.
I’m sure you can guess which one I took! I believe $95 in cash is worth more than 3,000 AAdvantage miles plus I like the fact that I can make five purchases and move on. This is an AAdvantage American Express card that has Amex Offers, so making the five purchases won’t be a problem. With all of the great offers available, I already had plans for at least that many!
My Wife’s Experience
I could almost just and copy and paste what I wrote above. My wife called, was transferred to a retention specialist and was given the same offers. Her coach (me) told her to take the statement credit and she did. Her card also has those great Amex Offers, so making five purchases won’t be difficult.
As I mentioned, both of these cards are now three years old, having been opened in 2012. This is the third time the annual fee has come due and the third time Citi has given us a statement credit to offset it! Since these cards get Amex Offers, they have proven to be very valuable. I’m sure they’ll stop waiving the annual fee at some point, but not this year!
Chase Ink Retention
I have one Chase Ink Plus card that is coming up on its first year anniversary. In the past year I have made a a sizable amount of business related purchases with the card. When I called up Chase, the person who answered was able to help me. There was no retention specialist to talk to as far as I was told. When I asked if there were any offers, I was straight out told no. I called back another day and got the same response.
My Wife’s Experience
My wife has two Ink cards with annual fees that are now due. One of the cards is three years old and the other is one year old. She called up on both cards and had the same experience as I did. She was stonewalled. No annual fee waiver. No bonus offers. Nothing.
Chase really does seem to be tightening on retention for their Ink cards. I actually think the fact that we spend a lot on these cards hurts our chances of getting a retention offer since it means we are using the cards and thus probably are benefiting them. Either way, my wife and I have now been on more than a few Chase Ink retention calls this year and none have resulted in any offers.
Throughout this year I have heard from and talked to people who say persistence is key to getting offers on these cards. One friend of mine got a fee credit after his 4th call. The thing is I’m not sure it is worth calling in four times to save $95. The frustration and time invested in doing that probably isn’t worth the small amount of money saved.
As has been the case for awhile, Citi has continued to impress with their retention offers and Chase has continued to tighten, or at least that is my experience. Now we are at a crossroads where we need to decide our Chase Ink strategy and I’ll cover that in another post. At least I don’t need to worry about our Citi AA Amex cards. They’ll continue to payoff for at least another year.