Citi’s Little Unexpected Retention Gift & Cancelling a Card After Receiving a Retention Offer

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citi retention offer aadvantage

Citi’s Mileage Gift & Cancelling Cards After Receiving A Retention Offer

A few weeks ago I wrote about my retention call to Citi for my AAdvantage Platinum Visa card. I have had the card for a few years and they have agreed to credit me for the annual fee the past two, however this year they wouldn’t budge. The only offer they gave me was for 3,000 AAdvantage miles.

Since I had a little time before needing to make a decision, I told the retention agent to hold off while I thought about it. Ultimately I decided to cancel the account a few days later, since I also have a Citi AAdvantage Amex card that has all of the same benefits plus Amex Offers. If I am going to only keep one it should be that one!

When I called Citi to actually cancel the card, the agent was very nice and to the point. He didn’t ask me any questions nor did he offer me anything to keep it. For a company so aggressive with retention offers it was a little strange just to cancel an account. Perhaps he could see the notes from my previous call. Either way, I didn’t ask for an offer and didn’t get one. The account was closed.

A Nice 3K Surprise

citi retention offer aadvantage
These points posted over two weeks after I had already cancelled the account.

Then the other day I logged into my AAdvantage account and there it was. 3,000 shiny brand new AAdvantage miles. Because of the description I knew the miles came from Citi, but I couldn’t think of any recent purchases that would earn them. Then, I remembered the original phone call and it all made sense. The rep must have processed the 3K offer, even though I had said I would call back. Error in my favor I guess.


It really isn’t a secret that you can take retention offers and then cancel a card. With offers such as this one which didn’t have a spending requirement it is relatively easy to do. In other cases, it might involve spending some money which could get more complicated if you plan to cancel.

I personally never accept an offer without the intention of keeping the card. Sure perhaps I could squeak out a few more points/miles by doing that, but ultimately it is negotiating in bad faith which I don’t feel is a good thing to do given how much I value the banking relationship in the long term. Of course in this situation I have no guilt considering I didn’t ask for them.


Retention offers are real. Being able to cancel the card after receiving the offer is normally a possibility. Whether you do that or not is completely up to you. While I don’t do it, when accidents like this happen then I am a happy camper. ThankYou to Citi for the nice little gift. Now please give me a nice offer to keep the Amex card!


  1. Hey Shawn,

    How are you able to get Amex offers on your Citi AAdvantage Amex card? I didn’t think that was possible.

  2. I appreciate your ethics in this context. I agree it’s bad faith / bad karma / etc. to accept a retention bonus and then turn around and cancel the card soon after.

  3. On my AA Amex the AF is waived as long as I have the Platinum. Is it the same for you? I had always figured I would pretty much have to cancel both at once or incur AF on the Amex.

    • It hasn’t been the case for me, although the AF on my Amex hasn’t hit this year and it is due so perhaps that is why. In past years I have always been charged and later credited the annual fee on both cards thanks to retention offers.


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