Cleaning Out My Amex Closet, Fall 2022 Edition

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Closing Amex Cards

Cleaning Out My Amex Closet

American Express has the largest array of cards of any issuer which means I end up regularly cleaning out my Amex closet.  Sure, a risk of closing cards too often is ending up with Amex’s worst pop up.  Regardless, my wife and I have done better than we would have otherwise.  Amex’s welcome offers with no lifetime language, referral offers, big spend bonus opportunities, and other angles mitigate that risk.  All of these items factored into our decision to close the following Amex cards recently.

American Express Business Platinum Benefits Guide - Over 30 Perks

Amex Business Platinum x2

I just closed two Amex Business Platinum cards after the annual fees posted.  The annual benefits of these cards aren’t enough for me to stick around.  I didn’t receive a retention offer on either of these cards.  Even if I had, I would’ve still closed the accounts.  Amex’s ten Pay Over Time card limit makes these slots valuable.  I’ll dive more into that thought process in another article.

Closing Amex Cards

Amex Gold x2

My wife and I each closed an Amex Gold card after the annual fee posted.  We had each maximized the full $25k spend in the 4x supermarket category for 2022, what we consider to be the Gold’s best feature.  Amex reps tried to sell us on the Uber and dining credit benefits of the Gold, but I didn’t bite.  Neither made retention offers, either.  I describe why the Gold is our latest “one and done” Amex card here.

Delta Platinum Amex

Last year, my wife picked up the Delta Platinum Amex.  She applied for an elevated welcome offer – 90k miles and a $200 Delta credit with $3k spend.  We were perfectly happy with that return while knowing we would close this account after the second year $250 annual fee hit.  Amex seemed to know this, not even attempting a retention offer.  More hilarious was the rep’s offer to downgrade my wife to the Delta Blue Amex.  She politely closed the card.

Closing Amex Cards

Hilton Amex (No Fee)

This is one of my longest held Amex accounts, upgraded and downgraded multiple times.  In addition the initial welcome offer, I obtained a few upgrade promo offers over the years.  But since my last downgrade to the no fee card over two years ago, I haven’t received an upgrade offer with bonus points.  I also haven’t spent on the card at all over the past two years.  Picking up the Hilton Amex Business card earlier this year made this card even more expendable.

The Amex chat rep offered 20k Hilton points for keeping the card and spending $3k.  While I appreciated the effort, I simply wanted the Amex credit card slot for other opportunities more than that retention offer.

Closing Amex Cards

Next on the Chopping Block

We’re leaning into our Amex Gold “one and done” strategy and plan to close our remaining three accounts after the annual fees hit soon.  And a few more Amex Business Platinums will be on their way out eventually, too.  Closing my Marriott Business Amex isn’t as much of a slam dunk closure decision, but I’m strongly leaning toward doing so.

Conclusion

I probably spend more time thinking and working on Amex than any other card issuer.  But that’s fine with me, primarily because we do exponentially better with Amex compared to other banks.  Bigger picture, I feel it’s important to routinely reevaluate our relationships with all card issuers to most lucratively win.  Understandably, individuals have varying levels of time to do so.  Identify that balance for yourself and, more importantly, have fun!  What Amex cards have you closed lately and why?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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12 COMMENTS

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12 COMMENTS

  1. You have to try multiple times with retention offer.
    First time may not give you much or anything. Just try later.
    I even got a retention offer way past annual fee posted.
    This article I found not very helpful, other than showing off how many cards you closed.
    More helpful would be which math you used to justified the closure besides not getting any offer on so many cards.

  2. Odd. The Gold is easy to justify after year one. Sure it sucks you’re not gonna get a SUB again, but paired with Rakuten with of the option to receive MR pts back makes all your clothing, appliance, home furnishing, etc earn you 1x + the Rakuten multiplier.

    My clothing, appliance, home furnishings net me 2x to 20x MR pts back. For instance Wayfair was 10x, had to buy a sofa for $1200. Got 12,000 pts in a single transaction (thats about a free $240 Worth in in flights – when you utilize transfer partners) They even do an additional 5x at select restaurants. If you happen to dine at one of those, it’s a combined 9x points back. Pick up one group dinner where you throw down your card and everyone pays you back and a $500 meal is 4500 MR pts back. Just requires you to trust the people you’re with.

    Again for $10 it only takes a single transaction to easily get that roi back right away. Rakuten adds an extra 4k to 6K MR points a month for me so it’s like getting a SUB every year for the $ you were gonna spend anyway.

    • DT,
      Much that you mention has nothing to do with the Gold. I receive my Rakuten portal rewards as Membership Rewards points in addition to the rewards I earn from the optimal credit card (Amex or otherwise). And for dining, I earn 4.5% cash back via our Chase Sapphire Reserve cashout (Pay Yourself Back Feature), better than the 4.4% back I obtain with the Gold via Schwab Platinum cashout.

  3. I’m curious how you/your wife got to $50K total on groceries, re: “We had each maximized the full $25k spend in the 4x supermarket category for 2022.” Did you really spend $50K on groceries in less than a year? I’m newer to the game so bottom line, I’m trying to understand how to maximize the 4x groceries, and wonder if there’s a “trick” (e.g., gift cards) to getting there beyond actual groceries. Thanks!

  4. We’re pretty much there as well. I have 1 more cc slot & P2 is at 5. For my hybrid gold, since I get more than 4x on groceries with SUB’s, hoping for retention, then platinum upgrade as I currently have a not so great offer there.

  5. I am also rethinking the Marriott Business card. Just posted the $125 annual fee. Is it worth the 35,000 hotel allowance. Not sure…
    Thanks for your advice,
    Susan

    • Susan,
      Would you trade that $125 for the 35k FNC? If so, you could just close after receiving the cert. But just a reminder, do not accept a retention offer if you plan to do this.

  6. Why would you get rid of the Amex Gold ….just the referrals each year gets me 55 k plus 4x of supermarkets n dining ….

    To me it’s a keeper

  7. That’s a very good point to also try for retention offers on no fee cards. I tend to only focus on whether or not to continue paying a fee in exchange for XYZ.

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