Maximizing The Amex Platinum On My Way Out The Door

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Closing My Amex Platinum

Closing My Amex Platinum

There is no doubt that my cup runneth over when it comes to Amex Platinum cards. Whether it is personal or business, the offers have been massive and aplenty lately. Because of that I have a few of each which makes the perks harder to use, especially on the personal side of things. The annual fee just posted on my Charles Schwab Platinum and I decided I would close it if I didn’t get a retention offer. Last year I got a pretty good offer so my hopes were not high on getting another one this year. Even if I didn’t get a retention offer I wanted to make sure I took advantage of everything I could on my way out the door.

Retention Offer Was A No Go

When I noticed the annual fee had hit the middle of last month I fired up Amex Chat. I was sure to use the Amex Chat hack to get to a rep right away. They informed me there were no offers on my account but I didn’t close it right then. I still wanted to maximize whatever I could and needed to move around some stuff on the billing side of things.

Maximize The Perks Before Closing My Amex Platinum

After not getting a retention offer I knew I had a few weeks left before I needed to close the card. I needed to get some things lined up and take advantage of some perks before shutting it down for good. I had considered keeping it open because of the cash out option, which has helped immensely on my way to earning $25,000 this year, but my wife still had one. At this point I am more leaning towards point balance rebuilding and figure I can cash out some of her stash if needed. That way I could save mine for transfer partners. If I get desperate there is always the business bank account route too.

Closing My Amex Platinum

Cash Out Any Points I Needed To

First up I cashed out some points since it was my last hurrah. I figured it would be nice to have some cash in the account for our Mexico City meet up too. The Charles Schwab Platinum is the best debit card out there for international travel so this worked perfectly. I cashed out enough to drop my balance down to 350,000 Membership Rewards points in my account, about $1500 worth.

Use Saks Credit

Next up was to use my $50 Saks credit that had reset in July. The ideal play would be to go to the store and buy a gift card since I could then group together multiple credits to use on a bigger purchase. I didn’t have time for that and I wanted to get it done ASAP to ensure the credit would post in time before the closure. Instead I scrolled the website for discounted shirts and found a Vineyard Vines flannel button up on clearance for $53. Perfect! It looks like the price has gone back up since then unfortunately. I was sure to use a portal for a little extra kickback on the purchase but I couldn’t time it with a 10X Rakuten deal or anything unfortunately.

Change Billing For Streaming Credit

After I hit up Saks I needed to change over my Peacock subscription to my wife’s personal Platinum. Be sure to do this early so you don’t get hit with the subscription fee right before closure and miss out on the credit. This unfortunately happened with my New York Times subscription (I forgot I had it on this card). I was forced to close the Platinum card mere days after the NY Times charge posted so no credit for me there. Luckily it is only $4.99 a month right now.

Closing My Amex Platinum

Time My Exit For Uber Credit

At this point I could have closed my card and moved on with life, but I waited. I still had time to close it after the first of September rolled around which meant I could get one more Uber $15 credit. Delaying the cancellation a few days made me some extra cash there.

Trying One More Time For A Retention Offer

When it was finally time to close the card, and all credits had been maximized the best I could, I still asked for a retention offer. Even though they told me there was nothing only a week or two earlier I figured it was worth a try. The offers do change pretty randomly so you never know. I got a real eager beaver retention specialist this time around. She quoted me all of the credits I used this year and how it offset the fee. I said that it was deceiving since it made me spend money I wouldn’t have otherwise and told her to close it, which she did.

Closing My Amex Platinum Card – Final Thoughts

It was time to say goodbye to my Charles Schwab Amex Platinum after two years of fun. But, I made sure to maximize everything I could on the way out the door first. That included using all of the credits I could, delaying my closure to grab another Uber credit and moving streaming charges to another Amex Platinum card. My only mishap was not moving the New York Times billing over quicker so I got hit with a charge too close to the closure date to have the credit post.

Do you make sure to use up every last drop before closing a card? Let me know in the comments.

Mark Ostermann
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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  1. Do you have a blog which goes into a little more detail on how you cashed out your points? You say you cashed out and dropped your points down to 350K, for the points above that did you actually withdraw point directly into cash using an international ATM? or maybe you turned points in to cash first which gave you a negative balance on the card and you were able to withdraw the negative balance? How did you cash out the final 350K points remaining? I have had 2 x Plat cards for about 8 years, and I never cashed out any of the points yet to include the welcome offer and the time to time spend I use it for. I am planning to cancel at least 1 of the Plat cards if not both of them in the near future. My biggest concern is to cash out all of the point to get the most bank out of them.

  2. I see a lot of bloggers value amex pts around 2c/pt…without booking premium class of airfare how is that possible? Yes I’ve seen flight I could have earned 4c/pt….but still not worth it to me because I wouldn’t even pay $2k for a $7k price tag. Too many chasing aspirational travel.

  3. How much time do you have after the annual fee posts to cancel the card and still get the AF refunded?

  4. Why would you transfer points to cash when you can get 2x-3x more value using for airline tix?

    If you need cash a 2% cash back card is a much better option.

    For those like you and me who abhor the coupon book credits, the only reason to pay the high AF would be for airport lounge access. And that benefit really varies depending on your home airport and hub connections.

    • Sign up bonuses are >>>>> than a 2% cash back card. When you are earning 3-4X more than you need each year that is why. It would take forever to earn the same as what 1 biz platinum earns from one bonus from a 2% card. Then you can get them 3-4, 5X in a year. That is why….

    • Your line of thought focuses solely on redemption and ignores earning potential and bonus multiples even outside of a welcome offer. Which is a mistake imo.

      • And then there’s parlaying massive MRs into a lovely OV FHR stay on the beach with a suite upgrade and 4 extra umbrella drinks at 3x value. Different strokes….you can always make more money but not memories

        • If you are redeeming your MR for FHR stays you are playing funny math to get 1 cent per point into 3X value. The redemption is 1 cent per point since you can just pay cash and get the upgrade etc. It should not be included in the valuation of the redemption and that is the fuzzy math the banks are counting on to overvalue their points. You are better off cashing them in at 1.1 cents and then paying for the stay with cash – look at it that way if you want to try to disagree with me.

    • Sitting on about 500k MR and AF will be due next month. Is there another Amex card to use so I don’t lose the MR? Don’t have any immediate travel plans (and the MR landscape is confusing as I’m used to UR).

      I have Biz Plat, if that matters.


      • If you get another MR earning card that will keep your points alive even if you close the Biz Platinum. No fee options would be the Blue Business Plus or the personal Amex Everyday Card.

  5. Mark, FYI: after you have cancelled the AmEx Plat card, AmEx will still credit any offers that posted to you account before you closed it.


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