Credit Card Retention Offers
In addition to credit card welcome offers, picking up retention offers is one of our most worthy hobby pursuits. My wife and I enjoy the process, often earning solid points and cash back for holding onto cards we may or may not have otherwise kept. Along the way, we learn more about how to refine our future retention offer strategies. We also know that others’ data points can improve our strategies, as well. In turn, hopefully the below info (in sequential order) can assist in developing your own strategies for credit card retention offers.
Naturally, let’s start with the card issuer where I’ve found to be the best retention offers – Amex. The annual fee on one of my Amex Golds posted after I maxed out the card’s 4x supermarket category, plus a bit of dining spend during the past year. Amex offered me 30k Membership Rewards points for spending $3k on the card within the next three months, a period that covered a new year of supermarket capacity. I accepted this offer on a card I would have kept, anyway.
Amex Platinum #1
My spending on this “plain” American Express Platinum card had been minimal beyond meeting the upgrade offer and using the cards’ benefits. Amex offered 55k Membership Rewards points for spending $4k in the next three months. After incorporating the spend and my cashout strategy, I would pay $46 out of pocket for another year of this card’s benefits. I previously valued these benefits at $645 in our situation, and this value has actually increased since (more on that in a future article). That’s at least $599 in value for us. After number-crunching, I accepted the offer.
Amex Platinum #2
Similar to the Platinum I just described, there was minimal spend on this card beyond the welcome offer and using the cards’ benefits. I received no retention offer. I knew I had use for additional 4x supermarket capacity, so I downgraded this card to another Amex Gold.
Amex Platinum #3
Soon after, the annual fee came due on my wife’s Schwab Amex Platinum. She spent minimally on the card over the year – a few random purchases, plus using the card benefits. My wife had no serious intention of closing this card due to our Membership Rewards cashout redemption preference. Amex provided the same retention offer I had just received – 55k points with $4k spend in the next three months. She accepted this offer after conducting the same number-crunching I did previously.
Amex Platinum #4
My wife spent minimally on this card beyond the upgrade offer and using the cards’ benefits. She received no retention offer. She found more 4x supermarket capacity useful and downgraded to another Gold.
Amex Platinum #5
Do you sense a pattern forming regarding our Platinum behavior? My wife had spent minimally on this card beyond a welcome offer and using the cards’ benefits. But this time, Amex offered 55k points with $4k spend in the next three months. She accepted, based on the prior math and our utility of the cards’ benefits.
My wife has actively used her Citi Premier over the past year, primarily at grocery stores. Hello, 3x ThankYou points, and sometimes more. Despite actively using this card, she didn’t receive a retention offer. She decided to keep the Premier since we gain solid rewards even with the $95 annual fee.
Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard #1
Beyond the previous year’s welcome offer, I’d spent minimally on this card. While I found the 5k miles upon card anniversary a nice perk, I was on the fence on keeping this card with an $89 annual fee. I still wanted to experiment with this card on the earning (1.5x everywhere) and redemption end. I appreciate having extra capacity to earn this currency via BOA, also. During a retention call, the rep offered a $175 statement credit after spending $1.5k on the card in the next three months. I accepted this offer.
Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard #2
Next came my wife’s Air France card. Similarly, she didn’t spend much on this card other than the past year’s welcome offer. But the Bank of America rep couldn’t provide a retention offer. In addition to the anniversary bonus miles, we do value the increased spend capacity on my wife’s Air France card for more advanced tinkering. Plus, we rationalized my Air France retention offer as also subsidizing her annual fee. She decided to keep the card.
Amex Business Platinum
Last, but certainly not least, is my outstanding American Express Business Platinum retention offer. Spending in the past year primarily consisted of the welcome offer and related card benefits. Amex offered a $695 statement credit with $5k spend in the next three months. I explained here why accepting this offer was a no-brainer.
The retention offer process over the past few months has been an overall win for us, and it turns out not much haggling was necessary. I have a few more key pieces of information to mention. All of our Amex retention offers came via chat. Those who prefer calling may have different, maybe even better, outcomes. But there’s no denying Amex chat can reliably deliver retention offers. Chatting with Citi for a retention offer was just as unsuccessful as calling was for my wife. Our biggest learning point involved calling Bank of America. Their reps seemed well-equipped to authoritatively provide retention offers (or the lack thereof).
How have you done with credit card retention offers lately? Remember to check out our massive retention offer data base before calling and share your results in the comments.
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