My Discover Card Retention Offer, and Why All Cardholders Should Call In
I’ve long been a fan of Discover cards, particularly the Miles card. The Discover it Miles card provides an effective 3% cash back on all spend the first cardmember year – 1.5% cash back continuously, and a match at the end of the year. I hit the end of my first cardmember year a few months ago, and decided to call in to cancel the card. I knew I had more leverage since I truly wanted to cancel the card if I wasn’t offered anything. Indeed, I was given a Discover Card retention offer. Today I’ll describe my offer, why all cardholders should call in for one, and my future with Discover.
My Discover Card Retention Offer
As with all calls I’ve made to Discover, I was quickly connected to a courteous, competent representative. After I advised her I wanted to close my Miles card, she asked why. I matter of factly responded that I get better rewards from other cards. She promptly offered the following:
- Earn an additional 3 miles per dollar on all spend, up to 3k bonus miles.
- Offer expires 31 Aug 2021.
That meant 4.5 miles (4.5% cash back) on all purchases up to $1k spend. I asked if any other offers were available. I noted that I spent at a much higher rate on the card during my first cardmember year, and a bonus on $1k of spend is relatively insignificant. She agreed and mentioned the significant amount of miles/cash back I earned in the first cardmember year. She then stated that while no other offers were available currently, I should call in after I complete this one to check for more offers.
I accepted the offer, which provides me $45 cash back. Of course, if I was to put that spend on other cards anyway, that decreases this offer’s value a bit. Regardless, I assessed having a 4.5% cash back card option as a net win.
Why Pursuing a Discover Card Retention Offer Is a No-Brainer
I personally consider going after a retention offer on the Discover it Miles (or Business) cards as a no-brainer. Why? Because after the first cardmember year, a holder is only earning 1.5% cash back. Everyone can do better than that with other cards after the first year. If one isn’t given an acceptable retention offer, closing the account doesn’t hurt his or her ability to earn equal or more rewards with other cards. In my opinion, the quarterly 5% category Discover it card is worthy of a retention call, as well.
In my experience, accepting a retention offer with Discover, maximizing it, then immediately closing the account doesn’t hurt one’s standing with the bank. How do I know? Because I did the same with a Discover card (5% rotating categories) a few years ago, and I was able to obtain multiple new Miles card accounts since.
It’s an easy win at best, and at worst, you don’t really lose anything.
My Future with Discover
Near term, I’ll meet this retention offer ASAP and call to close again after the bonus posts. I’ll either take another retention offer (if I get one and it’s acceptable enough) or I’ll close the card. Longer term, I’ll then have the ability to apply for another Miles card if I desire. Indeed, I’ve been able to obtain new Discover it Miles accounts repeatedly and obtain the full 3% cash back (ongoing and the match). But I may not bother with a new Miles card account.
Why not? Because the Citi Premier card is now a solid option as a 3% cash back card for my situation. I do most of my Citi Premier spend in the 3x categories, and Premier holders can now obtain statement credits at a value of 1 cent per point. Even better, it stacks with the Rewards+ points back benefit for an effective 3.3% cash back (up to 100k ThankYou points redeemed). The Premier provides rewards at 3% back more proactively than the Miles card, which requires one to wait until the end of the first cardmember year to get the additional 1.5% match. And I largely do better than 3% back with all my other spend, rendering the Miles card less useful for me.
Of course, the Miles card is still a great option for many who like easy 3% cash back spend everywhere over the first cardmember year. Not for me, though. If anything, I may pursue the Discover it card with the 5% quarterly bonus categories in the future.
Many banks provide retention and/or spending offers, but Discover isn’t one of the first that comes to mind. But why not pick off more low-hanging fruit? Even better, you are doing so on Discover cards which have no annual fees. This helps cardholders twofold. First, a cardholder isn’t blowing money on an annual fee while pursuing retention offers. Second, Discover’s retention offers provide more meaningful rewards, since the bank can’t provide an “annual fee waiver” as a retention offer. So pick up the phone and spend a few minutes talking to a kind Discover rep. Free money awaits!
Be sure to check out our massive retention offer database for all banks before making all of your retention phone calls.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.