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As the world battles a global pandemic, travel has ground to a temporary halt. In such a scenario, many are rethinking their travel credit card strategy. In a previous post, I argued why I’d cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I’ve recently outlined how I’m cutting down on annual fees in the short run. Since I carry many travel credit cards, I’m not able to use a lot of the great benefits and perks if I’m unable to travel in the short term. Also, since a majority of my travel is international in nature, I foresee this hiatus to be longer than it would be for most domestic travelers. In the same vein, I was thinking about whether I should renew my personal Amex Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card. I called up American Express in to check if they had any retention offers.
Amex Retention Offer
I called up Amex and was connected to a rep immediately. After I mentioned that I wanted to cancel the card, the rep asked me if I like the card. I said yes and she proceeded to elaborate about a few of the key benefits. In response, I simply said that the travel industry is at a standstill. Hence, I’m reviewing credit cards and wondering whether it’s worth it paying another annual fee. She said that she understood that sentiment given the lockdown orders.
She then asked me how much I spend on items like groceries or dining. After I gave a ballpark amount, she told me how many SkyMiles I could earn each year and how it would pay for the annual fee. I responded by saying that I understood the value. However, I said that I’m not using key benefits like the checked baggage fee waiver or priority boarding if I’m not traveling.
At this point, she offered me two options for a retention offer:
- Earn 5,000 bonus SkyMiles after you spend $1,000 in 3 months
- Earn a $50 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in 3 months
Before I canceled, the rep offered me the option to downgrade to the Amex Delta Blue card with no annual fee. I declined the offers and proceeded to cancel my card.
The Pundit’s Mantra
If you’re looking to cancel a card, it never hurts to pick up the call and ask. In the past, I’ve had pretty good experiences while calling Amex and requesting a retention offer. If you’re a profitable customer for the bank, they’re usually willing to provide you with an incentive to keep the card. In this case, I must say the Amex rep was well trained and handled the call very professionally.
In this case though, I wasn’t very keen on renewing the card. I always have other Delta co-branded cards if I wish to sign up again in the future. Also, I primarily bank my points to transferable earning cards. I’m a free agent when it comes to domestic US airlines. Hence, I don’t see much merit in keeping a co-branded airline credit card in the long term.
But your situation may be different. Have you called Amex or any other issuer recently about a retention offer? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments section.
This card is currently offering a 50,000 points bonus and a 0% Intro APR for 1 year, with a $0 annual fee!