Retention Offers are incentives offered by businesses in order to keep their customers. Businesses spend a significant chunk of their marketing budgets in order to acquire customers. After all the money spent, it’s only rational for them to keep their most profitable customers long term.
Amex’s Retention Offers
American Express is quite generous in offering retention offers to their customer on many of their products. I’ve been an Amex cardholder for many years. I’m impressed with their customer service. Whenever there has been a problem, I’ve seen them take the necessary steps to resolve it. I’ve also saved a lot of money thanks to Amex Offers and benefits like purchase protection and extended warranty.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card recently underwent a refresh. While the annual fee was up by a notch, American Express added a few new benefits to the card.
For the $250 Annual Fee, the American Express Gold Card offers some impressive benefits.
- 4x points per dollar spent at grocery stores and restaurants in the U.S (Up to $25,000/yr)
- 3x points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
- $100 Airline Credit with select airlines
- $120 Dining Credit with select merchants
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
- Baggage Insurance Plan
- Travel Accident Insurance
Sign Up Bonus
Currently, you can earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in 3 months after signing up for the Amex Gold Card. Public offers do tend to touch the 50k mark every now and then. Sometimes, you can even find higher offers in incognito mode. I love transferring my Amex points to Singapore Airlines to fly their premium cabins!
Retention Call Experience
Since my annual fee was due, I decided to give American Express a call and see what was in store. I started by saying that I love the card and have used it for a lot of daily expenses. However, I pointed out that by restricting dining credits to certain brands, I feel constrained as a consumer to only pick certain brands for dining choices. Also, I mentioned about their most recent increase in annual fee.
The agent responded by repeating the benefits of the card. She also told me how many membership points I’ve earned and how they’re valuable. I responded by saying: “I don’t disagree about the value proposition of the card. I’ve been a long time Amex customer and I’ve been largely happy with Amex. However, I just feel that the airline and dining credits aren’t compelling enough benefits to justify the increase in annual fee.”
The rep offered me 15,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $1,500 in 3 months. I took the offer. I use the card regularly and I thought that it would be very easy to meet. The customer service rep also informed me that the bonus was automatically coded to my account and that I don’t need to enroll. She informed me that the bonus would post automatically after I meet the spending threshold.
The Pundit’s Mantra
Card benefits are constantly changing. Businesses change card benefits based on their profitability, market needs and/or customer feedback. It doesn’t hurt to call in and politely discuss any incentive or bonus to keep your business. As always, remember that loyalty is a two way street. While we always love more bonus points and miles, it’s always prudent to play by the rules of the game.