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Last week, I wrote about how one can attempt to get a retention bonus offer from a card issuer once the annual fee hits and you’re unsure about renewing the card. I shared some tips and tricks about how to go about it. You read that post here.

Retention Bonus Attempt

I’ve carried the Charles Schwab American Express Platinum card in my wallet for a few years. Since I have a brokerage account with Schwab, it gives me the ability to convert my American Express Membership points into cash. With the card, I can convert my points into cash at a rate of 1.1 cent per point. If I convert 100,000 Membership Rewards points, $1,100 is deposited into my Schwab Brokerage account.

Retention Offer via Chat

Unlike other card issuers, Amex makes it really easy these days to get in touch with a ‘retention specialist’. Instead of calling, you can initiate a chat after you log into your Amex account. Once you mention that you’re looking to cancel a card, the chat rep will automatically connect you to a retention specialist.

When the rep asked me the reason for cancellation, I said that I really loved the Audible benefit and don’t find the other credit very useful now that Audible has been done away with. As expected, the rep touted all the other benefits and asked if I found them valuable.

At the end of the chat, I said that I would still like to go ahead and cancel the card. This is when the rep said that he could offer me an incentive as a valued customer if I can keep the card open for another year. The agent outlined a couple of different options:

  • 35,000 Membership Rewards points after I spend $4,000 in 3 months
  • A one-time statement credit of $350 after I spend $4,000 in 3 months
retention bonus

I opted for the 35,000 points offer

The Pundit’s Mantra

I decided to go for the points offer instead of the statement credit. Even if I decide to liquidate 35,000 points into my Schwab account, I’ll end up with $385, which is more than the $350 that Amex offered me.

While I’m not a great fan of the ‘new’ Amex Platinum card, given its web of confusing credits split up into different time frames, it’s always great to get a retention bonus offer to keep the card for another year. Also, since it’s a Schwab Platinum card, I like the option of being able to cash out my points whenever needed.

How did your recent attempt at getting a retention bonus offer pan out? Tell us in the comments section.


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