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A retention offer is a great way to entice a customer to renew a credit card for one more year. For most credit cards with an annual fee, you can call the issuer and request a retention bonus when the annual fee posts for the second. In the past, I’ve had some great success in getting really lucrative retention offers for various American Express products.
American Express Business Platinum Card
Last week, I wrote about the negative changes that American Express just made to the Business Platinum card. In short, the annual fee has now gone up from $450 to $595. American Express removed the following benefits:
- Amex is removing the complimentary annual 10 Gogo in-flight internet pass benefit. If you currently hold passes, they will expire on December 31st, 2019
- If you currently hold Boingo access due to the American Express Business Platinum Card, you’ll no longer have access to the benefit after January 1, 2020
- Amex is also removing the complimentary WeWork benefit which was valid for one year. This is not surprising at all, given what’s happening with WeWork
Retention Offer Call
My annual fee posted and I decided to pick up the phone and call. After going through the initial menus, I was connected to a retention department rep.
Me: I’m calling in as I saw that my annual fee had posted and I’m considering canceling the card.
Rep: Thanks a lot for being a valuable member since XXXX. We thank you for your membership. May I know the reason for canceling?
Me: (I outlined all the reasons mentioned above in the previous paragraph)
Rep: I see. I was curious to know if you use the Dell benefit by any chance?
Me: Yes, but I don’t really value it at $200 since I use Apple products and don’t find a lot of stuff to buy on the Dell website that’s useful for me.
Rep: Alright then, we’re sorry to see you go, so if I have your permission, I’ll read a disclosure and cancel your card.
Me: Sure, go ahead.
I’ve made retention calls in the past that have been very successful. While I didn’t expect anything unrealistically high, I was thinking that Amex would be looking to retain customers after making negative changes to a card. In the past, I’ve had pretty fruitful retention offers and have had the chance to interact with some really well trained reps. This rep’s tone seemed like he was reading from a script and was just going through the process. With a lot of these offers, it can always be a hit or miss, depending on who is on the line. While getting nothing was unexpected, I didn’t bother pushing the rep and moved on.
What’s interesting is that while the rep didn’t offer me any retention bonus when I politely asked, he kept thanking me for my long standing relationship FWIW.
The Pundit’s Mantra
Now you may ask why I didn’t HUCA. I was sitting on the fence about this card ever since American Express made some negative changes to the card. One benefit that had made me keep the card was the Gogo inflight passes. Now that Amex was taking that away, I wasn’t sure about going through the process again and calling in later.
As always, I’ll say that every person’s situation is unique. If you still find the card valuable, then apply by using the incognito mode so that you can get the highest available public sign-up bonus of 110,000 Membership Rewards points.
If you’re figuring out what to do with your credit card, here are a few handy resources:
What do you think about the negative changes to this card? Have you called in to check for retention offers? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments section.