AMEX Retention Bonus Offers change and also vary from cardholder to cardholder, so I figured it's time to update my post earlier this year, Current AMEX Retention Bonus Offers, especially in light of the fact that many folks may be deciding whether it's worth it to keep the AMEX Platinum at all, given the loss of lounge access to both US Airways Club lounges and American Admirals Club Lounges.
Retention Bonus or Cancel the Card?
Personally, I've decided to cancel all of my AMEX cards. You heard right–to me at least, the opportunity cost of holding these cards is too high. It's not really the annual fee; rather, I want the clock to start ticking so that in a year's time I'm eligible to apply again and receive a new signup bonus. See AMEX Stingier: Rules for Signup Bonuses and FAQ Pretty much the best you can do in terms of retention bonuses is 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points for the AMEX Platinum (typically if you put significant spend on the card), and the best signup bonuses are 75,000 or even 100,000 points, as in the recent AMEX Platinum 100K Signup Bonus targeted offer.
How to Get the Highest AMEX Retention Bonus Offers?
If you want a shot at the highest AMEX retention offers (and this goes for most other issuers as well–Chase, Citi, etc.), you need to use your card for more than just the minimum spend required to get the signup bonus. This only makes sense–after all, if you were the credit card issuer, wouldn't you want to save extra incentives such as bonus points and statement credits for your best customers?
Can You Get a Retention Bonus Again This Year If You Got One Last Year?
You may well be told that you can't get a retention bonus this year for an AMEX card that you received a retention bonus for last year. Your best bet may be to try for a high retention bonus for another AMEX card that you haven't yet received a retention bonus for, although you can certainly Hang Up and Call Again (HUCA).
What Number Do I Call?
You can just call the number on the back of your card and ask for a representative, although you will need to be transferred from the agent you initially speak with to one specialized in retention. Internally, AMEX calls this department Membership Consulting Services.
What Do I Say?
To the first agent you speak with, instead of saying that you're cancelling, say that you noticed your card comes up for renewal soon, and since you're trying to decide whether to keep the card, you'd like to hear if there are any retention offers for your card. Depending on the agent you're speaking with, you may need to outright request to speak with Membership Consulting Services because you do need to get transferred in order to hear the various options.
Then, when you get through to AMEX Membership Consulting Services, the agent will usually try to go over all the benefits of your card to try to get you to keep your AMEX card without offering anything. What you want to do, however, is to get offers. Typically I politely mention that I'm very familiar with all the card benefits and state that while I like the card and earning AMEX Membership Rewards points, the card's annual fee is very steep so I'd appreciate hearing any retention offers or incentives that could mitigate the annual fee cost.
Another good approach is to mention key aspects that have diminished the attractiveness of AMEX Membership Rewards points or the ability to earn extra points:
- AMEX Platinum: Lost access to the US Airways Club Lounges and the American Admirals Club Lounges
- Loss of United MileagePlus as a transfer partner due to the Continental-United merger
- Loss of the AMEX online shopping mall to earn bonus Membership Rewards points
- Continue inability for many U.S. cardmembers to refer friends for bonus points (some can, some can't–see AMEX Refer a Friend (Targeted)
AMEX Platinum Card ($450 annual fee)
- 50,000 Membership Rewards points or $450 credit (offered for both the regular AMEX Platinum and Mercedes-Benz AMEX Platinum)
- 25,000 Membership Rewards points or $200 statement credit ($50K annual spend)
- 15,000 Membership Rewards points or $100 statement credit
- 10,000 Membership Rewards points or $50 statement credit
- 6000 Membership Rewards points or $50 statement credit
- $100 AA incidental credit (in addition to existing $200 airline incidental credit per calendar year)
- $50 statement credit
Also note that, due to the fact that as of March 22, 2014 AMEX Platinum cardholders will lose access to the AA Admirals Club and US Airways Club Lounges, AMEX is offering statement credits for the inconvenience. These offers vary considerably based on spend, ranging from $50-$500.
AMEX Business Platinum Card ($450 annual fee)
- 25,000 Membership Rewards points (~$10K annual spend)
- 10,000 Membership Rewards points and another 7500 points after $1500 spend in 60 days
- 7500 Membership Rewards points
- Waived fee ($175 statement credit)
AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card ($175 annual fee)
- 10,000 Membership Rewards points or $100 statement credit
- Waived $175 fee + 7500 Membership Rewards points
- 7500 Membership Rewards points or $100 statement credit
- 7500 Membership Rewards points or $50 statement credit
Starwood Preferred Guest Card ($65 annual fee)
- 7000 Starpoints
- $50 statement credit or 4000 Starpoints
- $50 statement credit or 3000 Starpoints
- $35 statement credit or 3000 Starpoints
- 2000 Starpoints
- 1000 Starpoints
Have you recently gotten a different retention offer for any of these cards? Let us know in the comments!
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