Bonus Offers to Keep the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold and United MileagePlus Explorer

TravelSort reader Matt writes “Thanks for your advice on Citi and AMEX retention bonus offers. Any tips for current Chase retention offers? I'm especially interested in the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold and United MileagePlus Explorer cards, since mine come up for renewal over the next few months.”

Here are my general tips, followed by examples of what others have received recently, as reported on Flyertalk.

1. Call the Number on the Back of Your Chase Credit Card

Unlike Citi, Chase does not have a direct external number for retention, which is called Loyalty Services. Call the number on the back of your card, and if it's a co-branded card (e.g. United MileagePlus Explorer, Marriott Rewards Premier, etc.) you can ask the agent to transfer you to Loyalty Services. But note:


2. For Chase's Own Cards Agents Generally Handle Retention Themselves

If you call the number for your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, the agent will not transfer you to Loyalty Services, because it's Chase's own card and the agents handle retention and cancellation themselves. More on whether it's possible to receive any retention offers later.

3. For Co-Branded Cards, Offers are Auto-Generated

If you're calling about an airline or hotel card issued by Chase, the offers are usually auto-generated. The agent may of course try to persuade you to keep the card without any retention bonus, by extolling the card benefits, but if you seem set on cancelling, s/he will only be authorized to tell you the offers you're preapproved for.


4. Know Your Portfolio and Which Cards You Must Keep vs. Which You're Prepared to Cancel

Chase representatives can see your entire portfolio of Chase cards and your spend on each, and of course will try to get you to keep cards without retention offers. So be prepared to give cogent reasons for why you're considering closing a given card, since you may not be offered the best retention offer you're preapproved for unless you seem genuinely ready to cancel.


5. Accept That the Most Valuable Cards Will Not Offer a Retention Bonus or Annual Fee Waiver

Chase knows that its Sapphire Preferred card is a category killer, so Chase doesn't need to offer a retention bonus or annual fee waiver on the card. More on this below, but don't beat your head against a wall for too long on this one.

6. You Have Until 60 Days After the Annual Fee is Billed to Cancel

Don't fret if you forget to call earlier and the annual fee hits. You can still call the number on the back of your card, and if after exploring any potential retention offers you decide to close the card within the 60 day timeframe, the annual fee will be removed.


7. If You Do Close a Card, Don't Forget to Move Your Ultimate Rewards Points and Credit Limit First

If you plan to close a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus card linked to Ultimate Rewards, make sure you first transfer the points to another Chase card linked to Ultimate Rewards (e.g. if you're closing a Sapphire Preferred, move the points to your Ink Bold or Ink Plus card) before closing it, otherwise those points will be gone forever. Your other options are to transfer the points to one of the airline or hotel partners (although note they will then be subject to expiration according to the airline or hotel loyalty program) or to your spouse or partner's Ultimate Rewards account. See How to Transfer Miles and Points Between Frequent Flyer Accounts


Caveat to all the offers noted below: just because someone else recently received one of these offers doesn't mean you will be offered it, either because you're not preapproved for it, or due to the unique circumstances of the cardholder who received it or the discretion of the agent or manager who approved it.

Sapphire Preferred

As noted above, almost no one has received a retention bonus or an annual fee waiver for the Sapphire Preferred, so don't be too disappointed when you don't either. You won't be transferred to Loyalty Services, since Chase Sapphire Preferred agents handle all retention and cancellation themselves. Expect that if you say you're thinking of cancelling, the agent will tell you all about the card's benefits, and also note you can downgrade to the no fee Sapphire card.

That said, Flyertalk member Slybone was able to obtain 9500 points in exchange for putting substantial spend (over $50,000 in a month) on the card. So if you're a big spender or have major reimburseable spend, you may be able to receive additional points for your spend.

  • Another unusual example is Efilon87 on Flyertalk, who was able to receive 5000 points for keeping his Sapphire Preferred, in conjunction with a $50 statement credit for the United MileagePlus Explorer card.
  • 2500 points reported by suspire


Ink Bold

  • $95 annual fee credit or 10,000 points (johnnie198x, Flyertalk)
  • $95 annual fee waived
  • 5000 points

United MileagePlus Explorer

  • $100 statement credit or 15,000 United miles (txny, Flyertalk)
  • 15,000 United miles after $3000 spend in 1 month (David H. in comments)
  • 10,000 miles after $2000 spend in 30 days
  • $100 statement credit or 10,000 United miles
  • $50 statement credit or 5000 United miles
  • 5000 United miles

Have you recently gotten a different retention offer for any of these cards? Let us know in the comments! If this was helpful, please consider applying for your next credit card via our links, on our Best Travel Credit Cards page.

Related Posts

Current Citi AAdvantage and AMEX Retention Bonus Offers and Tips

When to Cancel or Close a Credit Card

Convert Your AMEX, Chase or Citi Credit Card to a No Fee Card?

Understand How Your Credit Score Works to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Ink Bold Sign Up Tips


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