What are the current retention offers for Citi AAdvantage and AMEX credit cards? TravelSort reader Susan asks: “I have a Citi AAdvantage Visa and AMEX that I got for the 75,000 bonus last year and I'm planning to cancel them to avoid the annual fee–or should I try to get Citi to waive the annual fee?”
This is a timely question, since I also have the Citi AAdvantage Select AMEX and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Visa and recently called to see what retention offers are available. But first, a few tips on retention offers:
1. Don't Be Too Late
While it's easy to forget about a card you're not using daily until the anniversary date is upon you, it's best to call earlier than that–try to call around the 8 or 9 month mark to see what offers, if any, are available. There may be an attractive bonus points offer that requires some spend, and you could then complete that well before your card's anniversary date, and if you decide to, still cancel.
2. …But Don't Be Too Early Either
It probably goes without saying, but if you call just a few months after getting a new card there's unlikely to be any kind of retention offer. And many bonus offers for credit cards and bank accounts require you to keep the card or account open for 6 months anyway, or you'll forfeit the bonus points. No sense in risking that by closing your account too early.
Plus, note that for AMEX retention offers in particular, they tend to be better closer to your renewal date, so don't expect a great offer at 7 months after getting the card.
3. Call Retention Directly for Citi
For Citi, instead of calling the number on the back of your card, you'll save time calling a retention specialist directly: Citi Retention: 800-444-2568
For AMEX, you can just call the number on the back of your card.
4. Don't Say You're Cancelling. Say You're Thinking About Whether to Keep the Card
You want to elicit retention offers, not cancel before hearing any of them, so it's best to say something like “I'm thinking about whether to keep this card. Are there any current offers you can extend to me?” If nothing appeals, you could still cancel (don't forget to move your credit line over to another card first!) but if you start by saying you want to cancel, the representative may not even provide you any retention offers.
5. It's (Usually) Not About Haggling: Most Offers are Auto-Generated
Typically the agent does NOT have discretion over the offers s/he extends you; they appear on their computer screen based on your account characteristics (how much you spent on the card, how long you've had the card, when you're calling in, etc.) If you were given misinformation or had some other kind of inconvenience, however, you may well be able to negotiate a goodwill gesture for the trouble.
6. Credit Card Annual Fee Can Usually Be Prorated or Waived After It's Charged
Even if you've forgotten to call about cancelling or retention offers and have already gotten charged an annual fee, you can call and:
- Citi, AMEX: Get a prorated refund of the annual fee if you end up cancelling. So if you cancel 2 months after the fee was charged, you should manage to get about 5/6 of the annual fee refunded. Or, you can see what the retention offers are, as it may be more worthwhile to keep the card.
- AMEX, Chase: Get the annual fee entirely refunded if you call within 30 days of the annual fee being charged; after that, for Chase you're out of luck and won't get any kind of refund, but, for AMEX, as noted above, you will generally get a prorated refund.
7. Don't Feel Pressured to Make a Decision on the Spot
You may be offered several different retention offers, so if you're not sure and need time to think about it, just say so–there's usually no need to make a decision on the spot. And sometimes you may even hear a better offer from another agent. If you try multiple times and you can't get a retention offer that's worth it to you, you can still close the card or sometimes convert it to a no fee card.
Current Citi AAdvantage Retention Offers
Please note for all of the offers described below that just because a given offer is listed as having been offered recently doesn't mean you will be offered it, since Citi and AMEX do tailor their offers.
Citi AAdvantage Visa
- $85 statement credit and 750 bonus miles per billing cycle after $750 spend per billing cycle, for 12 months
- $85 statement credit and 1000 bonus miles per billing cycle after $1000 spend per billing cycle, for 16 months
- 3 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent for 6months, up to 10,000 miles
- 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent for 6months, up to 10,000 miles
- 3000 AAdvantage miles after spending $500
- $25 statement credit after $500 spend within in 3 months
Citi AAdvantage AMEX
- 3000 AAdvantage miles after spending $500
- $85 statement credit and 750 bonus miles per billing cycle after $750 spend per billing cycle, for 16 months
- $25 statement credit after $550 spend within 3 months
- $75 statement credit and 750 miles per billing cycle after spending $750 per billing cycle, for 16 months
- 10,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $5000 within 6 months
- $75 statement credit after spending $5000 within 6 months
Current AMEX Retention Offers
AMEX Platinum Card
- 50,000 Membership Rewards points (for member who spends ~$50K annually on card)
- 25,000 Membership Rewards points
- $200 statement credit
- $75 statement credit now and $75 statement credit after spending $1500 in 60 days
- 10,000 Membership Rewards points now and 7500 Membership Rewards points after spending $1500 in 60 days
- $130 statement credit within 1-2 weeks and another $75 statement credit after spending $3000 in 60 days
- 17,500 Membership Rewards points after spending $1500 in 60 days
New AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card (3X/2X/1X, $175 fee)
- 15,000 points
- 10,000 points
- 7500 points
- 5000 points or $50 statement credit
Have you recently gotten a different retention offer for any of these cards? Let us know in the comments!
Check out and apply for the Best Travel Credit Cards.