2020 has been unique to say the least. Well, it has just become even more “unique” for me (and hopefully for you)…
Over the past few years, the popularity of travel rewards cards has grown exponentially as many people have begun to recognize the value in having one (or two…or three). This has been great for those of us that love travel. However, as the competition among premium credit cards has increased between credit card issuers, so have the annual fees.
During the current pandemic, this has created a bit of strain between credit card issuers and their beloved customers paying $500+ in annual fees on a single card.
THE NEW PLAYING FIELD
Times have changed! As air travel continues to be put on hold for many in the US and annual fees continue to be applied, credit card holders are considering different approaches when it comes to the cards they keep in their wallet and credit card issuers are adapting.
For example, recently Chase began offering statement credits on the Sapphire Reserve card, and Amex has done the same on several cards.
Personally, as the
days months tick by without travel, I’ve been taking a more conservative approach with the cards that I keep in my wallet.
Several data points are now suggesting American Express recognizes many people are finding it difficult to justify premium annual fees and have given agents discretion to offer some amazing rewards to keep premium travel rewards card open.
For example, several customers have reported being offered between 20,000 and 50,000 points to keep their American Express Platinum card open.
Additionally, some customers have reported spending requirements attached to the retention offers OR offers have been extended for statement credits rather than points. For example, Amex will convert a 50,000 point retention offer into $500.
But this is where it gets strange. While we knew this was an option for credit cards with an annual fee, it is apparently possible for no fee cards as well.
Typically, I would never call about a retention offer on a card that does not have an annual fee because…well, you’re earning rewards without paying anything.
I read a data point from PDX Deals Guy that said Amex was offering retention offers on the American Express Blue Business Plus card [READ MORE]. This is a phenomenal no annual fee card that earns 2X Membership Rewards points for all purchases.
I have this card so I decided to connect with American Express through the Amex chat feature and see if it was possible. There’s nothing really to lose. So what happened?
Not only did I receive a retention offer, but it was a great offer:
- $50 credit and;
- $100 more after spending $2,000 on the card
In other words, if I max out this offer, I’ll earn 4,000 Amex MR points and $150. Wow!
If you plan to cancel a credit card, I suggest having an open conversation with Amex to discuss the reasons and possibilities.
It’s worth noting that the more expensive the annual fee, the higher the retention offer will likely be. For example, the Amex Platinum ($550 annual fee) will likely yield a higher offer than an Amex Gold ($250 annual fee).
And if you have the American Express Blue Business Plus card [READ MORE], it could be worth reaching out to American Express and see if you get any similar offers.
Let’s give props where props are due. Remember, it was Amex that was the first bank to offer support to customers that were being affected by the pandemic and this is yet another customer friendly move to keep customers and businesses stabilized (or as close to stabilized as possible).
Has anyone attempted an Amex retention call lately? What was your experience?
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