Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
Well yesterday was an interesting day to say the very least. Some would say ridiculous, insulting and even insane by Delta and Amex. In my post where I broke the news about the version 1.0 of the changes to the Delta Amex MQD waiver program I suggested if it were to happen a ton of folks would cancel their cards. That may just happen now with the 250k spend change. My guess is very few will have the stomach to put that much real or manufactured spend on a SkyMiles card when SkyMiles are one of the least valuable travel points on the planet. They will go for cards with higher returns or value in their minds. No problem, I totally respect that!
But before you cut up and cancel your Delta Amex cards, or even if you just got one and recently paid the fee, you may want to hold off on dumping the card. First off, if you are past 30 days of the fee billing, Amex is not going to credit your fee back in whole or in part so you might as well keep the card. Damage is already done for a year.
Next, when your fee does bill, consider a retention call. These calls used to be super easy with all banks but now, especially with Amex, they are getting harder and harder. Many times, even if you are a mega spender, if you threaten to close the card if they do not adjust the fee i.e. give you some kind of credit or bonus points for keeping the card they will just say sorry and your only option is to close the card.
But this is not always the case. When Delta shocked Amex a few years ago and changed the Reserve card perk from you and 2 guests for Sky Club access to just the card holder Amex was flexible with the fee for the card. That year I had my entire $450 fee credited back to me for the cost of one phone call.
And this really is the point of today’s rookie post. When you are going to call and ask to have a fee waived you need to look at what changes have happened to the card over the past year. Have they changed any of the terms or offers since you got the card. Ask yourself, is the card worth much less compared to the high fee whatever card is charging you. Can you use these negative changes as a tool to ask the rep, or a supervisor or card specialist, that something should be done to keep you as a card holder another year after such negative changes.
Well, what if they can not, or simply will not, give you a waiver for the fee for a year. First ask to see if they can offer you some random amount of bonus points instead. If no to both you may still have other options. You can ask for a one time statement credit of some amount of dollars. $100, $200 or whatever may be enough to keep you for one more year. Or, if neither of theses works, maybe they have some kind of spend challenge where if you spend some number they will then give you bonus points or a statement credit of some number.
Bottom line with all co branded cards, when one company makes negative changes you can use these to your advantage with the banks to lower your cost to hold a card that may be less valuable either due to the card changes itself or the changes the company with the logo on the card has made during the past year! – Rene