My personal/consumer Delta Platinum American Express Card‘s annual fee is up for renewal. I’m looking to cut some expenses — especially on cards I don’t really use.
There is a good reason to keep the Delta Platinum Amex and we’ll address that in a minute.
Plus, I didn’t expect Amex to give me a worthwhile retention offer — if any.
So in the days leading up to my Amex call, I transferred a significant chunk of the card’s available credit over to my personal Delta Reserve Amex. I did this so my FICO score wouldn’t suddenly be affected by a loss of available credit when I pulled the Delta Platinum’s plug.
My Reasons for Canceling the Card
Three things made me wish to cancel the card.
First is the annual fee, which increased from $195 to $250. (Heck, it was “only” $175 when I first got it many moons ago)
Next, I rarely use the card. Why? I receive better earnings with other products:
- 5X on airline ticket earnings with my Platinum Card from American Express (vs the Delta Amex’s 3X on Delta only)
- 4X at U.S. supermarkets with my American Express Gold Card (vs the Delta Amex’s 2X)
- 3X at restaurants with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, which are worth 4.5 cents when buying travel through Chase (vs the Delta Amex’s 2X)
My Reason for Keeping the Card
That perk usually covers the annual fee. Most companion certificate redemption periods were extended, so I’m fairly confident we’ll use it.
My only gripe with the companion certificates is that they’re valid only on certain fare classes — and inventory can sometimes be limited.
Calling American Express
After waiting on hold for about seven or eight minutes, a pleasant rep handled my call. I told him I wanted to cancel the card. He asked why; I replied the annual fee was a bit steep and that I was looking to trim some of my budget.
He said he’d proceed to the cancellation screen and we’d begin the process.
“Just so you know,” he said, “there were some retention offers available if you’re interested.”
The Retention Offers
Here’s what the rep offered me:
- Receive a $100 statement credit after spending $2500 on purchases within the next 90 days (Pass.)
- Receive a $150 statement credit after spending $3000 on purchases within the next 90 days (Better, but no.)
- Receive 20,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $3000 on purchases within the next 90 days (Now we’re talking!)
Because we value SkyMiles worth a cent each (for now), 20,000 points equal at least $200 in travel.
After some quick number crunching, I calculated each dollar spent during the 90 days ultimately yields about 7.67 SkyMiles. (3000 points on purchases + 20,000 SkyMiles bonus = 23,000 points. Divide that by the $3000 minimum spend and it’s 7.67)
Plus, we’ll get another companion certificate next March when the annual fee hits again. Even if I cancel the card then, we’ll get to keep the cert.
I figure I’ll ultimately earn about 24,000 to 24,500 points total. So that about breaks even.
Where I’ll Spend $3000 in the Next 90 Days
This will be my go-to card for most purchases until I rack up $3000 in the next three months.
Restaurants and U.S. supermarkets earn 2X points with the Delta Platinum Amex, so each dollar spent in those categories generates about 8.67 SkyMiles upon successful completion of the spending challenge.
Other bills and expenses will make up the rest.
Have You Received a Retention Offer for the Delta Platinum Amex?
Would you have done the same thing if you were in my shoes?
And if your card was up for renewal, did you keep or cancel yours? What did Amex offer you? Please tell us in the below Comments section!
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