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Retention Offer Call: Delta Amex Platinum Card

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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:

Finally, I have a Delta Reserve Amex — which gives me far more perks than the Delta Platinum Amex.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.

My Reason for Keeping the Card

The sole compelling reason for holding on to the Delta Platinum Amex is its annual companion certificate.

A toddler -- wearing an airplane harness and unicorn headphone with built-in earphones -- watches a tablet during a Delta Air Lines flight.
This little companion no longer flies free. That’s where the companion certificate comes in handy.

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.”

Oh, really?

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)

And that’s before bonus categories (which were expanded during the Delta Amex card refreshes.)

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 grocery stores 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!

— Chris

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7 Comments

  1. More interested in how you……… “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”. Did you do this online or need to call any details you can share?

    • @tony @Tom: You can do it online or over the phone. Online can turn into a maze and over the phone can take forever, especially these days. Maybe I’ll write a post about it tomorrow?

  2. Last year I spent more than $90K using the Delta Am Ex Reserve card. I had expected Am Ex would honor my request for an additional 15K MQMs. Three different reps told me the 15K bump was only for 2018, 2020, and beyond. Not 2019. I was offered 5K Sky Miles. I told them to keep their Sky Miles. I begrudgingly kept the card as a leg up on upgrade lists. Upon renewal this year I’m downgrading to Delta Am Ex Gold to save my 600K MQMs via the spend waiver. I’ve been a Diamond for five years. On my own dime. For the sheer joy of flying. I reached 2021 Diamond three months ago. With the threat of COVID-19 and no incentive from Delta to get back on board, I’m stepping away from it all for a couple of years. If a vaccine becomes available maybe I’ll think about it again.

    • @qofmiwok: After. My bill is due tomorrow (Wednesday) and I called yesterday (Monday). Plus, the companion certificate is deposited into your SkyMiles account when annual fee posts, so that’s a good reason to wait.

  3. I canceled my Delta Reserve card after Delta extended status thru 2021. I doubt business travel will rebound anytime soon, so I don’t see any reason to carry a $500+ credit card.

    I’ll stick with the Fidelity Visa that pays 2% cash back on every purchase with no annual fee.

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