Credit Cards

Retention Call: American Express Gold 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.


The $250 annual fee recently posted for my American Express Gold Card. Even if you like a card, calling for a retention offer whenever its annual fee is due may produce some good results. It’s sort of like taking a few minutes to shop around when your car insurance is up for renewal. The worst-case scenario is that you spend a few minutes of your time and don’t come out ahead.

So I called Amex, told the rep I was thinking of canceling my card, and wondered what they might do to keep my business.

My Arguments for Canceling the Amex Gold Card

I really like my American Express Gold Card and use it fairly regularly. Between the yearly $100 airline incidental credit, $120 food credit, and it’s 4X earnings at supermarkets and restaurants, it’s generally easy to recoup the $250 annual fee.

The American Express Gold Card

So I planned on keeping the card. But I did have a few issues to raise.

My Retention Offer

The rep was fairly well-versed in credit cards and loyalty, so we had a fun conversation. He’s a very proud American Express employee and seems to love the Amex products. So I good-naturedly busted his chops a little bit about the Chase Sapphire Reserve. We had a few laughs before he got to the offer.

He offered me 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if I keep the card for another year.

Because I personally value Membership Rewards points at a minimum of 1.5 cents each, that makes his offer worth about $450.

Despite being ready to say yes, I asked if he had anything better. He didn’t, so I happily accepted the 30,000 MR offer.

He said the points would be deposited into my account within 8-12 weeks. They popped up in two days.

30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points are posted to an American Express Gold Cardholder's account as part of a retention offer.

I was advised that if my card goes past due or I cancel the card, the points are subject to be clawed back. I don’t plan on either of those events occurring. 🙂

Final Approach

I enjoy being an American Express Gold Card member. It’s a solid product with good earnings. I expected Amex would show it some love when it doled out all those fun statement credits a couple of months ago — and was disappointed when they didn’t.

Still, 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points is a nice deal — and I’m happy to hold the card.

— 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.

4 Comments

  1. Have you or any of your readers called about the Delta AMEX reserve and if so, what kind of retention offers have been received?

  2. Chris–in the past it was fairly common to see cards being closed after retention requirements were met (not necessarily keeping them open for the whole year). Has best practice around this changed? Is there anywhere that people can view the disclosure that comes with the retention offer? I had a rep mention the keeping open for a year requirement on my P2 Reserve retention call but don’t recall it being part of their actual disclosure.

    • For this particular retention, the rep read in the verbal disclosure that I have to keep the card open for a year. Perhaps someone who’s done a retention over text-based chat may have some data points?

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