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.
So I planned on keeping the card. But I did have a few issues to raise.
- Because I’ve barely traveled this year, I haven’t a chance to use the airline incidental credit. (I chose Southwest as this card’s preferred airline.)
- The Amex Gold card didn’t receive any increased points earnings or statement credits that several other American Express cards did.
- My Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3X at restaurants (versus the Amex Gold’s 4X). But I can redeem Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents each for travel booked through Chase. So that potentially makes CSR restaurant spend worth 4.5X.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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