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Retention Call: Amex Business Platinum Card (2021)

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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 big $595 annual fee posted to my most recent Business Platinum Card from American Express statement.

I really like the Amex Business Platinum Card. (As a whole, I’m an Amex fan). Its points earnings are meh — but the 35% Pay with Points rebate is great. (It was once even better: 50%) In fact, René encouraged me to get this card and I consider it some of the points advice he’s ever given me.

American Express offered me a big, giant nothing last year. Nonetheless, I decided to lob a call into Amex to see if there were any retention bonuses on the table this year.

So I called Amex, told the automated attendant that I wanted to cancel my card, and was transferred to a representative.

My Reasons for Canceling the Card

The rep asked if my cancellation had anything to do with Amex issues. Here’s what I told him.

Trimming Expenses

I generally earn back the card’s annual fee. And despite not using it for travel last year, I still broke even — thanks mostly to the monthly cell phone and shipping statement credits Amex instituted last summer.

But $595 certainly is a significant annual fee.

No Chance to Use the Benefits

I took one trip last year. None of the airports I visited had officially opened their now-new Centurion Lounges. And other trips of mine were cancelled because of COVID-19. So the card was fairly useless and I don’t know how much I’ll use it this year.

Perk and Benefit Overlap

So many American Express premium card perks overlap with each year. For example, I receive Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access with my:

I get Global Entry (or TSA PreCheck) credit with a bunch of different cards — all of which are cheaper than the Business Platinum.

Plus, complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, and Priority Pass Select membership are included with both my Business Platinum Card and personal Platinum Card from American Express.

The Amex Rep’s Response

The rep understood my reasons. But he pointed out the five, temporary 5X bonus point Amex Offers available now to cardholders. I responded that my no-annual-free Chase Ink Cash card gives me 5X for cell phone/wireless provider spending and office supply store purchases. I can transfer those Ultimate Rewards points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve and redeem them for 6.5 cents each when booking travel through Chase.

He suggested I downgrade to a basic Green card and then upgrade to Business Platinum once I was ready to travel again.

So I told him thanks. But no thanks.

Retention Offer

He then informed me he’d need to read a disclosure before we closed the account. Before proceeding I asked if there were any retention offers available.

Whaddya know? This year there was an offer. Here’s what it was:

  • Receive 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for keeping the account open
  • Receive another 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $40,000 on the card during the next 90 days.

I literally laughed. I told him the only ways I’d spend $40,000 over the next three months is if a major problem crept up or I won the lottery. But he reminded me that I’d still get 30,000 points just for keeping the card alive. Because I value Membership Rewards points at about 1.7 cents each, that’s worth at least $510 in travel. So I accepted the offer and kept the card open.

Have You Received Any Retention Offers for the American Express Business Platinum Card?

If you have, please tell us in the below Comments section!

 

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Business Platinum card

Read why Chris says getting the Business Platinum Card was some of the best advice René ever gave him!

  • 35% Airline Bonus: Pay with Points for all — or even just part — of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back (up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year) when your flight is booked on amextravel.com.
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com
  • Transfer points to Delta SkyMiles or other travel loyalty programs!
  • Get 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more
  • Access to more than 1200 airport lounges including:
    • Delta Sky Clubs (when flying on Delta Air Lines)
    • Centurion Lounges
    • Escape Lounges
    • Priority Pass Select membership
  • $200 annual airline incidental credit
  • $200 in annual statement credit on US purchases with Dell ($100 semi-annually)
  • Complimentary gold status at Marriott and Hilton
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre√ credit
  • No foreign transaction fees!
  • $595 annual fee
  • Terms apply

Read more now and learn how to apply for The Business Platinum Card from American Express!

 

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.

9 Comments

  1. The airline reimbursement still works for gift cards. I did it on the Gold and Hilton card at the beginning of the year. They didn’t get reimbursed automatically, but I chatted in and said they were used for “luggage and seat assignments” and they credited it back no questions asked.

  2. @Victor, that’s very YMMV and a significant change from the automated reimbursement that happened before. You’re better off trying to book a cheap ticket (under ~$250) along with gift cards or the PWM that Chris mentioned.

    @Chris, they offered me a $300 on my personal plat for $4k spend in 3 months (this is the second year of the card). Hope you get something!

  3. HuntingtonGuy Reply

    So what are the spend thresholds Amex is looking for before they will consider a retention offer? Do they primarily consider current year? Previous year? Historical spending?
    I’ve shifted some (much) of my Amex Plat spending over to my Reserve but the Plat still holds value, as stated in the article.
    Wondering what kind of $$ numbers they are looking for to make a plum more likely.

  4. In my experience it seems like AmEx will offer something in the second year of the card to encourage you to keep it after the second year’s fee posts. In the third year I don’t believe I’ve received an offer. There might be two options. One, they feel it’s not worth throwing money every year at someone to keep the card. Or 2, they want to see some spending so you could try putting the minimum spend on the card that got you your bonus and see if that works…

  5. Kelly Dean Wright Reply

    I just canceled my Gold Amex on Friday. I have been a ridiculously loyal Delta flyer for years. A few years ago, I had a job that resulted in traveling for work 100 days a year. I got Diamond status and did everything I could to keep it. I had the Delta AMEX Platinum to get the spend goal. After getting a new job that meant suffering through government arraigned travel, I lost my status. As of last May, I have a new contractor job, that theoretically (after COVID) will have tons of international travel that I can arrange myself with Delta or Skyteam partners. I had switched my prime spending to Chase Sapphire and downgraded my Delta Amex to gold after I stopped trying to maintain my status. The only benefit I used was 1 free bag. Then they dropped that benefit for additional cardholders. So when my wife and daughter come to visit me (the new job is based in Hawaii) they get to pay $30 for baggage. There isn’t even any discount for paying the baggage fee with the gold AMEX. The company will pay for baggage for business travel, so I am better off to just pay myself for my own travel v $90 card fee. I asked for any sort of deal when I called to cancel the card, I have been an AMEX cardholder since 2002… nope nothing…

  6. I just called today too. first was told no offers but then talked with someone else. After the discussion on benefits, etc, he gave me a $300 credit. So I kept it

  7. Wow, great news. I was always under the impression that this card never gave retention bonuses. Mine renewed recently (1-2 months). How long after the date do you have a shot to get something when you call?
    Separately, my Delta Reserve did not give me anything. I called a few times over a few weeks and nothing ever happened. One person said he’s never seen them given two years in a row and since I got one last year, I probably wouldn’t this year.
    My Hilton Aspire gave nothing, so I cancelled. That person mentioned I just got a 30k bonus on my Bonvoy, which I did keep.

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