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.
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:
- Business Platinum Card
- personal Platinum Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve for Business American Express Card
- personal Delta Reserve American Express
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.
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!
- 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
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