Credit Cards

American Express Platinum Retention Call [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.


When it rains, it pours. That’s how it shakes out with a number of my credit card renewal dates. Spring is when my Amex Platinum (consumer/personal and business) annual fees hit. Fall is for my Delta Reserve Business American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

And that’s when I decide whether to keep or cancel a credit cards.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about this year’s American Express Business Platinum card retention call. A few days later, I had to do something about the $550-a-year consumer version.

The Platinum Card from American Express
Learn how to apply for The Platinum Card from American Express

In 2019, I received 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points as a retention bonus to keep the card open. Last year, I got nothing more than a Well, Sorry to See You Go But There’s Nothing Available. (I kept the card but dropped the paid authorized user cards). So I was eager to see if anything was on the table this year.

My Reasons for Wanting to Keep the Amex Platinum

Despite the card’s $550 annual fee, I pretty much make back that amount in benefits and perks.

I used the $200 Uber credit for Uber Eats last year. With my travel significantly reduced this year (but not completely elimated!), I probably won’t use the Uber ride service much.

Even though it’s more difficult than in the past, I should be able to spend the $200 airline incidental credit (we’ll discuss that in a minute). And I make the $100 Saks credit work (especially when first starting my shopping through Rakuten!).

A Platinum Card from American Express and Saks gift cards.

Plus, Amex is giving Platinum cardholders a monthly $30 credit on purchases made through PayPal. That promotion ends in June.

So I’ll likely end up coming out ahead. Still, that’s if I go out of my way to use the statement credits.

My Reasons for Wanting to Cancel My Amex Platinum

I can live without purchasing stuff at Saks. My wife and I enjoy cooking our own meals — so the Uber Eats credit is nice but not life-changing.

And $550 is decent chunk of change (at least, to me it is).

Plus, I took these points into consideration:

Too Many Annual Fees

I hold several premium Amex cards, in addition to the personal Platinum:

That’s a lot of annual fees right there.

Overlapping Benefits

I get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs with my not just my Platinum Card from American Express — but also the Business Platinum Card and Delta Reserve for Business American Express Card. And all three cards offer Centurion Lounge access (though the Delta Reserve cards’ terms are different from the Platinums’.)

A guest bedroom at The Westin Tokyo, then a Starwood / SPG hotel. © Chris Carley / PointsLounge
Guest bedroom at The Westin Tokyo.

The Business Platinum Card gives cardholders complimentary gold status with both Marriott and Hilton — as does the Amex Platinum.

I have Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit through about five or six benefit cards — including the IHG Rewards Club Premier MasterCard, which runs only $89 a year. We’ve gifted Global Entry to five friends or family members.

Airline Incidental Credit Harder to Use

We know gift cards no longer count against the annual $200 airline incidental credit, so that benefit is somewhat harder to use. (Though not impossible. Remember, too, that cash balances on Pay with Miles tickets trigger the credit.)

Devalued Lounge Access

Amex is making it harder to use the Centurion Lounges — and thus devaluing their own benefit.

Bobby Van’s Steakhouse

Plus, my Chase Sapphire Reserve gives me a much better Priority Pass Select membership than either Platinum card. And Chase Ultimate Rewards allows cardholders to redeem points for cashback for at least one cent per point — something American Express doesn’t.

The Amex Platinum Retention Call

I phoned the number on the back of my Platinum card and told the automated service I wanted to cancel my account.

I was eventually routed to a nice gentleman who gave me the usual spiel: “Sorry to hear you want to cancel,” “Is there a problem with the card or your relationship with Amex?” etc.

He talked up the PayPal statement credit and went over the benefits.

I told him about the redundancy in benefits, high annual fee, and the fact I wasn’t able to use any lounge access in the past year.

He understood. I told him that if there were any incentive for me to keep the card, I’d be willing to listen.

Well, whaddya know?

He offered me two options:

  • 30,000 Membership Rewards points to keep the card open
  • Spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within the next three months and receive a $300 statement credit

I went with the 30,000 Membership Rewards points. I don’t know that I’ll spend $2,000 on my Platinum card within the next three months. And because of the 35% Pay With Points rebate on my Business Platinum card, I can stretch those 30,000 MRs into more value.

So I’ll keep the card at least another year.

Have You Made a Retention Call on Your Amex Platinum?

Please let us know in the below Comments section if you’ve made a retention call on your Amex Platinum card — and what, if anything, you were offered.

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.

10 Comments

  1. I called and was only given the 30,000 point option. I took it. Glad I read this post this morning and gave it a shot!

  2. I called last month, before the payment including annual fee was due. I was offered a $200 credit on $1500 spend in 90 days or 20,000 MR. Took the MR.
    I read just today that a reader on the FB AmEx Platinum group called and pushed for retention on all cards simultaneously…though it reads a bit far-fetched, as does the card holder of exactly one year pushing and getting a retention bonus. But it could have happened…

  3. I just tried the ‘Are there any incentives you can offer me BEYOND what I know comes with Delta Reserve (companion ticket, Sky Club access and now AmEx lounge access, Delta AmEx offers when logged into the AmEx web server)?’ and either I wasn’t asking the question in plain English like I wrote and like you did above, or they just don’t care anymore, as I effectively got a flat “NO”. The lady kept going back to the ‘well, there are the AmEx ‘offers’ (and not at all the retention offers like you mention above) and I kept saying ‘no, what kind of RETENTION offers do you have for me for the $550 that I need to pay in the next couple of weeks???’ and I got nothing.

    • I’d wait until a day or two before your payment is due — and then try again. If you don’t get an answer you like, HUCB. It’s possible there aren’t any retention offers for your account. But you might as well try it again.

  4. Thanks for the snappy and good response Chris! I’m fine with calling back several times until I get the answer I want, and I’ll wait until closer to the due date (11Apr).

    • My pleasure, Dave! I let the account rep talk for a while about the card is great, etc (because everyone loves to be heard, right?). But unless he/she proactively gives me a retention offer, I tell them to cancel the card. Then they start reading the (long) disclaimer they must give before asking your consent to close the account. Somewhere during that, I’ll do the “Excuse for a second. Will you give me any incentive such as a retention offer or spending challenge to keep the card?”

      If they say no, then it’s up to you. You may wish to cancel (and I have several times), downgrade, or keep the card.

      Let us know what happens!

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