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.
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.
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!).
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:
- Business Platinum Card
- Delta Reserve for Business American Express Card
- personal Delta Platinum American Express Card
- American Express Gold Card
That’s a lot of annual fees right there.
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’.)
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.
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.
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