American Express Platinum Retention Offer – Did I Keep or Cancel It?

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American Express Platinum Retention Offer

American Express Platinum Retention Offer

The annual fee on my American Express Platinum card hit my bill a few weeks ago.  Since I was flying Delta this past weekend I waited until a few days before the payment was due to cancel my card.  I wanted to squeeze out one more lounge trip before shutting it down.  I was semi hoping for one of those 30,000 MR retention offers I have heard about but wasn’t really expecting much.

Why I Wanted to Cancel

I have the Ameriprise Financial version which comes with no sign up but you get it fee free for the first year.  Plus, you can add up to 3 authorized users for free for the first year.  With Delta charging $29 per guest for lounge entry I thought that was a nice perk.  I had been rotating who has the platinum card over the last few years with my wife. We each got in on a 100k offer for the standard version and then moved on to the Ameriprise version.  My plan was to get my wife the Ameriprise version and add myself as an AU to keep our cost down.

The annual fee, plus the AU fee, came out to a whopping $725.  I get nowhere near that amount of value out of this card, and I was not very happy with the $100 fee increase with the Uber “perk” being added on.  I also do not have a lot of Delta travel booked over the next twelve months , at least for now, so I was 100% sure I would cancel.

American Express Platinum Retention Offer

Making the Call

When I called in I got connected pretty quickly with a very energetic rep.  She asked me why I wanted to quit etc. and then went over some ideas to get the bill down.  Her first suggestion was to remove the authorized users, or downgrade them to gold cards, and eliminate the $175 fee.  Then she offered to downgrade it to the Premium Rewards Gold card, even though I closed mine this past June.  Once she figured out I had the Ameriprise version she said I could only downgrade it to the Ameriprise Gold card, which I already have.

After jumping through these hoops she finally came out with the retention offers.  The first one, which happened to be the best one, was for 5,000 Membership Reward points now and another 10,000 after spending $2000 in the next 3 months.  I asked if there were any other offers and she said the only other one was for a $100 statement credit.

Crunching the Numbers

After hearing the retention offer my wheels started spinning and I started crunching the numbers.  I would remove the AU’s to get the annual fee down to $550 per year. 15,000 MR points are worth $225 to me (1.5 cents a piece).  I would get another $200 airline travel credit Jan 1 which I value at $180.  That gets me up to $405 in value. I would guess I use the Uber credit around once a quarter, on average, which increases my value to $450.

Now the question is would I be willing to pay $100 for 5x earning on flights and the lounge access?  I also starting thinking about Amex threatening people who close a lot of cards. After considering everything I decided that I would accept the offer.  Then the rep asked if I wanted a metal replacement card sent out and I gladly accepted.

My Plan Going Forward

I am still considering downgrading the Platinum card to the Ameriprise Financial Gold version after I use the airline fee credit in January.  This would get me a chunk of the annual fee back. With American Express eliminating prorated annual fees a year ago downgrading is the only option outside of 30 days to recoup some of your money. Then I would have my wife sign up for her own American Express Ameriprise Platinum and add me as an AU.  I will make that decision after the first of the year…and a lot will depend on if the Ameriprise Gold card is still around at that time.

Conclusion

I was 100% planning on canceling this card when I called in.  I decided to call in vs canceling via chat just in case they had a decent offer to extend me. Canceling via chat may not be an option for the Platinum cards anyways.

I think I will get enough value out of the retention offer, cardmember perks, amex offers, and lounge access to make it worth the $550 this time around.  I may even be able to recoup some of that cost by downgrading down the road.

 

Have you gotten any good American Express retention offers lately?  Would you have accepted my offer?

 

 


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32 COMMENTS

    • I will use it for Southwest gift cards which I can buy at 10% off from eBay often so I think that is it’s true value.

      • Glad to hear not everyone drinks the face value koolaid. Personally I would value the airline credit even less than 90%. Although as you say you CAN buy Southwest giftcards at 90% of face value, you don’t have to. With the $200 travel credit you are basically being forced to. That lack of flexibility discounts the value further, and there’s no guarantee these methods will work in the future. I would value the $200 travel credit at about 80% of face value. I still have hundreds of dollars tied up in various airline GC/credits from last year, so there is a cost for that.

        What data points do you have regarding “Amex threatening people who close a lot of cards”? My Amex plat anniversary is coming up, as well as delta plat and SPG, and I’m planning on cancelling all of them without significant retention offers, so I’m curious what the repercussions could be.

        • I agree you need to take into account you are essentially giving a fee free loan. I plan on using them to visit my parents shortly after buying them so that is why I didn’t discount it more.

          It is now in their terms:
          If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome bonus offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome bonus offer (s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it;

          I think this is their next step…busting people who close cards right when the AF is due. I am probably being over cautious but it is something I am considering when making my decisions.

  1. I have the Bus. Platinum and do plan to keep but will try for the retention bonus when time rolls around. A few months ago I got a thing from Amex that said if spent $5000 I would get 50,000 points. Then another one pops up that said spend $1000 and get 10,000 points. It is worth it to me to just get these kind of emails and grab those points easily.

    • My dad got that exact offer, I didn’t. We have both had it for <1 year. Before he offer, he spent a little more on his card than I did. I would have loved to get this offer.

    • Correction, it was 40K for $5000 and 10K for a 2nd one time use of the card. I did the $5000 on Oct. 10 and the points were there on the 12th for both of those. Just got to pay that bill by November.

  2. I just called for retention offer after my $550 AF posted a couple weeks ago. I don’t ride Uber too much, but I do use their “Eats” app frequently. I usually buy Uber gift cards for 90% whenever they show up, and the decreased of flexibility of the AMEX Uber credits have me valuing that at a little less, $170. The airline credit is $180 to me. I was offered 10K MR, which is valued at about $150 to me. So total value of benefits and retention is $500. So are the other AMEX perks worth $50 to me? I think so, but not sure. I get some of my best AMEX Offers on this card, but I could probably replace it with another MR card and get similar offers. I also have the AMEX Business Plat (anniv in Dec), but I will probably cancel that one if I don’t get a good retention offer. I told the AMEX rep I would think about it.

    • I personally would keep the business version since the fee is lower and the 35% points back perk. But I don’t value the uber credit as highly as others would.

      Definitely a tough decision!

      • Yeah, the 35% refund is nice. But without a strong offer, that benefit isn’t worth THAT much to me (maybe $50-100 tops). Also, I tend to get better offers on personal Plat than Business Plat.

        • Good points – I would think they would give larger retention offers on the biz version just because most would have more spend.

  3. When downgrading to the Ameriprise Gold version, is there an AF? I currently have the plat, but the yr 2 AF is due soon.

    • Yes there is a $160 annual fee probably not worth keeping long term and I wouldn’t pay except for downgrade purposes to recoup some of the Plat AF. The earning on that card is:

      2x on flights booked directly with airlines
      2x on U.S. restaurants
      1x on all other purchases

      • Thank you Mark. I recently got a 2nd Ameriprise plat in anticipation of the AF, so taking that in combination with a $160 AF for the gold version, I’ll definitely just cancel once the AF is due.

  4. When my AF first posted, I called and the best offer was a $200 credit. I said I would cancel and rep recommended I transfer the MR points first before doing that. I also had 9K pts pending, from Amex offer earlier. I transferred all pts to Avios with their promo, and called back a day before AF was due and was ready to cancel. The best offer was now 5K pts immediately, with 15K pts after spending $3k in 3 mos. With the 9K pts still pending and valuing pts at 1.5 pp, I kept the card since I would be getting about $450 (29K pts total) in return. This is for personal Plat.

    • I think I have gotten points in the past that I earned after canceling (probably because of the month delay pay out) but it is tough to count on that. Not a bad offer and I would have kept it too.

    • That is what I was planning on happening for me. I wonder how they calculate these things. I have not put a ton of spend on mine outside of amex offers.

  5. I have the same card. I got it for free to run it next to my Citi Prestige Card and compare value. I won’t ever get the value out of the $550 fee of the Amex. I certainly get the $200 in airline credits. I might use $100 of uber credits. I might get to use the lounges a few times this year so I will see how that goes. Even with hotel status i dont see it eben being ckose to breakeven.

    For now, the Citi Prestige is a clear winner. Easier to us $250 airline credit, 4th night free (I used it twice in one trip when we did 4 days at Disneyland and 4 days in Huntington beach) and I’ve saved $160 with their price match guarantee. I absolutely make money with this card.

    • Yeah if you have paid nights of 4 days or more then the Prestige is hard to beat. I rarely have paid stays of more than a day or two. If you get a 30k retention offer for the platinum would you keep it?

      • For as long as it is free or near free, I would keep it. So, a 30,000 point offer would probably get me to keep it. I highly doubt that I will get it with this card because I don’t use it for anything except uber and airline credits (my current bill is $97 and it is all uber from our last trip). The Citi points system is the same or better for me on everything except flights (3x points and 4th night free is a more immediate value to me on hotels) and I usually use points for flights.

        We do get the 100,000 point offers from amex from time to time though. If I cancelled the Amp Amex I might take advantage of that in the future.

        How do you go about not having paid stays longer than 1 or 2 days?

        • I almost exclusively use points on my stays. The random one night stay for $1-150 or for a promo etc. is the only time I pay cash. I usually line up a sign up for an Arrival+ or Cap One Venture card type if it is a non points hotel stay to cover the cost.

  6. Last week I was offered 10k to keep the card another year. I accepted that offer but still have an issue about the amount of the annual fee because my anniversary was In August just before renewals were to be charged the higher AF.

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