My Recent Citi Retention Call – 2 Offers Including One on a Relatively New Card!

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citi prestige retention aadvantage
Photo courtesy of Plantronics Germany.

I have written quite a bit about Citi’s retention offers this year. They have been fairly generous with offers on a number of cards, but specifically the ones that earn ThankYou points. For example, my wife was given 3X everywhere on ThankYou Preferred cards twice this year.

Yesterday I had to call Citi to discuss my AAdvantage Platinum Visa card. I have had this card open since 2012 and have managed to get the annual fee waived each of the past two years. On the call I discussed both the AAdvantage Visa card and my Citi Prestige which has been opened for only 4 months. Here is what happened.

Related: Full Guide to Citi Retention

AAdvantage Visa Retention

citi prestige retention aadvantage

I called the number on the back of the card and thankfully the system recognized everything. When I said I wanted to cancel, I was transferred immediately to a retention specialist. This seems to be a huge improvement over the ways things worked before. Their automated system has definitely improved.

Once the specialist was on the phone, I told her I was thinking about cancelling because of the annual fee. She then placed me on a brief hold while she looked to see what offers were available. Unfortunately there weren’t any credits available, but there was an offer of 3,000 AAdvantage miles. I pushed to see if she could do better and she insisted that was the only offer.

I have a couple of more days to decide before the annual fee is due. This card has been open three years and I would like to keep it going. 3,000 AAdvantage miles do have some worth too, however I have a lot of miles. For me the most important consideration is Citi’s 18 month rule. If I close this card now I believe it will disqualify me from getting an AAdvantage Platinum MC for another 18 months. That is not something that I would like to have happen.

Citi Prestige Retention

citi prestige retention aadvantage

When the AAdvantage card was settled, I asked if she would look at my Prestige card. It has only been open for 4 months,  but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. Unfortunately I forgot that Prestige is handled by a different department and before I knew it she placed me on hold and had transferred me to another agent.

The first agent had told the second agent I was going to cancel which is not what I said. After straightening things out, I explained that I was thinking over which Citi cards to keep in the long term and wanted to know about offers on the Prestige. At first she was confused since the card is new (I never would have done this had I known I would have to talk to a second person), but we talked about the card’s earnings and she offered this:

  • Earn 4X bonus points per dollar on air & hotel spend during the next 6 months. (35K cap.)

OR

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after $3K spend in 6 months.

This was a tough decision, but I ultimately decided to take the offer for 10,000 points. I am not sure I will have $2,500 in direct hotel and air spending during the next 6 months (the breakeven) and I like the idea of hitting the $3,000 spend threshold and then moving on. The less long term tracking I have to do the better.

Conclusion

While I generally am not a huge fan of calling in to banks, sometimes it is unavoidable, so I try to make the most of each call. I am still on the fence about whether or not to keep the AAdvantage Visa card. While the 3,000 miles aren’t of huge interest to me, I don’t want to disqualify myself from picking up more miles from a future application. Either way, I am glad to have picked up a nice little bonus on the Prestige, which makes the call ultimately worth it.


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15 COMMENTS

  1. From getting/using/canceling/churning for 5 successful years, I don’t understand the practical strategy of keeping cards that some day you might want to get again for the bonus. It’s intuitive that some remove from ownership of the card is required to get the card again (in 90% of the cases). In some instances the issuer directly states a timeframe away. So why not start that clock pretty much as soon as you can, and certainly prior to paying any annual fee?

    I’ve had 75 accounts opened and 60 closed in the past 5 years. My credit score is in the 815’s across all 3 bureaus, and the only time I was ever denied for a reapplication on a card I already had in the past (when there were no stated rules), was a Barclay’s Lufthansa card.

    What’s clear to me is that the acquisition side of these businesses is incentivized differently from the account profitability side.

    • How many months do u typically wait ro reapply once you cancel a card (after waiting out the mandatory 24 month or 18 month etc)?

      • It depends on your overall goals, but many people have applied right at the 18 month mark and have been approved. As a more specific data point, my wife recently was approved for a 2nd HHonors Reserve 20 months after opening the first one.

    • I know that is what some have said, but last year I had an experience where closing an AA Executive card had that effect. I do believe based on my understanding of the rules that you are correct, however their enforcement has not been entirely consistent.

  2. Doesn’t the prestige earn 3x points on hotel & airfare anyway? In which case, you’d need $10k spend to break even with the $10k offer. You probably made the right choice.

  3. I have Citi TY preferred 2 yr old, i received another targeted offer for 30k points. Can i have multiple citi cards of same type or if I producy change existing card will i be eligible for new TY pref?

    • You can get another bonus if you haven’t opened or closed an existing card within the past 18 months. If you product change the ThankYou Preferred then it will be 18 months before you can get it again. It is best to get a second ThankYou Preferred and then product change since that works within the rules.

      • Do you know of any link that lists credit cards you can have more than one of (or conversely which you are only allowed to have one of)? For instance I was considering applying for a second Sallie Mae MasterCard when I heard they were discontinuing it. I ultimately didn’t apply for a second one.

  4. I called in August to cancel my AA Platinum MC and was offered a $95 statement credit for $95 spending and also 1K miles for each of the next 16 months that I spend $1K+.

    On the same call, I asked about my AA Exec which had only been opened a month, and was offered 15K miles for $5K spending in 3 months.

    I accepted both offers.

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