Tripling Up Citi Retention & Great Offers on ThankYou & AAdvantage Cards

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Citi Retention AAdvantage and ThankYou Premier
Photo by Plantronics Germany.

Citi Retention AAdvantage and ThankYou Premier

Related: Full Guide to Citi Retention – Answers to all of your questions & how to get the best offers!

Yesterday I wrote about my retention offer on the Citi Prestige card and how it enticed me to keep that product for another year despite the hefty $350 annual fee. While I was on that call, I decided to ask the agent to look up a couple of my other accounts which have recently also been charged an annual fee. This is one of the best things about Citi retention since they often will look at as many cards as you wish.

On yesterday’s call, in addition to the Prestige we looked at offers for my four year old Citi AAdvantage Amex card which just recently had its annual fee charged. We also looked at my two year old ThankYou Premier card which has its fee coming due in January. My goal going into the call was to get an offer that would entice me to keep it.

Citi AAdvantage Amex Retention Offer

Citi Retention AAdvantage and ThankYou Premier

If you have never heard of an AAdvantage Amex from Citi then don’t worry. That product was discontinued quite some time ago, but it lives on in my credit card binder. I opened the card in November of 2012 by using the infamous two browser trick. Back then you could fill out two applications simultaneously in two browsers and get approved for both cards if you submitted your apps at the same time. The good old days!

Back in 2012 I opened this Amex card and a corresponding AAdvantage Visa. I closed the Visa card last year when I wasn’t given a retention offer, but every year Citi has come through with an offer on my Amex. As an Executive Platinum AAdvantage member I don’t need this card for the benefits, but I do want to keep it open since it helps my average age of accounts and also gets valuable Amex Offers.

Thankfully when I asked about this card while on the retention phone call, I was given the offer I wanted right away:

  • Spend $95 or more in new purchases over the next 3 months and get a $95 credit.

My AAdvantage card only has an annual fee of $85 (newer cards have a fee of $95), so I am actually profiting $10 by keeping this card. I have also earned about $200 in cash back over the past year thanks to utilizing this card for Amex Offers! 

Citi ThankYou Premier Retention Offers

Citi Retention AAdvantage and ThankYou Premier

My ThankYou Premier card has its annual fee due next month so I also decided to see what offers were available to entice me to keep it. This time there were a total of four available offers.

  • Option 1: 1K ThankYou points + a $95 statement credit after spending $1K per month for each of 3 months.
  • Option 2: $95 credit after $3K purchase in 3 months.
  • Option 3: $50 credit after 5 purchases of $10 or more.
  • Option 4: 10K ThankYou points after $3K in purchases over the next 6 months.

I value ThankYou points at 1.5 cents each, but I also look at the fact that they can be turned into cash a 1 cent each. That means the offers have the following value to me without factoring in spend:

  • Option 1: $105-$110 depending on points value
  • Option 2: $95
  • Option 3: $50
  • Option 4: $100 – $150 depending on points value

Clearly in my mind the decision was between options 1 & 4, although for me it was a no-brainer. I value simplicity and being able to spend $3K total without having to worry about which month it was spent in was a deciding factor. Option 4 it was!

I do want to mention that Option 3 was attractive as well. While it would not have covered my entire annual fee, the spend requirement was only $50 compared to $3K. Truthfully I can earn better rewards on that extra $2,950 in spend with another card, but the higher value of Option 4 offsets that for me. If I was someone who was struggling to meet spend, then I would have taken Option 3 without worry.

Conclusion

After about 10 minutes on the phone, I left with offers on three cards that I felt gave me enough value to offset the annual fee on those cards. While Citi has tightened on their bonuses and rules lately, thankfully the retention department is still going strong. Not only are the agents friendly and pleasant to deal with, but they come bearing gifts as well. I like that!

Are you interested in learning more about Citi retention? Please, see: Full Guide to Citi Retention – Answers to all of your questions & how to get the best offers!


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5 COMMENTS

  1. How to get to the retention dept? When I called last time for my AA Plantium card, the phone was automated system and I have to say that I wanted to close the card and then it could be automatically closed. No Human operators talked to me!

  2. That’s really interesting. When I called Citi they had no offer for me on my Citi Premier card with it’s $95 annual fee, yet I WAS offered your option #4 of 10k points after $3k purchases in 6 months on my Citi Preferred card, which I NEVER use and has NO annual fee. (I just got it for the initial 20k point sign up offer.) I am not sure I understand their logic but am happy to take their points.

  3. Shawn, Have you heard Citi closing down VISA and issuing MC? I got a letter saying they are closing my AAdvantage Visa card and account number and issuing a AAdvantage MC in its place. They did just issue me my replacement cards on my AAdvantage AMEX.

    Charles

    • They have done this with other products (switched them to MC), but I hadn’t heard about it for the AA card. It doesn’t surprise me since they seem to have moved to MC for all of their cards now.

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