American Express Business Platinum Retention Call Results

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Business Platinum Retention Call

Amex Business Platinum Retention Call

Retention calls are part of the points & miles game, because the goal is to reduce or eliminate annual fees to reduce our costs on earning points from cards. When annual fees roll around, part of the strategy is a “retention call”. This is where you see what the bank will offer you for keeping the card/paying the fee, instead of closing the card. My annual fee just hit on the American Express Business Platinum card, and I’d hoped for much more than I got on this call.

Background

With the increase in fee, loss of easy routes for using the $200 airline reimbursement credits, and everything else in the wallet adding up on fees, it’s no surprise people are reconsidering whether to keep this card. My annual fee posted last week, so I called in saying I was thinking about canceling the Amex Business Platinum Card, due to the increase of fee for benefits I don’t see myself using.

Business Platinum Retention Call

My Business Platinum retention call

When I called and said I was thinking about canceling the card, I was immediately connected to a retention specialist. She tried to tell me the increase in fee is because of more benefits, but I pointed out that I won’t be using a majority of them. I was hoping to get a good offer to match the increased fee (such as reducing the fee or a good amount of points). Otherwise, I wanted to downgrade to avoid making Amex mad about closing cards, since that’s part of their decision process on whether you can get bonuses.

I received the following offer:

  • Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points immediately for keeping the card
  • Must make $3,000 worth of purchases over the next 3 months to get 5,000 more points

Basically, I could spend $3,000 on the card in 90 days to get 10,000 points. Also, I’d need to pay the $595 annual fee.

What’s the value of the Business Platinum card’s benefits?

With Amex cracking down on opening/closing cards in a short time span, I try to avoid closing cards. However, I don’t think this is a good offer. Here’s the value I see in this card:

  • 10,000 Membership Rewards points – $150 (valued at 1.5 cents each)
  • Airline Incidental Credit – $50 (unlikely I’ll get full value out of this, now that gift cards don’t work)
  • Dell Credit – $25 (I can get some stuff I don’t really need for free, so this is a low value to me)

I see super low or even no value on many of the other benefits. Why? I won’t use many of them (Private Jet Collection, Global Dining Collection, etc.). Also, I have things like Priority Pass already, and I get the same or higher hotel status in other ways. For me, the total value here is $225, but I need to pay $595 to get it. That’s a loss. In this game, there’s always a mentality of ‘get as many points as possible’, but not when it’s a bad deal. I’ll need to try again on this one.

Final thoughts

I’m going to wait a week and call again to see if I can get a better offer. 10,000 points while paying a higher fee and losing means of offsetting the fee isn’t a good deal . If this is the best I can get, I’ll likely downgrade the card, rather than close / cancel. This might keep them happy and avoid issues with welcome offers in the future. Avoiding fees and reducing costs while maximizing points is the ultimate strategy. I’d love to have 10,000 Amex Membership Rewards, but not if this is the cost.

Overall, this is a great card, and I recommend getting it if targeted for a good offer, but it’s definitely been devalued.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

20 COMMENTS

  1. @Ryan There are situations where booking the fare via AMEX is worth it with the 3% rebate. One example is the domestic First or Business class. Especially if you can find a decent cash price and often those have a much higher points cost with the airliens (if they even offer the flight on points). Again its a use case thing. There are also some situations where an international business class fare can work out better this way for the same reasons.

    • Ah, haven’t looked at that. I only fly biz for long trips with my wife. Solo or short distance, I fly econ.

  2. You make some good points as always. My use case is a little different than you. I expect to keep the card but will call anyway when the fee is up.

  3. I am confused…you say you will likely downgrade the card or close it and not cancel it. What is the difference between closing and cancelling a card? Thank you

  4. So are you really thinking of cancelling or just a ploy for more points? After all your income from the blog comes directly from cc companies etc. Mine is 20 years in my pocket and will stay there also we use on corporately with 70 to 100k monthly spend so we enjoy all the benefits. I turned the Centurion Card down that one was a bit much. Having said all that the Sapphire Reserve is my go to card and has been since it started. It’s benefits are as good if not better in the private world, corporately AMEX PLT

    • For me, I’m an independent contractor at my work, and that’s why my wife and I set up an LLC. We don’t put a ton of spend on this card, honestly. A lot of the benefits on this card do nothing for me, so I really will cancel the card if the benefits don’t outweigh the fee. The WeWork benefit, the Dell benefit, the rental car & luxury clothes & private jets…probably 80% of the benefits of the card don’t offer me anything I find substantive in my life. If I wasn’t thinking about closing it, I wouldn’t write an article saying I was. I have nothing to gain in writing an article about ‘thinking about closing a card but I’m actually not.’ 🙂

      • Dozens of bloggers have written about exactly that – and keep the card because of XYZ reason.

        I just canceled my Biz Plat last week – didnt even bother with my usual retention call. And since there isn’t a no-fee downgrade option, just wanted it gone. Will likely reapply whenever there’s no lifetime language.

        Amex is doing a bang-up job pushing my spend to the competition when all I used to carry was Amex cards. Dumb penny-pinching move.

  5. @Ryan, Just curious, does the 35% points refund affect your thinking? Equals a little over $.015 per MR. This is why I’ll probably keep mine at the upcoming anniversary (with 1mm points, I like having that option). Ymmv.

    • Jeepie – it actually doesn’t, because that’s only when you cash out your points through Amex Travel and not when you transfer them to an airline directly. I find that I’ll get better use of my points through transfer than doing it in Amex Travel and getting 35% back.

      • 35% Airline Bonus‡
        Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year.*

        *Eligible fares include First and Business Class tickets with all airlines available through American Express Travel, as well as any fare class with your selected qualifying airline.‡

        • Right, you have to use the Amex Travel site for that. Those are based on the cash price of a fare. Getting 35% back against a cash price is not as good as transferring your points directly to the airline. Thus, that benefit is quite meaningless for most people. It only works against cash price-based Amex Travel site. Have you actually used it?

          • Yes, I’ve used it to buy a well-priced Biz ticket along with IAP fare. Nice when there’s little award availability or you want specific flights. But, I admit I’m not expert on airline transfers. Cheers.

  6. Justs did the retention thing on my Amex regular Plat. (Used to be a Benz plat) Told them where I live the Uber credit is mkstly worthless, the airline credit not much use since I have airlines. Kept asking over and over what deal could they offer to keep me. Finally got a $300 statement credit for $3000 spend over 90 days and took that. Just keep telling them how it isn’t worth what you pay but you’ll keep the card if they make it worthwhile. HUCA if you need to.

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