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.
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.
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.
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.