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Two Terrible Upgrade Offers: One From Chase & One From Citi
One thing American Express does better than anyone is upgrade offers. It doesn’t appear that Chase and Citi have figured it out really. I guess they think their cards are so good that a tempting offer isn’t needed, they think the card speaks for itself. In one case I did take a less than compelling offer, for the World of Hyatt card, because the card was that good. But for these latest offers I don’t see what they are thinking.
Citi ThankYou Preferred to ThankYou Premier Offer
My wife received an offer on her Citi ThankYou Preferred card to the ThankYou Premier card. The offer – a waived annual fee for upgrading. No points for moving over, no spending offer, just a waived $95 annual fee.
This is a pass for me because the ThankYou Preferred card has the best ThankYou points spending offers. Like the recent one that gets 10X points on almost everything. If I upgraded her to the Premier card most of that would go to the wayside. The Premier does have a better earning structure overall but they are overshadowed by our other cards. So the categories are somewhat worthless for me.
The only time I could see it making sense is if you had a lot of ThankYou points in your account and you wanted to unlock transfer partners. But if it has been over 24 months then sign up for the card with a welcome offer. If you wanted to avoid the hard pull for the sake of Chase 5/24 status then maybe it would make sense to upgrade. Or if you recently downgraded the card to the Preferred to avoid the annual fee and you could now upgrade it and avoid the fee another year. But those options are going to be rare occasions in my opinion.
IHG Premier Upgrade Offer
As bad as the ThankYou Premier upgrade offer was Chase beat Citi on a race to the bottom. My wife was offered…NOTHING. Just the pleasure of holding the more expensive Premier card was her reward. I have already told you why I will NEVER upgrade our IHG Mastercard but they could have made it interesting with a competent offer.
They even click baited the crap out of it….earn 25X with the new card (but 15X of it comes from your status so…)
Guess what, I already have Platinum status with the IHG Mastercard. That means she would only be getting an extra 5X per dollar on paid stays versus the old card.
If you had a ton of paid stays with IHG, hopefully they are work stays or let’s talk about your choices, then this could make sense. But you would be better off applying for the Chase IHG Premier card outright since the perks of the two cards stack! But if you were over 5/24 status then it could make sense for you. You would need to spend over $1,333.33 every year on cash stays to make up the $40 difference in the annual fee increase.
Credit card providers want you holding the more expensive products for sure. Larger annual fees add to their bottom line. But without a proper offer to make the leap there is no reason to take them up on it. Unless you fall into one of the very limited scenarios I listed above you should give these a hard pass when they reach your inbox.
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.