Another Citi AA Retention Offer: What Were My Options?

Citi AA Visa

Disclosure: I receive a commission if you apply & get approved for the credit card mentioned at the bottom of this post. Thank you for supporting Michael W Travels.

In recent months I’ve written about retention offers that I’ve received for a couple of credit cards.

Back in January I received $10 Profit + Up to 16,000 Bonus Miles to keep my Citi AA American Express card. Earlier this month I called up American Express regarding the annual fee on my Platinum Card. Find out what I was offered here and also check out the update here.

So now the fee has come up on yet another one of my Citi AA credit cards- the Visa variety.

I decided to call in to see if there was any retention offers available to me.

Here is the info that I received:

Rep 1: After explaining my  problem with paying a fee, the rep was quick to tell me that she could not waive it and they never do. She then suggested that I go with a card offering the Thank You program or switch to the no fee Citi AA Bronze card which only gives 1 mile per $2 spent!

I wasn’t interested in any of her suggestion and mentioned how I’ve had fees on Citi AA cards waived in the past. I then asked if there was someone else to speak with regarding my situation.

She then transferred me to an account specialist to further discuss closing my account.

Rep 2: The rep in the retention department seemed to be much friendlier, more knowledgeable and understanding. I guess that’s their job! I explained my concerns about the fee and also mentioned how lots of other cards offer better perks like category bonuses etc… The rep understood my concerns and then went on to tell me about all of the great perks that come with the Citi AA cards. He also said that the fee helped to cover the costs of these perks.

I was then placed on hold to see if there were any offers available.

After a brief hold I was given a couple of options.

  1. I received the exact same offer that I had received for my Citi AA Amex card last month: a $95 statement credit to keep my account open and for 16 billing cycles if I spend $1,000 or more, I would get an additional $1,000 miles.
  2. Get 3,000 bonus miles for keeping the account open (but I would still have to pay the $85 annual fee).

Of course I could also pick my own option and just close the account.

Option 2 was out of the question. I was definitely not going to pay $85 for 3,000 miles when I could buy pre-paid cards for under $25 to earn the same amount.

Now, do I close my account or accept the same offer that I already have on my Citi AA Amex?

I decided to accept the offer of option #1 although I am now thinking that I should’ve just closed my account. 

Why the change of heart? I can’t see taking advantage of the 1,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 per month. I already have this offer on another card and then there seems to always be a new card which needs minimum spends being met. With this scenario it won’t leave me much opportunity to earn those bonus miles!

What do you think- should I just keep my card open for now or call back and close it? Have any of you received a more generous retention offer from Citi?

In Other AA News:

7 thoughts on “Another Citi AA Retention Offer: What Were My Options?

  1. I would tend towards just keeping it open. If you can’t do the $1000 in a month then no big deal – just miss out on that month. You don’t have to meet the $1000 in ALL 16 billing cycles, right?

    That seems to be the best of both worlds, in my book

    1. You don’t have to spend $1,000 per month. For the months that you do hit the spend, you get the 1,000 points bonus. I already have the offer on one AA card so now I have it on two, that’s the reason I was thinking of calling back to close!

  2. So effectively it’s a no-fee card for the next year for you. If you do decide to spend on it, you will get the bonus miles.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t close the card since I would not be paying anything out of pocket to keep it.

  3. I’ve had a card for ~18 months, i got the same retention (no fee, $1k + 1k miles for 16 cycles). Its not too bad to remember to pull it out of my wallet, since it’s 2 miles per $1. But if I can close & churn that’s better. Is 18 months a safe bet?

  4. Where’s the dilemma here? Of course you keep the card. If you can’t MS $1K a month without even thinking about it, you’re in the wrong game. What other AA card gets you 2 miles per $ with no AF? And since AA won’t let you get a new signup bonus for minimum of 18 months (many say 24+), you aren’t losing anything by holding on.

  5. Paul – It’s only 2 miles/$ for American Airlines spend. Its 1 mile/$ for everything else, so unless there’s some trick I’m unaware for for MF that turns AA tickets back into cash, its mostly a 1 mile/$ card like everything else.

    I don’t actually know the new rules for Citi AA. But I suspect that if you want to churn the card it doesn’t matter if you already have one. Course if you end up on the phone with a person, it can always matter, so maybe closing it is the right course of action.

  6. KP- That was my first thought but I already have the offer with one AA card and am not sure it pays to keep 2 for the retention offer.

    DJ- 18-24 months used to be the rule most went by, I’m not so sure anymore. To be honest, when 18 months was what everyone reported, I still managed to open AA cards each year without waiting- I didn’t keep track prior to 2011. In 2011 I got 4 (AA) cards, 2012-2 and last year 3.

    Paul- I had mentioned that I got the same retention offer on another Citi AA card in January. I don’t follow the rules that others report (See the comment above) although now Citi does seem to be getting much more strict. The thing I lose by holding too many Citi AA cards is the future potential for new accounts at some point.

    I think that I’m doing just fine with this “game”. I churned well over 1 million AA miles from Citi cards & have LT Gold thanks to the sign up bonuses.

    Glenn- 2 miles per dollar is the retention offer- spend $1000 or more get 1,000 bonus miles. The rules have changed with Citi within the last 6 months or so. No more double browser trick, having Citi cards open will hurt your chances for new ones, especially since I have 4-5 right now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *