Turning Down An AA Biz Card Retention Offer

AAdvantage CitiBusiness VisaDisclosure: 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.

It seems like every month I have another Citi American Airlines credit card’s annual fee come up. I’m not complaining, I consider myself lucky to have been approved for so many AA cards over the years!

For 2014, I’ve already received two Citi Executive AAdvantage cards which come with an amazing 100,000 bonus miles each. If you haven’t already taken advantage of this offer, you can still do so by applying here. (The card comes with a pricey $450 annual fee but after a $200 statement credit you are really only paying $250.)

Back in January I received $10 Profit + Up To 16,000 Bonus Miles to keep my Citi AA American Express card open. Then in February I was offered a couple of options to keep my Citi AA Visa card open.

Now the $75 annual fee has come up for my CitiBusiness AA Visa card which means it was time for another retention call to see what offers were available.

After briefly speaking to the Citi rep I was connected with a retention specialist who just may have been one of the friendliest that I’ve ever dealt with.

She went over my account and highlighted the benefits I had received upon sign up- 50,000 bonus miles, a lounge pass and $150 statement credit. She then told me that they never waive the fee as it goes to cover those and other card benefits.

I then mentioned how I don’t get much use from the card and tend to put my spend on cards which offer a variety of category bonuses. She understood the desire to save money and went ahead to look up some offers to entice me to keep the card.

Here were my options:

  1. I could earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in six months but I would still have to pay the annual fee.
  2. A $25 statement credit.
  3. I could go ahead and just close the account.

I decided immediately to go ahead and close my account.

Option 2 wasn’t even a consideration- a $25 statement credit is definitely a waste and Option 1, in my opinion was nothing to brag about.

10,000 bonus miles sounds like a decent chunk of miles to receive but I could just charge $1,000 per month on Amazon Payments for 5 months (on one of the other cards which currently have bonus offers) to easily earn the same amount of miles for free.

I coud also buy pre-paid cards which would cost me just a little more for the same 10,000 miles so why would I pay the fee to keep this card open?

In the end I’d say that Citi’s offer to keep my American Airlines personal cards open are much better (although not great) than what I was offered to keep open my business card.

I miss the good old days of calling in to close a Citi AA card. I’d usually get an offer of 2,500- 3,000 miles with no strings attached to keep a card open. This was always a no brainer. Accept the offer and call back a few months later to close the card!

What do you think about the retention offer that I received from Citi? You know my thoughts, what would you do?

You can add up to 40,000 miles to your American Airlines account by getting a U.S. Airways Premier World Mastercard. Once AA & US Air are fully merged, your Dividend Miles will merge with your AAdvantage account.

5 thoughts on “Turning Down An AA Biz Card Retention Offer

  1. had citibiz card since 2001- only perk from card was earning AA miles- so i called to cancel it and they offered me a bonus of 2500 additional miles if i charge $2500 per month for the next 16 cycles. I don’t need to hit the 2500 threshold each month but when i do will earn the additional 2500 miles. if i hit the threshold (which i may) monthly then that’ll be 80K miles in 16 months.

  2. What I’ve done in the past is call a few months before the fee is assessed. If the best offer they have is spend $5k, get 10k bonus (total of 15k/triple miles), I will usually take it. Then when or before the fee is assessed, I cancel.

  3. Paul- The offer was not horrible, just not good enough to keep my card open for. I have enough American cards currently open and would rather downsize. When it comes to ofice supply spend, that all goes on the Ink!

    ATLJason- For 25K I would’ve been happy to keep my account open! I am guessing that due to your partner’s annual fee being a bit further off, Citi had this other offer.

  4. My partner and I both had this same card. I called last weekend to close mine and the agent offered me the same 10,000 miles offer that they offered you (I tried to talk her into 25,000 but she wouldn’t budge). I turned it down and closed the account. My partner called 2 days later and they offered him 1,000 miles just to keep it open! The annual fee is not due for several months so of course he said yes. Not sure why different offers get extended to different people.

  5. Assuming VRs, you’d pay $40 in fees plus the $75AF = $115 for 15K AA = 0.76cpm. Not terrible but not great either. Can generate AA via MS all day long at that cost. About only benny of Biz is 2x at office supply. Doing Plink et al could be worth it if you needed AA.

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