When I’m not working on fulfilling minimum spends to earn bonuses on new credit cards, I tend to have a couple of (not so surprising) go- to cards. I try use a mixture of my SPG Amex’s and my Chase Ink cards as much as possible.
I currently have both the American Express personal and business SPG cards. When the annual fee recently came up for my business card, I had a big decision to make, keep it or close it?
Since I also have the personal card, keeping my business account open wasn’t so important.
I decided in advance that I was not going to pay any fee for my business card. Since Amex changed the rules and does not allow multiple sign-up bonuses anymore, (for the same product) I’d definitely want to keep my personal SPG open when the fee came up so I could still earn those valuable points.
I called the phone # on the back of my card and explained that I’d like to close my card. When asked why, I said it was a very simple reason- I do not like to pay fees!
The friendly American Express rep understood my reasoning and said that she would be able to help me in closing out my account. I then asked if there was any promotions or offers to help with the annual fee. She looked into my account and told me that she saw nothing for me… Bummer, I guess.
I decided to ask her about a retention department and soon got transferred there.
The retention specialist went over the usual pleasantries before getting down to business. I again explained the situation before being told how great SPG is. She went on to tell me how SPG has the best and most valuable points and that they are worth 3x the amount of Membership Rewards (or something to that extent).
I was then placed on a brief hold so she could check what options were available for me.
I was offered a $50 credit to help offset the fee. This would make my out-of-pocket cost for the card $15 for the year. This sounded reasonable but since I also have the personal card, I knew that I would turn it down.
I then asked if there was any other offers for me. I was then told that this was it. She said that Amex is not allowed to give out SPG points due to their terms with Starwood.
Now I don’t know if this is really true or not but either way, I told her to just go ahead and close my account.
She then started to read me the terms related to closing the account but then cut herself off and said “I’m not supposed to do this…”
She went on to explain how important I was to American Express, however I haven’t really put a ton of spend on this card. She then asked if I thought I could start putting more spend on it. I said sure not knowing if I really would or would not.
I was then offered a $100 loyalty statement credit to keep my account open! She said that $65 would cover this years fee and the extra $35 could go towards the following year.
With this new, generous offer on the table, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I have nothing to lose and at worse just earned $35!
Have you ever been offered a retention bonus for a SPG Amex card? If so what were you offered?