Shot Down: Amex Platinum Retention Offer

amex platinum cardBack in January 2013 I started a two-year relationship with the American Express Platinum card. We got off to a rough start and I had to make many calls and write a couple of letters before Amex did the right thing and gave me my 100,000 points.

I never intended to keep my card open for two full years but a retention offer &  an additional retention bonus along with hopes of a generous Membership Rewards transfer bonus offer made me do it.

In the two years that I’ve had the card, I earned 100,000 Membership Rewards points as my sign up bonus , 6,000 more points from a retention call and also received $700 in airline gift cards thanks to the annual airline fee credit ($600 from the fee credit and $100 from an additional retention call).

I’ve also visited a couple of the Amex Centurion Lounges (Las Vegas & LaGuardia), stopped by some Priority Pass lounges, used free Boingo internet a couple of times and taken advantage of Small Business Saturday and some Amex offers.

In the end I’d say the money spent on the annual fee for two years was covered….

A big bonus never materialized until late 2014. I debated whether or not I should transfer my Amex points to BA when a 40% offer came up. I then waited a few weeks before pulling the trigger, transferring 128,000 Membership Rewards points to 179,000+ Avios.

Just after transferring my points, I noticed a charge on my card for the $450 annual fee. I knew that this would be the end for the Platinum Card taking up a slot in my wallet.

I called American Express about closing my card but hoped they would offer me some sort of bonus to stick with it. (Deep down I knew this was way too unlikely considering I put such little spend on the card.)

To get my account closed I had to speak with two reps.

The first rep confirmed my account details and asked why I wanted to close my card before transferring me to another department.

Rep 2 was as nice and friendly as could be. I explained how I wanted to close the card and I then heard a minute or two’s worth of card benefits details.

I said that I still wanted to close the card. As the rep was getting ready to complete the account closure I decided to ask about retention offers to keep my card open.

The rep reminded me of the 6,000 bonus points + $100 extra statement credit that I received last year. She said that if the card still wasn’t working for me, then maybe it was time to close or switch to another card. (This was all done in a professional and friendly way. I don’t want this to sound like the rep was not nice, she really was.)

After I told the rep that I’d still like to close the card, she got it done for me in another 30 seconds.

Before hanging up, I was told that they would love to have me back as a platinum card holder in the future! (I’d love to if only I could get a big sign up bonus again. I’ll be on the lookout for an offer for the Platinum Business card in a few months from now.)

And that’s how my relationship with American Express Platinum ended.

5 thoughts on “Shot Down: Amex Platinum Retention Offer

  1. You gave up too easily. Amex requires 13 months before they’ll offer another retention bonus. So just wait a month after your anniversary and try again (Amex gives full AF refunds for 60 days after anniversary) – there’s nothing to lose by waiting 13 months.

  2. augias- I did use the card, just not so much during the second year! lol You are right but I have no interest in getting a card with a $450 annual fee unless it is coming with a big bonus to make it worthwhile.

  3. sounds like all you did was cost them money – I bet they’re breathing a sigh of relief to be rid of you! Also, for personal AMEX cards it’s now one bonus for each card during your lifetime. You’ll be able to get the card again for sure, but without bonus.

  4. Student- No, I didn’t have to transfer all of the points. I also have a Business Gold card. I was also offered the option to change it to a card with a lower fee but refused.

  5. You didn’t have to transfer all the Membership Points out right? You could keep them through the no annual fee Amex Everyday Card ..

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