This left me with a decision to make: pay the annual fee, close the card or call in to try to get a retention bonus.
I typically don’t like to pay fees (who does?) but sometimes keeping a card and paying the fee can be more profitable than cancelling. One card that comes to mind is the IHG credit card. For $49 you can book a stay at any IHG property in the world, although that benefit is changing.
Each year you earn 5,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. The bonus greatly reduces the cost of the annual fee. And with the card offering free checked bags, if you fly just one roundtrip flight with the airline (and check a bag), you’ve just saved another $50.
Last year, I was offered 5,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 on my JetBlue Mastercard as a retention offer. While not a great offer, I accepted it. After earning both bonuses the card was essentially free.
I decided to call Barclaycard to see if I’d be offered another retention offer this year.
I called in and explained that I wanted to close my account. The rep was sorry to hear this and asked me why so I explained that I didn’t use the card much so it wasn’t worth paying almost $100.
Soon after, I was transferred to another representative. Again, I had to explain the situation. The rep said that he was sorry to lose my business and said the account would now be closed. The only attempt to convince me to keep the card was a brief explanation of the card benefits.
In the end, there was no retention offer made and I didn’t ask for one. I did decide to apply for the JetBlue Business card though which is offering 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days.
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