Last Thanksgiving, I applied for the Amex Platinum through a leaked link offering 100,000 points for spending $3,000 in three months. My annual fee was due and I was fully planning on canceling the card. I even wrote about how I’d miss one of my favorite, underrated benefits of being an Amex Platinum cardholder!
Reasons for Cancelling
My main reason for canceling is that the $550 annual fee is a bit excessive. The annual fee is largely offset by the new $200 annual Uber credit and the $200 airline fee reimbursement, but after Christmas shopping, I didn’t really feel like dropping another $550. I also don’t really like using Uber so this benefit is not my favorite. My plan was to close the card and open the Amex Platinum Business which still has the $450 annual fee without the Uber credit.
Retention Call #1
Based on the title of this post, spoiler alert, I didn’t end up canceling. I ended up calling in twice since my first call was a bit…odd. The representative starting off by telling me about all of the credits I’d used over the past year. He said I’d used all of the Uber credit, the airline fee credit, and the Global Entry credit so I more than broke even on the then $450 annual fee. I told him I was aware but the Uber benefit was not actually benefiting me. These were Ubers I wouldn’t have taken otherwise and it was actually bad for me since it was making me less active. He didn’t find that funny.
Next, he went on to tell me all of the Amex cards I had with annual fees. He offered to close my Hilton Surpass, PRG, Green card, and SPG personal and business. “Why do you have two Hilton cards?” he asked rhetorically.
I plan on closing most of these cards when the annual fee is due, but I was surprised by how desperate he was to get me to keep the Platinum card. He was willing to throw other Amex products under the bus!
I politely declined this rather strange offer and asked if there were any retention offers. He said in order to cover the annual fee, you would normally have to apply 85,000 Amex points (that doesn’t really add up since you can cash them out for a penny a piece). Since he was a manager, he said I could spend 55,000 points to keep the card open and not pay the annual fee. No thanks.
I asked if there was anything else and he said he could apply a $300 statement credit if I kept the card open. I asked if it was possible to get 30,000 points instead and he said no.
Retention Call #2
I decided to try back later with a less aggro CSR. Later that day I spoke to the most pleasant CSR. Without asking, he promptly offered the $300 statement credit or 30,000 points saying that normally you only get a bonus in the beginning, but Amex likes to rewards its customer in the middle of the process, too. Fair enough! I accepted the 30,000 points and they posted a few days later after I paid my annual fee.
Whether you plan on keeping the Amex Platinum or not, you should always call for a retention offer. I spent just under $10,000 in the past year, mostly from reselling concert tickets, and felt that I got a pretty sweet deal. I was planning on opening the Amex Platinum Business, but I think I’ll hold off for another year since I don’t need the points right away. I guess I can always use my $200 Uber credit on Uber Eats!