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Part of the repertoire of any good credit card churner is making sure you cancel cards before their annual fee is due (or at the very least calling in to get an appropriate retention bonus). Sure, there are SOME cards that are worth paying the annual fee (for example the IHG card gives a free night at ANY IHG hotel for a mere $49 annual fee)
I’ve written before about some of my experiences on retention calls:
- Citi AAdvantage retention offers: I got 5 different offers – which one would YOU take?
- Amex Delta Skymiles card retention offer
- SPG Amex retention offer: 1500 points for the $65 fee – No thank you!
- Card housekeeping – annual fees, waiving interest charges, retention bonuses, and more!
Mrs. PWaC is ON the case!
I will say that my wife is a very good sport about calling credit card companies. We play this “game” in “two player mode”, and generally I am the one signing “her” up for new cards and such. I do try to minimize her involvement as she is not super interested in the minutiae of travel hacking, although I will say she loves the free trips to Puerto Rico, Yellowstone, Miami, Europe, etc. 😀
So when I have to interact with the credit card companies, I try to do it through their website or live chat functions, rather than over the phone
But sometimes a phone call is required, and I have a hard time saying my name is Carolyn 🙂
Amex EveryDay Retention phone call
Carolyn signed up for the American Express EveryDay Preferred card back in May 2014. There are 2 types of American Express EveryDay cards; the regular which offered a 10,000 Membership Rewards points and 2x on grocery spending (among other things). The American Express EveryDay Preferred offered 15,000 Membership Rewards as a signup bonus and 3x on grocery spending. We picked the Preferred Card, though in hindsight, that was probably a mistake as it comes with a $95 annual fee, vs. $0 for the regular card.
With the annual fee coming back up, it was time to call in. I chatted with Amex first, but they could not do anything, and suggested I call into the retention department
Amex EveryDay retention offer #1
The first phone call did not go well. The agent repeatedly said that American Express “NEVER EVER EVER” waives their annual fee and that there was “no documented occurrence of this happening EVER”
So like any good travel hacker, she hung up and called again!
Amex EveryDay retention offer #2
Actually she didn’t really WANT to call back again, but I convinced her 🙂
This time, her report was that the agent didn’t WANT to transfer her to the retention department, but once they did, the retention agent was VERY helpful. She was given a retention offer of:
- 2500 Membership Rewards points right away
- 5000 Membership Rewards points once we spend $1000 on the card within 60 days
We took the deal as that is a fair deal for the $95 annual fee, though I still may downgrade the card to the regular American Express EveryDay card. I can’t really cancel the card right now as then we’ll lose all of our Membership Rewards, just like with a Chase card
What about you? Would you have taken the deal? Have you received better Amex EveryDay Preferred retention offers?