Before you cancel a credit card, always call or chat with the issuer to see if you can get a retention offer for your credit card first. Often, banks don’t want to lose us as customers so they will give us a retention offer to entice us to keep their credit card for another year.
Sometimes you have a card that, quite frankly, you got for the welcome offer and don’t really find a reason to keep it past that first year. In deciding whether you want to cancel or downgrade that credit card to a no annual fee card, check with the bank issuer. They may make it worth your while to keep the card for another year. Remember, we don’t want to cancel too many credit cards outright or it can affect our credit card scores. Sometimes it is better to keep it a little while longer. With a retention offer that basically pays for the annual fee, you might decide to keep it.
My favorite bank to do this with is AMEX. I love that they have a chat feature and I don’t even have to talk to someone on the phone. I just get on and start a chat. The first thing I do is tell them that I am thinking about canceling the card because I’m not getting enough value from it to make it worth paying the annual fee. They will usually give me a retention offer. Sometimes it is not a good offer and I will ask if they can do more. At this time they might increase the offer or not. I then decide whether I want to keep the card or just ask them to cancel it.
I got this card for my husband and received a 90,000 SkyMiles welcome offer. It has a $250 annual fee and I didn’t want to pay that the second year. It also came with a companion pass that I thought I would use but didn’t because of COVID. When I called them and explained that, they offered me 15,000 Delta miles to try it for another year.
Delta miles are worth about 1.3 cents a mile, which was about $200 off my annual fee. That wasn’t enough for me. They came back with an offer of a $50 statement credit on top of that, and I took it. It would essentially pay for my annual fee and I could use the companion pass this year, making it a win-win.
This card has a high annual fee, but I think it is totally worth it for the benefits as I am able to take advantage of those. However, the next time my annual fee is due, I will totally ask for a retention offer. I have heard of people getting up to 50,000 AMEX points as a retention offer. We value American Express Membership Rewards at 2 cents a point, so that more than pays for the $695 annual fee. I haven’t asked for one in the past because I just love my card and have no intention of canceling it. Even so, I might as well try and get a retention offer, right?
Last year Alex contacted Chase and asked to speak with the retention department. She asked if she had any offers available on her Sapphire Preferred account and she did! They offered her a statement credit of $60, which dropped her annual fee down to just $35.
No matter what card you have, it makes sense to ask for a retention offer before you pay your next annual fee. All they can say is no, and if they say yes, you may be able to recoup some of your annual fee costs! What retention offers have you been offered?
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