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American Express has probably done more than any of the other major card issuers to try to keep its cards relevant while the world around us changed beyond recognition, and it has done this by introducing new benefits and new spending offers to help cardholders justify their annual fees. Today, as if that wasn’t enough, Amex gave me another reason to hold on to my Platinum Card for another year.
Between the new monthly $30 PayPal credit that runs through June, the excellent new offers that have been targeted to the card, and the $100 Global Entry fee rebate, I’m going to be able to recoup the annual fee without much difficulty. Once I factor in the card’s Uber credits (which I’ll only partly use this year) and the $100 Saks credit (terms apply), I may even end up making a nice profit.
All of this is why I had no intention of making a retention call to Amex and why I’m actually very happy holding card_name right now.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been carrying a significant credit balance on my Platinum Card as the refunds from various cancelled flights and postponed trips have been credited back to my card so, today, I called up Amex to get some of that credit moved across to other cards that currently have outstanding balances.
The process of moving my credit was swift but during the period that I was on hold and waiting for an agent, it occurred to me that I should ask if Amex is offering any spending bonuses on the Platinum Card. So that’s what I did.
I’ve learned my lesson from the Chase debacle last year, so as I didn’t want to accidentally get my Platinum Card closed down, I was very careful not to claim that I was considering closing my account. When the agent had finished moving my credit balance I asked her if she could see any bonus offers targeted to card_name and, almost immediately, she asked if I was thinking of canceling. I quickly replied “no”.
Despite this, she said that she’d transfer me over to another department to see if they could help and although I can’t remember what that department was called, I know that it definitely didn’t have the word “retention” in its name (it may have been called “_____card services”).
The agent who took over the call asked how he could help and I again explained that I was wondering if there were any spending bonuses targeted tocard_name. After reminding me of some of the good bonuses I already knew the card offered, he paused while he took a look to see what else he could find.
Moments later he had found gold.
“We’ve got an offer here that I think you’re going to like and you don’t actually need to do any spending to get it” were the magical words that came down the phone line.
It was then explained to me that just for keeping card_name for another year (remember, I never said that I was considering closing the card), Amex would give me 20,000 Membership Rewards points.
Wow. To say that I was delighted would be an understatement. That’s incredibly generous. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.5 cents each so, effectively, Amex has just given me a rebate of $300 for doing nothing more than keeping card_name for another year.
By my standards, I’ve put quite a lot of spending on my card in the past 12 months, but most of that spending has been reversed as trip after trip got cancelled.
I’m not sure if this has been something that Amex’s algorithms have taken into account or not, but something has made it feel that I’m worth keeping happy. Perhaps Amex has taken pity on me after seeing all the canceled flights 😁
Being given 20,000 Membership Rewards points for doing absolutely nothing is very clearly the best retention offer that I’ve ever been given, and the irony that I’ve been given it on an occasion when I never once suggested that I was anything but satisfied with card_name isn’t lost on me.
Apparently, sometimes just asking nicely and being truthful pays dividends!
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