About a year ago, many of us jumped on a credit card offer that allowed us to earn 100K American Airlines bonus miles by signing up for and meeting the minimum spend requirement. Some of us even signed up for 3+ of these credit cards for a 100K bonus on each!
The fee for the card was a massive $450 a year, although it was slightly offset by a $200 statement credit. Many people decided to cancel the card within the first month, after getting the bonus, so that they didn’t even have to pay the fee. The rest of us, me included, kept one of them beyond the first month. Cancelling early didn’t get you pro-rated discount on the annual fee like you get with most cards, so it was worth it to just keep it the whole year and enjoy the Admirals Club lounge access and other perks that came with the card.
Fast forward about a year and the annual fees are starting to come due for many of us. That means another $450 for a card that in my opinion isn’t worth that amount. I gave Citi a call and actually wasn’t even fishing for a retention offer (I simply asked to cancel the card, as opposed to saying I’m “thinking” about cancelling). Still, I was transferred to a retention specialist.
Here was my offer: Spend $3K per month for the next 3 months, and receive $250 off the annual fee. That wasn’t quite good enough and there was no offer of bonus miles, so I asked to cancel. But then I realized that I had a $13K credit limit and didn’t want to lose all of it as it might negatively impact my credit score. Before confirming I wanted to close the account, I asked if it was possible to transfer the limit to my other AA credit card.
He was able to check immediately, and according to him I would be able to transfer a portion of my credit under normal circumstances, however for some reason a transfer to my other AA card was “grayed out” on his screen. I asked if he could transfer it to my Hilton Honors Reserve card instead, and he said that it was possible but the max transfer was $8K, so I’d still be losing $5K of my total limits.
That was perfectly fine with me since this move was more to save my credit score than anything else, so he made the transfer, closed my Citi AA Executive card, and my new credit limit was available immediately on my Hilton Reserve card. Other banks do this as well – see my post about doing something similar with my Barclaycard Arrival MasterCard.
Even though I didn’t go for the retention offer, some people mind find it worth it to essentially buy AA lounge access (and other minor benefits) for the remaining $200 fee on the card.
What was your retention offer?