Posted by William Charles on June 8, 2017
Credit Card Offers

Published on June 8th, 2017 | by William Charles

44

American Express Getting Desperate – Calling Existing Customers To Offer 100,000 Points On Business Platinum

American Express made a number of changes to both the Personal & Business versions of their Platinum card (largely in response to the Chase Sapphire Reserve). Recently they have made two negative changes to the Business card though that undermine the previous upgrades to that card:

American Express has been coming increasingly desperate to sign new customers up and retain existing customers:

Phone Offer

Several people have reported that American Express have called them offering a sign up bonus of 100,000 points after $10,000 in spend. It’s rare for a prime card issuer to do a direct call campaign like this for a premium card. At the moment it isn’t clear how they are targeting customers but one data point:

  • Has a personal platinum coming up for renewal. Has existing American Express business cards with recent spend on them (trying to meet a minimum spend requirement).

It isn’t clear if these offers are subjected to the American Express once per lifetime rule or not. I suspect they are simply not targeting customers that have held this card before. If you get a phone representative that states this offer does not have that rule applied to it then do the following:

  • Clearly get them to state this
  • Ask for a reference number for the phone call
  • Ask them to e-mail you confirming this
  • Let us know in the comments

Card Details

  • Annual fee of $450 is not waived the first year
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 5x points per $1 spent on purchases made with airlines or hotels booked directly from AmericanExpress Travel website
    • 1.5x points on qualifying purchases of $5,000 or more
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • $200 airline incidental credit per calendar year
  • Lounge access:
    • Centurion lounge access
    • International American Express lounge access
    • Delta SkyClub lounge access
    • Priority pass select membership
    • Airspace lounge access
  • Internet Access:
    • Unlimited Boingo internet access
  • SPG gold status (this will also give you Marriott Gold status)
  • Hilton gold status
  • 35% Airline Bonus when using Pay With Points to book eligible flights
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓
  • 10 complimentary in flight Gogo passes
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • View these other hidden benefits

Our Verdict

It’s a good offer if you can meet the minimum spend requirement. The current public offer is 50,000 points after $10,000 in spend and an additional 25,000 points after another $10,000 in spend. Best targeted offer has been 100,000 points after $10,000 in spend an additional 50,000 points after another $10,000 in spend. Best public bonus has been 50,000 points after $5,000 in spend and another 50,000 points after an additional $10,000 in spend. Thanks to our handy spreadsheet for making this information easy to access.

Hat tip to Biocidal & TheToolMan for sending me additional information

 



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MontyFC
MontyFC

Small typo “That rebate now takes 6-10 weeks, previously it was posting within 24 months”. It should be 24 hours.

We all are too much hooked up with “24 months” 🙂

Frank
Frank

Funny to read this. I called in a couple weeks ago to cancel my Biz platinum citing the changes in benefits. Didn’t even get a single retention offer. The CSR just went ahead and processed my cancellation. I was fully willing to cancel so I had no qualms but I was expecting some sort of retention. Probably put 30k spend on it in 9 months.

GusP
GusP

I cancelled my personal platinum a few days ago. Similar story to yours, was going to cancel unless I got a nice retention offer. Was offered something fairly weak (can’t remember if it was 10k or 15k after 1k or 2k spend) so I said “sorry, that’s not enough for me to justify the annual fee” and they went ahead and cancelled no problem. Oh well.

P
P

I applied two days before the negative changes were announced and got manually approved after I called the day before the negative changes were announced. When I got my card I told them I was really disappointed and was thinking about canceling it and yes, they didn’t even make an effort to convince me to keep it. I ended up not canceling but not I only have 16 days left (of the 30 days) to cancel and get reimbursed the annual fee. I think I’ll call again before the 30 days to see.

Don
Don

You’re looking to get Amex to give you a retention offer less than a month after you opened the card?

T
T

business plat also gives 10 gogo inflight passes

Eric
Eric

Screw Amex. They shut down all the Serve and BB accounts which was generating a lot of business for them.

Jake
Jake

Actually, it was costing them a good deal of money.

Their 10-K filing from this last year showed it to be a product that did nothing for their bottom line, and cost them heavily in compliance and maintenance.

Mark O
Mark O

How so? They would only make money on the swipe fees but no one was using it to actually buy stuff.

scott
scott

They didn’t shut down Serve and BB. Only the ones that were abusing the system.

yang
yang

they offered me 30k retention offer without much talks

M
M

Called once couple weeks ago but no retention offers.

The annual fee will post in the next statement, which is in next week, and I can call to cancel the card to get a full refund. I was wondering if there’s enough grace period where I can wait til July to get the Uber credit and then cancel the card to get a full refund. Has anyone try something like this?

artgriego
artgriego

you can cancel with AF refund up to 30 days after the closing date of the statement in which the fee is applied. so, yes, you will get july uber credit.

GuestA
GuestA

‘several people” can hardly justify the adjective “desperate”. Dont get me wrong. I love your blog

stein
stein

Personally using Amex gives me much more reliability than using Chase. Its customer service is still best in the industry. UA award is definitely on the downhill as well. But competition is good. Sending more people to the Chase camp wouldn’t hurt us.

Jey
Jey

I disagree they have the best customer service; rather, I would argue they are the worst out there. No matter how lucrative their rewards program is or how friendly their phone agents sound, fundamentally they are the only card issuer that fails to guarantee customer’s basic financial right. Remember the infamous financial review by Amex? I agree that they do have the right to make sure people can pay them back, but what kind of bank would do such a thing to suddenly freeze all your accounts without any notice, and all accounts with them would stay frozen or even be cancelled no matter what unless they have received everything they want in time. Well, that disaster happened to me once when I was traveling abroad, thankfully I had other cards other than Amex with me. The point is, however fancy Amex might think its brand is, Amex is not proven to be a reliable company to do business with, as it does not fulfill the most important role/responsibility as a financial institution, that is to ensure people can get access to the needed money when they put their financial trust on Amex.

NinjaX
NinjaX

youre smoking crak bro. so AMEX FR during your travel abroad left you feeling molested? then you obviously havent felt the big black stick that chase carries around. USB carries one too.

guarantee customer’s basic financial right? give me a break. tell that to PayPal and see what they say. Probably another big black stick…

irshad
irshad

+1

Richard B.
Richard B.

Have you ever tried filing an Amex claim for a lost/stolen item, or for return protection? Now go to Chase and try this. Good luck! Denied. Denied. Denied. Send them paperwork. Denied. Send in more paperwork, you’ll “maybe” get the claimed approved.

Hands down Amex has the best customer service and easiest claim process. Never had one declined (granted I’ve only filed 3.)

Ann
Ann

It’s been a while (over 5 years ago), but I did do a successful claim with Chase once, FWIW… something I ordered during a company’s going-out-of-business liquidation that never shipped.

Terri Clark
Terri Clark

I have had to file claims with both chase and amex. Chase for non receipt of an item I ordered and Amex for stolen items from luggage. Both companies were stellar in that regard and took care of my problems promptly.

MSer
MSer

Huh? Amex is creme de la creme of all issuers. If any other issuer has a problem with your activities, it’s not a freeze and FR, it’s an immediate ban/closure, with no chance of reconsideration. Amex rarely does unilateral closures and their FR process rarely results in complete ban – typically chops your CL to match your income (many seem to overstate income).

I’d give up all other issuers before I gave up my Amex cards.

Vee
Vee

I’ve had the card for 30 days so far and got denied at 2 priority pass lounges because of the downfall of PP lately. My AF hasn’t posted but when it does, will it make sense to ask them for a retention since I just got the card? Went through about 10k so far in 1 month.. or would that put me in FR?

Don
Don

Asking Amex for a retention offer after one month is nuts.

lingua
lingua

Well said

Jason
Jason

Called before Memorial day to sign up for Amex Platinum Business, it was showing 75,000 offer line. I asked them if they can give me 100,000 offer. Agent asked for my address and said you are eligible for 100,000 offer with 10,000 Spent. It was pretty easy. I already have Amex Platinum Personal, PRG, SPG personal and SPG Business. Will call this week to cancel personal platinum, 450 fees just hit on 5th June.

MontyFC
MontyFC

There is a setting in Amex privacy preferences – “Ways we can contact you” with option of phone. The details of which is

“If check box is selected, American Express may call you by phone to inform you of valuable products and services.

If check box is not selected, American Express will not call you by phone to inform you of valuable products and services. However, you may continue to receive phone calls from American Express that are already in progress, as well as important service notifications related to your account.”

So the folks who are getting called, do they have this setting enabled? I never cared to enable this setting and had always preferred email or snail mail option.

Biocidal
Biocidal

I was one of the individuals targeted earlier today. Signed up and approved for 100000/$10000 sign up bonus. Bit of my history, 5 Amex cards, 2 business cards already. Was approved instantly after talking with new customer relations and they auto expedited the card to me. I’m not a huge spender by any means. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I got a guys direct line to call with questions too if that helps.

rick b
rick b

about those no lifetime limit offers. I took advantage of one and even confirmed by phone and I was eligible. after doing a minimum spend and not seeing a bonus, I called in and they basically called me a churner and said regardless of what the offer says I cannot have a second bonus. Ill be filing a cfpb complain for the wasted credit pull and min spend hassle.

MontyFC
MontyFC

I have had success going the chat route. Chat with someone and tell them that your offer didn’t include the exclusion language. They will most likely be helpless to do anything, but ask them to open an investigation for you, and ask for a link to upload the documents. Over there, upload the offer terms for this card showing no exclusion language is mentioned. Use chat id as reference for future tracking and ask the CSR to include notes like no exclusion language present in the offer etc. They would then investigate in 6-8 weeks. I opened an investigation for kind of similar case and was issued benefits based upon offer terms within 4 weeks. Worth a try before CFPB route.

Jags
Jags

If 1 phone call does not settle an issue I go straight to CFPB. It’s there to advocate for us, I see no reason not to use them liberally (of course when we’re in the right, I don’t file baseless claims).

rick b
rick b

Yes I did a 1hr call escalated all the way to higher up CSR who then called me a churner and started making it sound like there are additional unwritten exclusions in such offers for “people like me” that wouldn’t be in the written offer. they did open an investigation but it sounded pretty hostile

Venessa
Venessa

My annual fee is due on June 16th, 2017. If i pay the fee, on/before June 16th, how long do i have after that payment to cancel the card and get full annual fee refund?

Trinette Norfleet
Trinette Norfleet

T Norfleet amex is still a top notch company don’t count them out when Costco an Amex split this cause market forces to fill the vacuum new blood being a new customer this how you get in the door right? Thanks

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