Published on December 19th, 2018 | by Chuck77
Closing out my American Express Schwab Platinum Card
Just over a year ago, I blogged about opening a Schwab brokerage, checking account, and Amex Schwab Platinum credit card with the goal of maximizing the number of $200 airline credit on the American Express Platinum card which runs on a calendar year schedule.
My December statement just closed and it’s showing the $550 renewal fee for the card. Time to close this baby out. I was hoping for a bit more maneuvering time, but it should be sufficient since you always get 30 days to cancel and get an annual fee refund. So long as I close out the card by January 16th, the fee will get refunded. Reports are that you can close out an Amex card via chat; that makes it simple.
Cancelling the card is not for everyone: some value the 1.25% redemption benefit enough that – alongside all the other Platinum benefits – it’s worth keeping this card long term. But for me, I think that value won’t meet the cost of the annual fee.
Readers recently let me know that the Amex Schwab card can’t be downgraded to anything else. That was news to me – I’d vaguely been planning on downgrading the card to a Green card; apparently, that’s not possible with the Schwab Platinum card since it’s a co-brand.
The downgrade factor is important because cards which are downgraded get their annual fee prorated even after the 30 day mark. Since the Schwab Platinum card can’t be downgraded, you have just 30 days to decide if you want to cancel or to swallow the full $500 fee.
To-do list before closing out the card:
- Spend $200 toward the airline incidental credit in January when the credit renews (see what counts here). Of course, you can still meet the 2018 credit as well, but I’d assume everyone has already done that.
- Spend $50 at Saks for the new $50 Saks credit. I just did an order two weeks ago for the 2018(b) credit, and the $50 credit posted two days later. I bought some kitchen knives, not sure what I’ll buy in January with the 2019(a) credit.
- Do your final 1.25 cents cash out to your Schwab brokerage account.
- The Uber $15 January credit should load automatically on January 1st, so there’s nothing to be done for that.
For those who never had the Schwab Platinum card, see this post Opening a Schwab Brokerage, Checking, and Amex Platinum Credit Card before Year’s End. It’s similarly a good time for many of the other cards which have an airline credit, see Year-End Credit Card Checklist for 2018: Travel Credits, Spend Reset, Application Strategy & More.