Posted by Guest Author on January 16, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on January 16th, 2015 | by Guest Author

134

Retention Bonus Rules & Tips For Each Card Issuer – Get More Than One Bonus Each Year

This post will:

  • Explain banks’ retention department incentives
  • Provide reader some ideas how to exploit these incentives
  • Give bank by bank summary for major credit card issuers
  • Help you to hit more singles and doubles, and an occasional home run

Conversations

If you want to get best retention offers and bonuses, then you really need to enjoy talking on the phone with Customer Service Representatives.  You, at very least need to enjoy a bit of chit chat and make a connection with the person on the other side.  Think of it from their perspective, most people who call are not happy, they are demanding and sometimes are just plain rude.  If you can be polite, ask them about where they live, make a connection to that place, then getting a CSR to help you becomes a lot easier.

Retention Department Incentives

#1 goal of the Retention Department is to keep you as a customer.  It cost them a lot of money to get you, for you to sign up for that credit card, they paid marketing costs, referral costs, so they don’t want you to close your account.  So, if their incentive is to keep you, then that means you should call them a few times a year and see if they still want to keep you!

Get You Retention Offers

There is a misconception that a retention offer will be only given to you if an annual fee is coming up, or you had a card for 11+ months.  This is a myth, you can start getting retention bonuses after you first cycle closes.  That’s right, from personal experience, I’ve had retention bonuses given to me as early as 45 days from my application.  When you call a CSR, just ask to be transferred to a retention department.  Don’t threaten to close the card, just simply ask if they have any retention offers.  If they mention to you that you just recently received a sign-up bonus, thank them for that, but ask again if there is anything available.  Sometimes use of words like “long-time customer” or “goodwill points/miles” will go a long way.

Different Banks, Different Strategies

American Express

I call American Express every 90 days, and just chat with their CSR.  Daytime hours are best, that’s when the A-Team is usually working and they tend to be friendliest bunch.  I ask for goodwill points, or extra miles.  It helps that I been with them for 17 years, but I do cycle a lot of cards with them.  3,000 SPG or 3,000 Hilton points or 3,000 Delta miles for a 5 minute call is worth it.  When your 1 year mark comes around, their standard line is that they do not reimburse annual fee.  When you hear that, ask them to make an exception and offer to talk to a Supervisor.  That has yielded 7,000 SPG, 10,000 HH or 5,000 Delta miles for me.  As always, YMMV.

Capital One

(Added by Will) Capital One doesn’t really offer retention bonuses, but they will waive the annual fee on cards if you mention a valid reason (e.g Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and offers 2% cash back). Data points: 1, 2

Chase

I call Chase about 60 days after I was approved for a credit card.  Chase CSRs are able to check their computer and determine if you have an offer associated with your account.  From personal experience, Southwest cards give 3,000 miles retention bonus around 60 day mark.  So think about that Companion Pass, if you just need extra 6,000 miles after you spent $4,000 on your cards, well these retention bonus miles will help.  Ink gave me 10,000 UR points at 60 day mark, United gave me 3,000 miles.  Again, YMMV.  Of course, at 12 month mark, make sure you do it again, as Chase tends to waive an annual fee if you ask politely.

 

Citibank

This is my favorite bank for retention offers.  Traditionally, I call at 60 day mark, 180 day mark, new calendar year mark and 360 day mark.  I been successful in getting 3,000 AA miles, $95 credit, and 10,000 AA mile bonus all on the same card before the first year was over.  Citibank tend to load their retention offers around these day marks, new calendar year was just a recent discovery for me, but I was able to get some great retention offers for last two years, in January – even though just two months earlier I picked up retention offers on exactly same cards.  Who knows what goes on with Citi IT systems, but you may as well exploit it to your advantage.

 

Bank of America

I had great success and getting annual fee waived after first cycle closes.  Think, Alaska and Virgin Atlantic cards, they charge a fee upfront, but once it posts, you can call BofA and they will usually waive it.  You want extra miles, way about 180 days and call them for a retention offer, usually they will give you a few thousand miles.

 

Barclaycard

Not a lot of experience with retention offers from this bank.  I was successful in getting US Airways annual fee waived when I asked, but aside from that – I just don’t have any other cards from them.

[Editor Update: From my own personal experience Barclaycard is waiving the annual fee on all US Airways cards at the moment from year two onwards. It’s not difficult to get this fee waived at all. They’ll also usually waive the annual fee on the Arrival Plus as well, but you might need to ask to speak to a supervisor, again from year two onwards.]

US Bank

Will usually give you enough points to cover the annual fee on the FlexPerks cards. You could end up just paying the annual fee in cash and then getting more value than you paid by redeeming them for travel.

What Does it Mean For You?

If you don’t mind chatting with CRS from time to time, these retention bonus/offer calls will yield some great return on your time.  Usually these calls don’t have much wait time, as banks have an incentive to talk to you and to convince you to keep the card.  Sometimes a call will not yield any results; however, your batting average is likely to hover around .500 over long term.  It’s all about picking up those singles and doubles, and an occasional home run (10,000 UR points) for about 5 to 10 minutes of your time.  Just remember to be polite, ask other people about their day, their life, and the weather – they will enjoy trying to help you!

This was was a guest post that was submitted by PedroNY who is very active in the points & miles community. I’d like to thank him for taking the time to submit this guest post, I had no idea you could get retention bonuses so often so I’ll be spending some time talking to some CSR representatives soon. If you think you have a good idea for a guest post, consider submitting one (if we use it, we will give you $50). If you just want to let me know about something to cover on the blog then contact me



134 Responses to Retention Bonus Rules & Tips For Each Card Issuer – Get More Than One Bonus Each Year

  1. bn says:

    any more information no how to get Barclays to cancel the fee on the US Air card?

    • Jerry Mandel says:

      By US card, I guess you mean the Aviator cards. Their “Retention” people won’t cooperate
      but you can chat up the regular customer people and get fees waived.

  2. Parkerthon says:

    Awesome info and data points. 1.) Didn’t realize these retention offers could be solicited so casually and frequently. When you hear retention offers it always sounds like you have to threaten to cancel the card with a risk it will be cancelled or you can’t get squat. This perspective and experience is a major revelation. 2.) Appreciate you breaking down different banks and taking time to detail your tendencies of what has more success and what amounts you’ve received.

    Thank you very much PedroNY for the post.

  3. Raj says:

    Brilliant post – will try this out!

  4. andrewrobe says:

    Thanks for the helpful post, PedroNY.

    As another data point, I just called Citi. I’ve had the Platinum AAdvantage for 9 mos. now and no previous history with Citi. The rep said that there were no offers on my account, but that marketing is constantly testing out new offers and distributing them to accounts they think could benefit from them. She suggested that I call back at the end of my first year to ask for an offer as one should load by then, but that there is no rhyme or reason as to when you will find one on your account since the retention department does not actually create the offers. I was nice and conversational (maybe even too nice?) and might not have pushed hard enough. Figured I’d share FWIW

  5. Anonymous says:

    The quality of the posts increased in the last few months. Continue the good work.

  6. Anthony says:

    Are retention offers only available on points cards, or can they be gotten for cash back cards?

  7. James says:

    Is Barclays waiving the annual fee for the recent US Air card of 50K miles offer? The miles post after the annual fee is paid. So did you call them after paying the fees to waive it off as a credit to your account? Or do i call them to waive it before i pay the fees? In which case how do the miles post?

  8. Audrey says:

    Very helpful and informative, thanks! But I also wonder about the US Air card. My understanding was I had to pay the fee to get the bonus miles. -no?

  9. Vay says:

    I got the US Airways card in Sept. Do you think I can still get them to waive or credit me for the annual fee? Thanks!

  10. BelgianSource says:

    Data point: I called Citi earlier in the week about my AA personal card. Told them I had a US Airways card with the exact same benefits (now with AA), a higher CL, and a lower annual fee ($89, as opposed to $95). They told me they’d give me a $95 statement credit (to offset the annual fee), if I made $95 or more in purchases over the next 2 billing cycles. In addition, they offered 1000 extra miles for each month I spent $1000 on the card, for the next 16 billing cycles (total 16000 extra miles — essentially 2x miles on each $1 up to $1000 a month).

  11. Diamond Vargas says:

    Hi William, really fantastic post, along with a lot of the other content lately, as people have been pointing out. Will definitely be trying this out. In your experience, do all of the above techniques and logic apply equally to business and personal cards?

    • Yes, in my experience more so with business cards. Although I hadn’t been calling as often as Pedro!

      • Diamond Vargas says:

        I assume you place a separate call for each card with each issuer (SPG / Platinum for Amex; Sapphire / United for Chase, etc.)?

        • Of course, American Express can’t give you a retention bonus for the SPG card.

          • MileHighBug says:

            I think the question was do you make separate calls to Chase for each Chase card you have; do you make separate calls to AmEx for each AmEx card you have, etc.

          • Diamond Vargas says:

            Hmm, not sure I understand — why wouldn’t Amex be able to give you a retention offer for the SPG Amex card?

          • Sorry, I meant to say that Chase can’t give you a retention bonus for the SPG card. Been a long weekend.

        • Thanks MileHighBug, that makes more sense. In the past I have, but that’s because I have only been calling when the annual fee becomes due. Maybe Pedro can better answer this question?

          • PedroNY says:

            If you find a great CSR, and they have access to all of your accounts, you may as well ask them at that time.

            I do practice what I preach, I called Amex Platinum Biz today, had a lovely conversation, they gave me $100 — that was after about 8 minutes on the phone. I had this card for about 5 months.

            Cheers,

            PedroNY

  12. Skor says:

    Great post! Thanks for these great tips, I agree with a comment above – quality of your blog which was always great is becoming better everyday!

  13. Kenny says:

    Thanks, Pedro! No one of us can keep up with every single angle, and you’ve done a great job covering this one. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I try not to let the fact that I got a retention bonus earlier in the year factor in to my decision to keep the card or dump it when the fee actually comes due.

  14. Conrad says:

    Thanks for the post! I just called Citi for my executive card and they gave me 5000AA miles after $1500 in spend each month for the next 3 months and $100 statement credit. Which sounds great! The only problem is my annual fee comes up sometime in March. Does anyone know if I try and downgrade my exec card to another card after hitting the spend qualifications if it will still post? The CSR said my account had to be open for them to post. Also does anyone know if Citi prorates annual fee refunds if say, I close/downgrade 2 months after the annual fee hits?

    • Kenny says:

      @conrad You have 30 days from the statement delivery date to cancel for a full refund, which Citi enforces as 37 days from the statement closing with the fee. Cancel your card before then and you get the $450 refunded. There is no refund of the fee, prorated or otherwise, after that.

  15. Awesome post PedroNY! Your contributions here & in all the forums haven’t gone without notice!

  16. Great post! I always ask for retention offers before my annual fee is due but now I know that I can ask earlier.

  17. Christian says:

    Great article. Any idea which cards or banks will give you a retention offer with little or no spend on the specific card you’re calling about? We all have those sock drawer cards that we’d love to get a little extra for, if possible.

    • VL says:

      I just accepted a retention offer in the form of $100 credit (to cover the annual fee) for Chase Southwest RR card… May not sound as too much, but in essence it will generate at least 11K points for me (6K annual bonus + 5K referral when I apply for the same card for a family member next year)… I will take it.

      … and I have not spent anything on this card for 4-5 months. Had very few transactions after the initial spent was made as well.

      Good luck

  18. AWTY says:

    Wow, GREAT post.

    May I ask – when you call, are you asking for retention, saying you’re calling to cancel, or what? Basically, who do you call, and how does the opening of that call go?

    Thanks!

  19. Keith says:

    Anyone had luck getting a retention bonus on the Freedom card?

    Do any/all credit cards have dial-direct numbers to speak directly to retention specialists?

  20. Daniel says:

    Some new data points:
    Chase UA (after 4 months): Rep insisted she was a retention officer and then stated the 10k bonus after $25k spend as an ‘offer’. HUCA.
    Chase WN (after 4 months): 1000 points. Offer was from the initial rep (not retention department).

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  22. Brian says:

    In general, I understand the strategy for calling at the 11 or 12 month mark. I’ve been doing this myself for a decade. The gist is that you’re calling because you don’t want to have to pay the annual fee, so you ask them to waive it or otherwise offer you some bonus benefit that makes the annual fee worth it. If they offer me nothing, I’m perfectly willing to cancel or downgrade to a fee-free card.

    But what is the specific strategy for calling at the 60 day mark, 180 day mark, every 90 days, etc.? What exactly do you say to them at those points to get them to offer you bonuses, especially after just 60 days? I’m just not sure where I’m supposed to go with that conversation.

  23. Raj says:

    I did like this post, but so far I’ve struck out with every issuer I’ve tried (and even ended up closing an account well before the 1-year mark). So I guess I have the same questions others had – what exactly do you say? I’ve tried numerous approaches and tried with both business and personal cards.

    I think a big issue is that a lot of the cards have had very little spend on them (and a lot of the CSRs mention I have so many cards with them – don’t really want to have that brought up) so I think I will let this one go.

    • Hi Raj,

      I’ve been doing this recently and I’ve had the best success just flat out asking “Hello, smalltalk smalltalk. I’m just wondering if there are any retention offers on my account, could you check for me”. There is no reason to threaten to close your account, just be friendly polite and ask. Let me know your experiences if you try again.

  24. robertw says:

    I have had some mixed results on retention calls. Mostly good with some decent promos. The card companies know that if they make you an offer like bonus points based on spending, that some people will forget to use the card fully for the bonus anyway. A certain number of people may spend more than they should and up paying some interest at 22%. Remember the smart people are here, we are a minority. The funniest call I had was with Capital One a few years ago. I said I was thinking about closing the card as the annual fee was up. The rep said we have nothing to offer and literally before I got the words out she said you account is closed fully and have a nice day.

  25. bdlou says:

    I’m curious about Citi. It sounds very easy to get the retention offers. When I just called though the CSR said that the only way they can transfer you to the retention department is if you want to cancel the card ( I had obviously told her that I was just interested in if there were any retention offers). Is that what others experiences have been with Citi. Obviously, that’s an easy thing to say you want to cancel the card at the 11 or 12 month mark, but at 60 days? Thanks.

    • Eddy says:

      The trick is how you phrase it. “I’m considering canceling” or “thinking about canceling.” Never say “I want to cancel” or they might close your acct.

      This reminds me. Somewhere I read that a certain lender’s CSRs are not empowered to give you the best offers until you use specific words. Anybody hear of this???

  26. Willie says:

    I, too have been very appreciative of your work on this blog–always great but recently better still.

    Do these retention strategies apply equally to cards with no annual fee? I did get an offer of 3K TYP for a $300 spend over 3 months on a no fee citicard.

  27. Willie says:

    Another question: any advice on retention offers for a spouse who will not phone the bank?

  28. Hi. I’m not having any luck getting BofA to offer anything with respect to an Alaska Air visa. The annual fee hit my account a week or two ago, but it hasn’t been billed yet (technically not due until March 11). I’ve called 2x and both times I was told there was no offer of waiver, statement credit, or otherwise.

    I’ll HUCA at least once, and if no luck, sayonara… (and apply anew)

    does that sound about right?

    • I’m surprised they didn’t offer you anything, you might have more luck when the annual fee hits. What do they say when you ask?

      • Mohammad M says:

        That’s what I was going to ask. What do you say? Do you specifically ask about offers or do you say you want to close your card or what?

        I called amex for my delta gold card and said that I want to close my card and they sent me to a different dept. The guy didn’t give me any offers and wanted a verbal ‘yes’ from me to close the account at which I hung up 🙂

  29. Sergey says:

    I am also curious how PedroNY was able to convience BoFa to waive annual fees on Virgin Atlantic/Alaska cards after one month. After reading that, I asked to call my wife (she got VA/Alaska cards week ago, AF already billed), and first we were unsure how to ask them to waive a fee, and when we did, they said that they don’t waive a fee, since the card just brand new, etc. What words should be used?

  30. Adam says:

    I recently got a nice Citi retention offer around the 11 month mark. I’m curious if the 60-day, 90-day, etc starts over again from 1 year after I was approved for the TL? I’m trying to figure out my strategy now that I realize it’s not just an annual call!

    So when should I call again?!

  31. Trevor S says:

    My Delta Amex Gold was up for renewal in Nov of 2014, called in Oct & got extra 12,500 SkyMiles to keep card, AF not waived. Called yesterday, the CSR I spoke to was clueless to what I was talking about & sent me to the retention department. Retention lady got nasty at my evening asking because they “just gave me” 12,500 miles. Any tips on having this conversation with Amex?

    • Trevor S says:

      Even* Any keywords that they seem to respond to specifically at Amex?

      • Parkerthon says:

        Eh, that’s just a stereotypical HUCA and this is all YMMV so you will strike out often especially on 90-120-180 day calls. My humble advice, be direct but complimenting of them. Example: Say you love the card, the service, and you’ve been a good, loyal customer. Of course, being a high value customer, you’re always looking for a reason to continue to use the card and perhaps use it even more. At this point, you just wanted to ask if any retention offers were currently available whether it’s a “spend x get y” or just basic throw you a bone with no strings. If they give you any attitude or whatever just hang up on them. Anyone that is taking a request like that personally is just frustrated with their job/life and you’re wasting every second of your time listening to them from that point onward. I’ve also read and confirmed anecdotally anyway that calling Monday morning or early in week is best time to get someone more eager to please(something to do with customer service follow-up survey’s being collected then). Honestly, since reading this post I’ve tried with mixed success to follow the guidelines. If I have a minute of total downtime on a Mon/Tues I might take a swing at it, but also understand there’s a high likelihood of striking out IMHO. It feels reminiscent of digging around the couch for money after a big house party back in college days. Sometimes you come up with a very nice reward but usually its bottle caps or worse. 🙂

  32. Keith M. says:

    Called recently to see if there were any retention bonuses on my Hilton Honors American Express card.

    Told there were not any and I said to cancel card.

    Put on hold for about two (2) minutes and got 3,000 Hilton Honors points.

    I encourage all American Express card holders to call and ask for retention bonuses as they have lost Costco and JetBlue as customers and can not afford to lose any more accounts/cardholders.

  33. Madelyn says:

    Fee waived for Barclays Us airways card! Thanks for the great and timely info 🙂

  34. Grebel says:

    Just called for my American Express Business rewards card on my 90 day mark. Was offered 10,000 MR points after a very long conversation with the CSR. Ka-ching!

  35. Pat says:

    Unless my eyes are deceiving me, are there any US Bank data points, especially with the Club Carlson situation?

  36. JC says:

    I made two calls today:

    1.- CITI AA Exec to Citi Double Cash
    2.- US AIR to US Arrival (10K bonus/1K spend/3 months)

    Saved $539 and made $100.

    I recently got a 2nd US AIR card and it’ll become an aviator soon…next year I’ll be calling their retention department.

    • Nice work, JC! That 10k bonus on the Air > Arrival is quite nice. Have you had the arrival in the past? You got two cards you can put regular expenses on as well which is also good.

  37. Jay says:

    Few more data points for the world:

    Ink – 18 months in. Paid annual fee first time around:
    10k UR points for 5k spend in 90 days

    Citi AA Platinum Select – had about 3 months
    $25 statement credit for $500 purchases in 3 months :/

    Citi ThankYou Premier – about 15 months in. Paid annual fee after 1st year to get the 30k pts the second year
    $75 statement credit for $1000 in 3 months

    Amex PRG business – Had about 9 months. CSR had no idea what a retention offer was. Will try again in a few days.

    • You don’t always need to use the word “retention offer” sometimes you can just ask if there are any offers tied to your account. Sometimes I just say something like “I like the purchase protection offers, but Barclaycard gave me a spending bonus and I was just wondering if American Express ever offers anything like that?”

      • Jay says:

        Incidentally, I realized I had another Amex Business card (SimplyCash) that I ought to close, so I called back a few hours later, asked if they had any offers for that card (no) then asked for them to check about the Business Gold. They came back and offered 7500 MR points for doing nothing, which I accepted. (In retrospect, obviously should have checked first to see if they had any other offers.)

        PSR–everyone i got a bonus from said the bonus could take 6-8-10 weeks to post after the requirement being met. So that’s another reason to call mid year rather than right before the annual fee (when, to get the bonus, you’d likely have to pony up the annual fee to keep the card active).

      • Shonuffharlem says:

        I use that trick too I always say “I prefer your card but blah blah just sent me an offer.”

  38. andreas says:

    Once I threatened chase to close my card and they closed it without discussing any retention.

    Do front line CSRs at citi bank have authority to make offers? I don’t want to go through the charade of saying I want to cancel my card in case they end up closing my hilton reserve card. I’ve already spent 10k for teh annual free night benefit.

    I got the 5k bonus points in January and I’m itching for more

  39. Jay says:

    Is there reason to think banks would give you some sort of internal derogatory mark for calling and saying you’re thinking of cancelling and/or asking for a bonus, accepting some sort of spending bonus, and then cancelling anyway a bit later?

    • Doubtful, would require too much tracking and it’s not big enough of an issue for the loss department to really care about – much bigger fish to fry. Although it’s technically possible that they could do it.

  40. Craig says:

    I called Citi and they offered me $25 on $500 spend in 3 months on my AAdvantage card.

    Is there any reason not to accept this? I.e. if I accept this, would that potentially preclude me from a more lucrative retention offer in the future?

    • Craig says:

      Also, this was just after the 60 day mark

    • Possibly it might, but I doubt it – people often get multiple bonuses in a single year. Might as well go for it.

      • Craig says:

        Thanks Chuck. I just completed a round of retention calls, results as follows:

        Chase United Explorer (opened 10/14) – $60 statement credit, no spend requirement

        AMEX Delta Gold (opened 1/15) – 3,000 miles, no spend requirement

        Citi AAdvantage (opened 1/15) – $25 statement credit after $500 spend

        Chase IHG (opened 10/14) – 15,000 IHG points for $5000 spend. I accepted this as it was the only offer available, but I have much better uses for $5,000 in spend and likely will not hit the spend requirement.

        Not bad for 20 minutes worth of calls. I also asked for offers on the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom, but nothing available.

  41. AWTY says:

    I’m about 6 months out from my annual fee on the oldest of my 3 Chase Ink cards (Bold MC). I called in and asked for any offers – 10k UR for 5K spend in my next 3 statement cycles. I took it – can always try again for another offer since I’ll complete this one before the AF is due. I figure that’ll give me ~7x at Staples plus any portal rewards that apply.

  42. Rishabh says:

    Just finished a round of calling for retention offers:

    1. Chase British Airways (Opened in 09/14) — 9000 avios on $1500 spend in 3 monrgs
    2. Chase United Explorer (Opened in 12/14) — $60 statement credit
    3. Citi AA Platinum (Opened in 01/15) — 3000 miles on using $500 in 3 months
    4. Amex Gold Delta (Opened in 09/14): 3000 Skymiles,

    5. Amex Hilton Hhonors (Opened in 12/14): 10000 Hilton Hhonors points on the no annual fee card…
    This was totally unexpected. Called and said that I am short of 6000 points for booking a reward and asked for few points. The guy talked to the supervisor and offered 10000 Hilton points as a one time exception

    Not offered anything on CSP, IHG Rewards Club. Will call for other cards tomorrow and update.

  43. Jonathan Greisman says:

    I just called Citi CSR for my TY Premier card…they said that they cannot transfer me over to Retention unless I submit for closure…any ideas?

    Also, I see a lot of these comments are for secondary cards (AA, United, etc)…what is the luck on getting retention benefits for primary cards (Sapphire Preferred, TY Premier, AMEX Gold)?

    Thank you.

    • Craig says:

      You don’t have to “submit” for closure… You just say you are interested in closing the card, then ask if they have anything to offer that may entice you to keep the card open.

  44. Anthony says:

    What a great post! I just got several great offers from a very friendly specialist 2 months after opening my Citi Prestige. She offered a $200 statement credit after $4000 in spend x 3 months or 4x points at gas stations, supermarkets and pharmacies up to 50,000 TYP. I took the 4x points. I can’t wait to use it to get free gas and points on top of it at Stop and Shop as they offer their gas promos!

  45. Craig says:

    Retention offers so far for 2015. No cards were older than 8 months.

    AMEX Delta Gold (4/28/2015, opened 1/15) – 3000 miles, no requirements
    Citi AAdvantage (4/28/2015, opened 2/15) – $25 credit for $500 spend in 3 months
    Chase United (4/28/2015, opened 12/14) – $60 statement credit, no requirements
    Chase IHG (4/28/2015, opened 11/14) – 15,000 points after $5000 spend in 3 months
    BoA Alaska Air Card 1 (5/11/2015, opened 11/14) – $100 statement credit, no requirements
    BoA Alaska Air Card 2 (7/1/2015, opened 12/14) – 5x total miles on AK Air per $1 spent on AK Air, with no cap
    Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red (8/10/2015, opened 1/15) – 5000 miles, no requirements
    Citi Prestige (8/11/2015, opened 4/15) – 4x TYP bonus on grocery, drugstores, gas up to 50,000 TYP

    • Patrick says:

      Nice data points! Chase offers anything to me other than telling me refer-a-friend promotions and I haven’t tried Barclay so I’ll give that a shot.

      I’ve personally only had luck with my AMEX cards.

  46. Jason Yang says:

    I am curious what will happen if I got the retention offer credit on my account and then called them to close my account. Here I am referring to the Chase UA MP credit card.

    Thanks for the reply,

  47. Ellie says:

    Hi guys,
    Glad to find this blog with a lots of helpful thoughts.
    I would like to change the way how I am using CC and I am wondering do you call just customer service phone or you ask to put you thru the retention department?
    Thank you

  48. Jerry Mandel says:

    Would someone supply a Barclay Cards retention telephone number? Much thanks.

  49. Jerry Mandel says:

    We could use Retention phone numbers listing for all the cards.

  50. Jerry Mandel says:

    Brian-Those card numbers merely get you to Customer Service and, after being on hold several times, they mis-transfer you several times.
    I did find :

    http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2012/05/credit-card-company-contact-information.html

    • Brian says:

      It is correct that you call Customer Service and it is correct that they would transfer you. If you don’t get the results you hoped for, you can always hang up and try again….as with anything else.

      I’ve done this successfully many, many times and it’s always by calling the number on the back of the card.

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  52. Dustin says:

    Just want to let everyone know I followed the Dr’s advice on a Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit card. The first 3 times I called in (before reading the Dr’s article) the results were always the same “Sorry, this is nothing we can do for you.” 4th time I called in, I asked to speak with a supervisor. It took some convincing (she stated I wasn’t using the card enough). I told her I had a big trip planned this year and really wanted to keep the card but needed to try and offset the annual fee. Bingo! 5,000 Delta Skymiles. Better than nothing.

  53. Jerry Mandel says:

    They all say they are not authorized to waive the fee and you listen to a long description of all the card benefits which you already know. Finally, when you keep saying the benefits are not worth the fee, they will offer a credit equal to the fee, You can then accept or decline.

  54. Mona C says:

    Thanks for this post.

    Datapoints:
    1- called citi for my old citi ty preferred card – I said that I am thinking of closing the card and it depends on the offer if I’ll be keeping it. Was transferred to retention department – was offered 15,000 TY points after $4.5k spend within 6months.

    2- got the same offer on another old citi ty preferred.

    I accepted both offers. Will call Chase, Amex and BofA tomorrow.

  55. simon says:

    Just called Chase for UA explorer card fro retention offer. I ask them if they can waive my annual fee. The CSR said it is not fair to waive the fee but they can offer me $100 statement credit without any spending requirement.

  56. simon says:

    Just called Chase for UA explorer card for retention offer. I ask them if they can waive my annual fee. The CSR said it is not fair to waive the fee but they can offer me $100 statement credit without any spending requirement.

  57. Laura says:

    Data point: Just cancelled my SPG Personal card and was not offered any retention bonus. I asked for either of 2 things: waiving the annual fee (which I already knew was something they couldn’t do) OR starpoint (which I was hoping they would offer). Got neither of those. I actually was transferred to their Closing & Retention team, so I was definitely speaking to the right people. They really didn’t seem to want to keep my business. Spend on the card was $7K in 2015. Also was not offered an option to downgrade to any other Amex card. On the one hand, I’m sad to let the card go. On the other hand, one less $95 fee to deal with.

  58. Ted says:

    For US Bank Flexperks card, they will give you the points equivalent of the annual fee as retention, so you can redeem those points to cover the annual fee. Been doing that every year since the Olympics bonus

  59. Nate says:

    Citi AAdvantage WE card… coming up on a year. They offered me $100 credit if I spend $30,000 in my first year. What?… I asked to transfer to account retention. Will update after.

  60. Shonuffharlem says:

    If I get a Delta Skymiles AMEX Gold, can you get annual fee waived every year? They waive it the first year. I’d love to hard this card (free bags and could use the miles) but wouldn’t be worth it for the yearly fee.

  61. Bodiddely says:

    Just wanted to give a shout-out/thanks for the info here.. Just got $1250+ in value on two Citi retention offers (Exec and Prestige card), both of which cards were opened in last 4-5 months. Exec card was offered a $450 statement credit for $5k spend each month for three months (which I was going to do anyways to get the EQM bonus), Prestige was offered 4X bonus points (so 5X total) up to 50k TY points (worth $800 in AA airfare) for grocery/gas/drug purchases for 6 months.

  62. P says:

    Citi sucks for me.

    1) Called for my Hilton no annual fee card and they gave me an additional 500 points for each $1500 of spend each billing period for the next 18 billing periods. Horrible. The Amex no-fee Hilton card earns more than that for that amount of spend even without the 500 bonus on non-bonus spend ($1500×3 as opposed to $1500×2 + 500).
    2) Been calling every month since my AAdvantage turned 6 months old and no offers. The only reason I’m keeping the card after the annual fee is the 10% bonus on miles which I’ll be able to max out now and before the next annual fee is due.

    Thanks for reposting. I’ll be calling Amex re: SPG tomorrow and maybe Citi re: AAdvantage

  63. HokiE36 says:

    AMEX Plat Biz, $150 statement credit;

  64. Travelfar says:

    I have been a Chase card holder for several years. I currently hold a Sapphire Preferred and a United Explorer.
    Each year I call to speak with their non existent retention department…also called Loyalty department.
    And each year I am read a script that informs me just how fortunate I am to have their benefit rich cards.
    Speaking to a supervisor this last time was an exercise in frustration. This man was none too happy to close my accounts explaining that this is a business and he couldn’t waive or credit the $200 in fees these 2 cards carry.
    I explained that Citi is very accommodating and creative when it comes to keeping its customers satisfied.
    I am very happy w/ the way I am treated as a consumer at Citi and I’ve been with them for far less time.
    Chase is not consumer friendly…it clearly comes down to $$$ with them. Too bad they can’t understand that people share their experiences and if enough people walk then it will have an affect on their precious bottom line.
    I’ll be leaving Chase because of this.

  65. David says:

    I called amex and they said there was no offer in the system, and it only changes every 13 month. Does this mean that repeating calling would not help, or they just lied?

  66. Aks says:

    Any success story in recent past on getting annual fee waive by Chase for Ink card?

  67. Pingback: Tips for Getting Offered a Credit Card Retention Bonus | Ale Pilgrims

  68. happychic says:

    Just called for my Citi and Amex cards.

    Citi Prestige – 4 months old – 1 additional TY point for six months for up to 50k of spend
    Citi Premier – already got retention offer in March – no retention offer

    Amex PRG – already got retention offer in March – no retention offer

  69. J.M. says:

    Called Chase about the AF on my CSP … asked to speak to Retention but the main CSR said he could help me with my questions about annual fee and potentially closing my account. No luck getting it waived or any retention offers.

  70. Justincase says:

    Called Chase today for retention offers on my Chase Amazon and Freedom, with no luck of having any retention offers. CSR’s were nice but just kept outlining how the cards currently work and didn’t have anything to offer for points/URs.

  71. Robert says:

    Should you not call if you’ve been MS? Seems like you wouldn’t want to bring extra attention and scrutiny to your account if you are? Obviously asking because I’m trying to determine if I should call or not…

  72. Pingback: Recap: Negotiable Credit Card Annual Fees, WoH First Promo & More - Doctor Of Credit

  73. Corban says:

    Called Citi today 3/29/17 in regards to the annual fee on my AA personal card. CSR was unable to waive fee and no available retention offers. Was also unable to reallocate CL to another card “per new bank regulations” Ended up just closing the account. -Sadface

  74. EO says:

    I have a Chase Southwest Premier Card whose annual fee ($99) hit the other day. I called and asked if they would waive the annual fee or else I would consider cancelling. They said they were unable to do so. I then asked if there was anything else they could offer me to retain the card. That must have been the magic words as I was then offered a $100 statement credit.

  75. Elena says:

    DP for Capital One. I have two cards with them for over 8 years, called today, asked if there is a spending bonus or any retention offers available for me (did not say that I want to cancel the cards). I was offered to convert one of my cards to rewards card (1.5% cash back) and to lower my APR to 16% for 7 month on the other. I accepted both offers, but I was really aiming for cash bonuses and didn’t get any.

    • Elena says:

      No luck for me today, called
      Chase (opened 7/17): talked to CSR – no offer, talked to retention dep – no offer
      BoA Alaska (opened 8/17, first statement closed on 9/24/17) talked to CSR – no offer
      BoA Amtrak (opened 8/17, first statement closed on 9/24/17) talked to CSR – no offer

      On all calls I was as polite and chatty as I could, and every time I got “you just opened the card and got the XXX bonus, and your card has soooo many benefits, etc.”.

      Oh well.

  76. YRK says:

    Are there retention offers for CSP during 1st year?

  77. Edward says:

    DP: BCP, 12 months, 20k+ spending within 1 year, no offer 1st call, $25 after $1000 spending 2nd call…closed, over.
    Lesson: first time to ask for retention offer, should’ve reallocated credit before canceling

  78. Jerry Mandel says:

    Just ask for any current offers for the card.

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