Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start. By the time you read this post, I should be in Washington, D.C. for the Boarding Area Conference (BACON for short). I am a big fan of retention offers and have written about them several times in the past (1, 2, 3, etc). My most recent retention offer attempts were met with mostly rejection, but I have some data points worth sharing.
I haven’t used my Citi Prestige Credit Card much over the last few months and only value the ability to book AA and AA codeshare flights with Citi Thank You Points at 1.6 CPP. I decided to call Citi and see if there were any retention offers available. My opening line was, “I am considering applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and can’t afford to pay $400 annual fees for both cards. Is there any offer on my Citi Prestige to keep me as a customer?” I was immediately transferred to the retention department and repeated my opening line. The retention specialist was very nice and helpful, but she didn’t have any retention offers available. She said that retention offers can only be accepted once per cardmember year and I already accepted an offer on my Citi Prestige in May. While on the phone, I asked if she could check for retention offers on my other Citi credit cards. We went through my Citi Forward, Citi Premier, Citi Double Cash, and Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit cards and struck out every time (I was only eligible for 0% balance transfer and 0% APR offers which don’t interest me at all). Last but not least, I asked if there were any offers on my new(ish) Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card. Jackpot! There was an offer for 5,000 bonus Citi Thank You Points after spending $1,000 over the next 3 months. I gladly accepted the offer and thanked the rep for all her help.
Up next, I called American Express regarding my American Express Platinum Charge Card. I repeated my opening line and was immediately transferred to the retention department again. This retention specialist was not as nice and he did not have any offers for me either. I asked him to check a few other American Express cards (both which I barely use except for the occasional AMEX Offer), but he did not have any offers either. I thanked him for his time and hung up.
Here is my general philosophy on retention offers. Before I even call for a retention offer, I have already decided if…
- I plan to keep the credit card regardless of the offer and am only fishing for a bonus
- I plan to close the credit card unless I get a really good retention offer (rare)
I have heard that it is good to call for retention offers quarterly, at the start of the year, and right when your annual fee posts. It only takes a few minutes of your time to call and the worst case scenario is that they have no offers available. There is a no risk in calling and if you do not call, you have a 0% chance of getting a retention offer. I have a few more annual fees that are posting soon (Chase Hyatt, Chase IHG, and US Bank Club Carlson), so I will do a similar post when I call for those retention offers.
If you have any questions about retention offers, please leave a comment below. Have a great weekend everyone!