February has always been a busy month for me in the world of credit cards. This time around, 3 annual fees totaling $969(!!) hit simultaneously. Of course, I had no intention of paying that much in annual fees in one shot (in fact, I don’t even pay close to that much in a year), and I was prepared to spend a few minutes on each with a retention call.
In the past, I’ve had incredible luck with getting great retention offers, but I feel that as time goes on, it’s getting harder and harder to get a decent offer, so I wasn’t expecting much (and to be fair, I had every intention on paying one of the annual fees anyway since I find the card benefits to be extremely valuable).
Here’s how I made out:
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: I applied for this card last year when there was an incredible sign-up bonus of 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 in 3 months (offer now expired. – the current offer now allows you to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening). The $450 annual fee was not waived, but the card did come with $200 in statement credits and Admirals Club lounge membership. I went ahead and applied because it’s like buying 110K miles for $250 (and getting Admirals Club membership as a bonus)! The current welcome offer allows you to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in 3 months.
Some people have reported that they got an additional $200 anniversary bonus that posted earlier this year before the $450 annual fee hit. I did not. I called Citi and was not offered anything to keep the card open, so I transferred my line of credit to another credit account and canceled the card.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card: With an impending change coming next month to the Rapid Rewards program (which will most-likely be a devaluation), I’ve already pre-booked tons of Southwest flights with the points I had in my account. I did not see a need to pay the $99 annual fee on the card, especially since Southwest is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. When I spoke to an account specialist, she offered me 3,000 bonus points for keeping the card open. I declined and requested to transfer as much of my credit line as possible to another Chase account and then canceled the card.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN: I’ve happily paid the annual fee on this card for 2 years prior, and I decided do so again because the benefits are outstanding (post coming soon). I applied for the card when I got targeted for a 100K Membership Rewards welcome bonus. Right off the bat, I get $200 in airline incidental credits per calendar year, and great lounge perks (Centurion lounges are amazing). My Global Entry application fee was covered as well. They also introduced new perks such as a free Boingo membership and 10-free Gogo passes per year. No matter how I look at it, the $450 annual fee for me is beyond worth it considering the perks that come with the card are actually things I would have gladly paid for.
I already knew I was going to keep the card, but for giggles I called to see if there would be anything they could offer me. My retention specialist had nothing to throw my way, so I thanked her for her time and went on with my day.
Ironically as I finish up this post, I noticed that the $95 fee hit on my Ink Bold account, so I guess that’s one I’ll be tackling tomorrow. Can’t seem to get enough!
How has your luck been this year with credit card retention calls?