Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Amex Gold Delta, Amex Platinum, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Southwest Premier, Citi AAdvantage, Citi AAdvantage Business, Credit Cards | 0 comments

Maximize Credit Card Retention Offers

In my guide to opening credit cards for rewards, I wrote that you should always cancel the credit card before the annual fee hits. I also said that I aim to cancel credit cards about 10 months after the date of approval. You may wonder why I don’t cancel credit cards a full 12 months after opening the card right before the annual fee hits. The answer is simple – credit card retention offers.

 

Credit Card Retention Offers

When a customer calls in to cancel a credit card, banks will often offer credit card retention offers to persuade the customer to hold onto the card. These credit card retention offers come in the form of bonus airline miles, points, and/or cash in the form of statement credits. Sometimes the retention offer will be small, but sometimes it can be very generous. The reason credit card companies offer these bonuses is because it often costs them less to pay out a retention offer than to lose you as a customer.

By canceling a credit card 10 months from the date it’s opened, you give yourself the chance to earn a valuable credit card retention offer AND still avoid paying the annual fee. How you ask? The retention bonus will usually be given to you one or two months after you’ve tried to cancel the credit card. As soon as you receive the retention bonus, you can then call in a second time to close the credit card – this time for real. If you wait 12 months before calling in to cancel your credit card, you may still get the credit card retention offer, but you’ll probably have to pay the annual fee before you’ve received the bonus.

 

List of Credit Card Retention Offers

Credit card retention offers vary tremendously due to a number of factors. Each bank will have different offers and within each bank, each credit card will have different retention offers. To make the matter more confusing, each customer will be offered different retention bonuses based on their spending pattern. If you’ve been charging a lot to a particular credit card, for example, the bank may see you as a profitable customer and be incentivized to offer you a bigger retention bonus.

[Update 1/1/14] The list of credit card retention offers in this post is NOT updated. For the continually updated list, please see the credit card retention offers page.

 

Credit card retention offers

Credit card retention offers

 

As a result, I’ve compiled a list of some recent credit card retention offers with the date the offer was given, what the offer was for, and when the bonus points or cash was credited. The list is in alphabetical order then sorted chronologically. That way you can get a sense of what retention offer to expect when you go to cancel a particular credit card. As I mentioned earlier, however, everyone will receive different retention offers that are specific to them. I’ll continuously add to the credit card retention offers list, which will be under the credit card bonuses tab at the top. Please feel free to contact me and share your own experiences as well.

 

To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 10/30/12
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/3/13
  • Retention Offer: 6,000 bonus American Express Membership Rewards points
  • Decision: Accepted retention offer
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: 7/15/13
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 8/7/13
  • Retention Offer: None since already received a retention offer on 6/3/13
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 7/9/12
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/5/11
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 8/5/13
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/5/11
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 7/9/11
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 7/1/13
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 10/3/13
  • Retention Offer: 10,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the next 3 months
  • Decision: Accepted retention offer
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: TBD
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 9/3/12
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 5/1/13
  • Retention Offer: $85 statement credit AND 500 bonus AAdvantage miles each month you spend $500 (valid for next 12 months)
  • Decision: Accepted retention offer
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: 5/14/13 etc.
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: 5/14/13
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/15/13
  • Retention Offer: None since already received a retention offer on 5/1/13
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/18/13
  • Retention Offer: $95 statement credit AND 500 bonus AAdvantage miles each month you spend $500 (valid for next 12 months)
  • Decision: Accepted retention offer
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: 7/10/13 etc.
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: 8/12/13
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/18/13
  • Retention Offer: 3,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after spending $500 within the next 3 months
  • Decision: Accepted retention offer
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: 7/5/13
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 9/2/13
  • Retention Offer: None since already received a retention offer on 6/18/13
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 9/11/13
  • Retention Offer: None since already received a retention offer on 6/18/13
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 5/1/12
  • Retention Offer: $50 statement credit
  • Decision: Accepted retention offer
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: 6/4/12
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 6/20/12
  • Retention Offer: None since already received a retention offer on 5/1/12
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 8/14/13
  • Retention Offer: None
  • Decision: Closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A
To apply for the credit cards discussed and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

To apply for the credit cards discussed in this post and other credit cards, please see my credit card bonuses page

 

  • Date of Cancellation Attempt: 10/2/13
  • Retention Offer: 750 bonus Hilton HHonor points each month you spend $750 (valid for next 18 months)
  • Decision: Declined retention offer and closed credit card
  • Date Miles/Points Earned: N/A
  • Date Statement Credit Earned: N/A

 

The Main Point

As you can see, certain credit cards, such as the American Express Starwood and American Express Starwood Business, almost never have a credit card retention offer. On the other hand, the Citi AAdvantage credit card often gives a retention offer, but the offers vary tremendously. Sometimes, the customer service representative will even try to give you a lowball offer at first and only when you’ve declined will he offer the best retention offer. Not surprisingly, it’s in your best interest to negotiate.

Last but not least, the time frame between cancellation attempt and bonus received in the examples above are specific to those examples. In many instances, the time frame will depend on when your billing cycle begins and ends.

 

«

»

Leave a Comment