I have two AMEX business cards for which the annual fee was just billed – the Business Gold Rewards card and the SPG card. I signed up for the Business Gold Rewards card during a 75K promotion last year. At the same time, I snapped up a new SPG card which was still churnable at the time (the business edition still is).  I had an SPG Business card at the time, but why not sign up? This was during one of the increased sign-up offers, I had not had a personal edition in the prior 12 months, I was eligible for the annual fee waiver, credits towards elite status, and of course the SPG sign-up points.

Anyway, once I hit the spend on each card, I moved most of my spend (which tends to focus on food and travel) back to my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I also had two Citi Executive AAdvantage cards for which I had to hit minimum spend on. In the end, while I did place my SPG spend on my SPG card, there wasn’t much else on there. As such, I wasn’t surprised that when I called to cancel last week, I was offered no retention offers on either card. Here are my experiences for each, again the responses aren’t shocking as I had little spend on both cards and therefore was not a valued cardmember worth “saving” for these specific products..though it does highlight a change in AMEX retention offers:

  1. I consulted this flyteralk thread which lists recent offered retention bonuses for AMEX cards (click the link within to the separate SPG thread).
  2. Some of the more recent Business Gold offers – 10K Membership Rewards, $225 or 12.5K Membership Rewards, 10K Membership Rewards or $75, 10K Membership Rewards or $100
  3. Some of the more recent SPG offers – 7K SPG points (seems to be most common)1K points and 500 points after spending $1,000 in 60 days, $50 loyalty credit, 7K SPG points (seems to be most common), 3K SPG points
  4. For the Business Gold card, total spend outside of the required spend was only $7,200. On my first call I wasn’t even transferred to the retention department. I was thanked for my business and told that they were happy that I would still have several other AMEX cards. The representative was ready to cancel the card until I cut him off and said I would call back. I did call back and was able to get a different representative to transfer me to the retention department.  Besides highlighting the current benefits, no offer could be made – points or loyalty credit. One more shot…for the blog. Same exact response, the “system was not allowing them to offer anything”.
  5. SPG card – same situation, total spend of only $3800 post required minimum spend. The initial customer service representatives wanted to cancel the card on the spot as per my request. No retention department connection until I specifically requested it. Three calls, no offers during any of them. They were happy that I still had an SPG Business card though and would continue earning valuable SPG points 😉

Wow, what a difference from years past when I was offered fee waivers or at least 5K-7K SPG points on cards where I spent 1K or less in the year.  I guess they are actually properly valuing those retention offers now…

What has been your experience?

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Freddy September 9, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Just canx my SPG personal card last week. Same story, no offers at all.

Robert September 9, 2014 - 1:23 pm

I was offered 10K points as a retention offer for the Gold Business Rewards card. I elected to just cancel. My Starwood card is up next month and I will probably take whatever is offered, unfortunately it is my oldest credit line.

Darth Chocolate September 9, 2014 - 4:19 pm

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

AMEX has clamped down on the availability of “bonuses” for new cards (and now it seems retentions). Based on your “spend” they are just not into you anymore.

Rob September 16, 2014 - 11:48 am

Not surprised. Amex doesn’t want churners business any more, they are looking for people like my sister who own an auto body business and charge 1 million+ on their Amex card per year.. She loves her free cruises, etc, although I told her she’s not maximizing her point earning potential, when you’re putting those kind of charges out I guess you stop caring. I bet if she called them they would offer a LOT more then what you got.

I am still waiting for Amex to offer me SOMETHING GOOD to sign up for any of their cards. In the meantime, Chase is rewarding me handsomely, so the only Amex I have is the one I opened in 2006, the Blue Sky Rewards card and I only use it when they do bonuses like the $20 verizon bill credit.


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