When I first started writing at Point Me, one of the first articles I put together was why I was spending $574 in credit card annual fees. My family had plans to visit aspirational properties including Domes of Elounda, and see some sights in Europe. However, life happened. My plans needed to change and that trip got “Bonvoyed.” Therefore, when my Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express annual fee came up for renewal a few weeks ago, it was time to reevaluate. Therefore, a phone call to the American Express retention line was in order.
Marriott Bonvoy Business Card Benefits
The annual fee (see rates & fees) of $125 (up from $95 as the SPG Business Card) on the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express includes the following benefits:
- 6 Marriott points per $1 spent on eligible Marriott purchases
- 4 Marriott points per $1 spent at US gas stations, at US restaurants, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers and on US purchases for shipping
- 2 Marriott points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Free Silver elite status
- Gold Status after $35,000 in spending
- Free Boingo Wi-Fi
- Free Award Night, worth 35,000 points
- 15 nights of credit towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status
American Express Bonvoy Retention Phone Call
I’ll just cut to the chase on this one and say that I had no luck with the retention line asking for a retention offer. However, I found it a bit offensive the way that the representative phrased it to me. She said that, “[I] personally was not eligible.” Knowing full well that others people get retention offers I pushed further asking why not as I’ve been a loyal card holder of American Express since 2007. I put a decent amount of spending on their other cards, especially now that they offer 4x points on the American Express Gold Card at US supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. Regardless, it didn’t matter and I got a “sorry, too bad” response. I told her I would call back in a week with a decision.
American Express Customer Service Phone Call
The day prior to this phone call I had called the AMEX customer service line to ask some questions about the warranty extension offered on my American Express Gold Card as I was buying a new TV. Unfortunately, the representative was unable to answer my questions. As it was a Sunday she couldn’t connect me to anyone else that could help. I got a survey from American Express the next day about the phone call and because I didn’t get the questions I needed answered, I marked my experience as less than excellent. Well because of that rating, an American Express representative called me a few days later.
After we got done speaking about the American Express Gold Card and getting my questions answered, I brought up the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express phone call. We spoke for a while about the card, the benefits, the increased annual fee, and the fact that I didn’t get a retention offer.
The representative stated that yes some customers are offered retention offers, but she couldn’t elaborate on the details. She did notate that I had been a long standing customer. Without me even asking, she offered me half back. At the time I thought she was talking about half of the increase back. I said my thank yous and hung up. A few days later a statement credit posted of $62.50 to my account! Turns out she was talking about half of the total annual fee.
As I look through my own posts, I realize that its been six months since I last wrote anything about Marriott. I guess that’s a pretty big indication about my feelings of the Marriott Bonvoy program. The phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” comes to mind. However, as I look at our travel schedule in the next few months, we are going to be spending a lot of nights in Marriott. This includes the 4-night AMEX Experience Orlando offer I received. Therefore, I’m hoping that after these stays maybe my attitude toward Marriott’s Bonvoy program will change for the better.
American Express, on the other hand, I’ve been sticking with due to their outstanding customer service. This instance overall proved to be no different. Although I wish it would’ve worked out that way with only one phone call. Have you made a retention phone call recently? What results did you have?
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