Keep Or Cancel? My AMEX Gold Card Retention Phone Call

by Bill Shuman

In December of 2018, I wrote about why I decided to open up an American Express Gold Card and cancel my Platinum Card from American Express. Therefore, the annual fee for my American Express Gold Card hit my statement during the middle of the Christmas hustle.

After the holidays ended I decided it was worth the time to call American Express and see if there would be a retention offer as eating an extra $250 in annual fees during the holidays is never pleasant. My last experience calling to cancel my Platinum Card from American Express did not result in getting a retention offer, so my hope was that this time, things would be different. Thankfully, they were!

My American Express Gold Card Dilemma

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the benefits of the American Express Gold Card. I find that the $250 annual fee is easy to offset. We use the $100 airline fee credit and the $120 Grubhub credits to effectively make holding this card a $30 cost. Beyond that, we do a fair amount of shopping at supermarkets (4x points) which is where I’m putting the bulk of my spending on this card.

amex gold retention call

4x Membership Rewards on supermarket spending means earning great travel rewards like Emirates Business Class faster.

The problem is that beyond supermarket purchases, I’m not putting any additional spending on my American Express Gold Card. The reason for that is I value the travel protection from my Chase Sapphire Card — especially since they have helped me out in tough situations in the past. The other reason is that I personally find more value from 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card vs. 4x Membership Rewards points provided by the American Express Gold Card.

It’s no secret that I really like two of Chase’s transfer partners: Southwest and Hyatt. Especially when I can combine my points with my Southwest Companion pass, I’m effectively getting 6x the point return on my spending. At a value of 1.4c per Southwest point, that means I’m almost at 8.5% return on my spending at restaurants and travel and have little reason to utilize those categories on my American Express Gold Card.

American Express Gold Card 4x points on restaurants

American Express offers 4x Membership Reward points on restaurants spending along side their 4x supermarket spending.

Therefore, when I made the phone call to American Express, I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to cancel or keep the card. I’d let my conversation with American Express decide the results.

Amex Gold Card Retention Call Results

After speaking with the initial representative, I got transferred to the retention department. I explained my mixed feelings about keeping the card to the representative. She was able to pull up my spending for the year on the card and determined that we were at around $1,500/month spend on the card. That sounded high to me as I know we don’t spend that much on groceries. With that kind of spend per month, she said that I would be eligible for a retention bonus if I was to keep the card. Overall, great news!

The Amex Gold Retention Offer

My offer: Spend $2,000 in the next 3 months and in return American Express would give me 15,000 Membership Reward points.

The representative said that if I wanted, I could cash those in at 0.6c of a point as a statement credit and offset $90 of the annual fee. I tried not to laugh as I know their value is way more than that! Personally, I can safely get around 1.5c per point making those 15,000 points worth a minimum of $225. I said my thank you’s and went along to find a way to meet this minimum spend.

The Upshot

Usually when I call about retention offers, I already know my plans for the card in advance. This time was different. I really didn’t know what to do as I was 50/50 on keeping it. However, 15,000 Membership Rewards points was enough to convince me to keep my American Express Gold Card for another year. I know there are probably some PMTTP readers out there that also made phone calls for Amex Gold card retention recently. What were your results?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 comments
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2 comments

leo January 19, 2020 - 1:49 pm

i got 30k back on 4k spend in 3 months. I’m keeping mien too

Reply
ED January 19, 2020 - 5:09 pm

I called a few weeks ago and was offered 15K on 2k spend in 3 months. Ended up keeping the card. Amex offers help offset the fee as well.

Reply

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