I’ve talked about credit card retention calls and offers in the past. Briefly stated, shortly before payment for a credit card annual fee is due, I often call the bank to see if there’s any incentive to keep the card rather than cancel it (see, e.g., I Finally Got the $250 Chase Promised Me).
I generally call whether I intend to keep or cancel the card. I don’t say I’m going to cancel the card outright, rather I say I want to explore my options or that I’m considering whether keeping the card is beneficial to me.
I’ve had the Citi Prestige card for a few years, and honestly, it’s value has diminished, especially during the covid-19 pandemic when my travel was a big zero. The annual fee for the card it $495, but for Citigold clients it is only $350. The only benefit I found worthwhile in the past year was the $250 credit for travel which was expanded to include grocery and a few other categories. Pandemic credits, sigh. So, renewal is $350 and I only get $250 value from the card, leaving a gap of $100. I was prepared to transfer my Thank Your points to JetBlue and cancel the card if some benefit wasn’t offered.
I called three times. The first time, I was referred to a specialist and told there was no offer in my file. The second time, the specialist told me I was receiving a huge benefit because I was only being charged $350 rather than $495 (huh?) (lesson: never make a retention call on a Sunday).
With payment due in three days, I made my final call this morning. Despite my credit card separation anxiety, I was really prepared to cancel the card. I guess three times is a charm because the specialist offered a $145 statement credit. This made keeping the card more palatable, so I accepted the offer.