Sunday, January 6, 2013

How to get credit card Retention Offer


Update 1/7: I called to cancel my Citi AMEX and got an offer of 3000 miles if I spend $500. I took it and the rep told me I can still close it out before March the annual fee applies. I will call back later to see any other retention offer. :-)

My Citi AAdvantage VISA is due in March. Per this flyertalk thread. I should call and negotiate a retention offer 2 months before. J Here is how I approached

Me: called the # on the back of the card and after security verification and immediately I mentioned  I want to cancel the card. (I am not bluffing as I have another AMEX from the 2-browers trick last March)

Agent: Ok, I will transfer you. (Every bank has a retention department)

Agent in Retention Department(Sara): Hey, Mr. XX, this is Sara, here in Florida, how can I help you?

Me: Hi Sara, I just came back from Florida. I envy the people living in FL. J

Sara: (laugh) well, to make you feel better, its cloudy today.

Me: here in Seattle, it’s 30 and we don't have "sunshine" in our dic anyway. I am still feeling unbalanced.
Sara: LOL
(This kind of chitchat is VERY important, you have established a quick relationship with the agent in the first 3 minutes and Sara will likely offer me the best offer with her power.)

Me: Look Sara, I’d like to cancel this card as I don’t use it often and I don’t want to pay the $85 fee
Sara: Sure, let me see what I can do for you.

(She offered me 1) double miles for the first 750 miles once I spend $750 for the next 16 cycles 2) $85 statement credit)
Me: I think the offer is good and I took it.
(it's 10 minutes talk and I saved $85, not bad, er?)

Now, I literally got the annual fee back but this is not done, once the $85 posted, I will still cancel the card, I called it double dip the retention offer. The reason why I need to cancel it because

1.      I still have AMEX version of this card and I will keep that for the 10% redeem miles rebate

2.      Those AA cards approved to be churnable every 18-24 months starting your application, however, if you have it open, you can’t get approved.

3.      Credit history is based on avg of all your accounts, I don’t want to cancel a card with 24 months long. (i.e., next year)

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