Last year both my husband and I got Amex Gold Premier Rewards card. I applied for his through a targeted offer of 75,000 points, and mine was 50,000 points through CardMatch tool, identical to what is available right now.
The current offer is listed in my “Best Deals” page and does pay me commission, though few seem to be targeted for it. Just a quick reminder: The new Amex rule of one bonus/per card/per lifetime goes into effect on May 1st.
So, the annual fees of $175 (on each card) were going to hit pretty soon. I’ve planned all along to call about my card because I wanted to see what the retention offer would be. With my husband’s, I wanted to make it as painless as possible and cancel it online.
Unfortunately, I could not locate an easy way to do it through his Amex online profile. There was an option to do a chat with an agent, but I couldn’t get it to work at the time. Plus, I had to call about mine anyway, so I figured I would kill two birds/cards with one call.
With Chase, the cancelation is pretty straightforward. You go to “Customer Center” after you log in, then look on the right and should see this box. Click on “Send new message,” write your “Dear John” breakup letter and you are done. Citi and Barclay’s have a similar setup.
Secure Message Center
But back to Amex. I decided to just call the number on the back of the card and get it over with. My husband did agree to verify his identity and hand the phone back to me. I spent close to half an hour waiting for an agent. At that point my husband said he had to go to the bathroom.
I told him to just hold it. I had spent 30 minutes and wasn’t about to hang up! He did as he was told, poor guy. Finally, the agent appeared and started trying to sweet talk my husband into keeping the card. No retention offer, so no dice. The card got canned, and that was the end of it.
I decided to make my call at another time, since my husband acted a bit annoyed with the agent (probably due to his full bladder) and it could potentially threaten my chances of a juicy retention offer. So I waited a couple of days and called again in the morning. This time the agent got on the phone after just 2 minutes. The lesson: Don’t call in the evening if you can help it.
I had some pending points, so I asked if they could move them into my Membership Rewards account. The agent agreed, and I promptly transferred them into Avios. Always make sure you move your rewards out of the account you are thinking about canceling.
Most issuers, though not Amex, give you an option to transfer them to your spouse, and with some cards (like those earning Citi Thank You points), to those who are not even related. With the last one you have 90 days to use the rewards after the transfer. For more, read FAQ on Citi HERE
Anyway, after converting my points to Avios, I asked to be connected to a retention specialist. Unfortunately, my offer was nada as well, so I canceled it. I have heard of some getting as much as 20,000 points in exchange for keeping that card, so always check and see what the offer is before killing that “bird” or any other card for that matter.
P.S. On an unrelated note, The Points Guy has reported that as of now, US Airways does not impose fuel surcharges for award tickets on British Airways. May not last. I won’t comment, as there has been enough cattiness in the blogosphere to compete with a cheerleading squad. But I will say, team Brian+Miles! You can read more HERE
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