Trying to Kill Two Birds with One Call

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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13 thoughts on “Trying to Kill Two Birds with One Call

  1. Thanks for the info on transferring miles to a spouse.
    We too will soon face that retention call for my spouse.

    Luckily for me, my active duty military status waives annual fees for me by AMEX.

    But my spouse has over 90k in MR Points we need to save either by getting another MR earning AMEX or now the option to xfer the points to my no-annual fee AMEX cards.

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  2. BB, I’m glad you found the info useful. I was under the impression that Amex lets you transfer the points to your spouse. However, the latest reports in the industry, including the one on Mommypoints.com indicate otherwise. Perhaps, they have different rules for military?
    I have written about some new cards from Amex: Amex EveryDay Preferred and the regular version. You could look into those.
    Also, did you check the Cardmatch tool to see if she qualifies for Amex Gold 50k offer? It is listed on my page of Best Deals and pays me commission, though you could go through creditcards.com site instead of my blog.
    You could also just transfer the points either to Avios or some other program, depending on your goals. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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  3. …my bad! I misread ur post and thought one COULD transfer MR points to a spouse!!!

    Last year (may) we both got the AMEX business gold card and the bonus MR it offered at the time. I have to find her another (no fee 1st year) AMEX for her that allows one to transfer the MR points to the new card.

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    • Sorry, I made it a bit confusing. You can check with Amex, just in case. I don’t have a first-hand experience, but just going by reports from other bloggers.
      If you can’t transfer her points to your account, then yes, you would have to convert to miles or get another Amex card.

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    • BB, sorry, I wasn’t clear about Cardmatch. It’s a page on creditcards.com that shows you your targeted offers. The link is in my ” Best deals” page. She should be able to get the Gold bonus, since it’s a personal card. You mentioned that she got a business card last year. You can check and see if it comes up. It’s the very top offer on my list, so you can see all the details. If the offer doesn’t come up, you’ll have to find another Amex. Let me know if you have any questions.

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  4. Thanks for the link to CardMatch through your “best deals” page.
    I tried her info but did not get an offer for the Amex Gold 50k offer! 😦

    We got an offer for the following cards:

    BankAmericard® Visa® Card
    BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
    BankAmericard® Better Balance Rewards™ Credit Card
    Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card
    BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
    Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
    Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
    Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
    Simmons First Visa Platinum
    First PREMIER® Bank MasterCard® Credit Card
    First PREMIER® Bank Gold Credit Card
    Simmons First Visa® Platinum Rewards
    First PREMIER® Bank Classic Credit Card

    It’s too bad there was not an AMEX Gold 50K offer – that would have been a nice addition to her leftover points.

    I’ve been to that CardMatch website before – I don’t think it has ever gave me anything good.

    I hope you at least get something for me pre-qualing on the site…even if I did not apply for any of the suggestions.

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    • BB, sorry you couldn’t get the Gold offer to come up! Honestly, none of the cards you listed IMO are worth a credit inquiry. I recommend, you look into Amex Everyday Preferred. It comes with only 15,000 points sign-up bonus, but is a very good long-term card, especially if you shop at grocery stores. If you only occasionally churn cards, it’s a good candidate. The offer does not pay me commission and you can find it on Amex website. That way you can safely store her points rather than transfer them.

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  5. Does the Card Match tool still work for Amex special offers? Last week I had several Amex offers there including the 50k bonus, but somehow procrastinated applying. When I checked back today, there was nothing there. Is it my bad luck or May 1st had Amex pull this to?

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  6. Josh, I honestly don’t know if it has anything to do with May 1st, or your credit profile was no longer a match for this particular offer. Hard to say. I recommend, you try again in a few days and see what happens. Also, if you have a spouse, perhaps she can get targeted for this offer? If you look in my “Best deals” page, there are instructions on a way to get it to come up on Amex website, so perhaps try that route. I couldn’t get it to come up, but your luck may be different. Hope it helps!

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    • Thank you for your response.
      I did try both avenues you mention with no success. I was just wondering if you had the same experience that previously it did come up and now it suddenly stopped, as nothing really changed in my credit profile since a week ago. If you and others had the same experience I would figure that Amex just pulled it.
      P.S. The same applies with my spouse.

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      • Josh, sorry I didn’t respond to you sooner. The comment email notification went to spam. Sorry, you couldn’t get those offers to come up. They should come back in the future, though. Let me know if I can offer you any suggestions. Cheers!

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