A Follow-Up Post On My Aviator Barclaycard Dilemma

So, the other day, I wrote a post on how I will be keeping my Barclay’s Aviator card in spite of its $89 annual fee. One of my readers has chimed in the comments, and here is our exchange:


Why not try for a retention offer. I have heard of many getting some type of offer when their annual fees came due.


Blaine, that’s a good point. I guess I’m afraid a super eager rep will just cancel the card when I mention the word “retention.” It could make sense to at least try, I suppose. Will do a follow up post. Thanks!


One of the reasons I was apprehensive to call was due to the 15K miles bonus on spending that Barclay’s offered me. It just felt wrong. I was already getting this nice juicy carrot, should I go all “obnoxious” on them? But the more I thought about it, I figured why not?

I don’t have to use the word “cancel” in my conversation and can simply ask if there is a retention offer. A win/win. Well, for me, not Barclay’s. I will get to participate in the promo in order to get 15K miles, and can potentially keep my $89.

So, I went ahead and called. As expected, I was transferred to a retention specialist. The lady was super nice, and without any hesitation offered to waive my $89 annual fee. Wow, that was easy! No begging on my part, no game of chicken as usually is the case with Citi bank.

On top of it, she also offered me 2 (instead of 1) miles on grocery and gas purchases for three months. I didn’t even ask! Sure, I’ll take it. I have to spend $500 per month anyway, might as well get 2 miles per dollar on some purchases. Just beautiful, and the whole thing literally took me 5 minutes, probably because I called at 2PM, their slow time.

Bottom line

It doesn’t hurt to call and ask for retention bonus on the card with an annual fee. While you have to be careful on how you word your request, it’s certainly worth spending 5 minutes (or even an hour) to save $89. Of course, if it was my husband’s card, I would   just suck it up and pay the fee.

P.S. Huge thanks to Blaine for his advice!




3 thoughts on “A Follow-Up Post On My Aviator Barclaycard Dilemma

  1. Rather than say “I’d like to cancel the card” which may cause an over-eager rep to immediately hit the button (which has happened to me in the past), I usually try to say something like: “Hi, I just received my statement and noticed the annual fee is due. I’m considering cancelling this card because I have several cards with annual fees. Some of those cards have benefits that are similar to this one and I’m trying to minimize the fees that I’m paying out on an annual basis. Is there something we can do to keep this card in my wallet?” The point being that you are thinking about cancelling but not committed. Give them an opportunity to do something to retain your business and be prepared with some counterarguments for things they might throw at you. If the rep immediately says “Sorry bub, can’t do a thing for ya” then say “OK, I’m still evaluating my options so I’ll keep it for now” then HUCA. More often than not I usually get something – it may not be what I want, but I feel this approach shows more sincerity that you care something about the existing relationship rather than just saying “I want to cancel, please transfer me to the retention department” as the first words out of your mouth.


    • Erik, that’s a good point that you need to choose your words carefully. I think I wrestled with the idea of calling precisely because I wasn’t actually planning to cancel. And I definitely didn’t want to lie! This hobby teaches you the art of negotiation.
      We are all part lawyers, part businessmen!


  2. Pingback: New Twist in My Citi Thank You Premier Card Dilemma | Miles For Family

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