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Quick Points: How to use retention offers for extra points and miles

May 27, 2022
4 min read
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Welcome to another installment of Quick Points, where we share bits of information or advice that you can find elsewhere on the site but may have missed amid flashier or more valuable perks. Today, we’re looking at free points and miles you can get from something called a retention offer, where the bank offers you a bonus or incentive to renew your credit card for another year.

This can be done via chat with a few select banks, but it typically requires a phone call.

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What is a retention offer?

A retention offer is when a bank makes an offer to you, the customer, to retain your business. It could come in a few forms:

  • Waive or reduce your annual fee.
  • Offer you bonus points or miles.
  • Provide a bonus tied to a spending offer, similar to what you get with a welcome offer on a new credit card.

All of these are designed to convince you to keep the credit card open for another year. Notice I said "another year." Banks will expect you to keep your credit card open for another year — until the next annual fee rolls around — if you take one of these offers. You could even forfeit the cash or points received if you don't keep the card open for another year.

Related: Your ultimate guide to credit card retention offers

How to get a retention offer

By calling the number on the back of your credit card, the bank may offer you free points for keeping your card open. (Photo by Hero Images / Getty Images)

With American Express and Citi, you can actually ask for retention offers via chat. Incredibly, Citi will do what I like to call a "super retention," where the agent will look at all of your accounts to see if there are retention offers available on any of them, all in one chat session. With American Express, you'll need to ask about a specific card, one at a time.

For other banks, you will need to call the number on the back of your card and say you're considering closing the card. Reasons can be simple:

  • "I don't use it much anymore."
  • "I don't think the value I get from the card matches the annual fee."

The best time for a retention call is when the annual fee has just posted to your account.

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Related: Important dates to know for your credit cards

How to decide if you'll accept the retention offer

Before calling, consider these items:

  • TPG's latest points valuations to see what points are worth on that card.
  • How much you've spent on the card in the last year.
  • What you will and won't accept in terms of value.

Now, you're ready to call. Do some quick math on the offer you get from the bank. Does the offer have a spending requirement? What would you get if you put that spending on a different credit card?

Also, consider your overall credit card strategy. Do you need to close this card to make space for another, or is the offer good enough to keep the card for another year? If not, consider whether you can downgrade your card to something with no fee in order to preserve your credit history.

Sample retention offers

Here are some recent offers my wife and I have received, so you can get an idea of what is possible:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® — 10,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the next 90 days.
  • Citi Premier® Card — Waived annual fee after spending $100 on the card in the next 30 days.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card — $30 statement credit with no spending required.
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card — $50 statement credit with no spending required.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card — 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points with no spending required.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express — 40,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card in the next 90 days.
Featured image by Shutterstock
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023