Skip to content

How 5 minutes of chat got me 85,000 points plus $150

Aug. 09, 2022
5 min read
photo of person holding a credit card while typing on a laptop
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I love retention offers. These can be a great way to add extra points and miles to your balances. If a bank wants to keep you as a customer, then you may receive a retention offer in the form of points, miles or cash.

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

I recently used the chat function on the American Express website for retention offers on three cards and came away with 85,000 points plus $150 in statement credits. That represents $1,850 in value to me, which was definitely worth five minutes of my time. Here's a look at my experience with tips on how you can replicate it.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For more TPG news, deals and tips, download the free TPG app and sign up for our daily newsletter.

Why you should use the online chat function for retention offers

Much of the discussion on retention offers focuses on calling to ask for a retention offer. However, now that American Express and Citi have online chat functions, I prefer using these.

During these discussions, you will often receive some terms and conditions from the bank, and I like seeing these, rather than having them read to me over the phone.

Additionally, if you receive an offer from the bank, having it in writing (and then grabbing a screenshot to save for your records) is ideal.

Finally, if you get nervous on the phone, this can be a way to reduce your anxiety. And it gives you more time to digest whether you think a retention offer is worth it without being put on the spot on the phone.

(Photo by d3sign/Moment Collection/Getty Images)

My personal experience with online retention offers

The annual fee on three of my Amex cards posted recently. I used the chat function to inquire about retention offers on all three. The chats were pretty quick, with a total combined time of five minutes.

1st offer: The Platinum Card® from American Express

As you may know, the Amex Platinum card has one of the highest annual fees out there. When the $695 annual fee posted (see rates and fees), I wanted to make sure I made it worth my while.

On this card, I received an offer of 55,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $4,000 in the next three months. TPG values these points at $1,100, which is a 27.5% return on the spending required. I accepted this offer gladly.

2nd offer: American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab

You must be a Schwab banking customer to apply for this card — which you should be, since it's one of the best bank accounts for travelers. You can read more about the different types of Platinum Cards here.

A unique feature of the Platinum Card for Schwab is that you can transfer points directly to your bank account, cashing them out at a rate of 1.1 cents apiece. While this isn't the best value for your Amex points, it does provide extra options for using your points when you have to pay cash for something and want to reimburse yourself for the purchase.

On this card, the Amex chat agent offered me a $150 statement credit to offset part of the annual fee. There was no spending required to receive this credit, and it posted to my account within 48 hours. I happily took it.

The information for the Amex Platinum Card for Schwab has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Is the Amex Platinum worth the annual fee?

3rd offer: American Express® Gold Card

The chat representative offered 30,000 bonus points if I would spend $3,000 on my Gold Card in the next three months. According to TPG's valuations, this is a 20% return on spending.

(Screenshot from americanexpress.com)

Adding up my offers

In total, I received offers for 85,000 Membership Rewards points plus a $150 statement credit, with a spending requirement of $7,000. This amounts to another welcome offer in my eyes, but it doesn't require an application for a new card, a hard pull on my credit or new accounts showing up on my credit report. Those are all positives. TPG's valuations put my offers at $1,850 in value — definitely worth a few minutes of my time.

Bottom line

Without a doubt, sign-up bonuses from credit cards are the best way to earn a huge stash of points and miles that you can use for travel. However, you can also use authorized user bonuses, referral bonuses and retention offers to pad your balances.

I'm a big fan of using chat functions for retention offers whenever possible. My Amex chat retention offers took about five minutes of my time but provided $1,850 in value.

I don't think you have any doubts about whether I'm happy with the results. Hopefully, this avenue can work for you, too.

Featured image by Getty Images
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.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
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

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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 Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases