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

Aug. 09, 2022
5 min read
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
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 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more