TPG readers find success with retention bonuses

Feb 17, 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced credit card issuers that focus on travel rewards to make big changes to keep cardholders. We saw issuers offer lucrative sign-up bonuses, allow travel credits to be used on non-travel items and boost the points per dollar spent on categories including dining, groceries and online streaming.

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But what if it isn’t enough for you? What if you have a credit card, especially one with a high annual fee, that you’re thinking about either downgrading or canceling? Before you do that, you may want to pick up the phone (or start an online chat) and ask for a retention bonus. We polled readers in our TPG Women and TPG Lounge Facebook groups to see what happened when they tried to get a retention bonus. Please note that responses were lightly edited for clarity.

Related: Your ultimate guide to credit card retention offers

Holly B.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

I called Chase after my annual fee posted on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card on the first of the month, and was given a $250 statement credit without even having to push for it. I just asked about available retention offers, since 2020 wasn’t a great year for travel. I also called Amex about my Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. I asked to speak to the retention department and had to work a little harder convincing them, but got a 30,000-mile bonus. I also wanted them to apply my useless Medallion Qualification Dollars waiver to 2021, but they weren’t budging on that.

Ross S.

I got a 50,000(-point) retention bonus on my The Platinum Card® from American Express. I contacted Amex via chat and explained that I wasn’t getting the intended use out of my card. I also mentioned that I was uncertain if I wanted to keep the card, but I didn’t threaten to cancel and asked if any retention offers were available. My $550 annual fee (see rates and fees) is in February.

Daniel R.

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

I received a 20,000-point retention bonus on my Amex Platinum card and 10,000 points on my American Express® Gold Card, with no spending requirement. I also called once the annual fees on both cards hit. I tried over the course of 30 days to get a higher bonus on both, but it seems Amex’s system lets them know what they’re allowed to offer and that varies by each card member.

Jeffrey S.

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

I received 10,000 Hilton Honors points — with no spend needed — to keep my Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. It wasn’t great, but I will see usage hopefully in the future. Let’s hope Amex does something again with the up to $250 annual airline credit in 2021. The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Marc C.

I received a $50 statement credit plus an additional $100 credit after spending $2,000 in three months on my Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. I don’t use this card a lot and only asked politely if there were any retention offers just to see what would happen.

Irene H.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

I received 35,000 (points) on my Amex Platinum card and 15,000 on my Rose Gold Amex card.

Katie I.

Chase told me to pound sand for my Chase Sapphire Reserve, but offered me 1.99% interest until July on my Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card; I declined.

Tiffany H.

I had the option of $500 or 50,000 Membership Rewards points on my Amex Platinum. I was offered $150 on my Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Rachel W.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

I was able to get a $95 credit for the Citi Premier® Card with $95 in spending. I called and asked for offers for my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and my Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, as well as the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the reps said that no offers showed up in my account for any of them.

Chad B.

Chad scored big with his retention bonus requests:

Salvatore G.

I received a 30,000-point retention bonus in my Amex Platinum card after following the advice of those who posted information about calling Amex’s retention department. It was very easy. I just called and told them I wanted to either downgrade or even cancel the card and they immediately offered me something. 

Bottom line

Most issuers have done a good job making sure you’re getting the most out of your credit cards as the pandemic grinds on. Please note that your offers may vary when calling a card issuer’s redemption line, but it never hurts to call. You could get a flat no — or you could score big like Chad B. did.

Related: Pros and cons of downgrading your credit cards right now

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

Featured photo by wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.