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 $695 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.

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.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.