There aren’t a ton of credit card companies out there that I genuinely enjoy supporting, but Amex is definitely one of them. Their customer service is the best among credit card compines and they have always provided great benefits to their cardholders. I know they charge hefty merchant fees and higher annual fees than most other companies but there’s a reason why.
A few months ago, I contested a $30 charge with my Southwest Chase card and I got a phone call from a pushy CS rep who wanted me to go on a 3 way call with the merchant. WTF? I told them to figure it out and hung up. To their credit, they did figure it out and eventually credited my account but it was a huge hassle.
Conversely, I’ve challenged a couple transactions on my AMEX Gold card and they have immediately refunded the money. They don’t wait to see if you were right or not, they instantly refund your money and worry about investigating the transaction later. This is just one example of the countless experiences I’ve had with AMEX’s awesome CS staff.
AMEX Personal Gold Card
I signed up for my AMEX Gold Personal Card two years ago when they had a 75,000 point sign up bonus and no annual fee for 2 years(those were the days!). I had always planned on canceling the card but over the past year, certain events made me re-think my plan.
In the past year, AMEX has really cranked up their promotions and deals for card members. I was getting a ton of great deals and cash back offers from Social Media promotions and of course the free $25 on Small Business Saturday every year. Not to mention the fact, that I added my fiancee as an authorized user to build her credit. So now I was able to sign up both cards for all of AMEX’s great promotions and double dip.
Still though, the $175 annual fee was looming so I decided to call in and see if they had any retention promotions. If you’ve never done this before, the key is to call in looking for an offer to keep your card. Generally, the first CS rep will not have any power so you’ll want to get transferred to the cancelation department or retention department.
Once you’ve been transferred, you should lament about how high the annual fee is, mention that the fee is lower with their competitor’s cards, etc. I usually Google something like “AMEX Personal Gold Retention Offers” to see what others have been getting recently. FlyerTalk is a great resource for things like this. That way, if you don’t get the offer you’re looking for, just hang up and call back and try again. Some reps may not know about every promotion or they might just be lazy and not want to find an offer to keep you around.
After employing all of these tactics, the rep offered me 7,500 MR points instantly to keep the card and another 5,000 points after I made $500 in purchases. Since I can cash out these points for gift cards at a rate of 100 points to $1 or for travel at about 50 points to $1, this was a no brainer for me. The points would be worth at least $125 plus 2 cards on Small Business Saturday($25 each card) equaled the $175 annual fee. I was sold, I’m keeping the card for at least one more year.
AMEX Business Gold Card
When applying for business credit cards, you generally don’t need to own a thriving and prosperous business. If you own a blog like me, just be honest and say that. I signed up for the AMEX Gold Business Card under this premise a year ago when they were offering a 75,000 point bonus for spending $10k in 4 months.
It’s been almost one year since my sign-up so I called in today and they offered me a $100 statement credit or 10,000 points to keep the card. I took the points, but as soon as they post I’m probably going to cancel the card anyways. I don’t really need this card for my business and I really just signed up for it for the points.
This is a good strategy to use on cards that offer point bonuses on your anniversary too. I recently hit my 1 year anniversary with my SW Plus Business card and received 3,000 points and a month later was hit with the annual fee. I called in to cancel the card and got to keep the points.
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Readers, have you ever tried calling in to get your AF reduced and if so, what type of offers have you received? Did they convince you to stay or did you end up canceling anyways?