Is Your American Express Annual Fee Due? Before You Cancel, Here Are 3 Bonus Opportunities You Might Be Missing!
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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Some of the better miles & points credit card offers you’ll find are often targeted. For example, AMEX has recently sent out a few good spending offers. And folks with AMEX charge cards are sometimes targeted for easy bonus points if they enroll in the Extended Payment Option.
One question a lot of readers have is “how can I get targeted for these offers?” While there is no magic button, one trick is to pay close attention to when your annual fee is coming due.
3 Overlooked Reasons Why Your AMEX Card Might Be Worth the Annual Fee
Recently, Frequent Miler and Miles to Memories noticed that they were targeted for generous AMEX bonus offers near their account’s anniversary date when the annual fee was due. It makes sense for AMEX to do this, and when you combine these offers with a card’s other perks and a potential retention offer for keeping the card open (call and ask, it doesn’t hurt), paying your annual fee might actually make sense!
Keeping credit card accounts open will help improve your credit score by increasing the age of your accounts. This is only a small factor of your credit score, but it’s something I keep in mind when considering which accounts to keep or close. Also, American Express seems to be getting tougher on who qualifies for an intro bonus on a new card. And per their terms, one factor in this could be how frequently you open or close cards with them.
So if you aren’t sure whether your card’s perks, like lounge access, bonus spending categories, or travel credits, make paying the annual fee worthwhile, then these offers might tip the scales.
1. Retention Offer
One thing I always do before I close or downgrade a credit card with an annual fee is call the bank and ask for a retention offer. All you need to do is call customer service and let them know you’re thinking about canceling your card. They should transfer you to a retention specialist.
Let the specialist know your annual fee is coming up and you don’t want to pay it. They may offer to let you downgrade to a no-annual-fee card, or they might give you a special deal for keeping the card. No matter what they offer you, always ask if they have any other retention deals for you and then pick the best one.
In the past, I’ve gotten offers for a $95 statement credit after spending $95 (for a $95 annual fee card). And I’ve gotten other deals too, like spending $1,000 in the next 3 months to earn 10,000 points.
Recently, team member Meghan got retention offers on a bunch of her AMEX cards worth up to 47,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points!
2. Spending Offer
If you’re targeted for a spending offer you might get a notification by email or snail mail. But that’s not always the case, especially if you aren’t subscribed to receive promotional offers. So when you account anniversary is coming due, you’ll want to check your offers online or give AMEX a call and see if you qualify for any spending deals.
Right now folks have reported being targeted for spending bonuses of up to 35,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points or up to 15,000 Marriott points on certain cards.
3. Bonus Offer for Extended Payment Option
This deal is the best one of the bunch because it’s so easy to earn.
If you have an AMEX charge card, like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll have to pay your balance in full every month (unlike a credit card). But AMEX has an Extended Payment Option.
After enrolling, you can pay your balance over time. We always recommend paying off bills in full and on time, or you’ll end up paying absurd interest rates on your balance. But AMEX does target folks with a bonus for enrolling in the program. And to earn the bonus you don’t actually need to use the feature, you just need to enroll in it.
Currently, there is at least one sweet deal out there for 10,000 bonus AMEX Membership Rewards points for signing up for the Extended Payment Option.
Are there any targeted deals you’ve gotten that we haven’t mentioned? Please let me know in the comments!
What has your experience been with getting targeted AMEX bonus offers? Has it happened close to when your annual fee is due? Or is there another potential pattern we’re missing?
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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)