Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
When you call a bank to cancel a credit card, they’ll sometimes offer bonus points or a statement credit as an incentive to keep the card open another year.
And calling to cancel typically means you’ll speak to a live customer service representative. Even if you don’t get a retention offer, the bank usually wants to know why you’re cancelling the card.
But team member Keith had a different experience recently when calling to cancel his Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. And this made me wonder what the future holds for AMEX retention offers.
It’s still possible to get retention offers with AMEX. But I’ll let you know how the process of cancelling a card might be changing.
What Happens When You Call to Cancel an AMEX Card?
Recently, team member Keith shared his credit card inventory. He said he wanted to cancel the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card because he kept it for ~11 months and the annual fee was coming due.
So he called AMEX thinking they might give him a retention offer to keep him from cancelling the card. But instead he got an automated system, which said something like:
If you wish to proceed with cancelling your card, please say yes.
After saying “Yes,” the automated system read a disclosure. And just like that the account was closed.
Not having to wait for a live representative means you’ll spend less time on the phone when cancelling a card. This is convenient for folks who are certain they want to close an account.
But if you’re hoping for a retention offer, you’ll want to speak to a live agent. So if you get the automated system when closing your account, I recommend hanging up and calling back. Then, follow the prompts to speak to customer service instead of saying you want to cancel your card.
Keith admits he didn’t use the card much for the ~11 months he had it. So it’s possible AMEX’s automated system can see your account history and decide whether or not to transfer you to a live representative. Because his friend called AMEX the following day with the same card and received 20,000 bonus AMEX Membership Rewards points to keep his account open.
So I do NOT think AMEX is doing away with retention offers. But they’re likely being more selective about who gets them. This makes sense given other recent changes they’ve made, such as making card offer terms more strict to prevent gaming.
If you’re looking to see what other folks are getting as retention offers, I’d recommend checking out this FlyerTalk thread.
Team member Keith recently called American Express to cancel his Premier Rewards Gold card. Instead of speaking with a live customer service representative, an automated system handled his cancellation request and closed the account.
If you’re hoping to get a retention offer, like bonus points or a statement credit, you’ll want to speak to a live agent. So I recommend hanging up and calling back if you’re stuck with the automated system.
It’s possible AMEX is being more selective with retention offers. And the bank likely only wants to keep customers who use their cards often.
Do you have any recent experience closing an AMEX account? I’d love to hear about it!