I have several Citi AAdvantage credit cards, some with an $95 annual fee and some fee-free. The annual fee came due on one of my American Airlines cards, and I didn’t really see a reason to keep the card, so last evening I phoned in and said I wanted to close the account.
The reason for closing is that I didn’t want to pay the annual fee.
I was transferred to a “Retention Specialist”, a very pleasant American-sounding lady whose job it is to incentivize me to keep the account open.
She offered to credit my account for the full $95 amount of the annual fee, if I would spend at least $95 on the card in the next 30 days. I agreed, she read some legally-required text, and that card was set.
Then I asked her to look at my other Citi cards and tell me what “retention bonuses” I could get for keeping each open. For two of the airline cards with no annual fee, the deal was 3000 free frequent-flyer miles if I spend $500 within 3 months. I accepted the offer for both cards.
For the last card, also no-annual-fee, the offer was $100 statement credit if I spend $3000 in 6 months. I accepted that offer, but may not actually ever achieve the required spend. If not there is no penalty.
The Retention Specialist was happy and I was happy. In just a few minutes she was able to keep 5 accounts from being closed, which is sure to help her meet her numbers. I was happy because I’m on track to get 6000 American Airlines airline miles for almost no effort.