The annual fee ($50) came due this month on a card I hardly ever use, my American Airlines Gold Mastercard. My intention was to keep the card, get the fee waived, a mileage retention bonus and lower my credit limit. (It seems I’ve been pushing them too hard).
My first utterances were: ”Please send me to the retention department. I’m thinking of closing my account.”
After the transfer to retention I took control of the situation telling the very knowledgeable agent my goals and reasoning. She came back with: ”Sure I can lower your credit limit (I need it for another card), but I can’t give you a statement credit for the $50 and miles.”
She could give me a statement credit of $50 and one extra mile per $$ spent for the next three months. That wouldn’t work as I don’t use the card.
I asked: “How about another option with a miles credit for a retention bonus?”
Her response: ” How about another 7,500 miles in your AA account and you pay the $50 renewal fee?
Bingo we have a winner here. I’d pay $50 for 7,500 AA miles everyday of the week. The deal was done and I’m that much closer to Lifetime Platinum with American.
The moral of my story is never accept the first option unless you like it. These banks want our business and the customer service agents have some latitude in meeting our retention demands. Don’t ever be afraid to ask, and if you don’t like the offer ask for another option. If if you don’t like the next option offered, hang up politely and call again.
When that credit card statement comes with the annual fee due, look at the positive side. You’ll get to practice your negotiating skills. And in today’s environment, probably end up a winner.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49