Monday, April 15, 2013

Credit Card Retention Bonus

It is well known in the credit card blogosphere that most credit card companies will offer you a retention bonus for threatening to cancel your card.

The annual fee for my Citi Bank American Airlines was coming up this month.   I got 50,000 miles for spending about $1,500 so I have about 51,000 American Airlines miles.  That being said, I don't really use the card at all anymore so I was ready to cancel.

I called up Citibank and told them "I would like to cancel my card because I don't want to pay an annual fee."  I was put on the line with someone from the retention department.

The Offer

I was immediately offered a $50 statement credit (the price of the annual fee) and  750 bonus miles every month for the next 16 months if I spend $750 in that month.  If I spend right around $750 every month for the next 16 months, I'll get 12,000 total bonus miles on top of the regular 12,000 miles for spending $12,000 miles for a total of 24,000 miles.


This is not an overwhelming bonus by any stretch.  American Airlines miles are nice, but they aren't quite as valuable as United miles in my book.  It costs 90,000 miles to fly from JFK to Tel Aviv on American instead of 80,000 on United.  

That being said, I will probably spend the $750 every month that I would have normally put on my Fidelity American Express.  Instead of $240, I'll have 24,000 miles, more than a quarter of the way to a free round trip ticket.

I'll probably end up going to CVS every month, buying $750 of gift cards and cashing them out through Bluebird.