I get occasional emails from Head for Points readers asking me if it is worth trying to ‘bargain’ with American Express over threatening to cancel your card, hoping to get a lucrative retention offer.
My answer is usually ‘No’.
There is plenty of evidence over the years to show that American Express in the UK does NOT have a standard offer to make to people who ring up to cancel.
The majority of people are simply thanked for their custom and that is it. When the Platinum fee was hiked from £300 to £450 in 2012, there was very little attempt made to keep people who decided to ditch it.
That said, some people DO get offered something. There seems to be no logic behind how these offers are triggered.
I thought it would be interesting to track recent offers made to Head for Points readers who have called Amex to cancel cards.
As a starter, Stephen emailed me recently to say that he was offered double Membership Rewards points for six months if he decided to keep his American Express Platinum card. He turned this offer down.
He was also offered the chance to keep his free linked Platinum credit card for a fee of £36 per year if he did cancel the charge card. Whilst Stephen turned this down, there is one reason why you might accept this deal – it would let you keep your Membership Rewards account open whilst you wait for a transfer bonus.
(I wrote about the Platinum credit card here. If you have a Platinum charge card, you can earn an easy 3000 Membership Rewards points by asking for a free Platinum credit card to hold alongside it.)
Please post any offers that Amex has made to you recently in the comments below. Thanks.
PS. Here’s some news on a tangential topic. Stewart got in touch last week to say that Amex has changed its way of calculating fee refunds when you cancel cards. They have usually rounded down to the nearest month, so if you cancelled after 7 weeks you only paid one month of fee. Stewart was told that Amex is now calculating fee refunds on a daily basis.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.