Report your American Express cancellation counter-offers!

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. 

Amex Gold

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.

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. idrive says:

    OT: i saw that one of the benefits of Marco Polo is the fact that paying a qualifying tariff (no hand baggage only tariff in sale now) i can have double luggage for free for me and companion. do i simply have to go to Finnair input MP code, select seat and then show the Marco Polo card at check-in to use the double allowance? at what point shall I put my BAEX # to credit the BA account?

    Also, is it allowed to change companion name on a 241 ticket or the whole ticket will be canceled and reissued, losing the seats?

    • You can’t do a name change on a 241 except potentially during the 24 hour cooling off period.

      Any Marco Polo special benefits are only when flying on Cathay. When flying BA, you will only receive the benefits that all oneworld Sapphire members receive when flying all oneworld airlines. This is a less generous list.

      • idrive says:


        I read this on (baggage section)

        Executive Club Silver and oneworld Sapphire members

        A checked baggage allowance of two pieces in any World Traveller, Euro Traveller and Domestic cabin for the cardholder and any customer travelling on the same booking (excludes hand-baggage only fares and group rate bookings).
        A weight allowance of 32kg (71lb) per checked bag in any class of travel for the cardholder only.

        this means that i can bring 2 bags of up to 32 kg , am i wrong?

        • Yes, you can take 2 x 32kg. Anyone else with you is restricted to 2 x 23kg.

          This is a 2013 change, before that everyone travelling with you got 2 x 32kg.

    • susan says:

      Technically you only need to show the CX-G card at the lounge – it does not need to be on the boarding card, but some outstations can be tricky. It’s simpler to do OLCI with the CX-G sapphire so you have a boarding card with the status showing then go on to Finnair and change to BAEC or wherever you want the miles to credit. When checking in baggage I’ve done this from the BA lounge just to make sure that a new non-sapphire boarding card wasn’t printed at bag drop.

      • AndyGWP says:

        If I have (for example) 3 connections, does this still apply (ie. the statement that as long as the CX status is on the boarding card, you’re fine)

        So, MAN -> SFO, with connections at LHR, MIA and ORD (for example), would mean I WOULDN’T have to:
        Check in at MAN with CX, enter lounge and change to BAEC,
        Then get to LHR, change back to CX, enter lounge and change to BAEC,
        Then get to MIA, change back to CX, enter lounge and change to BAEC,
        Then get to ORD, change back to CX, enter lounge and change to BAEC.

        and instead I can just checkin at MAN with CX, then change to BAEC immediately…?

        Is that correct? 🙂 just want to make sure (and minimise faff!) – never been sure as to whether they check what’s written on the boarding card, or what comes up when they scan my ticket.

        • AndyGWP says:

          Sorry to bump, just wanted to re-affirm whether my above presumption tallies up? 🙂

  2. I was offered 1000 MR points and double MR for 6 months and also told that i should try and ring up in 6 montghs time to extend it.

  3. oyster says:

    Recently cancelled my wife’s Amex plat and although she had the card for nearly 3 months, she was refunded the full £450 fee. Not bad for the bonus 30k MR points!

  4. Ben E says:

    We cancelled our Platinum two months ago and they didn’t provide the refund as promised. Rang up two weeks ago to check and they refunded £400… we’d had it for around 4 months so goodwill gesture I think.

  5. Chico Dusty says:

    Waiting for the next Avios transfer bonus before I cancel my Gold card. Any idea when the next one is due? I regretably missed the previous window.

  6. Cancelled my BA Amex today and was offered double avios for three months; explained that I was currently getting double MR on my gold card and declined. I’ll wait six months and get a referral from my wife when they next have 9000 avios offer again.

  7. Sully says:

    Offered to change Platinum to Gold, with double MR on supermarket for 2 years (up from the original 1 year) and double MR on travel for life, for £285.

    I’m already getting better than that with the BMI, which I told them – awaiting a reply to that email now.

  8. Plat I was offered double MRs for six months. SPG I was offered 10k to retain, which I did for a few months. Agree re generally excellent CS.

  9. SPG I was offered nothing at all to keep my card. Spent over £40k on it in the last year. Bit of a shame but didn’t need it anyway

  10. Jumble Tales says:

    Same here with SPG. I was offered nothing to keep it yesterday. I am now deciding whether to keep it or not for another year.

  11. Emily says:

    I thought this was interesting… I had the Blue BA Amex and as I had hit the £20k mark for the 241 and following Raffles advice thought I’d cancel and move to Gold Amex. Gold was issued no problem. I then called to cancel BA Amex and not only was I not offered any incentive, I was ‘warned’ that if I cancelled my BA Amex that I would ‘lose’ my 241 voucher. I explained that I was staying with Amex, had the gold card, and wanted to consolidate my cards – and surely how can they compel me to keep a credit card by saying I would lose an earned bonus? Hardly seems fair practice or responsible lending. The gentleman I spoke to then put me on hold and came back to ‘confirme his supervisor had confirmed I would lose it’.

    I called BA and they said that whilst technically they like the taxes to be paid by a BA Amex card, that I’d earned the 241 and wouldn’t lose it! Seems that rather than offering an incentive to stay that Amex offered me a very direct disincentive!