Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Report your American Express cancellation counter-offers

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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? – December 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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.

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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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

10,500 points bonus – 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (59)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Erica says:

    Double points for 12 months on the gold card.

  • Gordon says:

    I cancelled my gold card in the last month and they offered me double points on all transactions for 6 months. Dont know if the offer is linked to card spend but i had spent over 25k in 15 months

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I think I was offered the same when I cancelled at the end of last year before my first anniversary. A bit over 10k spend I think.

  • Max says:

    I ditched the Platinum Charge Card earlier this year and was not proffered any retention offer. But I did get a refund of the annual charge which, going by the amount refunded, had to be based on a daily not monthly calculated rebate.

  • Paul Irving says:

    When I recently cancelled my platinum card, they offered me double points for 12 months, but that would have still been the same as my BMI card so I declined.

  • Frenske says:

    Mmm that is bad news. My gold card is approaching its anniversary next month, no conversion bonus in sight and £150 fee is looming. Already ordered the BA AmEx.

    • Sideysid says:

      Mine too, but I’m planning on applying for the gold amex credit card that partners the charge card that Raffles has previously mentioned in an article that gives 3000 point bonus on a £500 spend.

      People have reported that when cancelling the gold charge card they are being offered the chance to keep the gold credit card going (no annual fee + keeping membership awards alive until a bonus becomes available)

      Then on the anniversary of the gold charge card you get a bonus of 7500 points, and judging by this article you can now get a pro-rata refund on the annual fee up to the day you cancel.

      • Sideysid says:

        Obviously the 7500 bonus is providing you have spent 15k by your anniversary date (which I have)

      • Mark B says:

        I’ve qualified for the 7,500 points if I keep the card into the second year, I don’t think double points will be tempt me to pay the £125 fee, so thinking of cancelling for a refund as soon as the 7,500 have posted, question is when will this be ?

        • Rob says:

          The 7500 post one month after renewal, so you would get £110 of the £125 back, give or take

    • Will says:

      Fee for gold is £125 after the first yr

  • LHR Tim says:

    Mine was based on the following formula

    Retention Bonus Counter Offer = SQRT(Bugger All)

  • Danksy says:

    My OH was offered double points on leaving SPG
    I was offered 10,000 points to stay with SPG

    About to cancel Amex play so i will report back soon!

  • Jason says:

    OH downgraded plat to gold, just got 1 year double points etc and 125 fee.
    I cancelled platinum the day the statement was generated and my bonus points showed in my baec account. Amex refunded the total fee by transferring the credit( id paid statement plus fee to cancel) of £450 to my BA amex.
    As customer service goes i think amex are amazing, closely followed by HSBC premier, thats in a good way! They must be 2 of the few organisations where you can actual speak to a person these days. They also seem to actually want your business!

    • Andy says:

      Agree entirely with this. Amex CS is fantastic. I’ve made a few complaints about misinformation I’ve been given by them over the ‘phone, and customer service listened to the tape of my original call to check what I’d been told and gave me a few thousand avios or MR points to apologise for the confusion they had caused me. No messing about, no trying to exuse themselves – they just did the right thing immediately. Regardless of all the benefits you get with Amex I’d use them anyway.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.