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Report your American Express cancellation counter-offers

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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.


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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

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American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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American Express Business Gold

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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

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Comments (59)

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

  • Harry says:

    What happens to my Amex Gold Credit card after I cancel the gold charge card? Does that get automatically cancelled too? I seem to have a separate rewards point account on my gold credit card. Can they be merged?

    • Gordon says:

      It gets cancelled. Its not available stand alone

    • Marwan says:

      You can have them merge the two MR accounts. I did it recently by sending an email via the website

  • Rob says:

    I have only just got the gold charge card. In the 2 weeks I have had it, I have already spent the £2000 needed for the bonus – mostly on foreign currency spending – which attracts a 2.99% fee. Could lots of foreign usage, resulting in these transaction fees, make Amex more likely to want to keep you?

    • Test1 says:

      No, it is too small. If you are an active user spending tens of thousands — they might barely notice that.

  • Dominic says:

    My experience with the Platinum Card has been different from most reported here…. I spend quite a lot on the card – probably £40K a year – which may help. But ever since the hike to £450, each year I have rung and said I’m not happy that it is value for money (which it isn’t!), as I can buy Priority Pass and good travel insurance elsewhere. And each year, the response has been to offer me a cash rebate (not MR points) that has varied between £150 and £200!

  • Roger says:

    Emotional quandary. 🙁

    Logically, I should cancel my Gold PRC when it comes up for renewal. From the second year, there’s the £125 fee and the first year offers fade out. I don’t use it outside the UK because of the 3% surcharge penalty. However, it keeps my BA PP at £0.

    But then, the lack of premium Avios reward flights to where I want to fly when I want to fly render Aviios earnings almost irrelevant. After all, I get 2x Avios with my no fee Diamond Club MC, better than the BAPP for general spend.

    Hmmm. Did I say emotional?

    • G Flyer says:

      Hey Roger

      You said “However, it keeps my BA PP at £0”

      Do you mean your annual fee on the BA Premium Plus card is free? If so, how so?

      Thx

      • Roger says:

        Yes, it’s ‘grandfathered’. Early BAPP-ers got a reduced or zero rate when a qualifying AmEx card was also held. I had the plat, since given up, and now have the PRC Gold. For me, the BAPP remains at £0 if I maintain the PRC Gold.

        Sadly, this doesn’t apply to more recent BAPP cardholders.

  • 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?

    • Rob says:

      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:

        Raffles,

        I read this on ba.com (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?

        • Rob says:

          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? 🙂

  • Phil says:

    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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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

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