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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.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 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.

  • 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.

    • Rob says:

      Unlikely to be anything before September when people return from holiday.

  • Nik says:

    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.

  • 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.

  • Alan says:

    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.

  • Luke says:

    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

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

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