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American Express offering 20,000 point retention bonuses to Platinum cardholders – but not to me!

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American Express Platinum has begun offering 20,000 Membership Rewards points to some people who ring up and threaten to cancel their card.

I say ‘some’ because when I called up myself I didn’t receive any offer.  It is definitely happening though – here is a screenshot from a reader who was given 20,000 points on Thursday:

American Express Platinum 20,000 point retention bonuses

There is no pattern here, it seems.

American Express Platinum retention offers – Case 1

Reader 1 called up on Wednesday to ask if there was anything better to stop him cancelling than the ‘double points on spending’ offer.

The agent looked into his system and found an offer which he told the caller he thought had just been added.  He then read out from his screen, to paraphrase:

“To thank you for your loyalty and to acknowledge the loss of benefits in the current situation, we would like to offer you 20,000 points which will be added to your account immediately. With the current promotion, this has a value of £180 which in turn is 1/3 of your annual fee. “

The next day, the points were there as you can see from the screenshot above.

American Express Platinum retention bonus

American Express Platinum retention offers – Case 2

Reader 2 called up on Thursday.  With no flights now booked, and with no immediate use for the card benefits except for the travel insurance (now not needed) he called to cancel.

The reader was also offered 20,000 Membership Rewards points.  However, he would not receive these until a week after the annual fee was paid, which is due in two months.  The agent kindly reminded him that nothing stops him cancelling immediately after the points appear for a pro-rata fee refund.

It is worth noting that Reader 1 has a card which renews in August, which may be why he was offered the points immediately.

American Express Platinum retention bonus

American Express Platinum retention offers – Case 3

Reader 3 is me!  Emboldened by these cases, I thought I’d call up.

I thought I was on solid ground, to be honest.

I have held Amex cards for 20 years, with my Platinum for probably 17-18 years

I very rarely spend on the card, holding it primarily for the travel benefits and because I get my British Airways Premium Plus American Express for free (this is a grandfathered benefit for anyone who held a Platinum card on the day the BA Amex cards launched).

And yet ….. nothing.

The only option I was given was to downgrade to the Gold card and to have the annual fee waived for the first year.  This is the usual response judging from other readers who have cancelled recently.  I pushed harder and was put on hold for a couple of minutes, but the agent came back to say that there was no other option.  I could cancel or I could downgrade to Gold and get a free year.  I made my excuses and left.

I’m not sure what we should conclude from this.  On Monday there will be some interesting news which has a bearing on this case, as they say.  If you have nothing better to do for 10 minutes over the next few weeks (do NOT all ring today because you can be pretty sure you’ll be marked out as a HFP reader!) you might want to give it a go.  There’s nothing to lose, except a little bit of your dignity!

UPDATE, Saturday lunchtime:  It appears that UK Amex call centre agents are all working from home at the moment.  The 20,000 point offer IS, I am told, “in the system” but not all agents know it exists or how to apply it.  There is a online discussion group for the call centre agents which includes an explanation of how to find it and apply it.  My own failure to get the bonus appears to be down to the fact that I called at 6pm and so was diverted to a US call centre (the woman I spoke with did have a US accent) who did know about offers for UK cardholders.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (289)

  • Sanjit Chaudhuri says:

    i have tried on 3 different occasions.. each with no luck…

  • N.S. says:

    I have spoken with Amex this morning, I was given 20000 MRP when I mentioned I would like to cancel my platinum card after 35 years of membership.

    I was also able to pay my annual fee with 64000 MRP.

  • J. says:

    Thanks to this article and all those that commented, gave me the courage!
    Called Saturday evening, I asked about my downgrade options. No offers. Agent even suggested that I apply for a new card and call back to my cancel account.
    A bit disappointed I called again today, Monday evening. I mentioned that I saw on a reliable internet source and a friend mentioned that 20k MR points being offered to Platinum card members if they keep their card so asked what my options were.
    Got this long spiel:
    1) double points per £1 spent and £9 for 1k MR points redeemed until 20 July. Said I knew this already.
    2) Pay for annual fee monthly at £48/month which works out at £576. I said I’m fine with paying annually.
    3) Downgrade option to Gold or Green charge card. Lower annual fee but fewer benefits etc. At this point, in my head I was like I’m not gonna get anything now. I asked if it entailed another credit application and she said yes but I said that I wasn’t keen on doing that, I asked if there’s anything else.
    4) she said they can’t do anything about the annual fee but she could offer me 15k MR points as a loyal customer having had the card for a little while now. I asked 15k and not 20k? She explained that on my account, the available offer is only 15k and that’s the best she could do. She reassured me that it was only a small gesture for my loyalty and that they are launching some more benefits at the end of the month (May 2020). However, she was at no liberty to discuss as they haven’t been signed off yet. I pressed a bit more but she said she can’t even hint but hopes that these can at least off set the card membership fee as most benefits are travel related. I accepted the 15k MR points and she said it will be added tomorrow.
    Hope this helps and good luck!

    • youngtraveller says:

      Just called today had a similar reply except there was no mention of points 2 and 3 it went from 1 to 4 directly. No mention of other benefits but they said they totally understand the situation etc. I took the 15k and was told it will be this week too.

      • M says:

        I’m currently on the line to Amex. So far either downgrade to gold or pay your annual fee in monthly instalments.

        • M says:

          Update: they’ve offered 20 MR points. They did put me on hold and I’ve gathered the Brighton team offer it straight away but the US team offer it after you ask for a manager.

  • A says:

    Tried two times this week to get any sort of bonus offer. My membership was renewed in early May. Sadly on both times no luck. Both times with Brighton team who were very apologetic and only solution offered was to downgrade to Gold.

  • Sanjit Chaudhuri says:

    tried one last time.. and it was still a solid no to any points…

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Just called, offered downgrade to Gold, no fee in 1st year. Then offered 20k points, and finally monthly billing of the fee, but that would be a new application and could cancel any time. She did say I needed to keep the card for the year when taking the 20k points. I took the points.