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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 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 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 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 (289)

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

  • Andy says:

    Can someone help explain to me why the article says there should be some news today? What sort of news can we expect to hear?

  • Maria J says:

    Thank you very much, Rob! I have just rung them and offered me 20k points. Very happy!!
    BTW the above conversation took like a minute or less 🙂

  • Rob says:

    So just called again after being told at the weekend that the offer was’tailored to the account’ and I didnt qualify for anything.

    This time was asked if I was calling to hear if the rumour was true. I said it is more than a rumour and I have seen it on a very credible internet source. She asked if it was Head4Points so I said perhaps.

    Asked for 30 or 40 but she said the only options were 15 or 20. So took 20. Bit fed up with my treatment over the weekend so will probably cancel anyway.

  • Oliver says:

    I just called & was offered 20K points which will hit my account in the next 24-48 hours.
    It is annoying that you can’t do this via live chat!

  • Alex M says:

    Had a minor LOL now – called in the morning and was offered 15000 points, called now to see if they would offer 20000 this time and got “Sorry, no offer on your card!”. F*ing brilliant from AMEX!

    • Rob says:

      HUACA. Hang up and call again. You probably got the one I spoke to initially.

  • Taylor says:

    I needed to cancel anyway because I’m not renewing next month. Called and no offer was made and I just decided to cancel. 10k a year through it must not be enough.

  • Gtellez says:

    Has anyone receive the points? I called on Saturday and they offered me 15k points, that I accepted it. They told me the points will be in my account in 24-48 hours, but nothing yet.

  • Alan says:

    Another data point – called today and offered drop to Gold (no fee for first year) or 15k points. Pushed back saying lots of reports of 20k and they agreed to an extra 5k on top of the 15k. Am making good use of double points earning but if still no sign of travel resumption when that ends I may call back and do downgrade to Gold. Now to call ICC…

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

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