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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? – February 2023 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) 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.

  • Joe says:

    20000 point success today.
    I was offered nothing at first when enquiring what was on offer if I took the platinum for another year and was told an incentive can only be made by Amex when I ask for the card to be canceled this makes the computer offer a deal to stay. 20000 Award points was given and in my account in 2 hours.
    Happy happy

  • Nick says:

    Called this morning saying I was thinking of cancelling and was offered a downgrade to Gold or 20,000 points instantly. Took the latter.

  • Ashic Mahtab says:

    Just called. 4pm UK time. Initially told me about double points, and the “they’d have to start cancellation process to see what they could offer me”. Asked them to do so, checked computer (apparently separate system). Got offered 20k points. Took them. Last year, “threat” of cancellation got me 2x points for 6 months. I think I made the most of it resulting in a net “reward” of more than 20k points. But ah well…

    She mentioned there’s more offers coming through for Platinum cardholders in the pipeline, though she can’t mention specifics right now.

  • Louise says:

    I just called and got told I could downgrade to Gold but nothing else on offer. She said to try calling back at the end of next week as they may have some additional offers by then.

  • Andrew Marshall says:

    I called and was put through to their Philippines call centre … agent went away and came back with the 20,000 point retention offer … went into my account 48 hours later ..

    • john says:

      Also spoke to the Manilla call centre this morning and was offered the 20k points retention offer as well as monthly fee (renewal date is next week). Points instantly added to my account

  • Will says:

    I was offered 15,000 points to stay with the platinum but the snag was It wold be for the next card year becuase I’m close to my renewal date. Got ARCC a couple of days ago and the rep reminded me I kept my points which was obviously the most important thing.

  • Adam says:

    No joy for me. I’ve called twice this week and have only been offered a downgrade to the Gold Charge Card. Today, I seemed to go through to a non-UK call centre who said that he couldn’t offer anything but that to keep an eye out for an email from Amex for UK cardholders by the end of the month (although he couldn’t say whether there will be anything specifically for Platinum cardholders in the email) and to call back after receiving the email.

  • Jon says:

    I called this morning and received £150 if I spend £1. (No time limit). I’d rather have had the points, but no option for it.
    (I’d have gotten a £290 credit had I actually cancelled) …dont know if that makes a difference, maybe those earlier in their card period would have more credit.

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