Ultimate Guide To Credit Card Retention Offers

Ultimate Guide To Credit Card Retention Offers

What Are Credit Card Retention Offers

Credit card retention offers are spending requirement offers given by credit card issuers that award a certain number of points, cash or a waived annual fee in exchange for you not closing your credit card. These retention offers can be thought of as mini SUBs since the reward offered can range from 10-15% back on the required spend. However, retention offers are usually not as good as SUBs in terms of total reward amount but they generally help cover or slightly exceed the card’s annual fee if there is one. For example, a retention offer may be something like get $150 in statement credit after spending $1,500 in the next 3 months or get 20,000 points after $2,000 in spend in the next 3 months.

It’s important to note that some issuers do have a requirement to keep the card open for a certain amount of time in order to receive the retention offer bonus. A good example of this is Amex, who requires customers that accept a retention offer keep their card open for another year. If you close the card early, these banks will usually claw back the earned rewards.

Why You Should Ask For A Retention Offer

You should always ask for a retention offer because there is little to no downside to it and there is a huge upside in doing so. The best case scenario is that you get a good offer that covers the annual fee while the worst that can happen is the bank representative tells you no. If you were already planning on keeping the card open, a retention offer can make it essentially “free” to hold the card for another year.

But even if your card has no AF, retention offers can still give you additional rewards for spend you would have made anyways. I’ve seen reports of people receiving a retention offer on a no AF card which is pretty sweet since there’s no yearly fee that eats into that profit. Some retention offers even have no requirements to them. People have reported receiving retention offers with no spend requirement which is a no brainer to accept since you don’t have to do anything and can receive free money.

Retention Offer Rules

Retention offers are great but there are still some rules you have to be aware of before asking for one. The first rule is that for Amex cards, you are not eligible for a retention offer if you have a received a retention offer on that card in the last 13 months. This means that if you held the Amex gold and got a retention offer on 4/2022, you cannot get another retention offer until 5/2023.

The next “rule” is more of a recommendation but if a retention offer does not specify a length of time that you have to keep the card open for, you should not immediately close the card after receiving the retention bonus. Keeping the card open for 6 months before closing is a safe bet but keeping it open for at least another year is the safest way to stay in the good graces of the bank.

When To Ask For A Retention Offer

Generally, the best time to ask for a retention offer is right when your annual fee posts on your account. The reason being is that most issuers give you around 30 days to close your card for a full refund of your AF. This means that you have around a month to try and get a retention offer that you’re happy with. If you end up not accepting the retention offer and decide to close the card, you would still be within the 30 day AF refund window and there would be no loss on your end. However, you can still ask for a retention offer at any time. Just make sure you don’t forget the 13 month rule mentioned in the previous section if you’re dealing with an Amex card!

How To Ask For A Retention Offer

There usually is no direct phone number to call to reach the retention department so calling the number on the back of your card is the most reliable way of getting connected to someone who can give you a retention offer. I usually mention something along the lines of “I’m thinking of closing the ___ card and was wondering if there were any retention offers for the card?”. Usually at this point they will either be able to give you an answer of whether or not there is an offer or the representative will transfer you to another department who deals with card closures and retention offers.

For Amex, the easiest way is to use the online chat function. After logging into your Amex account, at the bottom left hand side of your screen you should see the chat button. Click this and type “agent” to get connected with a representative. Once I’m connected with an representative, I ask if there are any retention offers.

How to ask for an Amex retention offer via online chat
Asking for a retention offer via online chat

At this point they will usually try and remind you of your card’s benefits and try to get you to keep the card open without an offer. Just keep reiterating that you’re not getting value out of the card and are still considering closing it and are interested in any retention offers. If there is a retention offer available, they will let you know like so.

Receiving an Amex retention offer via online chat
Receiving a retention offer

At this point you can either accept the offer or say no and disconnect from chat. 30k points for $3,000 in spend is the best retention offer available for the Gold card so I accepted. The representative will confirm that you accept edthe offer and inform you that the offer is now active. Easy peasy!

Accepting Amex retention offer via online chat
Accepted retention offer!

If you don’t get the desired offer you should always hang up call again (HUCA) a few times to see if you can get that better offer.

Which Issuers Give Retention Offers

Chase Retention Offers

Chase does give out retention offers but I’d say that you have a 50% chance of being offered one. Back in Covid a lot of CSR holders and myself included received a $150 or $250 retention offer on our CSRs. Last year I tried asking for another retention offer on my CSR and was told there is no offer attached to my account.

I’ve seen online reports of people receiving no spend offers such as $100 statement credit on cards like the United Quest but haven’t seen reports of CSP/CSR retention offers. Like we discussed before, it doesn’t hurt to call and try! You can check out data points of Chase retention offers in this Flyertalk thread.

Amex Retention Offers

Amex does give out retention offers and of the major issuers, Amex is probably the most generous with them. The thing is that Amex will have different offers for the same card so it’s good to know what the max offer is. For example, the Amex gold has offers such as

  • 20k MR for $2,000 in spend in 3 months
  • 30k MR for $3,000 in spend in 3 months
  • 15k points for $2k spend in 3 months
  • $100 statement credit after $1,500 spend

See more Amex retention offer DPs in this Flyertalk thread.

Citi Retention Offers

Citi does give out retention offers but it’s hit or miss. I would say the likelihood of receiving a retention offer is in between Chase and Amex. I recently called asking for a retention offer on my Citi Premier and was told there were no offers. This was unfortunate because I’ve seen reports of people getting statement credit or a waived fee so it really is a your mileage may very (YMMV) kind of thing. Similar to Amex, Citi gives different retention offers for the same card. For example, the Citi Premier has offers such as:

  • $95 statement credit after $95 in spend in 1 month
  • 5000 TYP for $1000 spend in next 3 months
  • 10,000 TYP for $3000 spend in 6 months

You can find more Citi retention offer DPs in this Flyertalk thread.

Bank of America Retention Offers

Bank of America does give out retention offers for their cards. They have the standard spend $1,500 in 3 months and receive $175 in statement credit offers but they also have some interesting offers where you can spend a set amount on any Bank of America card and receive statement credit on the card you wanted to close.

You can find more DPs in this Flyertalk thread.

Capital One Retention Offers

Capital One does not give out point or statement credit retention offers. The best you may get is an annual fee waiver. You can check out more DPs in this Flyertalk thread.

Barclays Retention Offers

Barclays does not give out any sort of retention offers. You can check out more DPs in this Flyertalk thread.

US Bank Retention Offers

US Bank does give out retention offers but they seem to only give out offers on the Altitude Reserve. The reports state that these retention offers can be 5k, 10k, or 15k points but the most common offer is for 10k points. There was a report of someone getting $400 credit but this seems like an outlier. You can checkout more DPs in this Flyertalk thread.

When Should You Not Accept A Retention Offer

In general, if you are eligible to receive the SUB for the card again, it is not worth accepting a retention offer. This is because you are better off just reapplying for the card again and getting the SUB again as that will yield you more points or cash. For example, if I have held the Citi Premier for 4 years and my AF just hit, it’s more lucrative for me to reapply for the Citi Premier again and get 60,000 TYP again instead of asking for a retention offer and getting at most 25k TYP.

Another reason to not accept a retention offer is if the spend you would use to complete the retention offer prevents you from completing the MSR on a more lucrative SUB. For example, if I accept a retention offer of spending $4,000 in 3 months to receive 40k points, I should make sure that the $4,000 I spend for that retention offer doesn’t stop me from getting another card with a good SUB like one from our best credit cards page. If I can only afford to spend ~$4,000 in 3 months, I would be better off just applying for a new card like the Amex Gold and getting 90k MR instead.

Lastly, if the retention offer you receive just isn’t good enough to justify the AF or you planned on closing the card anyways, you probably shouldn’t accept the retention offer and just close the card.


Retention offers are a terrific way to keep your credit card annual fees low or to just add some extra rewards to your wallet. It never hurts to ask for a retention offer so you should always try your luck at getting one before deciding to close a card. Just be wary of the retention offer rules and know which banks give out retention offers. Hope you all can grab some lucrative offers!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *