When you sign up for a credit card, you should know to expect a bonus to motivate you to get the card. For the most part, there is no reason to sign up for a card unless it has a really attractive bonus.
Still, you always need to be prepared for an offer when cancelling the card.
When you get transferred to the account cancellation department, you need to know that is really their account retention department. The last thing they want to do is to end the conversation by cancelling your card.
People have asked what they can do to increase the possibility that they will be offered a retention bonus, but there’s not a lot of phone negotiation strategies you’ll be able to use. For the most part, what they can offer you is dependent on your long term credit history on the card.
Factors that increase your likelihood of being offered a retention bonus:
- How much money have you spent on the card?
- How long have you been a card holder?
- What is your payment history?
The better a customer you are, the more likely it is that the credit card company will want to keep you.
The one tip I do have for getting an offer to keep the card is be very specific about why you are cancelling the card.
I recently called to cancel my CitiBank AAdvantage card.
Citi Agent: “Mr. Ford, can I ask why you’re cancelling the card today?”
Me: “Sure. Thanks for asking. The card has an $85 annual fee and I don’t want to pay the annual fee.”
(Type. Type. Click. Click.)
Citi Agent: “Mr. Ford, it looks like I can put an $85 statement credit on your account and every time you spend $750 in a month we can give you an extra 750 miles. Would you be willing to keep the card?”
Myself: “Yes. That sounds good.”
He then went on to read some terms and conditions.
All I’m saying is that you should be truthful and polite when cancelling your card, and you may get an offer that will motivate you to keep the card. Don’t act annoyed and don’t refuse to disclose information to the phone agent. You might find out that your polite disposition could score you a few extra miles, points, or dollars.
What offers have you had when cancelling a card?