Adventures in Retention with Citi AAdvantage AmEx

I called Citi a couple of days ago (roughly 304 days after getting my 75,000 AAdvantage mile AmEx, Visa and Business Visa. My intention was to close the AmEx. Well, more precisely, my intention was to have them convince me to not close it. My call went something like this (summarized):

Me: I’d like to close my account.
Citi: Why is that?
Me: Well, I’m a points & miles guy, and I’ve found another card that earns me 1.25 AA miles per dollar instead of just 1 mile per dollar.
Them: Well, I’ll tell you what, if you keep your card, we’ll either let you earn 2 miles per dollar for the next 90 days, or give you 3,000 miles if spend $500 in the next 3 cycles.
Me: Really? 2 per dollar for 90 days, that’s great. I’ve got about $40k to spend in the next 6 weeks or so.
Them: Um, there’s a cap of 5,000 miles on that 2 per dollar deal.
Me: Okay, I’ll take the 3,000 miles then. Oh, BTW, that $85 annual fee is coming up in June. Is there anything you can do about that?
Them: Not on this call. You’ll have to call back when it’s a little closer to see if there’s something that can be done.
Me: Okay, thanks. Talk to you next month.

It takes about 48 hours for the retention bonus to register, so tomorrow I will spend $500 (my statement closes in a few days) on it. Hopefully that will post with my April statement. If so, I will call them to see if they can waive the annual fee. If they can’t, I’ll close it.

Disclaimer: :When I called to close the Business Visa last month, they just said, “Okay. It’s been fun.” So, YMMV, but it was an easy 3,000 miles in my case. I’ll try the same with the Visa next week and let you know how it goes.


  1. #1 by Tir on March 23, 2012 - 9:39 am

    If I cancel my Citi card, when can I apply again (churn) to get another bonus miles in the future?

  2. #2 by cdmoye on March 23, 2012 - 11:12 am

    It depends upon the card. The general wisdom on the personal Citi cards is that you should wait about 18-24 months between applying for one and applying for another of the same card type–i.e. Visa or AmEx. When, or even if, you cancel the previous one(s) does not seem to impact it much. The business Visa is much more churnable. Typically, people see results after waiting about 95 days between applicaitons. As with all things, YMMV. But there have been pretty positive results with those timeframes.

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