If it is your credit card renewal period, you may be weighing up whether the benefits you have derived over the last year are worth paying the annual fee. With so many welcome and signing-up offers on other cards, along with the great benefits they advertise - how do you know whether to stick with your current card or jump ship? Well, one way is to see what you can get with credit card retention offers from your current card providers.
If you ask to be put through to the retention department for your credit card, you may end your phone call with a reduced annual fee, increased bonuses, or statement credit on your account!
Below we will talk you through everything you need to know about credit card retention offers and what you need to do to be offered a retention bonus when you call your card provider.
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What Are Retention Bonuses?
Your bank wants to keep your business. With new competitors arriving to take away your custom and older, established stores offering incredibly attractive benefits and bonuses - your credit card provider is keen to keep the annual fee of existing customers coming in each year.
To retain your custom for another year a card provider's retention department is authorized to offer you certain discounts, and bonuses and waive fees to persuade you to renew.
How does Asking for a Retention Bonus Work?
Now that you know the answer to "What are Retention Bonuses?", how do you go about getting one? Well, the key here is that you have to ask for one!
Credit card providers don't want to offer more of these bonuses or discounts than they have to. Their goal is to rake in the most profits and cutting the annual fees for thousands of customers when they renew isn't going to be an aim.
So, customers are really only put through to the retention department as a last resort when it becomes obvious that a customer is going to leave otherwise. credit card redemption offers are last-ditch efforts to keep your business for the next twelve months.
The best way for you to access credit card retention offers is to call your credit card provider's customer service line and make it clear to the agent that you are seriously considering canceling your card unless there are some incentives or discounts which they can offer. This should be enough to have them transfer you to the retention department. Some banks even have direct phone lines to their retention department for this purpose:
- Chase Bank: 1-800-432-3117
- Capital One Bank: 1-877-514-9959
- Citi Bank: 1-800-444-2568
- American Express: 1-800-528-4800
Will I Get Credit Card Retention Offers if I Threaten To Cancel?
Just because you ask to be put through to the retention department, that doesn't automatically mean that you will receive credit card retention offers. And if you do receive offers, you still might decide that they are not enough to warrant paying the annual fee for another year.
Each card provider will have their policies and limits concerning what the retention department can offer you. Your offer will also factor in how long you've held the card and how often you use it along with other information.
When Is the Best Time to Ask for Credit Card Retention Offers?
You should wait until about a month before you are due to renew your annual fee to call your provider and ask to talk to the retention department. This is the key moment when banks will be keen to secure your next annual payment and you will hold the power over that decision.
Even if you aren't actually considering canceling your card, it is worth ringing up to see what credit card retention offers when you keep your card open for another year.
However, you shouldn't expect to receive redemption offers every year. If you accepted a retention offer within the past few years, your chances of receiving another one are quite slim.
A Template of Your Call for Credit Card Retention Offers
Contacting your card provider about retention offers can be an intimidating process if you haven't done it before. But you should remember that it is a low-stakes call. The worse that can happen is that you discover there aren't any bonuses on offer. You won't be penalized and you aren't doing anything underhand or illegal!
Here is a template for you to follow when to call to enquire about credit card retention offers:
"I'm calling as I have realized that my card renewal date is coming up and I don't think that I am getting enough value from the card to justify the annual fee."
"I don't think that the current benefits on the card are enough to justify my keeping the card for another year. Are there any additional benefits or discounts available which will make the card more valuable for me?"
If you don't receive any credit card redemption offers or don't like those you have received, thank them for their time and say you'll get back to them.
What Should I Do If My Provider Has No Credit Card Retention Offers for Me?
If the retention department didn't offer you anything on your first call, you can always try again a little closer to the renewal date if you called two or three months ahead. It's not guaranteed that you'll receive an offer but it's always worth trying.
If you intended to keep the card all along, then you can simply shrug off the experience and try again another year.
However, if you were calling for credit card retentions to stop you from canceling and have been disappointed with your results, you need to do some research. Think about possible negatives and actions you need to take if you cancel your card.
- Can you transfer your loyalty points or air miles to a different loyalty program?
- Are you certain that your credit score won't be affected if you cancel your card?
- Can you downgrade your account to one with a cheap annual fee rather than cancel altogether?
- Are you absolutely certain that the benefits and points you collect on the card are not worth the annual fee? Are there programs and benefits you weren't aware of which might help you save money in the long run?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you should be confident in your decision. And all you need to do is find a new card which does suit you and enjoy their signing-on bonus!
Summary- Retention Offers: Get More Out of Renewing Your Credit Cards
Hopefully, you should now have a clear idea of the answer to the question "what are retention bonuses?" and know exactly how asking to speak to a card's retention department can benefit you. Whether you are serious about canceling a card or not, seeing what credit card retention offers are available should be an automatic action the next time you need to renew.
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