Credit Card Retention Offers: How to Save Money on Annual Fees

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Many of the best credit cards on the market come with annual fees. Some are reasonable  at $99 a year or less. Others are more staggering – $450, $550 or more. Whenever these lofty annual fees post to our statements, we must decide – is the card worth keeping? Should I cancel it? Well, there may be a third option: credit card retention offers.

credit card retention offers

What are Credit Card Retention Offers?

In short, retention offers are a credit card issuer’s way to keep you as a customer. They may consist of bonus points, waived fees, cash credits, etc.





Retention offers almost always require you to call in and talk to a rep. Specific offers will vary, and sometimes you may not be offered anything at all.

In some cases, credit card issuers will simply wave the annual fee if you call in and ask. Other times they will offer you bonus points, a partial refund of the annual fee, or some other sort of olive branch to keep you on board.



For example, on a card with a $99 annual fee, you may be offered a full refund ($99), a partial refund ($50), a bonus offer with no requirements (3,000 points), or a bonus offer with a spend requirement (10,000 points after spending $1,000 in the next 2 months).

You can actually check to see what other people have received as retention offers by heading over to FlyerTalk. Here are some helpful links:



How Do I Get a Retention Offer?

It may seem silly, but often times getting a credit card retention offer involves nothing more than calling in and asking nicely.

The retention department exists to keep you as a customer – it cost a lot to obtain your business, so they are often willing to throw some bonus points your way to keep you as a cardholder. Simply calling in and asking for bonus points or a waived annual fee works surprisingly often.

Basically, just call in and say that you’re not sure if you’re going to keep your card or not. Mention the annual fee and that you’re unsure if it’s worth keeping. If necessary, compare the card to others you hold – i.e., “My Sapphire Reserve has a better earning rate, so I don’t use this card much any more”.

You will likely be transferred to the retention department. If you aren’t, you may need to be more direct, and say that you wish to cancel the card. Front-line reps rarely handle card cancellations, so if you say those words you will almost certainly be transferred to the retention department.

Most people call in shortly before or shortly after their annual fee posts. Each bank has different rules and best practices, as outlined here. Keep in mind these are basically unwritten rules/guidelines that are subject to change.

Retention Offer Best Practices

  • Be kind and courteous to the reps you speak with
  • Call around the time your annual fee posts
  • Call during business hours (retention reps aren’t available 24/7)
  • Ask for the annual fee to be waived
  • If that doesn’t work, ask for bonus points or courtesy credit
  • If that still doesn’t work, ask to cancel the card
  • If you are still not offered anything, decide whether to keep the card or cancel it right there
  • If you don’t succeed at first, it may be worthwhile to call again and try a different rep

FAQ

How do I pay my best buy credit card online?

How do I pay my Best Buy Credit Card bill? You can pay your Best Buy credit card bill online, in-store, by mail (to the address on your statement) or by phone (1-888-574-1301).

How do I pay my Best Buy bill online?

By phone. Call 1-888-574-1301.

How do I find my best buy credit card number?

Here's how to check your Best Buy credit card status by phone:Call the Best Buy Credit Card Center 1-888-574-130.Enter your Social Security number.Give the representative your application reference number. If you don't have it handy, Best Buy can look it up with your name and SSN.May 6, 2018How do I check my Best Buy credit card application status?https://wallethub.com › answers › how-do-i-check-my-best-buy-credit-card-...

How does Best Buy credit card rewards work?

Best Buy purchases using standard credit: Get 2.5 points for every spent (that's 5% back) on qualifying Best Buy purchases on the card using standard credit. Elite Plus members get 3 points for every spent.

How do I activate my USAA credit card?

Here's how to activate a USAA credit card:Online Activation: Log into your USAA online account and select the “Activate Card” link.Activate by Phone: To activate your USAA credit card by phone, call customer service at 201-531-8722. When the automated menu asks what you'd like to do, say, “activate my credit card.”Dec 11, 2017How do you activate a USAA credit card? - WalletHubhttps://wallethub.com › answers › how-do-you-activate-a-usaa-credit-card-2...

How do I activate my Visa credit card?

You can activate a Visa credit card by calling the number on the back of your card or through the issuer's website....WalletHub, Financial CompanyBy phone. Your credit card will often come with a sticker on it or an instruction sheet that lists the phone number of an activation line. ... Online. ... Through customer service.Jan 7, 2018How to Activate Visa Credit Cards - WalletHubhttps://wallethub.com › answers › how-to-activate-visa-credit-cards-2140660...

How do I activate my credit card online?

Method 1 Activating Your Card OnlineFind the activation information on your card. ... Enter the information on your bank's website to activate your card. ... Submit the information. ... Confirm that you have activated your credit card online. ... Remove the sticker, and sign the card.More items...How to Activate a Credit Card by Phone or Online | wikiHowhttps://m.wikihow.com › Activate-a-Credit-Card

How long does it take to get a USAA credit card in the mail?

When will I get my new USAA credit or debit card in the mail? It typically takes 7 to 10 business days to get your new card in the mail after we've mailed it.

How do I activate my USAA credit card?

Here's how to activate a USAA credit card:Online Activation: Log into your USAA online account and select the “Activate Card” link.Activate by Phone: To activate your USAA credit card by phone, call customer service at 201-531-8722. When the automated menu asks what you'd like to do, say, “activate my credit card.”Dec 11, 2017How do you activate a USAA credit card? - WalletHubhttps://wallethub.com › answers › how-do-you-activate-a-usaa-credit-card-2...

How do I activate my Visa credit card?

You can activate a Visa credit card by calling the number on the back of your card or through the issuer's website....WalletHub, Financial CompanyBy phone. Your credit card will often come with a sticker on it or an instruction sheet that lists the phone number of an activation line. ... Online. ... Through customer service.Jan 7, 2018How to Activate Visa Credit Cards - WalletHubhttps://wallethub.com › answers › how-to-activate-visa-credit-cards-2140660...

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