Citi Credit Card Retention Bonuses

It’s coming up on that time of year – the 11th month after opening a credit card when the annual fee is due. After a monster application run last April/May, several of my credit cards will charge annual fees that I have no interest in paying. This means that it’s time to call up credit card retention departments and see if I can squeeze out an annual fee credit or some points/miles.

It’s pretty well known that Citi is generous in their retention bonuses. All it takes is a simple phone call to the number on the back of your card (Citi Select / AAdvantage American Express in my case). I asked the front line agent to transfer me to the Retention Department because I wanted to cancel my card. Once there, I told the retention agent that I wanted to cancel my card because I couldn’t justify the “expensive” annual fee. He immediately offered me a retention bonus – an $85 statement credit after making 5 purchases within 3 months. Really? I can do that in a day.

So I made the 5 purchases and waited for the statement to close which was two days ago. Lo and behold, I see this!

So there you go! As always, it never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no and then you cancel the card anyway. I’ll drawer this Citi card until I revisit this exact same process in April of 2013.