Getting your annual fee waived. Tactics?

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kcm7
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Getting your annual fee waived. Tactics?

Postby kcm7 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:33 am

My Citi AAdvantage is approaching its first birthday. I got the card because, at the time, I was flying American at least 5 times a year, but, in the past year United and Frontier have started competing on my city of residence, and American Airlines is often no longer always the best deal. In fact, I've already booked all my vacation and holiday travel for the rest of 2014 and none of it involves AA because other flights were $100 or more cheaper.

Anyway, I'm going to cancel the card if I don't get the annual fee waived. Have any of you had luck with getting annual fees waived on your cards? Is it best to call and say you're only keeping the card if they waive the fee? Or is it more effective to say you're canceling (without mentioning the fee) and see if they offer to waive it? Again, I know there are no absolutes, but curious to hear any success stories anyone has.

Thanks!
Cards:

-Capital One Quicksilver
-Barclaycard Arrival (no AF)
- US Bank (no rewards)
-IHG


MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:32 pm

I've never tried it. They are only going to care if you've put some money through your card is what I've seen in calling to cancel (and I have plenty of experience there). I was originally going to cancel my Associated cards because I was told they would not combine them so I called and said I wanted to cancel them, they cancelled the no rewards card then looked at the other one (and they do check your spending as I saw) then the CSR before he closes asks me to please hold for a moment and goes away. I wondered what was going on then a woman gets on and talks me into keeping (a retention specialist). She noted what I'd spent on the card over the last year and wanted to know what they could do to keep my business. I said, not expecting them to do it, well I had asked for the limits to be combined into one card but I was told that can't be done so I can't really think of anything. And she said we'll do that and give you a quarter point more base rewards, would that work? And I said yeah that will do it for me.


Now it's my highest limit card and highest overall rewards base (1.25% on everything outside of the higher categories which are gas and groceries) and I wouldn't dream of closing it. Since I've come to realize Discover isn't going to show me any luv anytime soon, I've moved the spend I was putting on that back to Associated - might as well keep them happy as they've taken care of me unlike some lenders (cough Discover cough).


So I don't recommend trying to bluff a close - if you get Cap One reps the next thing you will hear after saying that is "Your account is now closed Sir, please destroy all copies of your card and notify anyone doing auto pay that the account is closed". I would try the honey approach before the vinegar - just call and tell them you know I really like the card but I'm not sure it's worth the annual fee to me right now, can you waive it for a year and give me more time to try it and see? I'm looking for a card to fill the role of main spender for me and that will give me more time to evaluate if it fills my needs. Or something like that. Kindness never hurts. If all else fails and you would actually close, then call and tell them if they won't waive it you'll close.

jrmsu
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Postby jrmsu » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:27 pm

"Since I've come to realize Discover isn't going to show me any luv anytime soon, I've moved the spend I was putting on that back to Associated - might as well keep them happy as they've taken care of me unlike some lenders (cough Discover cough)."



Out of curiosity (and off-topic), why haven't you cancelled your Discover? You would still have the Chase Freedom for category spending. I guess since it doesn't have an annual fee it really doesn't hurt you to keep it, but I would be mad if they refused to give me a CLI. Especially since people with much lower credit scores and higher utilization seem to get them so easily.
My Cards:

Discover It - $8,450 (9/13)
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature - $5,000 (4/14)
Chase Freedom - $3,000 (5/14)
AMEX Hilton HHonors - $16,500 (6/14)


MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:16 pm

Oh it's kind of annoying seeing people with scores in the 670s which is fair at best and limits of at most 3k get an 8k or 9k starting limit with Discover, and seeing them give others regular auto increases for a lot less spending than I was giving them, no doubt about that. But they do differ a bit on the 5% categories from Freedom, they do have all American CS, they have their Shop Discover mall, a pretty decent website, and they have perks like cashover if you need a quick 20 bucks cash while out at the grocery store and an ATM isn't handy. Plus no FTF, though how much real world value that is, depends on where you go.


But they have their good points. If they'd loosen up a bit on the limit I'd have no issue with them. Until then they are scheduled for a small recurring monthly charge, plus whatever is convenient for me to give them. I'm cool with that arrangement if they are. If they'd like more business, they can give me a grown up limit. If not, ok, their choice.


The only real reason I would close them is just to downsize cards and make my life easier. Other than that, I can't really see a reason. I already shifted my spend, that's all I see fit to do now. Amex and Associated now get the vast majority. And it's going to stay that way.

woogs
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Postby woogs » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:21 am

kcm7 wrote:My Citi AAdvantage is approaching its first birthday. I got the card because, at the time, I was flying American at least 5 times a year, but, in the past year United and Frontier have started competing on my city of residence, and American Airlines is often no longer always the best deal. In fact, I've already booked all my vacation and holiday travel for the rest of 2014 and none of it involves AA because other flights were $100 or more cheaper.

Anyway, I'm going to cancel the card if I don't get the annual fee waived. Have any of you had luck with getting annual fees waived on your cards? Is it best to call and say you're only keeping the card if they waive the fee? Or is it more effective to say you're canceling (without mentioning the fee) and see if they offer to waive it? Again, I know there are no absolutes, but curious to hear any success stories anyone has.

Thanks!


The Citi AAdvantage (Visa) is one of the easiest cards to have the annual fee waived on. I have never paid the annual fee on the Visa version and have had the card for 3 years now. They would not waive the Amex version after the first year for me but they have always waived the Visa. I just call in once the fee posts and tell them I want to cancel the card, and when they say "why", I say because of the annual fee.

I put $0 spend on mine - no idea why they keep waiving it but they do.
American Express: MB Platinum Card, Business Platinum, Business Gold, SPG, Hilton Surpass
Chase: Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Sapphire Preferred, United Mileage Plus, Marriott Premier
Citi: Executive AA World Elite MasterCard, AA Visa Signature, AA Business MasterCard
Barclays: US Airways World Elite, Arrival Card

randeman
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Postby randeman » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:26 pm

If it were me, and I called Citi for the waiver, I would mention that I wasn't flying AA as much anymore and wanted to check into one of the Chase United cards. If you used the hell out of the Citi card in the past (swipe fees) they might consider the loss of those fees and that might give you some leverage.

Lenders compete. I firmly believe that the reason I got my Skymiles card after two denials was because Amex saw that I have (and use) my Mileage Plus card a lot!
Cards and Credit lines Acquired:

Escape by Discover (7.75K), Barclay Holland America Visa (7K), Macy's store card (7K), Bloomingdale's store card (2.6K), Citi Custom Credit Line (3.5K), PayPal Smart Connect credit line (2.7K), Chase Freedom Visa (5K), Chase United MileagePlus Visa (5K), Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa (6K), Amazon store card (2.2K), Lord & Taylor store card (550), Nordstrom store card (1500), Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express (3K), Discover It (6.5K), PayPal Credit Line (1K).

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kcm7
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Postby kcm7 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:33 am

Hey all! Just wanted to thank everyone for the advice and give an update.

Called Citi up yesterday, and failed to get the fee waived, so I closed the card.

The rep I talked to was SUPER chatty, so I thought I had a chance. I explained I wasn't flying American much anymore because other airlines were offering cheaper flights and so I was looking into other travel cards that would get me more rewards.

Rep started trying to argue that it was TOTALLY worth it to still book American and that's what she does and she gets all sorts of free flights. "I'm all about the free flights, so I book American even if it's a little more expensive." I (keeping my tone light and friendly) said I found it hard to justify paying $100 more per flight.

She countered with an offer of 3,000 miles if I spent $500 in the next three months. I said 3,000 miles wouldn't be nearly enough to get me to the next free flight, so I'd just have 3,000 miles sitting in my account. She offered to reduce my annual fee by $25, and I explained that unless they waive the entire fee, the card just isn't worth it to me anymore because I'm not flying American enough to get the free-checked-bag benefits.

She said it wasn't possible to waive the whole fee and told me that there were "no hard feelings" and she hoped I'd consider Citi in the future. I'm not surprised, considering my spending on the AAdvantage card has been pretty low, so I didn't think they'd fight too hard to keep me.

I got the Arrival to soothe my broken heart, though, and I'm going to apply for the AmEx BCE soon. I will survive.
Cards:

-Capital One Quicksilver
-Barclaycard Arrival (no AF)
- US Bank (no rewards)
-IHG

Darrvao777
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Postby Darrvao777 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:46 am

kcm7 wrote:Hey all! Just wanted to thank everyone for the advice and give an update.

Called Citi up yesterday, and failed to get the fee waived, so I closed the card.

The rep I talked to was SUPER chatty, so I thought I had a chance. I explained I wasn't flying American much anymore because other airlines were offering cheaper flights and so I was looking into other travel cards that would get me more rewards.

Rep started trying to argue that it was TOTALLY worth it to still book American and that's what she does and she gets all sorts of free flights. "I'm all about the free flights, so I book American even if it's a little more expensive." I (keeping my tone light and friendly) said I found it hard to justify paying $100 more per flight.

She countered with an offer of 3,000 miles if I spent $500 in the next three months. I said 3,000 miles wouldn't be nearly enough to get me to the next free flight, so I'd just have 3,000 miles sitting in my account. She offered to reduce my annual fee by $25, and I explained that unless they waive the entire fee, the card just isn't worth it to me anymore because I'm not flying American enough to get the free-checked-bag benefits.

She said it wasn't possible to waive the whole fee and told me that there were "no hard feelings" and she hoped I'd consider Citi in the future. I'm not surprised, considering my spending on the AAdvantage card has been pretty low, so I didn't think they'd fight too hard to keep me.

I got the Arrival to soothe my broken heart, though, and I'm going to apply for the AmEx BCE soon. I will survive.


Thanks for the update! Do you guys find certain companies just refuse to budge on the annual fee?

For instance, the $450 for the amex platinum, I'm guessing that's not negotiable right?
- Amex Platinum (primary)
- Citi Double Cash (backup)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (just to get the bonus, closing in 2017)

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:43 pm

Darrvao777 wrote:Thanks for the update! Do you guys find certain companies just refuse to budge on the annual fee?

For instance, the $450 for the amex platinum, I'm guessing that's not negotiable right?


I've only heard of Amex waiving fees on the Platinum for active duty US military.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Luxe
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Postby Luxe » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:49 pm

I've heard of Amex Platinum being waived. If they are still making money off you and think you could become an important customer (high spend, high net worth – this is the company that has a $2500/yr centurion) it mostly makes sense for them to keep the Amex in your wallet.



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