I currently have two AAdvantage cards issued by Citibank. Each year the annual fee comes due and as I never use either card, I always call the cancellation line to cancel. Surprisingly each and every year, I’m given a retention offer to stay. I don’t even ask for it, I fully intend to cancel.
The offer is usually along the lines of spending less than $100 in 3 billing cycles in order to get a $85 annual fee credit. I’ve received the same variation of this offer at least 7 times through the years between the two cards.
I happily fulfill the offer then return the credit card back to my credit card trifold where it sits dormant for another year.
So why does Citibank want to retain me as a customer? I never fly American Airlines living in a Delta hub and I never charge anything to these cards. I wonder if the retention agents are bonused or incentivized on keeping customers from canceling and therefore each agent is tripping over themselves to keep customers.
The only other thought I have it that perhaps it is so ultra competitive to obtain customers that it’s worth it for Citibank to retain me for another year in the hope that I’ll start using the card regularly.
Last year, American Express offered me 25,000 Skymiles to keep the American Express Delta Business Card and that was without begging for a retention offer.
I’m happy to keep the AAdvantage card for another year by fulfilling their spending requirements but still don’t plan on making it one of my normal cards.
If anyone of you have retention stories from Citibank, please feel free to share in the comments section.