We Took the Bait: Chase Bank Dangles $150 or 15,000 Miles

Dangling dollar If you have a reluctant spouse, maybe you can sympathize with this story.  My husband’s Chase United Explorer Card was coming up on its first anniversary.  On this month’s statement, he was hit with the $95 annual fee.

The last time he faced a similar situation, he told the Chase customer service rep that he wanted to cancel his Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card because he no longer flies Southwest.  No, no no!  He should have said that he loves to fly Southwest but was concerned about the $69 annual fee.  Chase was happy to cancel his Southwest credit card.

The fact of the matter is that we do fly Southwest.  When my Rapid Rewards credit card came due for the annual fee, I asked to speak to the retention specialist and was offered an extra 3,000 miles (6,000 total miles) for the $69 annual fee.

So this time, I offered to make the call for my husband.  As the primary cardholder, he had to be on the speakerphone with me, but I tried to make it as painless as possible.

I told the retention specialist that we really liked the opportunity to earn United miles with the card, but were concerned about the annual fee.

Right off the bat, he gave us two offers:  1) a $150 statement credit; or 2) 15,000 United miles.

Naturally, we took the 15,000 miles.  Strictly speaking the cost of the miles was .6 cents per mile.  But you also have to consider the marginal benefit of the additional miles.  My husband already had about 10,000 miles in his Mileage Plus account.   You can’t do much with 10,000 miles.  But an additional 15,000 miles would give him enough for a “saver” award.  The alternative offer would have meant a net profit of $55.

The retention specialist said that he hoped we would continue to use the card and make it our “card of choice.”  I guess those are the magic words the credit card companies like to hear when you are requesting a retention bonus.

Please consider subscribing to updates from Fishing4Deals so you don’t miss out on any deals! 

Click here to compare current rewards credit card offers.

6 thoughts on “We Took the Bait: Chase Bank Dangles $150 or 15,000 Miles

  1. When I need my reluctant spouse to call a CC company, he just tells the CSR that his wife handles “all this stuff” and hands me the phone. Sometimes he needs to agree to some written statement they read him. I often start the call by saying “my husband and I are here and we need some help, noting that he is the primary but I handle all things credit card related for our household. I pass the phone to him, he tells them to deal with me, and I take over.

    You’d think, given all the perks, he would not object to a few moments on the phone as described above. But he hates it! Luckily, we have never had a problem and the reps, once they have his permission, are happy to talk to me. If I ever need him to say anything more than that, I write him a script!

    • The last thing my husband wanted to do this weekend was to call Chase customer service. And who can blame him! This call was totally painless, though, and well worth it! Just as you say, as the primary cardholder, he had to agree to the statement they read him regarding the terms of the offer.

  2. Great timing! I just called AmEx in hopes of a retention bonus for the Delta card. I don’t really like earning Delta miles on purchases, but holding the card has a great feature that you can use…redeeming 1 mile per dollar of airfare on any ticket purchase which is sometimes cheaper than medium/high priced awards. Unfortunately, they didn’t bite on retention offers so I ended up canceling. Chase (and Citi!) seem to be more generous on offers in my experience.

    • The same. I cancelled the Delta card also. I don’t like leaving miles on the table but fortunately I was able to even out the balance with a transfer of SPG points; that paid for one more flight home for our daughter.

  3. I think I took the wrong bait! I called to cancel and I was offered $60 credit (MileagePlus Awards Card Annual Fee) or 10,000 miles. Since I didn’t know the value of miles of the top of my head, I took the $60 credit. I think the value of the miles is closer to $200 🙁

Join the conversation!