Chase Ink Bold Retention
When I have an annual fee card with a fee about to post, I usually follow a flowchart process to try and wiggle my way out of paying. It’s always a difficult call whether to keep a card, downgrade to a no fee, or cancel it. Ideally, getting an annual fee waiver and/or points/miles to offset the annual fee is the best bet. Then you get to keep the perks of the premium card without having to pay the annual fee.
First, I call the month before the fee is going to post. I simply state the reason for my call: “I know my annual fee is going to post next month, and I’m calling today to see if it could possibly be waived, or if not if you could issue some points/miles to offset the fee.”
It may be more effective to call and threaten to cancel or ask “to be transferred to the cancellation department,” but I would only do that on a card where I really didn’t care if they did cancel it without offering me anything, or if I really will cancel if I can’t get the annual fee waived. For my Ink Bold, I want to actually keep the card, so I just very matter of fact-ly stated the reason for my call.
Initially the agent today gave me a few lines about how great the card is and due to the perks of the card how the annual fee is just part of the card.
I said: “I know that the card typically has an annual fee, but because of how much I used it this year, I would hope that I’m a valuable enough client to Chase without paying an annual fee.”
Before any call like this, I always know how much I’ve spent on the card in the last 12 months. They can see it too. You can check by viewing your account online and just adding up all of your statement balances or all the payments you’ve submitted. If you spent the $3000 you needed to unlock the bonus then sock-drawered the card, they may not offer you much in the way of a retention bonus, or they may offer you another spend incentive (i.e. spend $1000/month for the next 3 months and we’ll give you 10k miles).
In general, there’s two ways I like to pitch them on an annual fee waiver:
- If I spend a lot on the card: I use the card all the time and as a “valuable client,” can they waive the annual fee for me as a result.
- If I rarely ever use the card: I didn’t end up using the card as much as I thought, so while I’d like to keep it, I just can’t justify the annual fee. In general, banks would rather you hold a card of theirs than not, so this can be an effective strategy.
In this case, I went with option 1 because I use the Ink card all the time.
She asked to put me on hold for a minute and came back after about five. She said she looked at how much I use the card and offered to offset the annual fee with “$100 worth of points.” I’ll gladly pay $95 for 10,000 UR points, so I accepted her offer and held for a moment while she sent the request to the marketing department for adjustment.
I’m very happy with the way the call went. I think I could’ve perhaps gotten a bit more since my spend on the card was pretty high, but I didn’t want to push it. In all honesty, I value 10,000 points around $220, so they addressed my concern–making it worth it to pay the annual fee–and I’ll continue to enjoy the card’s benefits.
IF SHE SAID NO DICE, my plan would’ve been to call back and try again with another agent. Sometimes it seems to be a matter of how much an agent wants to push for you, so getting an agent having a better day can make all the difference in the world.
If that didn’t work, I would’ve called back after the fee posted to try again. If you cancel after a fee posts, you get it back on a pro-rated basis, so banks still do have an incentive to keep you from cancelling the card and you can usually still work out a deal even if the annual fee has already posted.
I’ve got a few more fees coming up in the coming months, so hopefully those calls go just as well…