Chase Ink Bold Annual Fee Waiver

Chase Ink Bold Retention

Chase Ink Bold

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…

Travel the World For Free!


  1. I just went through the same thing except I was perfectly willing to close it as I have my Plus as well. They had only offered me the $95 statement credit at first so I asked if there was a point alternative and got the 10K UR also. One thing – you actually have 60 days after the fee hits to get it waived – not pro-rated. I know this is true for the Chase personal cards and I would imagine it is for the business at well. You would have at least 30 days, though, to get the full refund.

    • We Fly Free says:

      Honestly I would advise against canceling the card after the bonus points post. If they ever caught this on an audit, they may flag you as a churner and/or worst case blacklist you.

      I try whenever possible to make this game a symbiotic relationship for myself and the issuing banks. Sometimes it’s a zero-sum proposition, and I want to make sure I come out on top, but in general I don’t want to rock the boat too hard.

      • Sorry, just was reading through again and saw your reply. I should have been clear – I was NOT advocating doing that. I was just pointing out that you can get your entire fee refunded with Chase (American Express does the pro-rated refund, but Chase will refund your fee in full if you do it within 30/60 days after it hits). I have never cancelled a card after receiving a bonus for the very points you outlined. Just wanted to make clear that I was not suggesting getting the points and cancelling!

  2. Yeesh. Just called in for my Ink Bold and after spending 10K in the last year, zero offers (and my fee posted 5/1). Guess I’ll wait for the current charges to post, get my ultimate rewards, transfer them to my Sapphire preferred, then call to officially cancel and hopefully the retention department can do something at that point. I didn’t threaten to cancel the card on the call because I wasn’t ready with the outstanding charges.

  3. Just got off the phone with Chase for trying to get the $95 waived. Despite my politeness and debonair conversation abilities, the first representative was convinced there was no way to waive the fee and pushed me off to a supervisor as quickly as she could. The supervisor also stated that the fee couldn’t be waived but did offer the 10k points instead, HOWEVER I would have had to spend another $5,000 in 3 months to be eligible for it, which doesn’t seem like all that great of a deal—after all, I could just get another business card and spend the same amount for 50k points.

    I asked them about downgrade options and after some checking the supervisor told me there was another option with a $195/yr fee, which I’d never even heard of before. She informed me that I could always cancel within 60 days of the fee posting.

    I think I’ll call that a loss. Still keeping the card though.

  4. Just another data point, only option I was given was 10k points if I spend $5,000 in 3 months.

    • We Fly Free says:

      Looks like they’re cracking down a bit, maybe? How much did you spend? I actually use it as my primary business card (though after the United devaluation, I lean probably 60/40 toward SPG Biz card) and spent around $90k last year on it, if I remember correctly.

  5. Do you know if the 10k points after $5k spend in 3 months is still available? Just spoke to a representative and there were no offers available. I spent probably 75k on the card in the past year.


  1. […] just wrote about my "retention" offer on my Chase Ink Bold account which was a healthy 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points to "offset" the […]

Speak Your Mind