Saturday, July 11, 2015

Retention Check In

It's actually been a (relatively) long time since we applied for new credit cards. Instead, we've been focused on maximizing earnings with the credit cards we already have.

But our current Extra 2x Citi Thank You promotion was coming to an end on July 31st. So we decided to stir up the pot and see if we could get another one.

Attempt #1
My father called the phone number on the back of his Citi Thank You Premier card. Even thought we paid the $95 annual fee in April, we haven't used the card since earning our Year 2 bonus.

My father: "Hi, I'm not sure we're using this card anymore. Are there any incentives for me to use it more on purchases?"

CSR:  "I'm sorry, sir, but I just don't have anything available for you. You should call back in 6 months."

My father: "OK, then can you check on my other Citi cards as well?"

According to her, there were no offers available from the representative.

That could have been the end of the story, but you know my father loves the HUCA (Hang Up Call Again) tactic.

Attempt #2
A few minutes later, we called back and this time, my father changed his approach.

My father:  "Hi, I'm not sure continuing to pay the annual fee on this card is something I want to do. I'd like to cancel the card."

CSR: "OK, I can help you with that. Please hold while I transfer you to a specialist."

Specialist:  "You've been a loyal customer of ours since 2013. I may have an offer that you want to consider..."

They offered my father (i) a $95 statement credit and (ii) 1,000 extra Thank You Points for spending $1,000 each month for 3 months.

Of course, he asked if there were other offers. He was given a slightly different one where he would get just a $95 statement credit if he spent $3,000 within 3 months. The first offer was better, even if it was a little more complicated to execute. But if you know my father, he loves these kinds of puzzles.

Before hanging up, my father then inquired from the Specialist if she could check his other Citi credit cards for other offers and promotions.

Low and behold...

Specialist:  "Well, it looks like there are 4 offers you're eligible for..."
  1. 10,000 Thank You points for spending $3,000 in 6 months
  2. 15,000 Thank You points for spending $4,500 in 6 months
  3. 7,500 Thank You points for spending $1,000 in 3 months
  4. An extra 2x on your spending for next 6 months up to 35,000 bonus points
So of course, my father picked #4.

Never take "No" for an answer with credit card companies. While the first line of Consumer Service Reps may not be authorized to make any offers to retain you, so sometimes you have to HUCA and get to a Specialist by saying those magic little words..."I"d like to cancel."

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