My retention offer for my Chase Ink Plus card

This story happened a couple of months ago, but it’s worth telling, since it was funny after the fact. Back in late March I had my Ink Plus $95 coming up for the first time, so I called Chase and asked to speak to the retention department. Before calling, I had read through this Flyertalk thread to get an idea what kind of offers were getting thrown out there for renewing cardholders.

Note: This card is currently offering an increased bonus of 60,000 points as opposed to the usual 50,000 bonus. You can apply directly with Chase.


Then the funniest thing happened (it wasn’t funny at the time). I decided to play hardball, and I told the rep I wanted to cancel the card. I then heard a long pause and some keystrokes on the background and got all excited as I thought she was looking at some retention offers to throw my way. Based on my experience, when you call to cancel, the rep comes back and says “sorry to hear that, let me see what we can do, blah blah blah”, or “are you sure you want to miss out on this and that benefit, etc?”. Instead, for the first time ever, after a few seconds, she came back and said “Ok. Your account has been closed”.

What???? At that point I became a 5-year old who was deprived of his favorite toy. “But…but…but…..what about my retention offer? Don’t you have a waived fee or some points?”. First world problems. If I could have listened to myself at the time, I would have been laughing for days. This card is pretty much my favorite card due to the 5 point categories I take advantage of by purchasing gift cards at office supplies stores, paying internet and phone, etc. I told the rep that after all I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to close the card and that I would think about it for a couple of days. She then said that she couldn’t reopen the account and that it had to be done by a different department. That department was closed for the weekend, since it was already late Friday night. I entered full panic mode at the time, but there was nothing I could do until Monday morning!

I sat through the longest weekend of my life, and then called Monday. Finally, I was able to get my account reinstated. A few days later I called again and asked for a retention offer. The rep told me that they could offer me 10,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 within the next 3 months, which more than paid for the $95 annual fee. Since I had no intentions of closing the card, I took the offer, met the minimum spend, and got my 10,000 bonus points:

Chase-InkKeep in mind that if you’re on the same boat, you might want to consider instead getting the Ink Bold card, which is exactly the same ask the Ink Plus, except that it is a charge card (you pay the balance if full each month), and thus a different product eligible for the sign up bonus (the Ink Plus is a credit card, where you can pay off over time). I considered this possibility since I had to spend $5,000 in 3 months anyway, so I could have very well gotten 50,000 bonus points instead of 10,000. In the end, I chose to throw Chase a bone and pay the $95 fee and save the Bold application for another time, since I really don’t need the points right now (who would have thought a miles and points junkie would ever be “full”!).

In the end, it worked out well, but I thought it would be great to share the funny story about the one overzealous Chase rep who just went ahead and closed my credit card account within 30 seconds of me asking.

Are you up for your annual fee? If so, what’s your game plan? Keep or cancel the card?


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6 Responses to My retention offer for my Chase Ink Plus card

  1. That’s why it’s better to use different wording “I’m thinking about cancelling my card because XYZ”. Rather than “I want to cancel my card”.

  2. Brennan says:

    Thanks for sharing! Need to “cancel” my ink plus in a month or 2, will keep this in mind.

  3. ShoNuffHarlem says:

    I always say “I just don’t get why I should pay the fee when offered me a card waiving the first year’s fee for my business.”

  4. harv says:

    the way I look at it you basically paid the annual fee because if you had charged 5k on a credit card that pays 2% cash back you would get $100. (I am assuming points are worth 1 cent each, many would value them a little higher).

    • travelguys says:

      Harv, speaking in dollars and cents and limited only to the annual fee, yes, but this card has so many benefits and I earn so many points out of it from the bonus categories that I would have kept the card and paid the annual fee anyway even if I didn’t receive a retention offer. The extra points I earn every year are worth a lot more to me than the annual fee, so getting an additional 10,000 points for a card I’m going to keep anyway is a bonus. I def value UR points higher than 1 cent since I use them to transfer to Southwest, where I have a companion pass and my wife flies for free everywhere, so right there the value of my points doubles each time.

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