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Middle Age Miles

Did I Get a Retention Offer on My Citi AT&T Access More Card?

Citi AT&T Access More MasterCard

Executive Summary

On my retention call to Citi on my AT&T Access More MasterCard, I received a fantastic offer of 2 additional Thank You Points (TYPs) for all purchases within the next 6 months, up to a maximum of 35,000 TYPs.  I happily accepted the offer and will keep the card.

Background of My Citi AT&T Access More Retention Call

The background of how I got my Citi AT&T Access More MasterCard is worth reviewing, as it’s a bit different from “normal” circumstances leading up to a keep-vs-cancel analysis and a retention call.

In August 2016, I received a Citi American Airlines Platinum MasterCard.  Given my personal circumstances, this card did not hold any meaningful value to me beyond the first year, so I knew that I did not want to keep that card when its annual fee posted in September 2017.  I had been intrigued by the benefits of the Citi AT&T Access More card, which included 3x TYP earning on online retail purchases.  This card was not (and is still not) available for new sign-ups, but I had read reports of people being able to successfully product-change to the Citi AT&T Access More, including from a Citi AA Platinum card.  Thus, in late September 2017, I product-changed from my Citi AA Platinum into a Citi AT&T Access More card.  Shortly afterwards, I received the annual fee credit on the Citi AA Platinum card.  Then, several weeks later in late November, the $95 annual fee posted on my new Citi AT&T Access More card.

I had spent about $1,600 on the AT&T Access More card in the month between product changing into the card and my annual fee posting (Nov 13 to Dec 12, 2017).  I’m not sure that it matters, but my only spend on the AA Platinum card that I PC’d to the AT&T Access More was the amount necessary to get the sign-up bonus; I had spent nothing on the AA Platinum card after that.

Details of My Retention Call

Given that my AT&T Access More was brand-new to me, I really wasn’t expecting any offer, but I figured there was no harm in trying.

I made my retention call to Citi on December 19, 2017, using the customer service number on the back of my card.  As usual for retention calls, I said that I had recently received a statement where my annual fee posted, that I am considering whether to keep the card or cancel it, and that I was wondering if there were any retention offers that would help me choose to pay the fee and keep the card.  I did not mention that I had received the card very recently via a product change.

To my surprise, the initial customer service rep said that she could see an offer on my card and she would need to transfer me to a retention specialist.  The retention specialist gave me three offers.  It’s worth noting that she did not initially tell me there were three offers.  Rather, she gave me the first offer, then I replied, “Hmmmm, ok, are there any other offers?”  She gave me a second offer, I gave the same response, and then she gave the third offer.

The offers, in the order presented to me, were:

  • An additional 5,000 TYP bonus after $1,000 in purchases within the next 3 months
  • An additional 500 TYP bonus after $500 in purchases, every month for my next 16 statement cycles
  • An additional 2 TYPs per dollar for all purchases within the next 6 months, up to a maximum of 35,000 TYPs (that is, an additional 2x TYPs on my next $17,500 in purchases in the next 6 months)

Upon hearing the third offer, I immediately accepted.  I thought this was a spectacular offer.  In effect, for my next $17,500 in purchases on this card, I could receive 5x TYPs for spend in the online retail & travel categories or spend with AT&T, and 3x TYPs on everything else.  At our baseline valuations of 1.25 cents per TYP, that is an effective return of 6.25 cents per dollar of spend in the bonus categories and 3.75 cents per dollar on everything else.  And this calculation doesn’t even include the AT&T Access More card’s benefit of a 10,000 TYP bonus for $10k in spend during the cardmember year.  With this offer, I was happy to pay the annual fee and begin strategizing to maximize my return.

 

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