Amex offering downgrade bonuses to some


Miles Earn and Burn flags an interesting data point from reddit (and suggests there are others): Amex is offering some cardholders a bonus to downgrade a card rather than cancel. To be clear, this is different than a traditional retention bonus but is rather an incentive to downgrade when a customer has made up their mind to cancel. There is obviously no guarantee that you’ll get this type of offer, but it is great to know it exists.

a close up of a credit card

Quick Thoughts

According to the data point from reddit, the cardholder had an Amex Platinum card and had received a retention offer at their second annual fee. Amex generally only offers a retention offer every other year at best (and even then there is no guarantee that you’ll get one).

At the next annual fee, the Platinum cardholder called to cancel the card and was offered an opportunity to downgrade to the Gold card for a bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after $1,000 in purchases in the first year. While that isn’t a huge downgrade bonus, it is nice to get offered a bonus to product change to a card that is probably a much better fit for most people. And thanks to Amex’s new family language, those who have or have had a Platinum card before are not eligible for a welcome bonus on the Gold card anyway, so getting this 25K after $1K bonus might be the best option.

Again, there is no way to know who will be offered a downgrade bonus and I wouldn’t expect it to be universal. Nobody fully understands how the retention algorithms work, so you’ll either have an offer or you won’t (though I would expect that odds may increase once your annual fee posts and you’re within the window to cancel and get the full fee back). If you have a Platinum card up for renewal and you haven’t been able to get or don’t want a retention offer on that Platinum card, hopefully the agent will offer you a bonus to downgrade.

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If you downgrade after the annual fee posts, I thought they charge you pro rata annual fee. Any thoughts ? I was told that on my Aspire card last year, cancel and they refund you the full fee, downgrade and pro rata !


Within 30 days you get a full refund. After that it’s pro-rated.

Michael Scott

Something similiar happened to me. At the end of my first year (Aug 2023) I accepted a retention offer of $250 statement credit after 3k in spend over 3 months. I met the offer but then changed my mind and decided to downgrade in October. I never told them I wanted to cancel. Upon downgrading I was offered 25k for $1k in 3 mo. I accepted that and was told they would take back the $250, but they haven’t yet. Then, about 3 weeks after downgrading, I noticed I had an upgrade offer back to Platinum for another 25k for spending $2k in 6 months.


I’ve actually not tried this yet but let’s say you’re just fishing for a retention offer, how can you do it without calling your own bluff? I was very tempted to downgrade my Aspire card after the massive downgrade and losing priority pass. I’m sure they’re going to get a lot of disgruntled Aspire holders in 1H 2024 fishing for retention offers or downgrades.


I usually say “I’d like to ask about closing this account.” They ask why and I say something about annual fee or whatnot. Then I ask “Before I do, are there any special offers available if I do keep the account?”
Also they normally read a disclaimer before getting your confirmation to close the account – you could hang up during the disclaimer I suppose. You can also reopen an Amex account within 90 days, though I have never done this. So no matter how badly it goes you should at least end up with your existing card.


I am in this exact same situation: Currently 3rd year Platinum annual fee due. 2nd year of having the Platinum I got a retention offer. I just chatted with Amex today to discuss options on whether I keep it (with hopeful retention offer – no dice), downgrade it or cancel it for the 3rd year. They offered to downgrade to Gold or Green, but no incentive was offered to do so.

Rob C.

Wonder if this might apply to Hilton Aspire and Surpass Amex cards.


Any DPs on whether they have offered this to anyone who already has a Gold? Perhaps they would then offer a Green?


They offered me a 30K bonus for not cancelling my AMEX platinum. To stay for another year. I accepted it. (4 months ago)


Do you mean a retention offer or a downgrade offer to a Gold?