Waiving The Annual Fee On Your AAdvantage Citi Cards

Last October 15th I was approved for two AAdvantage cards, one Visa and one Amex. The annual fee is $85 per card, and there’s no way I was about to pay $170 just for the pleasure of holding onto two cards that I rarely use. My statement wasn’t closing for another week or so, so I figured I’d try to get them to waive the annual fee instead of canceling the card. The AAdvantage cards have some great benefits:

  • 1 free checked bag (up to 4 people on your reservation)
  • priority boarding
  • 10% rebate of miles redeemed (up to 10,000 miles per year)

I didn’t want to lose these benefits since AA flies nonstop DEN-MIA and I have family in south Florida. I tried calling Citi’s retention department at 800-444-2568 last week and they weren’t budging. They were only offering a $25 statement credit and some bonus miles each month to keep the Visa card, but I’d still have to pay the $85 annual fee and I didn’t want to do that. They didn’t offer any statement credit for the Amex card and only 3,000 miles which was even worse.

I called back today and this time they offered me a $85 statement credit along with 1,000 bonus miles each billing cycle I spend $1,000 or more on the card. This is 2 miles per $1 spent. I was only after the statement credit, but the additional bonus miles are just icing on the cake. I’ll send Citi a secure message through my account online to cancel the Amex card without a high pressure phone call.

So if your AAdvantage card is coming up for its annual fee it doesn’t hurt to call up Citi and see what they can do for you before you cancel the card. Try to do it a few weeks early though so you don’t get hit with the annual fee before you call.

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4 Responses to Waiving The Annual Fee On Your AAdvantage Citi Cards

  1. Chris says:

    They refused to waive the $85 fee on my card. I explained to them that I spend $60,000 per year on their card on which they charge the vendors 3%, which of course they can see in their system. They still refused. I bet if someone with half a brain at Citi knew about this, it would have gotten resolved. Oh well, AMEX is now enjoying my business.

  2. Ken says:

    @Chris – Was it a Citi AAdvantage Amex by any chance? They refused to waive the fee on mine and my wife’s cards but waived the fee on both of our Visa AAdvantage cards. The agents can only apply offers that are attached to your card, so it’s not their fault. Some bean counter is likely to blame.

  3. Chris says:

    Citi AAdvantage Platinum Mastercard which I had for at least the last 10 years. They offered me a new Bronze card with no annual fee, but it only provides one mile for every two dollars spent. I realize it’s not the CS Agent’s fault, but it is just bad financial judgement to allow an account like mine to leave.

  4. Ken says:

    @Chris – Man, that really stinks. What a way to reward 10 years of history with that card. Since it’s been a while, might as well apply for a new AAdvantage card soon if you can stand going with Citi again.

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