Rewards cards can be a great way to earn points that help you gain a variety of travel awards, but these cards can come with high annual fees. The cost of the annual fees can turn away a lot of customers. After paying for the annual fees, the travel rewards and benefits may not seem like they are as good of a deal.
For example, cardholders are not really saving anything if they have to pay a $200 annual fee to get $100 savings on a hotel or flight. Not all rewards cards have annual fees, but the cards with the best rewards packages usually do.
Many companies, however, do waive that annual fee for customers who call and ask for it. Even if the company is not willing to waive the annual fee, they will typically offer some kind of incentive for any cardholder who calls and asks for a fee waiver. That offer may be extra points you can convert into immediate travel savings. The policies are a little different at each company, but all simply involve a phone call.
Compare Rewards Cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Get 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Earn 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
- Earn 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
- Lengthy intro APR on balance transfers
Annual Fees by Company
American Express cardholders can start by calling the customer service phone number on the back of their card, or the American Express retention department at 888-452-3945. Let the representative know you are considering canceling the card and would like to know if there is any way they can waive the annual fee.
Although American Express is generally unwilling to provide a complete waiver of the annual fee, they may offer bonus points or a statement credit for a portion of the annual fee.
There are also several American Express rewards cards that do not charge an annual fee. Here is a selection of some of the annual fees the company charges for personal rewards credit cards:
- Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express: Annual fee = $450
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: Annual fee = $195
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: No annual fee during the first year, then $95 annual fee
- American Express Green Card: No annual fee during the first year, then $95 annual fee
- Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card: Annual fee = $95
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Annual fee = $95
- The Platinum Card from American Express: Annual fee = $550
If you have a Chase credit card you can call the customer service number on the back of the card or call 877-469-0110 to speak to a Chase customer service representative. Let the representative know you are thinking about closing your account and want to know if there is a way to get the annual fee waived.
Chase offers several rewards cards that don’t charge annual fees, but here is a sample of the annual fees on their premier rewards cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Annual fee = $95
- Disney Premier Visa card: Annual fee = $49
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Annual fee = $450
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: Annual fee = $99
- British Airways Visa Signature Card: Annual fee = $95
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards card: Annual fee = $450
- IHG Rewards Club Select card: No annual fee during the first year then, $49 annual fee
To speak to a Capital One representative, call the number on the back of your card or the customer service hotline at 800-227-4825. Ask the representative if they can waive your annual fee or provide some other benefit for renewing the card again for another year.
Capital One does offer several cards that do not have an annual fee, but the annual fees on Capital One rewards cards are relatively low compared to Chase and American Express. Here are some of the current fees on some of the company’s rewards cards:
- Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Annual fee = $39
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: No annual fee during the first year, then $95 annual fee
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business: No annual fee during the first year then, $95 annual fee
- Capital One Spark Cash for Business: No annual fee during the first year then, $95 annual fee
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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