In December, I followed Kenny’s advice and product changed my Citi American Airlines Platinum Visa card. I spoke to a very friendly customer service rep who assisted me in the process. One of the questions I had asked her as we were making the product change was in regards to the annual fee if there would be a refund. She said no and escalated it to her supervisor and was confirmed as a no. My annual fee hits in May so I knew if there would be any refund it’d be a small amount, but was worthwhile to ask.
As I think about the conversation, in my day job, there’s always confusion when speaking to our business partners and information technology teams. Why is that? Vocabulary. The business users will use one word while the IT team will use another word and both mean the same. Let’s use an example from Starbucks to illustrate this example. Starbucks cup sizes from smallest to largest are: tall, grande, venti, and trenta. If you don’t frequent Starbucks, you may ask for a “medium coffee.” In Starbucks jargon, that would be a “grande coffee.”
This is why Ben from One Mile At A Time or Gary from View From The Wing are so successful speaking to the phone representatives on different buckets of availability for award seats. The representatives are trained in a certain lingo and as soon as you say the right words they know what to do.
For the annual fee inquiry, I am not sure what I could have said to trigger a definitive yes when I asked. It’s been awhile from the conversation and I don’t remember all the details. I remember using the words “pro-rata” and “annual fee refund.” Have you said anything to the customer service rep about a refund with better success than me? What did you say to them?
Here is my refund of what’s left of the annual fee: