I wrote about the most recent 30,000 American Airlines miles offer from Citibank for opening a Citigold account and last week, I signed up for a Citigold account. Even though I’ve had my account for little over a week now I already have a few good pieces of advice for those who enroll in this offer.
1. Make Sure the 30k AA Offer is Actually Linked to Your Account – I applied for my Citigold account directly through the email Citibank sent me with the offer by clicking the link in my email. The offer code pre-populated on the application form so you would think this offer would be properly linked to my account. Turns out, that wasn’t the case.
Before I was going to bother with meeting the requirements for the bonus (which is quite easy with spending $750 on the debit card and completing two bill pays) I secure messaged Citi to confirm this offer was attached to my account. The rep was nice but couldn’t find the offer and had no authority to add it my account. I asked for the phone number for the right department except it turned out to be to the wrong department.
I called the number the rep provided and was promptly told they couldn’t do anything and I needed to talk to a “personal banker.” The rep had heard of this issue and assured me it was no issue once a personal banker got it involved. I called the number I was given by that agent which I think led me to the general Citibank customer service center and I was told personal bankers were not available at this time. I got a little frustrated at this point and asked for the direct Citigold customer service number, which in hindsight I should have called first.
Once I called the direct Citigold number (1-888-248-4465), I was able to make some headway as a very nice agent was able to add the offer to my account once I provided the offer code. She went over the terms of qualifying activity, asked if I had any questions and confirmed it was now definitely on my account.
You can consider this point 1b but Citibank’s customer service is frustrating to say the least. I’ve detailed my experiences above and I know it was a holiday weekend when I tried to rectify this situation (so maybe that’s part of the issue here) but I don’t appreciate a run around from incompetent agents. Now maybe this is my fault since I didn’t deal with Citigold customer service right away but you would think one of the first two agents would point me in that direction. In the long run this isn’t a big deal to me since Citibank will not replace Chase as my primary checking account and I plan to close or downgrade this account once the miles post.
2. You Can Fund a Citigold Account with a Credit Card – This should apply to all Citibank checking accounts (not just Citigold) but I was successfully able to make my initial deposit with my Barclay Arrival + card. I got this hint from Doctor of Credit but I only chose to make an initial deposit of $1,000 to be safe (this was before a commenter on his site verified Barclays would work). Before funding the account, I called Barclays and lowered my cash advance limit to a $0 just in case this would code as a cash advance to avoid any fees. With Citibank, you have to fax or mail in a credit card authorization form. I faxed the form over on 2/6 and on 2/11 the $1,000 posted to my account and was coded as a purchase on my Barclay Arrival + card. Success!
3. You Can Save $100 on the Citi Prestige Annual Fee – One of the perks of a Citigold account is a reduced annual fee on Citibank’s premier credit card, the Citi Prestige. The annual fee is normally $450 but is only $350 for Citigold customers. It appears the best offer on this card is 60,000 Thank You Points which can be redeemed at a value of 1.6 cents a point towards travel on American or US Airways. Additionally, Citi has just started adding transfer partners including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Singapore and Hilton. I plan on applying for this card shortly and I’ll do a much more detailed analysis of the card at that point but this card looks very comparable to the American Express Platinum card albeit with much fewer transfer partners.
Anyone else have any issues or success stories with the 30k Citigold American Airlines offer?