Earlier this year (and for parts of last year), Citibank had generously offered either 50,000 Thank You Points or 50,000 American Airlines miles for opening a Citigold checking account. While technically the terms stated that the offer was for “targeted bank cardmembers who receive this communication”, in practice anyone with a Citi ThankYou card or American Airlines card was eligible for the offer – and Citibank would confirm this in writing shortly after opening the account. For many people who applied last year there were no issues getting the points/miles posted. In short, back when you used to be able to fund these accounts with a credit card, this was a pretty amazing offer for opening a bank account.
However, Doctor of Credit posted some disturbing information yesterday that Citibank is now refusing to pay out the 50,000 ThankYou Points or 50,000 American Airlines miles that were offered as the signup bonuses on Citibank Citigold accounts for customers who did not directly receive the communication. While I safely earned and obtained my points last year, I didn’t open my wife’s account until December and to date, she has not received the 50,000 ThankYou points despite multiple confirmations in writing that she is eligible and promises they would post by 4/30/16.
I understand Citibank’s viewpoint that only targeted members who received a mailer should have been eligible but my wife, along with many others, got written confirmation they were eligible for this offer and thus, should be compensated accordingly in my opinion. My wife’s actions to keep the account open and use it were predicated on receiving the points – if I was told I was not eligible, than my actions would have been different and I would have most likely closed the account (and saved $30/month in service fees).
It’s fair to say I’m just a bit upset here and I plan to fight for her 50,000 points which are easily worth $500+. I’ve tried the secure chat/secure message/phone call route and I’ve gotten no where – all the reps keep asking for the physical mailer showing proof she was targeted. Even if I did have a physical mailer, I signed up for this account back in January and I’ve had two different Citibank agents confirm it in writing – why would I even keep said mailer? That by itself seems like an unreasonable request to me – even if I was truly targeted and had a mailer at some point.
So my plan to fight this is to file a complaint with the CFPB, better known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These complaints are usually taken pretty seriously but of course there is no guaranteed result. If this was over $20 or even $50, I wouldn’t bother. But a bonus worth $500 is significant to us and I know my wife wouldn’t have chosen to pay these service fees if she wasn’t getting the points.
I plan to attached PDFs of the written confirmation from Citibank (all of them) as well proof I met the terms of the conditions. At the very least, I want the monthly service fees refunded (which Citibank has also refused at this point) but I think my wife has a strong case here and I am hopeful the CFPB will agree & force Citibank to award her the 50,000 ThankYou points.
Oh Citibank, we used to be great friends with your credit card funding for bank accounts and generous offers on your Citigold product but I think it’s time to cutback on our relationship. Once I get my bonus points (and trust me, I will fight like hell until I do) you won’t have to worry about me having any of your checking or savings accounts. I’ll consider keeping your Prestige card but that’s about it. Your infamous $hittyBank service you are famously known for has struck again but I won’t put up with it. It’s time we Fight For Our Right to
Party Citigold Signup Bonuses.