Published on May 5th, 2016 | by Chuck97
Citi No Longer Honoring Citigold Checking Bonuses
Many recent reports indicate that Citi is longer honoring the Citigold checking bonuses of AA miles or ThankYou points for those who didn’t receive direct communication about the offer.
Citibank has offered excellent incentives to entice people to sign up for their premium checking account product called Citigold. The most recent offer expired on March 31, and it’s currently unavailable, as far as I know.
The deal used to be much better when it was possible to do the initial funding on the account with a credit card, up to $100,000. Those days are over, yet it’s still a generous bonus to consider with a 50,000 miles/points bonus, along with advantages for Citi Prestige cardholders in that they pay $100 less on their annual fee, and they get a 15% relationship bonus.
Citi Stops Honoring
As recently as the first half of April, many reports were coming in that the points WERE finally posting after a lot of nudging and escalating.
This changed as of around April 27. Tens of reports are now coming in that Citi is systematically rejecting most/all requests, even after multiple escalations and phone calls.
One report quotes Citi as saying,
Supervisor I spoke with said they are overwhelmed with calls about this right now and although they honored some in the beginning that the volume of accounts was too high and they were now denying everyone that wasn’t specifically targeted.
Is Citi Right?
Well, is Citi right? Was the offer, indeed, targeted?
As we’ve consistently noted, the terms always mentioned that the offer is available only to those who received this communication. In practice, most people were always getting the bonus after some nudging.
This offer is available to targeted bank cardmembers who receive this communication
Typically, if the promo code is not unique and the system accepts it from everyone – as was the case here – the bonus is effectively meant for everyone. When they want to keep something targeted, they’ll make it only available in-branch or with a unique promo code.
That being said, it’s hard to cry foul on this, and we all knew that there was a risk that it wouldn’t be honored.
What to do now?
Okay, what to do now?
Going forward, should the promo codes comes back, I wouldn’t recommend signing up for it without getting confirmation in-branch or some other way that the offer is available for you. Remember, the credit card funding is now off so there are only small ‘churning’ benefits of having the Citigold account (the Prestige benefits), and it comes with a high $30 monthly fee.
What about for those who signed up already?
I’ll leave this as an open question, but here’s my personal take:
For those who got confirmation that the offer is applied to their account, especially email confirmation, I’d say it’s worth fighting this further with escalation, social media, or even CFPB. The bonus is quite high and probably worth some effort, although there are no guaranteed returns here. Certainly if you got personal communication of the offer, it’s worth continuing the efforts to get this bonus.
Bear in mind that there is a $30 monthly fee, and the longer you keep the account, the more fees that are being accrued, so there’s no clear-cut solution. A reader mentioned the idea of downgrading the account from Gold to Basic and then trying to get the points. It might be harder, but it’s possible this can work.
For those who did not get any confirmation, and just assumed that it would work as it has in the past, I’d probably let it go and swallow any losses as the cost of doing business. If we hear back soon that they decide to start honoring it for others, it would then be worth trying again.
Note that in the recent email confirmations, the reps sometimes went out of their way to remark that they are merely confirming that the promo code is attached to the account and not that you are eligible for the promo.
- Step by Step Guide to Citigold Checking Bonus
- PSA: Don’t Cancel Citigold – Downgrade It!
- Downgrading Citigold Checking Account to Basic
- Citigold: Do you lose points when downgrading to Basic?
- Citibank Rolls Out Citigold Client Center in Manhattan