Posted by Chuck on May 5, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 5th, 2016 | by Chuck

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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.

Background

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.

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BP
BP

Maybe I wasn’t harassing them enough…every time I asked they just said “wait 90 days for your points” and I never tried to escalate. Still waiting on my points some time later this month. Does this mean they may not arrive?

GPR
GPR

I escalated three times and received the same email stating I was not eligible for the promotion. I cut my losses and cancelled my checking and savings accounts with them. In my opinion they messed up and lost a potential lifelong customer. I was willing to switch from Chase and do my basic checking with them because of their 711 atms being so ubiquitous. I hope this bites them in the ass. Oh well at least they payed for my trip to Japan!

I will say that the reps were always helpful.

chasejuggler
chasejuggler

Citi reps are fantastic. Which is good, because I have to call them CONSTANTLY.

Tim
Tim

Dang very bad news. Wife and I completed all the steps in Feb and March but no miles yet. I sent secure messages on both our accounts and received verifications on both that we had completed all requirements under the promo and would simply need to wait for the miles.

Raymond
Raymond

Same boat as you. Feb/Mar met req’s. CSR via Chat said the points will post by 06/30/2016. Holding my breath and will downgrade on 7/1 if nothing posts.

Have any monthly service fees posted yet?

Raman
Raman

I called multiple times…escalated it to the supervisor/manager. The rep also created a dispute case for not getting the 50k bonus miles…still no luck…will try again tomorrow…fingers crossed…

leana

Unfortunately, I’m in the same boat. I signed up for both my husband and I, and after a lot of back and forth, Citi told us to pound sand.
I’m not super upset because I knew about the risk. The timing really sucks because if I signed up just a month earlier, I probably would have gotten it. But I don’t fault Citi. They run a business and need to turn a profit. Bottom line: I didn’t get this offer via email, so the written terms prevail. On to the next one.

joe
joe

I did not get this offer. I did it in Oct and got paid in Jan. My wife did get the offer in the mail– she completed the offer in February and just got paid.

Not sure what happens to those who didn’t get the actual letter in the mail.

Master Allan
Master Allan

Applied 3/21/16, met requirements 4/15. After reading through the forum links above I may just bail out before 5/21/16 unless there has been a convincing turnaround. If they’re backtracking on their own eligibility our business relationship is in the dumps. Too bad, my experience in getting a Citi debit card was a total pain. When I call I’ll also have them cancel my Citi Aadvantage Platinum I have been using semi-regularly.

MrDioji
MrDioji

The terms state that the “Bonus miles credited will be based on the consumer account package at the time of qualification”. So it’s based on being Citigold when you met the requirements, not when the bonus was awarded. So if you’re going to be in a prolonged battle, you should be able to downgrade to avoid months of $30.

Master Allan
Master Allan

May be my strategy. I should just downgrade knowing that I will 1. get the bonus by surprise. 2. get no bonus but not loose money each month while my aggravation meter climbs.

Noah
Noah

I opened the account in December and met the requirements in January. Got SM confirmation in March that the promo was linked to my account and that the miles should post by the end of May. It’s been longer than 90 days already so I chatted with Citi online and they said they’ll open an investigation. I’m still waiting back on that.

Noah
Noah

I’m replying to my own post to say that today (5/11) I received an email about the investigation I opened. The result is that my 50,000 miles are on their way and should be in my account within a couple days.

Weston
Weston

We’re you targeted for the offer?

Mark O
Mark O

This is why I cancelled my app when I went to fund it a few months back…the guy from Citi said this would happen if you didn’t get an offer and it wasn’t worth the hassle if there was a good chance of it not happening.

Hopefully the people that miss out on the bonus at least got a lot of miles through funding it initially!

chris
chris

I wasn’t personally targeted but applied through the common way as everyone else last fall. Called later to verify the offer was attached to the account and yes, it was. Twice confirmed. Waited the 90 days, nothing. Waited another couple weeks and opened a chat and the CR said there’s no record of the offer for my account. Was going to blow up on him/her but I held my tongue/keyboard but also communicated my frustration/displeasure at being assured the bonus was attached twice before and now being told this. After assuring her/him it wasn’t their fault she/he told me to hang on a minute and finally came back with an offer that she could attach (same number of points) and they should post within a day or two. Which they did. I think this tells me that being assured/verified that that targeted offer is attached to your account does NOT mean you will get the bonus. I think I just lucked out with a resourceful, kind CSR. But a call will probably be required to even have a chance with this if you weren’t actually targeted for the offer and sometimes, you really can catch more flies with honey.

Terry
Terry

I thought I had fulfilled the requirements and inquired only to find out I missed one payment due to it not posting over a weekend and then in into the next month when it did go through. Rep said he would as if he could get it extended so I could try again. Sounds doubtful.

Beth
Beth

same story as Noah. Opened in December, met requirements in January. SM in Feb confirmed I was eligible and had met requirements and told to wait until end May to see if posted. Phone call in March, confirmed met requirements and again told me it should post end May.

Nobody
Nobody

If I leave the account at $0 balance, do I still get hit by monthly charges? If not I can still keep this account to make a dd into and pay a bill to receive 650 typ for each month.

Dukie02
Dukie02

Yes, they will still deduct the $30 fee, add an overdraft fee, and then lock the account. I had all that happen back in Jan. while waiting on bonus to post. I was actually locked out of even transferring funds into the account! After a few phone calls, got it straightened out, got the OD fee waived, and eventually got credited the TY Points. From all this unfortunate news, glad I did it back in September!

tom
tom

I had so much issues getting mine. Now I have no idea how to use the points. The seem to be of much lower value than my citi premier thankyou points.

Trifecta
Trifecta

Combine your ty accounts you will get the higher value on gc redemptions

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