Posted by William Charles on May 13, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 13th, 2016 | by William Charles

116

How To Get Citi To Honor Their Citigold Checking Promotions

Towards the start of May, Chuck broke the news that Citi was no longer honoring their generous Citi ThankYou Point & American Airline Citigold checking bonuses for people that didn’t receive the targeted offer. There has been two issues with this change in unofficial policy by Citi:

  • People that were targeted are being told that they aren’t eligible (making it seem like Citi is just saying everybody isn’t eligible as they weren’t actually tracking the targeted offers as they all used the same promotional code)
  • People that confirmed that they were eligible before completing the requirements are being told they are no longer eligible after meeting the requirements and in many cases paying annual fees

Now both offers specifically stated in the fine print the following:

This offer is available to targeted bank cardmembers who receive this communication

I think Citi are well within their rights to not honor this promotion, but I do take issue to them not honoring it in the two cases I listed above. If that applies to you, here is what I’d suggest doing:

  1. Collect all the relevant information regarding your account and bonus. You’ll want things such as: proof you were targeted (or proof that Citi stated you were eligible. It’s also worth checking your old paper statements to see if the offer showed up there at any stage), date the account was open, date the requirements were met, date the bonus should have been paid (remember this is 90 days after the end of the month you completed the requirements in).
  2. File a complaint with Citi (by phone, or secured message. I prefer secured message to keep a paper trail), including all of the relevant information listed above.
  3. Ask to be escalated to a manager if unsuccessful
  4. Ask to be escalated to the executive department if unsuccessful
  5. If still unsuccessful, state to the ED that you will be forced to file a complaint with the CFPB if the matter cannot be resolved
  6. File a complaint with the CFPB

I’ve now had a few readers (via e-mail) follow these steps and they’ve all gotten their points to post. There isn’t really any point in starting the process until it’s been 90 days after the end of the month you met the requirements, as they will just tell you to wait. You could probably also ask to escalate to the executive department sooner, or file a complaint with the CFPB sooner but I prefer to give large institutions a chance to make things right first. As always, stay calm and friendly – the customer service representatives are used to people yelling at them day in day out and they are much more likely to try and help you if you’re being nice.

It’s probably also worth downgrading to the basic account if they don’t resolve the issue in a timely matter. This shouldn’t affect your eligiblity for the bonus as the terms clearly stated:

Bonus miles credited will be based on the consumer account package at the time of qualification

Citi are also tightening the requirements for Citigold in November, so expect these promotions to be a thing of the past.



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Matt
Matt

I opened mine in late December, got confirmation that I met all of the terms in early Jan plus that I was eligible and the promo was linked to my account. Reconfirmed two other times with separate CSRs (all through secured message) that I was eligible and met the requirements. They said the absolute latest I would get the points is April 30. That date came and went, so i SMed Citi a polite and specific message mentioning all of this, and they said the back office would open an investigation.

I was positive they would find against me, but to my surprise the points posted yesterday! Was overjoyed.

So more or less, can confirm above, as those are the steps I followed.

Ben
Ben

Nice. Opened an investigation on my wife’s account on Monday and haven’t heard back yet. Had an investigation opened on mine today. Fingers crossed!

David
David

I leapt on this fairly early and was able to get it to work, even though I was not targeted. The funny thing is that they opened two accounts for me, even though I didn’t ask for two accounts. I had to call and have one closed. Other than that, it’s been no problem.

David
David

I posted something earlier regarding this but it seems to have disappeared.

Anyway—I thought I had received the miles but I was getting that bonus confused with a Citicard bonus, since they were both good for 50K. The Citigold rep I just got off the phone with said that the miles will be awarded NINETY DAYS after the SIXTY DAYS which are used to complete the terms of the incentive. So for me, that means sometime in July. I was NOT targeted, but they passed me (and my partner) through. We just both have to wait until then.

The 50K for the credit card got posted almost immediately, plus an additional 10K for calling and saying that there was a higher bonus available and could they match it. Thank you for that, I wouldn’t have known to call.

Greg Z
Greg Z

Wasn’t this a public offer? I remember seeing posters all over the branch with this offer! Am I crazy?

PointsWithNick
PointsWithNick

Doc, you’re a genius. Threatened to contact CFPB and got a one day response, I know I’ve confirmed my number before so this sounds a bit like an excuse to why the miles were delayed.

“Your account does qualify for Promotion 42ERCWNQU6, which offered 50,000 AA Miles.
Citibank is eager to have these miles applied to your American Airlines AAdvantage account,
however; will need your American Airlines AAdvantage account number to process your
request. Please contact Citibank Online Services at 1-800-374-9700 at your earliest
convenience to provide the AAdvantage account number.”

David
David

AND I was able to get them to do the 60K offer that was mentioned earlier in another DoC post (which I wouldn’t have known to do, so thank you), by writing an email asking if they would match.

About 3 days later they did. My miles appeared almost immediately after the second bill was paid. What they WILL have issues with is if you tried to apply for a Citicard as well—you may have to explain to them several times that the Citigold miles are for A DIFFERENT PROMOTION, and are unrelated to the Citicard promotion. They kept trying to tell me that my Citicard miles (which have yet to post), were posted via this promo.

NG
NG

I got exactly the same letter on May 11, 2016. Word for word. Even though I had already provided my AA number and even though I had written confirmation that my AA number was linked to my account.

The letter was posted as a PDF in the E-Communications Center of my Account Management Page. Front and center on the E-Communications Center page it states that letters posted there will be available for 12 months, but CITI DELETED IT after less than 7 days. When I complained, they stated that e-communications are deleted after 7 days (a blatant lie). Luckily, I had already downloaded it.

I believe Citi deliberately deleted the letter in an attempt to deny its existence and the fact that it confirms that my account qualifies for the offer. I have since been asking for an explanation for the deletion, but they are being evasive. I have also asked them to repost it. They said they would, but they have not.

My miles still haven’t posted. Under the terms of the offer, they are required to post by May 29, 2016. Notwithstanding the aforementioned letter, which already confirms that I qualify for the offer, Citi is saying that the “investigation” into my bonus offer is still pending.

I have escalated my complaints to the Executive Response Unit at executive.response.unit@citi.com. I will also be submitting a complaint to the CFPB.

rico
rico

just got targeted mailed offer yesterday. 50k Thankyou points.

J C
J C

Would you mind taking a picture of the mailer, blurring out any personal information of course? Many who are fighting the fight with Citi are running into CSRs who are asking for information about the mailer they “received”. Having a picture of what one looks like could assist those who are trying to get their points.

joe
joe

save that mailing…!

Michael B
Michael B

Also suggest writing a polite but harsh criticism @AskCiti using hashtag #honoritciti

Michael B
Michael B

Forgot to mention that I was confirmed as having met the requirements 3 separate times but once I SM’d Citi they opened an investigation and sent me a letter in the mail saying I wasn’t targeted and therefore wouldn’t be receiving the points. If the Twitter thing doesn’t go anywhere I’ll go the CFPB route.

Vic
Vic

Great post as always. Still waiting for the end of this month.

Mark O
Mark O

Citi’s customer service has been atrocious for me of late. Too bad they offer so many good cards or I would kick them to the curb!

Kristy
Kristy

I opened the account in October and immediately used chat to confirm that the promo was on my account. After meeting the requirements in January, I used sm to ask when to expect my bonus. The agent confirmed that I had met the requirements and would receive the bonus after April 30th. When it hadn’t posted by May 12th, I sent a secure message asking when to expect it. I received a reply the morning of the 13th saying an investigation was being opened and then another message the evening of the 13th saying my points would be deposited. I was not targeted for this promo.

Ash
Ash

Under what category did you send the SM ?

TomT
TomT

I received secure messages from Citi confirming that the qualifications for both my promotion (40,000 TY points) and my wife’s promotion ($500) were met and and that the bonus will be posted. I hope they do not attempt to wiggle out of those confirmations later, as they seems pretty clear:

40,000 TY Bonus Confirmation SM on 4/6/2016 – “I have confirmed your account was opened with promotion 4368UUP5L4. To earn the 40K ThankYou points you must complete the following … Upon reviewing your account, I am happy to confirm that you have completed the requirements for this promotion as of 4/6/2016, meaning you can expect your ThankYou points no later than 7/29/2016”

$500 Bonus Confirmation SM on 5/7/2016 “We have confirmed that your account has met the necessary requirements to qualify for promotion 439G8TGJJJ. Please allow 90 days from the date of the qualifying transaction(s) which satisfied the terms and conditions, to receive your incentive. (note they did not specifically state the $500 incentive in this case, but it was in my SM to them and they did not refute it)”

shirley
shirley

They even has a version T&Cs without the word “target”. Only “receive communication. “I think citi doesn’t know how to distinguish which Terms applied to whom.

J
J

Previously you said wait for TY ponts to post before downgrading. Now you think it is safe to downgrade before receiving TYPoints? Anyone have success with that?

Chuck

Right, Will found in the terms that indicate that it’s fine. Not sure if we have any data points on this, though.

Pablo
Pablo

Is it worth the risk to do it? I just recently completed the necessary requirements for the promotion. Just messaged Citi and hope they acknowledged that I still have the promotion active and that I have met all requirements. I guess I’ll have to wait 90 days after successfully meeting requirements but I wonder if it’s really fine to downgrade and won’t hurt my chance.

John Smith
John Smith

What are the chances that Citi retaliates against those who file a CFPB complaint? I confirmed eligibility in-branch with the banker, and even have an email from him confirming the same, but still no bueno after three escalations, including letting them know most recently that I would be forced to go to CFPB if the outcome wasn’t desirable. I just lodged the formal CFPB complaint, but now I’m a little worried that they’ll discontinue doing business with me. Losing access to Citi Prestige 4th Night Free, which has saved me over $1000 this year already isn’t worth it for points worth ~$500.

Chuck

A few people have mentioned this fear. My understanding is that so long as there’s no lawsuit, a bank wouldn’t blacklist you for a CFPB claim. In fact, they may be worried that you’ll pursue them further for blacklisting you. Of course, I can’t say any of this for certain.

David
David

I think this would be disastrous PR for them. Citibank knows that it’s playing with fire when they make these kinds of offers in the first place. I don’t believe they would ever run the risk of a mass exodus of customers after playing schoolyard bully. There are waaaay too many banks that would gladly extend a welcome to their clients.

Dan
Dan

I just made an escalation and this was their response:

“Unfortunately, there was not a ThankYou Points promotion offered in conjunction with the opening of your account. While Citi does offer ThankYou Points promotions at times, those offers are only available to the individual to whom the offer was addressed”

Previously I was confirmed _twice_ with two different CSRs that I was eligible and now they are saying Im not

Christine Hall
Christine Hall

So much bad will has been generated for Citi as a result of this mess. I went through hell getting my points, only to find out that not all points are equal and they are less valuable than other Citi points. WTF? Wishing I had gone for the American Airlines miles. Who needs this?

Carl
Carl

Slight different data point:

Miles don’t show up despite their promise:

I have received multiple SM confirmations that I have met the terms. After 120 days from completion (more than the 90) I requested for look into things. S. Cardenas, Director, Client Research, replied with a formal letter (showing up in account e-communications) stating that their investigation showed I was qualified and had met the terms and that the 50k would be reported within 10 business days. That was mid April. I have called AA and they don’t see the miles … only see stuff from last year from cc signup.

I have now requested escalation to the executive department per the guidelines above. Hopefully that will address.

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