Avoid Hassles from keeping Citi AA Cards

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by RestlessLocationSyndrome, Nov 4, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Background: I've had the Citi AA Visa for almost one year. I had used it quite a good deal for awhile and then decided to stop use as I had received other cards which had spend requirements and also had another Citi card which I switched spend over to. A couple notes:
    • I have a $10k credit line and actually have no pre-set spending limit.
    • I have another Citi card which has an even higher limit which I had not used in well over 6 months and then picked it up and started spending on it very quickly which encountered no fraud/security warnings.

    Task: I decided that I want to cancel the Citi AA card and Citi's Account Management offers up an $85 statement credit and 500 bonus miles/month for the next 16 months that I spend at least $500/month. I decide to keep the card and start spending on this card again.

    Card Use: I decide to buy a $500 item and get declined. I call up Citi and they claim it was blocked for fraud reasons. This is highly annoying as now I spend 10 minutes on my cell phone verifying all my personal information in a non-private setting to get my card approved for spend again. The incompetence of Citi is first seen when they ask me for my cell phone number. This would be a valid question if it wasn't for the fact that it's the same one that I put on the application, which is the same one that I activated the card from as well as the same one I'm calling them from to remove the fraud warning.

    I decide to give feedback to a manager in the security/fraud group at Citi explaining how this defeats the purpose of carrying their credit cards. Since I had picked up using another Citi card which I hadn't used for well over 6 months and encountered no fraud/security warnings, I find it highly odd that starting to use my Citi AA card after maybe 3 months of non-use would garner this problem.

    So I make my purchase and walk out the door. Later the same day, I all of a sudden receive 2 emails and 2 text messages from Citi fraud department. I ignore them because I assume that they have their act together and these are just automatically sent from when the card was first declined.

    1 day later, I get an automated phone call. Again, I ignore it because I assume this is automated again based on the original decline.

    Now 2 days later, I get another automated phone call. I know this is incompetence on the part of Citi but I call them back just because I need to stop them from further harassing me. I first talk to Customer Service and they say, yeah, I only see the one charge, not sure why they are continuing to call you about this. Now you know it's bad when a 1st level Customer Service Representative is able to identify how poor the operations in the Fraud/Security department are.

    Anyways, I get transferred to Fraud/Security and promptly got hung up on. At this point, I'm interested in seeing how much further Citi will hassle me on this before I close my account.

    IMHO, you're better off just getting the Citi AA cards for the sign-up bonus ONLY because keeping the card (even with an okay retention bonus) just isn't worth the hassle.
     
  2. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    Besides the usual retention bonus don't forget about the Priority Boarding, Free Checked bag, 10% discount on award redemption's and occasional bonus point offers. I know that dealing with the situation you did was a pain... but there are some other reasons to get/keep the card other than just the sign up bonus. Of course... this is just MY opinion too ;)
     
    akcae and miles and smiles like this.
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I had a fraud alert triggered once with citi. A helpful CS rep recommended it would be easiest to cancel and reissue the card to clear it - and it worked!
    In general I'd recommend not to instantly give out your confidential data the moment someone on the phone mentions "fraud" or "security", especially when in a public place. You can first google the number from which they were calling, and call the bank to verify that there's indeed a fraud alert on your account. If everything checks out, you can then return their call at your convenience.
     
  4. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Good point about the advantage of carrying the card. However, there are multiple Citi AA cards available so there is no need to keep a given card beyond the free trial year since you can just apply for the several others.

    Also, for those of us who already have elite status, the bonuses of the card offer fairly little new outside of the 10% refund on award redemptions up to 10k. Considering you'll get 30-40k for a new card and get around the inconvenience of their "fraud detection", there's fairly low value in retaining vs. getting another card.
     
  5. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Love the note above showing how the CSR's at Citi understand how they need to workaround the system to get it to work for customers.

    I definitely agree, when fraud calls, hang up and call the number on the back of the credit card. As for the call, this was not them calling me but me calling them so that I could actually buy something.
     

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