Citibank revokes earned/posted Thank You bonus points for new checking account??!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by modernhaus, Jul 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    A bit of a question and a heads-up about a shady Citibank practice I just learned of today:

    I received a targeted offer from Citibank; 25,000 bonus Thank You points for opening a new checking account, completing consecutive bill-pays and direct deposits, etc.

    Carefully complied with the requirements, earned the points, and they were posted to my account.

    There was no stipulation of how long account had to STAY open, just that it had to be open and in good standing at the time points posted. Done and done.

    I waited a month after points posted, then I closed account. Two months later, Citibank revokes my bonus points.

    Call to customer service today reveals that closing account at ANY time after earning the bonus points converts the earned points to points with a 60 day expiration date! This info is NOT contained anywhere in the offer or any of the account materials. I was told that when calling to cancel, it's the customer service rep's job to inform of this.

    If it's not in any of the account details or materials, then it represents a change to the account agreement and the account holder has to be clearly notified in writing, right??!!

    The surly customer service rep opened an "investigation", so we'll see where this goes.

    Advice? Anyone else have their points revoked, or informed of expiration?
     
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    It's been a long established policy of the TY program. If you don't have a single sponsor account, your TY points become subject to the 60-day expiration. Sorry it hit you by surprise. Otherwise, 60 days would've been more than enough time for you to cash out.
    p.s. It's also posted on your TY main account page if any of your points expire within 90 days.
     
  3. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    According to TY, it was Citibank that "selected" the 60-day expiration, not TY policy.
    My point is it's a pretty major element of the account bonus program and should have been stated somewhere/contained in the original offer. I have the screen shot of the original offer with fine print, rules and restrictions. This detail is MIA
     
  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I'm a bit puzzled by your terminology. Thank-You IS a Citibank's loyalty program. They do have fairly convoluted rules, that few people ever read. But in general one should assume that the points or miles in any loyalty program will eventually expire. So it's a good idea to check the expiration date, if you're planning to leave your account inactive for awhile.
    The points expiration in your case was not specific to the bonus offer, but got triggered when you ended up with no sponsor accounts. Your point balance would've been protected if you had any other Citi contributing account, like a TY credit card.
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sounds to me like the same Amex would do to my MR account if I closed my one and only MR-earning Amex card.
     
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  6. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    It is rather unfortunate to have to go through this, but without a sponsoring program, the bank rewards points expire fairly quickly, if not on the same day as termination of the sole sponsoring account. Good luck with the investigation that they opened.
     
  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I agree with the others. Why did you expect to be able to use TY points if you closed your account? It's like asking United to hold onto your Mileage Plus miles if you close your account with them. Some programs carve out exceptions, like Membership Rewards, but even then the points are "hidden" and aren't useable unless you open a new card and regain access to Membership Rewards.
     
  8. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    Guys, I'm not retarded. This is why I'm confused and posting here--I DO have a sponsor account-a Citi Thank You Preferred Rewards card. I've had it and my TY rewards account for years and my TY account has a large balance. I didn't lose any existing TY points, just the bonus I earned for the checking account.
    The bonus points didn't expire because of inactivity or lack of sponsor account, but, according to the Thank You program, because Citibank selected to convert those earned points to points with 60-day expiration after I closed my account with them.

    This is my complaint-Citi did not disclose this practice, therefore I had no opportunity to act to protect my earned points. There was NO stipulation in the offer that the account had to remain open for any length of time once the points had posted, and there was no stipulation that points, once legitimately earned, could be rescinded. Only that the account had to be open and in good standing at the time the points posted.
     
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  9. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    No need to reply six times with the same message. Multiple quotes are possible in the same comment.

    It was not clear from your original post that you have a sponsoring account. Believe it or not, I have read much stranger questions. If we were harsh on you, it's because your original post was also harsh on Citibank.

    You might have a case that Citi should not have removed the bonus points for opening an account. Might. I would be surprised if this wasn't mentioned in any of the fine print on the offer page or the documents that came with the card or the online T&C for ThankYou, Citi, and your checking account. Most programs allow points to be revoked for no reason because you don't own them, the bank/airline/hotel does.

    Most people here will tell you that it's better to be safe than sorry. I typically don't cancel a card until the points are safely transferred to another program or spent. If that doesn't happen, then I wait at least six months and preferably 11 before canceling. The annual fee doesn't kick in until 12 months, so there's no reason to cancel any earlier. I believe in Chase's T&C you can sometimes find a line saying that the account must be open and in good standing for at least six months.

    If you want to get your points back, you should ask Citi to indicate where they explained this ability to rescind points in their T&C. Only then will you have something to work with.
     
  10. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    As you can see, most of us missed the above point in the original post. Thanks for the clarification which will serve as a data point for the rest of us.
     
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  11. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Thanks for clarification and sharing your experience. Will keep the expiration info in mind. Btw, if for some reason you did not want to cash out right away, you could also leave your account open and continue to accumulate points. Depending on your account type and balance, the points could be equivalent to 0.5 to 4% annual interest. (the upper range assumed basic acct, $1500 balance, direct deposit & bill payment)
     
  12. sk8uno

    sk8uno Member

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    Modernhaus - If you do take this up with Citi, please let us know how it turns out.
     
  13. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    yep, sorry for the comment overpost. I guess I may be a *little* retarded after all.
    I've got a screen shot of the offer and all the account materials. No mention of expiring points. Just "account must be open and in good standing at time points post". I go over offers VERY carefully before I jump in, esp. this one as it was a bank account and required that I meet multiple criteria to earn points.
    I did ask Citi to indicate where this practice is disclosed. Answer: "customer service agent who closed your account should have notified you". Sounded like an accidental admission that it isn't in writing anywhere.
     
  14. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    Can you please stop using that term? Thank you.

    Mike
     
  15. Slow_Mustang
    Original Member

    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    Another data point - I just cancelled my Citi TY points CC and was told that the points, if not cashed would expire in 30 days. I told them that I always had this reward tied to my checking account as a Citi Gold member, and the TY point balance would not be static because of the card cancellation. Besides, I keep getting $100 Home Depot cards every time I have enough points accrued.
     

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