I hate dealing with banks. Unfortunately, they’re the ones who issue the credit cards that earn points and miles, allowing Sharon and I to travel as much as we do. I just wish they wouldn’t make things so unnecessarily difficult.
For example, Sharon recently applied for the Citi Premier card right before the 60,000 point sign up bonus ended. Like most banks, Citi has rules about earning bonuses when signing up for cards.
“Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.”
Sharon has had the Prestige for several years now so there shouldn’t have been a problem about her getting the sign up bonus for the premier. Or so I thought…
She was immediately approved and the card arrived in the mail about a week later. I do most of the points and miles stuff in the house so I went to activate the card so we could start making a dent in the $4,000 spending requirement needed to earn the bonus.
That’s when I saw this on the letter.
What???? I went back and checked my spreadsheet to see when Sharon received the Citi Prestige. It was way over 24 months ago. Sharon was going to have to call Citi. Drats!! She REALLY hates calling banks and I only have a limited number of times I can get her to call before she gets fed up with me, so I need to make sure it’s worth the trouble. This was worth the trouble.
I started the call and explained to the representative the problem. She was nice and said since Sharon is the only cardholder, she’d have to be on the phone. I handed the phone to Sharon and stood nearby. BTW, I don’t like adding authorized users – read this to find out why.
The phone rep took some time and figured out the problem. About a year ago, Sharon’s Citi Prestige card was hacked and we received a text and email asking about charges we never made. Citi did what all banks do in this case, they cancelled the account and reissued a new card. In the Citi computer system, THAT RESET THE 24 MONTH CLOCK!!!!
The rep, realizing we had no control over our card being hacked, said that she would enter a dispute over the sign up bonus and it could take two to three weeks to resolve. Now I’m really glad I had Sharon call.
When dealing with banks, always read what they send you.
Since we have less than three months to spend the required amount on the card, I’m going to start using it now even with no guarantee about the bonus being honored. I have a hard time believing Citi would refuse based on a reissued card from a fraud alert.
But how crazy is it that Citi can’t have their own computers figure this out? If I didn’t see that small note on the letter, I never would have known. After completing the spending requirement, I’d wonder why the bonus points never arrived. Sorting these things out after the fact is never fun. By calling now, the dispute process has been started and the problem documented before I start spending on the card.
So heed this warning. If you ever had a Citi card reissued due to fraud, be sure to check carefully when signing up for a new card to make sure they’re giving the sign up bonus you applied for.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary