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Citibank reneged on my 30,000 mile promotional offer

Citibank reneged on my 30,000 mile promotional offer

Old Sep 24, 18, 2:11 pm
  #1  
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Be very wary of Citibank offers - some are fraudulent scams

I was a recipient of a mailed offer by Citibank to obtain AA miles by opening a Citi Bank account. The terms were:
1. Open a new account at Citibank by a certain date.
2. Within 60 days, make 1 or more bill payments from the online account, for 2 consecutive months.
3. Within 60 days, spend at least $375 in purchases using the Citibank ATM card
4. Keep the account open until the miles were awarded, which might take up to 90 days after the conditions were met.
5. 30,000 miles for a $10,000 account; 50,000 miles for a $50,000 account; and 60,000 miles for a $200,000 account (I was not so dumb as to give Citibank the use of $200,000 just to get 60,000 miles - I chose the 30,000 miles offer)
6. There was an incentive to maintain the opening balance, as if one did not, there would be monthly service charges of $25 to $50

So, I completed all the requirements, and then waited. And waited (assuming the bank was trying to drag out the award as long as possible, to get the most free use of customer deposits.) After several months, I called Citibank to find out what their problem was. On the phone for 25 minutes with a rather pleasant Citibank customer agent, she went through the particulars of my account (considering the time it took, one would think Citibank used an abacus instead of computers). She finally agreed that I had completed all the requirements for the promotional offer of 30,000 miles. But, she said, she would have to refer it some other office to approve the award.

Several days later, I got an email from Citibank, "thanking me for my inquiry", and stating that I had not made the required ATM purchases within the 60 days - an absolutely false statement, as shown by Citibank's monthly account statements.

One can only reasonably conclude that Citibank has engaged in a promotional scheme in which it intended to defraud its new account customers. I don't know why I received this promotional mailing, but these promotions aren't sent out only to 1 or 2 customers. I wonder if Citibank defrauded another100,000 Citibank customers. Or more.

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 24, 18 at 6:17 pm Reason: Restore original thread title to post
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Old Sep 24, 18, 2:15 pm
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Yes, clearly that is one single reasonable conclusion that anyone could possibly come to.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 2:45 pm
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@OP - While others might not believe you I do. I know 2 people personally that got defrauded by Citi over the summer with receiving rewards. In case of these 2 people Citi first sent an email stating instructions A and later same day sent another email with instructions B. Fulfilling requirements of instructions A would negate instructions B and vice versa. Citi claims instructions A should've been followed but cannot explain why Citi sent instructions B. If you follow original instructions A they can say that you're not getting reward because you didnt follow instructions B and if you follow instructions B they will reverse their story and say you must follow instructions A.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 2:53 pm
  #4  
 
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Citi's IT are not the best. Sometimes what you describes happens. Just follow up via the regular channels.

Some other times Citi's not-so-good IT worked in our favor. (e.g. 3x Citi AA 75K / Exec 100K / World Elite loop ) among others.
I think many here on FT would prefer Citi stay being Citi.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 3:13 pm
  #5  
747
 
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Go to your branch......sit down with a banker.

Get the banker to follow through and get your promised reward.

I had to do this for a Cit Priority account where 50,000 Thank You Points were promised.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 3:36 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by Diogenes1789 View Post
Several days later, I got an email from Citibank, "thanking me for my inquiry", and stating that I had not made the required ATM purchases within the 60 days - an absolutely false statement, as shown by Citibank's monthly account statements.
Are you sure that "ATM Purchases" is the term used? ATM purchase is a term that does not exist. An ATM is a machine where you get cash, you can't make purchases at an ATM.

Another thing to consider is that your definition of a card purchase is different to what Citibank considers a qualifying transaction, that's where the problem may be.
Sometimes the bank has restrictions on what counts as a qualifying transaction.
With an account I used to have, I remember that in order for the transaction to accrue miles or count towards promotion requirements, I had to process the transaction as credit (signature), not as debit (pin).

I do believe you that you had more than $350 in charges, I don't question that, but there is a possibility that the transactions did not qualify as such for the offer purposes.

In order to further advance your claim, I would suggest carefully reading the fine print of the offer
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Old Sep 24, 18, 5:59 pm
  #7  
 
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Are there non-fraudulent scams?
Are there fraudulent non-scams?

If the OP was not bright blue and 2,000 words, I'd read it but the subject line makes me wonder about the good frauds and the safe scams that make a call for the adjective to be added.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 6:44 pm
  #8  
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OP - you have one solution, and this one only - A Small Claims case demanding $885.

If you have legitimately qualified for the offer (i.e. you are the intended recipient) and you have completed every single requirement accordingly, you should have received the miles. Nothing else should matter.

Regardless how you claim Citi this and that, because you have somehow agreed to mandatory arbitration, the only viable solution for you is to sue Citi for the exact amount, without discount, that you have to pay AA for the miles, which is $885+tax. This is the only way that you can get Citi to make some senses.

You can try all other methods. But I can almost ensure you that nothing will work except this.

Originally Posted by 747 View Post
Go to your branch......sit down with a banker.
While it is not a bad idea...it is unlikely that sitting down with a banker can achieve any results, given this is a back office issue.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 8:35 pm
  #9  
 
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CFPB. I had problems too some years back. Called Citi and talked to several agents and managers but ended up with only broken promises. Opened a CFPB case and said i want my bonus and extra $50 because of the lies and hassle. Citi gave me my bonus and the $50 a couple or few days later.

I'm not allowed to post links yet, www.consumerfinance.gov

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 26, 18 at 10:16 pm Reason: Enable working link
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Old Sep 24, 18, 9:12 pm
  #10  
nrr
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
Are you sure that "ATM Purchases" is the term used? ATM purchase is a term that does not exist. An ATM is a machine where you get cash, you can't make purchases at an ATM.

Another thing to consider is that your definition of a card purchase is different to what Citibank considers a qualifying transaction, that's where the problem may be.
Sometimes the bank has restrictions on what counts as a qualifying transaction.
With an account I used to have, I remember that in order for the transaction to accrue miles or count towards promotion requirements, I had to process the transaction as credit (signature), not as debit (pin).

I do believe you that you had more than $350 in charges, I don't question that, but there is a possibility that the transactions did not qualify as such for the offer purposes.

In order to further advance your claim, I would suggest carefully reading the fine print of the offer
Isn't the ATM card also a DEBIT CARD? I can go to a gas station (say) and buy gas as a debit card trans. [no cc surcharge].
I just looked at my CITIBANK ATM Card, it has the MasterCard logo and the word DEBIT.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 9:26 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Isn't the ATM card also a DEBIT CARD? I can go to a gas station (say) and buy gas as a debit card trans. [no cc surcharge].
I just looked at my CITIBANK ATM Card, it has the MasterCard logo and the word DEBIT.
One question is whether they mean use it as a debit card (PIN) or credit card transaction, which would get the bank more money due to the surcharge being higher for credit card type transactions.
This sounds more like incompetence than fraud, however.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
One question is whether they mean use it as a debit card (PIN) or credit card transaction, which would get the bank more money due to the surcharge being higher for credit card type transactions.
This sounds more like incompetence than fraud, however.
+1. The fine print should have described exactly which transactions are eligible -- debit (with PIN), debit-used-as-credit, or both. ATM withdrawals with the card would almost certainly not have counted.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 10:36 pm
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I'm interested to see what happens here. I applied for the same promo and according to my records have met the needed criteria as of about 2 weeks ago. It actually does explicitly state what qualifies for a Citibank Debit or ATM Card purchase:

"1 Qualifying purchases are those made using either your Citibank® Debit or ATM Card to buy goods and services and are net of returns and other adjustments. Qualifying purchases are signature or PIN based debit card transactions. ATM withdrawals, cash back and bill payments do not qualify. Person-to-person money transfer applications will not constitute a qualifying purchase. Net qualifying purchases are determined in Citibank’s sole discretion and must post to the new account within sixty (60) days of account opening. Qualifying card purchases are on a per account basis and based upon all card purchases by all customers when the new checking account is the primary account linked to the customer’s Citibank Debit or ATM Card."

The tougher part would most likely be the bill pay portion, as you have to set up your account number within the Citi website and then pay the bill from within the Citi account. It's not as simple as paying a utility bill with the actual card.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
OP - you have one solution, and this one only - A Small Claims case demanding $885.
..
You can try all other methods. But I can almost ensure you that nothing will work except this.
...
tbis is rather excessive. More traditional methods eg escalation, letter to exec office, twitter team or cfpb online complaint will do the trick if the requirements are indeed met.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 11:56 pm
  #15  
nrr
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Originally Posted by jvel View Post
I'm interested to see what happens here. I applied for the same promo and according to my records have met the needed criteria as of about 2 weeks ago. It actually does explicitly state what qualifies for a Citibank Debit or ATM Card purchase:

"1 Qualifying purchases are those made using either your Citibank® Debit or ATM Card to buy goods and services and are net of returns and other adjustments. Qualifying purchases are signature or PIN based debit card transactions. ATM withdrawals, cash back and bill payments do not qualify. Person-to-person money transfer applications will not constitute a qualifying purchase. Net qualifying purchases are determined in Citibank’s sole discretion and must post to the new account within sixty (60) days of account opening. Qualifying card purchases are on a per account basis and based upon all card purchases by all customers when the new checking account is the primary account linked to the customer’s Citibank Debit or ATM Card."

The tougher part would most likely be the bill pay portion, as you have to set up your account number within the Citi website and then pay the bill from within the Citi account. It's not as simple as paying a utility bill with the actual card.
Within Citibank Checking one can set up one time as well as recurring bill payments--one uses their BILL PAY option, this method had issues when they made payments by "real" checks [20 years ago], now that most bills are paid electronically it is easy.
It seems (from post #1) Citibank has set too many obstacles to easily meet the conditions.
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