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Posted by BonBon on 04/28/2005
For my statement closing on February 18, 2005, my balance was $1684.88. I mistakenly wrote the check for $1,681.88, which was a mere $3 difference, or 0.18% of the balance. Plus, it was clearly a human error! Therefore, I was surprised to see a $14.48 finance charge on my March 18th statement. Was I being charged 5x the amount of my mistake!?? Since when did the Fed interest rate rise to 500%??? There is a word for that: USURY

Since I have had pretty good service with Citibank prior to this incident, I thought this was perhaps a computer mistake and should be easily repairable through a phone call. I made my first call to customer service on April 18th. The rep was at first resistant to my argument that $15 of penalty over $3 of difference was absurd, but after a long negotiation, he agreed to manually override it on the computer.

So, you can imagine my surprise when opening my April 18th statement, I found not only no cancellation of the previous finance charge of $14.48, but in addition, an extra $1.44 charge, bringing the total to almost $16 for my $3 clerical error!

I called the customer service again on April 28th. A lady named Erica answered the phone and explained that the charge was not a mistake. She was not only unsympathetic, but frankly, also stupid. Does Citibank not train their staff that “the customer is always right”?? Where is the service in customer service? I told Ms. Erica to cancel my account and she was unmoved. If Citi indeed records its phone lines for training purposes, perhaps my conversation on April 28th would be good reference.

It is ridiculous for Citibank to be so greedy on $16 to lose a long-time loyal customer and stockholder. I am very disappointed, and I have cancelled my Citibank AAdvantage World Mastercard. I am also contemplating canceling all my other Citi-affiliated accounts.

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Posted by Slimjim on 2005-04-28:
I made the same mistake once. They base finance charges on balances for 2 billing cycles, so they still got you for the larger balance for the first 30 days. Because of the $3, you left a balance, hence no grace period. I thought it was pretty cheesy too and since knowing the ground rules, never made that mistake again.
Posted by bill on 2005-04-28:
The customer is NOT always right. However in this situation, Citibank should have reversed the finance charge. You were only short $3.00 on a payment over $1600.00.
Posted by crazyiufan on 2005-04-30:
No, honestly the customer is most of the time the stupid one. It's just the underpaid, under-appreiciatted employees who have to deal with it. I can only imagine having to teach math to undereducated customers every day. Have you never had a loan or a credit card in your life? You always, unless you pay in full every month, get a final bill for interest. It's a well-known fact. Maybe you should do a little research before bringing out the 'stupid' card.
Posted by bcgang on 2007-11-02:
For your information, Interest is calculated based on you average daily balance. When you didn't pay your account off before your due date you interest showed up on your next statement. Even if you had paid the entire balance off you would have received an interest charge. For example, if you carry a balance from October 1st to October 31st you get charged interest for each day. when your new bill is printed on November 1st, the interest you accrued October 1st - October 31st is then placed on your bill. So infact you didn't get charged interest for the 3 dollars, you got charged interest on your entire balance. If you paid using cash, then you would not have to pay Citi Cards for the service of loaning you money.
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Absurd and fraudulent
Posted by Doroth on 07/03/2005
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA -- I was so happy when this new citicard came with an intro promotion of 5% cash back on gas, drugstore merchandise and groceries. I was also excited when they advertised 0% financing for six months on balance transfers with no transfer fee. Well, since my balance transfer of $1500.00 last September, I’ve paid a total of $86.00 in finance charges. I’ve called many times to ask why? They replied that it is in the small print of the agreement stating that any purchase I made goes against the balance transfer and is subject to 10.99% financing. Need less to say this has been a nightmare. I called again when my monthly purchase was less then $100.00 and ask a why my finance charge want nearly $10.00? I didn’t quite understand their lingo, so I’ve ask them if their would be a finance charge if I’ve paid the whole amount with a balance of 900.00. Of course they transfer me to a customer representative to let me know how they had this new promotion with an interest rate of 1.99% for the next nine months. Again came another finance charge of over $7.00. So I’ve called and ask why. They replied that the representative that gave me this promotion did not applied it to some of the balance transfer, only to future transactions. This time I’ve replied this is BS. They then called the office manager and made the correction. They told me they could not correct the previous month. They weren’t allowed. Last month, the whole amount was paid in full. I was finally relieved of this nightmare with Citicard, so I though. Now I’ve just check my latest statement on line, and they’ve charge me $2.86 in finance charge again. My new balance is only $34.00. I’m writing this complaint to let anyone know that if they own a citicard master with the same intro promotion, not to ever transfer money from another account. You will certainly be taken for a ride. I wish I could contact the attorney general about this. In my view this is fraud.
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Posted by madcrunk on 2005-07-06:
Citi definitely has some shady stuff going on.
The 5% deal on supermarkets and gas is bogus; good luck finding a gas station that qualifies. All mine have showed up as 1% except for Kroger purchases. I called to inquire and was told that the purchase must be just a 'gas station', not a 'service station' (like with a food store or shop attached). Good luck finding one of those. What a crock.
Not to mention it takes days for purchases to post online, whereas other cards are almost instant. This is another way they can nail you with finance charges if you're trying to zero out before the statement date.
Posted by Arthur on 2005-07-26:
That's what all credit cards do to hall you in. The only way you'll ever see 0% interest is if you don't use the card. To make matters worse, I have noticed that I am not getting the 5% cash back from supermarkets, gas stations and drugstores anymore. Did they cancel this benefit without letting us know that or was this written in the fine print also?
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Unethical behavior
Posted by Cpschorr on 01/17/2010
Citicards has raised its APR 76% in one month from 17% to 30% even though we've a 5-year relationship in good standing. This is unethical behavior. We'll have to discontinue using their services.

Citicards answer to my complaint was that I was notified that the change was coming, and that it was simply a business decision, not a reflection of our account status.

Warning a customer that you plan to initiate unethical business behavior doesn’t absolve Citicards. I shall do whatever I can to communicate my outrage.
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-01-17:
"Citicards has raised its APR 76% in one month from 17% to 30%..."

I think your math is off...it was raised 13%...not 76%.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-17:
Chuck, I think they are reasoning that 17% = 100%. 13% is 76% of 17%. Uh oh. I just confused myself.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-01-17:
Pro, you could be right. But in actuality it is a 57% increase. 17 divided by 30 = 57.
Posted by Ponie on 2010-01-17:
The price we *all* pay for the years of easy credit!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-01-17:
No, Ponie, we *all* don't pay that price. I, for one, pay NO interest on my 9.99% VISA card.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-17:
What's credit? I don't have any.

Posted by Ytropious on 2010-01-17:
I don't charge what I can't pay off in one bill, meaning I've never paid a finance charge.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-17:
I don't have any credit cards.

Posted by MRM on 2010-01-17:
MissMarple, after I get rid off the $9,413 balance on my credit card, I wanna be just like you, never have a credit card. The interest and the protection fee is killing me.
Posted by MRM on 2010-01-17:
The first time I have used the credit card, I used to pay off the whole balance every month, but then I got carried away.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-17:
MRM, every cruise I've been on has been paid in cash in full when booked, sometimes with a deposit, but always paid in full before embarkation. Every Christmas present is paid in cash. It's a wonderful feeling. I know you will like it.

Keep it up, you can do it!

**Liddy agrees**
Posted by MRM on 2010-01-17:
Yes, MM, I will like it when my balance reaches zero! So far Ive paid the payment on time and never had collector call me to maintain a high credit score.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-17:
MRM, you are on the right track and I applaud you for it.

Posted by MRM on 2010-01-17:
Thank you, MM for the motivation and at the end of the year I will post a BEFORE and AFTER balance to see the improvements that Ive made.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-01-17:
I can't speak for Ponie but I expect she was referring to the almost overnight increase in interest rates for those who always paid their bill according to terms. They in fact are paying for those years of easy credit for the folks who didn't pay. Don't ask me my APR on my VISA or Mastercard because I don't have a clue. I don't pay interest nor do I pay an annual fee. I have read where those companies are considering going back to the old days of charging a yearly fee for the privilege of having a card. Stay tuned because that's next.
Posted by MRM on 2010-01-17:
I have heard about the return of the annual fee! Momma noooo! That alone right there is a good motivation to payoff the balance ASAP.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-01-17:
MRM, I think AMEX has always charged an annual fee. As far as Visa and MC I do know I had a no annual fee with one. When I received my new card with the other there was an annual fee charge of I think $25.00. I picked up the telephone and told them to cancel it, the reason and was immediately told there would be no annual fee thereafter and that charge would be credited. It was.
Posted by MRM on 2010-01-17:
I currently have AMEX and they dont charge annual fee. I also have Chase, Citicard, and Bank of America and they also dont have annual fees.
Posted by Ponie on 2010-01-17:
tnchuck100, that was a generalized *all* that I used. I am in the same position as Nohandle, even though I was called a 'she' :). I have absolutely no idea what the interest rates are on any of my credit cards because they are paid in full and on time when I receive my statements. (I could find it on my statements, but don't feel like looking.) In fact on two of them, I make money because I'm paid cash rewards which are a percentage of the amount I charge.
I'm sure many will agree that handing out credit as easily as had been done in the past with resultant delinquencies being written off, that money has to come from somewhere. Same as the foreclosures so rampant. $250,000 home, no down payment, 1st and 2nd mortgages--who's going to pay for it and how? Higher interest rates.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-17:
@ProConsumer you're always confusing yourself haha
Posted by bcd on 2010-01-17:
The OP's math is correct. It's a 76.47% increase.

13 divided by 17=0.764705882352941
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StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star
They Closed My Account Without Notice
Posted by Diamonds4384 on 08/29/2013
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have been a Citi customer for over 7 years. I missed my payment this month by DAYS and they closed my account. I did not receive any notice or warning. In fact, the only way I knew that the account was closed was because I couldn't access my online account. I am VERY disappointed with the way this business was handled and the lack of notice and patience that I received as a (not so valued) customer.

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Posted by Old Timer on 2013-08-29:
It's all part of automated systems and algorithms now. You miss a payment, that triggers a automated credit review. Your FICO may have dropped or anyone of a number of other items changed. That trips the system to close your account or possibly drop your credit line.

It also works in reverse, you get a credit increase that you never asked for. It's all automated now, a human probably never saw or reviewed what took place.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-08-29:
It is possible that Citi was likewise very disappointed in you as a customer, based on the late payment. Remember, it is their money that you borrowed and agreed to repay.

Old Timer wrote a great comment on what may have happened. Very helpful!

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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Terrible, Terrible Company
Posted by Ppayne588 on 08/08/2013
NOT SURE, CALIFORNIA -- I wish I could give them negative a thousand zero stars. Like, you know what the temperature is on Neptune at night? That's how many stars they deserve. This company is run by very good scammers, I will give them that. To make my headache-ridden, almost unbelievable story of how they scammed me short, I will give you insight into your likely future scenarios at Citibank:

Their online banking system is very poorly operated and kicks you out regularly. It prompts you to call their customer service. Then customer service sets up your bill pay and confirms your bill is paid by phone and email.

8 days later, you will receive an email saying that your 'check' was returned and you are being charge $20 for returned check fee and $20 for late payment on your bill. You will call to b*itch. They will say sorry and that they'll pay you back. Then they ask for your information again and confirm your bill is paid.

Next month, the same thing happens, which is odd since the payment already went through last month. Weird, right? I'm not a rocket scientist, but my credentials didn't change in 3 weeks, so I would think the payment should easily go through again.

Somehow my information keeps changing every month so that I have a 'returned check fee ($20)' and a 'late fee ($20)' EVERY MONTH for 6 months. And EVERY MONTH they say sorry, bank error, we'll return your fees. AND EVERY MONTH THEY DON'T.

Until 6 months later when you ask them where your money is and they say, 'Well, it's only $60'. ACTUALLY IT'S MORE LIKE $160 and if it's ONLY $60, then why won't you give it back to me?

I paid in full (plus extra that they scammed out of me), closed my account, and vowed to be a thorn in their sides. Do yourself a favor and beware of credit card scammers operating under the guise of a reputable company.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Ken [snip] is still at it
Posted by Jaquemac44 on 04/30/2012
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA -- Most of the reviews I've read are older, but I'm letting you know that CitiCards and Ken [snip] are still at it.

My husband died in December and I finally got to changing our MasterCard (he was the primary) to my name. I was at CitiBank with one of their service reps and got CitiCard on the phone to see what I had to do. I was told that I could assume the account, I just needed to fill in the form and send it in within 30 days - which I did. A week ago I called for the status and neither the representative or her supervisor could help. They both said they didn't know if I could assume the account but, as it might take a month, to call back.

Yesterday, I received the MasterCard bill in the mail - still in his name. I called back and spoke with another representative who told me, after checking with her supervisor, that the first representative shouldn't have told me that. They no longer allowed spouses to assume the accounts for their deceased spouse. The only thing she could say was "I'm sorry". I told her that didn't cut it. She said there was nothing I could do - so I got "Ken [snip]" name and address and planned on writing him to see if something could be done - then checked online and saw what I fiasco it is to deal with him.

I still planned on writing when, last night, I was at the store and tried to use my card - IT WAS DECLINED!!! My balance is only $95 and isn't due until next week. So, I paid cash and walked out in shock. I called again, and this time spoke with James who said he is a manager. He informed me that my account had indeed been closed. Now, AT NO TIME in this whole fiasco had I been told that the account would be closed immediately. Now I'm left to go through applying for another card and waiting for it to be approved and mailed. All James could say was "I'm sorry" (sound familiar) although he did sound remorseful when he said he wished there was something he could do and agreed that the whole matter had been handled poorly from the start - but no luck on the card.

So, in the interest of expediency, I applied for a new card with them - for the time being. I need a card as soon as possible for emergencies. So the witch - excuse me, representative - that I spoke with (and her supervisor Nicole) closed my account the minute I hung up if not sooner without telling me they were doing it. Now I might add- we've had that card and been cardholders in good standing since 1993 - we're not slouches. And it was all part of a CitiGold account. We've been very good customers between the card, numerous checking and savings accounts, a mortgage, and money market accounts with CitiBank.

So, too many "I'm sorry's" later I've been approve for a new account (lower credit line, of course) and will be awaiting my new card - in the meantime I can't charge anything if I need to. Throw the widow out into the cold - at least I paid off the mortgage so they can't get me for defaulting on that. Next up is my letter to Ken [snip]. Citi strikes again!!
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-01:
I can understand a bank not wanting to change a secondary card holder to the primary once the primary has died. I was on my mom's account, and it wouldn't make sense for the bank to transfer that account to my name after she passed. With a husband and wife, I can see how one might assume it should apply, but it doesn't surprise me in today's credit climate that they don't do it.

I would chalk this up to an error on the part of the CSRs. You said that an "I'm sorry" doesn't "cut it", but I don't understand why that is. It was a mistake. I also understand how this causes you inconvenience, but in my opinion that doesn't mean they should make an exception to their policy.
Posted by JISCal2 on 2012-05-01:
This is not a good way for Citi to keep customers, but it does not surprise me. You have been though and continue to go through a rough time with Citi. Losing a spouse is a pain I would never want to go through and the frustration you feel now I am sure is magnified. I am not saying you are wrong to feel the way that you do, but write your final letters to Citi and then let it go. In the end they don't care about you or any customer; just the almighty dollar. Don't spend your energy on them. It isn't worth it.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-05-01:
First, as soon as I ran into a problem I would have advised them if they cannot change the account to MY name then they can just write off the balance. Turning a deceased person over to collections will definitely gain them a lot.

Second, after being treated so shabbily I absolutely would not open another account with them. I would go elsewhere to obtain a new credit card.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-05-01:
Credit cards and credit limits are based on the earning power of the primary card holder. A secondary user may not have the financial ability to pay the account, and it makes sense to not allow assumption of the account, but require a new credit account to be established.

Credit card companies always close accounts without notice, because the reality is that if they sent out a letter saying in two weeks we will be closing the account, some people would charge everything they could during that two week period with no intent to pay it back.

This review is helpful because it highlights the need for spouses (primarily wifes) to have their own credit card in their name, while their spouse is still alive. I am sorry for your lose.
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Unreasonable Card Account Closure of Sears Citi Mastercard
Posted by LuckyEnough on 03/21/2011
Had Sears credit card since 1984 at some point Sears exchanging it to a Citi Platinum Mastercard. Never late in 27 years and had zero balance on the card. Received new cards at expiration and called to activate as I wanted to use at Sears to purchase a refrigerator. When activating I informed them that my husband had passed away three years ago so no longer needed that extra card. They immediately cancelled the card/account even though I had been the only wage earner on the account since 1990 when my husband retired and continued employment to the present as a widow. I offered to give them current credit and employment info so they could keep the current card in place and retain the "customer since 1984" credit status but was rudely refused and told that they had already cancelled it and I would have to fill out a new application and re-apply at a Sears store or online. Asked to speak with a supervisor and explained that I didn't want to lose the years of experience on that card and she told me there was nothing she could do, the card was cancelled.

No way will I ever do business with Citi EVER AGAIN. If this is how they treat long term great card holders then I can totally believe the horrible stories that other people have reported. Opened a Capital One Venture VISA over the phone recently and they gave me more than twice the credit limit as I had on the Citi card ON THE SPOT.

What goes around comes around CITI. Wishing you what you do to others. As for SEARS...you need to find another credit card sponsor or risk losing the use of your card by other long term Sears customers (and stockholders) who have been loyal customers over the years. As an FYI, I bought the refrigerator at a different merchant with the Capital One card.

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Posted by BEJ on 2011-03-21:
If he was the primary account holder and you were an authorized user on the account, then they had every right to cancel the account when you informed them of his passing. You would then have to open an account in your own name.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-03-21:
I don't understand what benefits the "customer since 1984" gives you? Unless you had some kind of reward system set up. CC companies really don't give a rat's rear how long ya been a customer.
Posted by Ytropious on 2011-03-21:
Agree with jkt, these days it doesn't matter if you've been a customer 1 day or 25 years.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-21:
jktshff1 -> the amount of time the person has been a customer is highly weighted in terms of one's credit score. They advise you to keep your oldest cards, even if you don't use them.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-03-21:
Then I guess if you use credit, that would matter.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-21:
Correct. A person who doesn't use credit, could care less. A person who does, it matters. I am not one to track my credit score (I checked it once in my life), but even I have kept my oldest card. It sits on a shelf.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-03-21:
trmn, if I understand correctly, non use and a high open credit line makes your score go down. But again, I don't use them.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-21:
jktshff1 -> The only penalties I can think of for not using a card is that the limit can be reduced (reducing your over all limit and thus increasing your utilization) or the card could be cancelled.

The statement I made is a generalization, and is widely suggested by people who pontificate on such matters. If your oldest card has the highest limit, then I would advise not leaving it in the shelf, for the reasons mentioned.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-03-21:
ok thanks. I guess ya gotta read the fine print and check your score often.
Posted by db1105 on 2011-03-21:
Sorry about the loss of your husband but when he passed you had an obligation to notify Citi. My wife is the primary on the same credit card and they won't let me do a thing administrative since she is listed as the primary even though I have a credit card in my name and make all the money.

The bottom line is that the rewards on the card are pretty good and it's not worth the effort on my part to change anything. If you can find a better deal on a credit card, but for those who pay in full every month this credit card is a very good deal.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-21:
Sorry about the loss of your husband. When my husband passed away I called to cancel all of his cards. I was listed on his AMEX as an authorized user and they took my information and transferred the account to my name. They were the only ones that did that. I got the interest rate and the credit limit, member since 198X, etc... Everyone else - Chase, Citi, Penneys, Macy's simply closed the account so I think in general, that is how they handle things. Don't be insulted by it. Things worked out better for you anyway in the long run.
Posted by CoonCatOne on 2011-03-21:
I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry for the hassles you encountered. Sears is a weird company credit card wise. What an awful world we live in.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-03-23:
trm, just found this article this morning. Seems a reason to use one if you got it does exist.
Posted by MRM on 2011-03-23:
Thanks for the article, JKT! I have printed the article to motivate me in paying down my credit card debt.
Posted by L.F.S. on 2013-03-05:
From my experience, one thing for sure, when Sears goes under, they can thank CitiCard for the help.
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CitiCards is unconscionable
Posted by Lil Ole Me on 02/12/2011
I have been a CitiCards customer for a very long time. I have never, ever been late on a payment. Suddenly, out of the blue, they decide to cancel my card. Turns out I made a couple of late payments to other companies SEVEN years ago. I wrote customer service regarding this matter. Never heard back. When I called to follow up, I was told by several "supervisors" that nothing could be done. In addition to unfair business practices for which they have been caught - e. g., ridiculously high interest rates and double charging for certain fees - now CitiCards is doing this. Please, do yourself a favor. Do not get a CitiCard. If you have one, cancel it.

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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-02-12:
Are you suggesting that the practice of reviewing credit reports and withdrawing credit from individual debtors is unfair?

I have several credit cards and a line of credit. I think it was darned nice of the banks to extend them to me. I happen to have enough money to pay them off, but they don't know that. I don't see anything wrong with a bank retracting the extension of credit. I mean, it's their money. Just my .03
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2011-02-12:
Citi has been closing thousands of CC accounts for well over a year or so now, often without notifying the customer first...the customer finds out when he/she tries to use the credit card and it ends up being declined, despite having available credit on it. When the customer calls Citi to complain, they are then told that the account was closed due to "something on an Equifax credit report." Days later, you then get a form letter from Citi informing you of the account closure. They did this with many Citi Cards accounts that were co-branded with Shell Oil, Exxon/Mobil, Conoco/Phillips 66, and other oil companies mainly.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-12:
It's their money. They have every right to choose how they let others use it. I will continue to enjoy the use of my card.
Posted by Slimjim on 2011-02-12:
I'm sorry, but I wouldn't cancel my credit line based on their decision someone I don't even know was a credit risk.
Posted by magellan on 2011-02-14:
It is so true that they lie. They are well trained in that respect. When I called them to find out why my card was closed, she said that i was because credit reporting, that they do it sometimes. It happens that a few minutes prior to that conversation I was told by someone else at the same number that it was because fraudulent charges were made.....They cannot put their "thing" together. Does someone know exactly where to be heard? A place to complain...Complaining to them does not work. They are all trained to lie.
Posted by sickofciti on 2013-04-07:
I agree. If you don't have a Citicard, don't get one! If you have one, cancel it.
I missed a payment because I didn't receive a statement. I have now paid the balance (plus late fee) in full.
This is the worst experience I've ever had with a credit card!
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Paid in full and still charged interest
Posted by 808-pd in full on 11/09/2010
I pay my balance in full every month. My last statement, I was charged finance charges for a balance that was paid in full. I've always paid it in full and have never been charged finance charges. Upon questioning CitiCard regarding the finance charge, its reasoning was interest accrues when purchase are charged to my account. They did not want to waive the $1.03 finance charge, for a balance paid in full.

I've had the account for over 15 years. The Government bailed them out, yet they are trying to get every penny from balances that are paid in full. What kind of behavior is that?
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-11-09:
Was their a cash advance involved? Those accrue interest from day one.

If this is not the case it is time to put that card in a dresser drawer and never use it again. Since it is an old account don't close it. It is helping your credit score.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-09:
If you didn't pay the bill until the due date most, if not all, credit cards charge you interest. If you pay the bill before the due date no interest will be charged.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-09:
This has nothing to do with "bailouts", but everything to do with your user agreement.

It sounds like you either paid late or as another reply suggested, a cash advance was involved. I use Citi for several years, and I always paid in full before the due date. No finance charge.

They told you when interest begins accruing, but did they tell you WHY you were charged interest?
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-11-09:
Since you always paid in full before without incurring finance charges, then you have a standard grace period and something must have been different this time around. Like chuck said, it sounds like you used maybe a cash advance check or something in that area of no grace charges. If that's the case, it's the way all banks roll.
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Citi Cards cheating Customers
Posted by Sdr on 11/07/2010
THE LAKES, NEVADA -- Citi Targetting Customers paying in full on time. If there is any Class Action Suit on Citi for this behaviour please contact me I would gladly be part of this to stop a Monster organisation like Citi from messing with Hard working tax-paying folks.

I have a Citi Card for the last 12 years, I have had a clean history always paid in full. I missed a payment last month ( Due date: Sept 28th). Within 6 days of being late they froze my account. I called them ( Oct 6th ) and told the customer service representative that I had made the payment, she said that moment they received the payment the card will be activated and will not affect my credit history of any kind but they will charge me the finance charge and interest ( which I contested but they did not budge, I guess thats how they make money these days). My payment was posted on Oct 9th and card activated. On Nov 1st ( after 20 days of my payment in full) out of the blue they reduce my credit limit to 200$ from 1000\'s. I had called the customer service on October 6th and October 23rd ( to dipute the charge which was turned down which is fine) and in all the calls made I have asked the respresentative
whether my card is being affected and the answer has been no, it is reinstated without any issues. Since the last 2 days I have been calling them to have it reinstated so it does not affect my credit history but all the representatives that I have spoken to have been rude, I could care less attitude and have refused to reinstate my credit limit back. I cannot understand the logic of reducing the limit and messing a credit history of a person for one late payment that was paid in full the moment it was bought to my attention. I am looking for any sort of help I can get in disputing this and making sure Citi Cards does not do this to other hard working tax paying people. The representative that I spoke
to said that my limit was dropped because my account was delinquent. I checked my history thro a credit agency, far from being delinquent its in excellent shape and have not received any notice from Citi about my delinquency. I heard the financial industry has been regulated but this kind of messing with peoples life need to be stopped. Please stay away from Citi Cards. Of all the credit cards that I have had Citi cards has been the worst. The policies are the worst and the customer service 1 notch lower than their policy( The representatives don't know about the customer accounts, don't care and when question outright lie to justify the policy).

Damage Resulting
They have dropped the credit Limit from 1000s to 200$ for one offense. This will affect my credit hostory which I have worked hard to build. They have also charged me 100$ in finance charges and interest which looks inconsequential comparaed to what they will be doing to my credit hostory
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Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-07:
You are right, generally speaking your credit history is more important than the $100 you were charged justifiably. There is a grace period. You went beyond the grace period. There is a penalty for that, and you paid it.

The bank is not obligated to continue to loan you money. They can shut down your credit card tomorrow if they want to do so. They may have looked at this late, and possibly other factors, and said we want to reduce our risk exposure. They have that right, in my opinion. My bank could shut my cards down, and I wouldn't hold it against them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-07:
These days the credit card companies are reducing limits out of the blue for no reason at all. In this case, they actually had a reason. It is their right to limit their exposure by doing this and they have no obligation to extend any credit at all. I have found that they adjust limits all the time - upwards and down so I am sure in time they will increase it if you are patient. As for your credit score, what effect did the reduction in your limit have? As far as I know, it shouldn't have had much - you are not penalized for not having a huge amount of credit available and in some cases, it makes it better. What is figured in is the amount of total money due (your obligations) against the total amount of credit available. For example, if you have a credit limit of $10,000 and you have charged $9,000 that has a negative effect on your score. It isn't permanent or long-lasting though- when you pay the balance down to a good level (less than 30%), your credit score will pop right back up. What DOES hurt you that cannot be fixed is a late payment. All you can do with those is wait until it wears off - the further away (in time) you are from a late payment, the less an impact it will have on your score. The damage done to your credit was done by you - not Citi. I understand that it is upsetting to you because you have such a great payment history and believe me, you do not lose the benefit of that. It is all very nicely laid out on your credit history but as far as the credit card companies are concerned, you are only as good to them as your financial situation TODAY - they aren't really caring about money they already have from 10 years ago. My advice is to put some time on it - a few months and then try to have the limit increased again. You will probably have better luck with that in time. If you are looking for a credit card company who cares and understands, you won't have much luck finding one. Best to stay with the devil you know.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-07:
incrediblelee -> Good analysis. What you describe is called utilization, and it is good to keep it at less than 10-20% overall across all your accounts. Hopefully the OP has other credit, and a limit going from $1000 to $200 doesn't increase their utilization to 90% or something.

I read recently that calling the credit company often can actually flag your account for closer inspection. The advice to wait several months before asking again is a good one. To me, if a debtor is desperately asking for an increase, that would be a flag. At the same time I realize a reduced limit can have an impact on borrowers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-07:
...Adding, most credit card companies will not even report a payment as late until it is over 30 days. They will still charge you a fee, they may increase your interest rate, they may reduce your credit limit, etc... but it probably won't hit your report. You may want to wait until Dec or Jan, pull a fresh report and take a peek. Chances are you are upset about not much at all.

Closing the card may have the most negative effect of all. Not only do you mess with your ratio even more than reducing the limit already has...you may be terminating your most long-standing account. The age of your accounts (how long you have had credit) is also a factor in your overall credit score.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-07:
Right! I knew there was an official word for it - just couldn't think of what it was...lol!
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-07:
You added more great information. The OP has had the card for 12 years. It may be the longest.

I closed down a few cards 3 years ago, before I knew about any of this. I closed my oldest card, and threw away about $50,000 in credit limit. Oh well. Fortunately, I still have $40,000 or so, and a card that goes back to 1996. I was "lucky" to have several cards.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-11-07:
Citi actually reduced my limit several months ago because I don't charge that much on that particular card. I have other cards and stuff and didn't really worry about it.

Hopefully, the OP does have other accounts and the utilization percentage didn't go way up all of a sudden. And the single late payment on the OP's credit history should not impact the credit score too much either.

I also think incrediblelee's got this stuff about right - especially the part about sticking with the devil you know. I'm not closing any account or opening any new ones lately, even though I still get those offers for all kinds of introductory rates and balance transfer deals, etc. From what I've seen, none of these companies are all that friendly and it's best to show some stability on your reports.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-11-07:
Thanks for all the great info, everyone!
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