I’ve owned Citi Simplicity credit card for a few years and used it only couple times. This is my half review, half complain about this card and financial institution that issued and managed my account.
While paying my bills online at Citibank.com, I’ve noticed that available credit on my Citi Simplicity account was $0.00. That was strange as nothing similar happed before. When I checked account management, there was a message: “Would you like to remove it from your online account summary? If so, please note that you’ll no longer have access to the account history”. That was even more concerning.
Citibank customer service
I didn’t wait long and called Citi Credit Cards Customer Service. The conversation was simply hilarious. The first representative – a woman after checking account history stated that my Simplicity card was closed by a customer request. After explaining that I’ve never closed this account, she put me on hold for a while and later come back with a new answer – credit card was closed due to inactivity. I asked to speak with a manager who told me that Citibank closes credit cards after they stay inactive for 25 months. I explained that Citibank has never notified me about such policy, but the Citi guy was ensuring me it is stated in terms and condition. After asking why no notification was sent before closing the account the Citibank manager hang the phone… Just like that.
I keep all letters from the banks and eventually found original terms and conditions mailed to me after account opening and updated card agreement I received few months ago. After revising all fine print, I didn’t find any word that the card will be closed after it is not in use for over 2 years.
My second call and conversation with one of Citibank managers was even more amusing. I expressed again my frustration because of the account closure and asked to name me the page where I can see my credit card will be closed if not in use for over 25 months. The manager backed up and come up with a prompt answer – there is no such “written condition”, but Citibank can close accounts without any reason given… I was speechless. Furthermore, the Citibank manager didn’t have basic customer service skills. All she was able to state is – “Why you are worry it happens to hundred thousand people around the country, it is our money that we lent to you, and it is our right to take it back at any time”. I was trying to complain as closing credit cards hurt credit score and this bank purposely downgrade my credit history just because they decided to do so.
I was asking to speak with higher managers, but was told it is impossible at the moment, but someone will call me if I provide contact phone number. Just go ahead of my time waste with this bank – I left the phone number, but no one ever called.
The very positive thing that the manager was very nicely handled my complain and submit it somewhere – not sure where, but this part was done exceptionally professional.
Contradiction of words and reality
I my case, people at Citibank with whom I was speaking were either unprofessional or liars. They told me it is the bank policy to close all credit cards accounts which are stay inactive for a certain period of time. I own (still active) CitidDividend credit card which I didn’t use for over 7 years. The card issued in 2009 and for the first couple years it was my prime card to pay for all products and services as I was getting 1% cash back on all transactions. Later, when more rewarding credit cards hit the market, I paid off the balance and forget about this one. Now, I’m using only credit cards with 3% to 5% cash back and CitiDividend become somewhat a history, but still active.
Get to the point – my CitiDividend credit card wasn’t closed because of inactivity for over 7 years – not 25 months.
Pointless Citibank branches
I came to the Citibank branch where I opened Simplicity Credit Card, but after a minute of speaking with a banker, I understood that it was a pointless visit. They didn’t want to help in any way. I was told that at the branch you can apply for a new credit card, but after that you call the number on the card if any issue arises.
Should you get Simplicity Credit Card from Citibank?
From my experience, this credit card is pointless for people who do not have any debt. Few years ago I applied for personal loan at Citibank. While filling the application at local branch a banker offered me this card. I was told that there will be only one credit check inquiry for both applications (loan and credit card) and I decided why not to apply. I was approved for both and was thinking it is a great deal. But I didn’t pay close attention – 21 months 0% APR for balance transfers and purchases is great, but there is a 3% balance transfer fee which is not that great. I received balance transfer checks, but never deposited them because of that fee. At that time, I had couple credit cards with 1.99% fee on balance transfer checks with 18 month 0% APR, so I just utilized checks with lower fees to get some cash.
For me this credit card became useless before it was closed by the bank and I kept it just not to reduce my credibility. I wouldn’t be so upset if getting rid of a card won’t result in dropping my credit score. That is apparently a “big deal” when you apply for a 0% car loan or any type of a loan. Otherwise I would probably close it by myself.
My conclusion about Citibank
Maybe I shouldn’t be that harsh in my review, but here is my opinion about Citibank / Citi Cards policies, service and overall rating compare to other banks I deal with so far.
Citibank is the only bank which closed my credit card. I have many cars from different financial institution and some of them were opened over decade ago. All the cards have zero balance, not in use for many years and still active.
In my opinion, Citibank hires unprofessional staff or cheating on customers is a bank’s policy. I had some issues with banks before, but normally people there trying to resolve problems and make customers happy. The Citibank closed account without even notifying me ahead and then offered me to reapply for the same card which won’t have any benefits. On updated terms and conditions to my former Citi Simplicity credit card there is a phrase: “When you speak, we listen” – I consider this is a pure lie from Citibank.
In a week after the account was closed I received a letter with a statement:
We’re sorry we weren’t the right fit.
Because of the length of time your Citi Simplicity MasterCard account has been inactive, we’ve closed it. If you have any questions or you’d like to learn about another product or service we offer, please get in touch anytime. We are always happy to help.
Please take the following action right away:
- Destroy any cards on the account by cutting them in half.
- Notify anyone authorized to use this account that it has been closed.
Thanks for the opportunity to serve you.
As I was a Citibank customer for many years and had personal checking, savings and business checking account with this financial institution I have to admit this bank is far the worst I’ve had business so far. Customer service makes you feel like their bank is nearly indispensable and you have to thanks them for every buck they lent to you.