Citi Adds $60 Annual Fee to Many Cards – Watch Your Mailbox

If you have a credit card from Citibank, keep an eye on your mailbox because Citi has recently implemented a $60 annual fee for many of their cards. Citibank – the same too-big-to-fail monstrosity – the same company that accepted taxpayer bailout money and subsequently jacked up interest rates across the board – yeah, that company. Not content with the cash they’ve already wrung from the taxpayers, they have now tacked on this $60 fee to many cards that previously had no annual fee. However, Citi will generously refund the $60 if you spend $2,400 per year on the card. Wow, thanks for nothing, Citi.

Thanks to a reader named Bill for pointing this out to me. Several different cards are apparently affected, including:

  • Citi AT&T Universal Card
  • Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Mastercard
  • Citi Dividend World Mastercard
  • Citi Dividend AMEX Card
  • Citi Drivers Edge Card
  • Citi Home Rebate Mastercard
  • Citi mtvU Student Card
  • Citi Platinum Select Mastercard

There may be others as well, so be sure not to throw away any junk mail from Citi without reading it carefully. I have four credit cards from Citibank, though the only one mentioned in this list is the mtvU. So far, I have not yet received a letter, but we’ll see if it arrives in the mail anytime soon. I’ll be sure to update this post if it does.

Citi’s addition of this annual fee is a bid to do two things:

  1. Get people to use the cards more often, thereby generating more revenue for Citi.
  2. Squeeze even more cash from the taxpayers who saved their butts in 2008.

You can read about more people’s experiences on this Sickdeals thread and this Fatwallet thread. Here is a scan of a letter from Citi, compliments of the user unsmart3d on SD:

My favorite part:

The reason we are making this change is to maintain the quality of our service amid the rising cost of doing business.

Cough, cough… BS! Wow, they’re really laying it on thick and heavy. Anyway, I don’t mean to give Citi too hard a time. After all, it’s perfectly within their rights to impose an annual fee on all of their cards if they want. They can choose to do business that way. No one is forcing us to use Citi credit cards… and as consumers, it’s within our rights to call and cancel our accounts if we receive one of these letters! We can choose to take our business elsewhere.

That’s exactly what I intend to do if one of these letters graces my mailbox. If you have received one, I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you’ve chosen to do.

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62 thoughts on “Citi Adds $60 Annual Fee to Many Cards – Watch Your Mailbox

  1. Excellent synopsis of what Citi is really trying to do to their customer base.

    I got my two letters on Sat. for two Citi cards I hold:

    – Citi Platinum Select (held since 1996 – 14 years)

    – Citi Appreciation Plus (held since 2000 – 10 years)

    I called and cancelled both cards – I was on hold for 30 mins – I imagine that more than a few other surprised (and ticked off) Citibank customers were calling in to cancel or argue the fee. As for arguing the fee – there is no use – it is out of the CSR’s hands to waive the fee. The guy I talked to said that 95% of the calls were about the fee and 95% of those calls were people cancelling their Citibank credit cards.

    Interesting point about the $2400 in annual charges to avoid the fee. If you charge $2400, I believe you generate $72 in transaction fees (assuming a 3% fee) for Citibank. Seems like they are adding on $12 to cover mailing and other administrative costs to break even and thus the $2400 figure they came up with.

    So, Citibank, you’ve lost me as a customer and my transaction fees that I generated for you. I guess you did not like the fact that I paid my bill every month and the transaction fees I generated for you were not enough.

    …I guess all the bailout money we gave them was not enough!

  2. Thanks for pointing this out. I will read the Citi mailings I received more closely… I had assumed they were only hiking my interest rate. I generally don’t use these cards anyway.

  3. I received my letter Friday – had card since 84. Perfect credit rating, use this card approx 2-3 times a month for small charges only. Never carry balances. My other cards gave me better rewards before this one began with rewards and I mostly used those out of habit. Started to just cancel right away, but since this is not an uncommon change, decided to give myself time to think about it first. Do I really want to lose the credit line that I have established for so many years and do use when traveling internationally?? Or may need in the future for unexpected expenses? Or may need if other credit card issuers begin charging the fees, too? Decided to probably bite the bullet and spend the 2400 on this card for this year and switch out to another card once I have time to establish another replacement credit account and have time to make a wiser decision. I like having back up credit cards, like most people. And,after all, dropping off large hunks of available credit will affect the almighty credit score – and I have read that the more perfect the score, the bigger the fall for any change seen as a negative.

  4. My husband and I both have citi cards and we recieved the letter today. Husband is on the phone holding on now to cancel!

  5. Member since 2002. Cancelled. At some point banks will figure out no customers = no revenue = out of business!

  6. I received this exact letter today (2/16/10). My card is the Citi Driver’s Edge Mastercard. They jacked my rate up to 19.99% late last year. Since I almost always pay my balances in full, I guess I’m one of those deadbeat credit card holders banks don’t like anymore. I got it as the Ford Rebate card in 1996 and it eventually became the Driver’s Edge sometime later. It currently has a $13,700 limit on it and a $77 balance. It’s the oldest card of the three that I own and it has the largest credit limit. I’m sure it will impact my 802 FICO when I close it, but I don’t care. I’m not going to pay for other people’s irresponsibility. I own my house and both of my vehicles. No need for any loans in the foreseeable future. I’m going to open a no annual fee Visa with my local Credit Union BEFORE I close the Citi card and sever all business dealings with Citibank forever. And the option to buy $2400 a year to avoid the fee? No way! Why would I want to help Citi collect transaction fees generated from merchants when Citi treats me like this? No thank you. Goodbye Citibank.

  7. Thanks for all of your input. Perhaps someone at Citibank will finally get the message if enough people decide to cancel their cards.

    As for me, I’m still waiting to receive the letter for my mtvU card – nothing yet.

  8. My wife and I got the letter today for 3 of our citibank cards (we have 4 total). Thanks Citibank. We’re canceling!

  9. Yep just got the same letter today 2/16 on a Platinum select Citi card that has a current balance of $6200 on promotional 3.99% rate.Benn a customer for almost 10 years now and pay interest rate on that balance too but I guess that’s not enough revenue for them.Will payoff balance on my March statement and close this account.Haven’t got the letter yet on 2 other Citi cards I have-PremierPass and a Diamond Preffered one but I guess I am using these for a lot of transactions every month,so that is why they haven’t sent the letter yet.I think they only send it to cards that are not being used too often.

  10. I was shocked when I got letter saying they were adding a $60 fee to my AT&T Universal Card. I promptly called, cancelled the card, shredded it and the letter. When I called, their music-on-hold wasn’t very professional and they offered no resistance when I asked to cancel the account. They did have me key in my 16 didn’t account and ask for my mother’s maden name. Later I feared I may have just been the victim of a Phishing scam and I had already destroyed the evidence and even my account number!

    It turns out it was legitimate. However, when you get a letter like this, call the number on the back fo the card and keep your records!

    Curiously, the AT&T Universal Web Site, when applying for a card, says “no fee”!

  11. Got my letter yesterday. I’ve been a member since 2002. Soon after paying off my account, I no longer received any statements or utilized any services of CitiBank. They had no real expense from me. I enjoyed the credit history that was afforded to my credit report. It’s a shame; they are blatantly demanding to make revenue by forcing an annual fee. FICO is just not that important to me. I closed my account. Thanks Credit Card Reform Act.

  12. Received my letter on Friday, 2/12, went out Saturday 2/13 and applied for another bank card. With my good credit rating I should be fine. I will be cancelling my Platinum Citi Card too. I’ve been with them since 1989 and never had a late fee.

  13. I’ve got the same letter today for Citi Driver’s . But i don’t cancel yet, because i have a balance 6500$. And another reason- I had the same issue with Chase, they started to charge
    10$ each month. I was about to close all my 4 cards, but after couple of weeks they informed
    me, that all charges will be returned. Chase has been sued and forced to cancel charges.
    Wait couple of weeks and see maybe it will be same situation with Citi.

  14. Canceled my card. I will not use anything with the word Citibank attached to it for the rest of my life.

  15. I just got off the phone after calling thier number and my first question was:

    Are you charging $60 acrossed the board to everyone that has the same card that I do?

    The responce I received was “NO” Only cards that have been inactive.

    (Here’s the deal, I have been carrying a 3.99% balance that would be good until I payed it off. I’ve been paying the payment every month. Now all of the sudden I’m considered inactive??)

    I just laughed and told her that Chase tried to pull the same thing last year. Only they tried to impose a $10 fee a month. They charged my account for 2 months, then turned around and had to credit back the all the fees that I was imposed.

    So, I believe I’ll just wait this one out. I also believe that if they are going to single certain cardholders to charge them $60 and not do it acrossed the board, then that is not an ethical business practise and if I’m not mistaken it is also illegal!!!

    I’m not a Lawyer but if there are Lawyers out there could you please respond and let me know if I am correct or not.

    Thanks, Ed

  16. I called this morning and tried to cancel. Argued with the CSR and his supervisor for a good 15 minutes. Even though I e-mailed customer service and they acknowledged the $60 fee, both gentleman swore up and down no fee was being imposed on my account (Drivers Edge card). I asked if they could change their ToS at any time and add the fee and they said yes. They said something about not having to pay the $60 until at least 2011. The supervisor said I should wait and see what happens with the laws and not to read news stories on the Internet and make a rash decision.

    It’s funny, because it’s MY card and MY choice whether I want it or not. I got the feeling that perhaps in a past life this gentleman sold used cars in his past. I finally got it cancelled. Kind of figured this was going to happen when the dems passed the CRA.

    Thank you Congress!

  17. I have 3 Citibank card, the oldest one was opened in 1996 and the other 2 in 2002. I attempted to have my fee waived because my spending habits varies from month to month and I cannot promise to spend $2400 annually on a single card. Little did I know, they were polite yet rude about it, if that even makes sense. I made a request to withdraw my reward balance and will cancel all my cards when I receive the checks.

    I will also cancel my Citibank Saving, checking, business account and cut my cord with Citibank. I was very displeased with Citibank in a last couple of years. Every time I call, I had to wait 20 minutes or so to speak to someone that can barely speak English. This credit card fee is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I hope whomever made this decision knows the consequences.

    Lets end on a good note: Chase just called me today to ask me if I needed a replacement card because they’ve noticed my card numbers had to be manually typed in. The last 2 transactions were either online or over the phone. Now that’s what I call customer service.

  18. I might be rethinking my plan to cancel my Citi Drivers Edge Mastercard right now. I’m still going to…eventually. I posted that here yesterday. I went to my bank today (Suntrust) and opened a no annual fee Visa and received a more than generous credit limit. (No outstanding debt and an 802 FICO will get you that, you know.) Even the branch manager I spoke to said he got the same letter from Citi (sheesh!) and we discussed what to do about it for a while.

    I’m kind of thinking about eating the $60 annual fee for a year or so and just never use the card again for purchases. It will sit idle in my safe and it’s $13,700 credit limit will be the FIRST CARD TO GET MAXED OUT AND NEVER REPAID if I ever get into life threatening financial difficulties in the future (you know…2012, end of the world, government meltdown etc.). Did you hear me Citibank? Your $60 fee could cost you $13,700! How’s that for a negative return on your investment!? I’ve been a perfect credit risk all my life…never once even been late on any payment EVER, but hey…you never know what the future will hold.

    Eventually the $60 fee will absolutely irk me enough to cancel, but maybe just not right this minute. That’s just my thoughts right now. Subject to change faster than the direction of the wind at any given moment 😉

  19. In this Wall Street Journal article from last August,

    Citibank stated:

    “We have adjusted pricing and card terms for some customers as part of our regular account reviews,” said Samuel Wang, a Citigroup spokesman. “These changes also reflect the dramatically higher cost of doing business in our industry as we work to preserve the broad availability of credit. As part of this change in terms, a small number of Citi customers may be notified of an annual fee.”

    I just love how they say, a “small number of Citi customers”

    I think their “small” test market survey indicated this would make them a ton of additional revenue. But on this most recent larger scale run at imposing annual fees on us Citi Credit Card customers, Citi bankers have proven that they are the stupidest group of bankers in existence.

    There are various forums, blogs, and other stories on the Internet in the last couple of days that prove Citi customers are PO’d. I can only hope that the large scale response (over 45,000 views on the thread alone) of Citi customers that has been generated by this annual fee experiment/fiasco hurts Citi in a big way – unless they really did want to lose a large number of customers.

    A lot of us Citi customers are going to take a hit (some small – some larger than others) in our FICO scores by being effectively forced to cancel our cards vs. paying a ransom to hold on to the longevity portion of our FICO scores. While this probably won’t lead to financial ruin for most – it actually could hurt some folks and that’s the part that ticks me off the most. Someone elects to not do continue business with a company and closes their Tradeline – thus their available credit/debt ratio closes and another Credit Card uses the ratio change to either cut available credit or raise someones annual percentage rate.

    I do not know if the intent of the “The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (or Credit CARD Act) of 2009” that started all of this was to stop percentage rate increases due to the above type of scenario. Regardless, it does bolster the notion that Congress wields a large rusty knife or chainsaw vs a finely honed surgical instrument when they draft any type of banking regulation legislation.

  20. Jason,

    Please cancel your Citi credit card!

    Citi is hoping that people on the fence, like you, will just pay the fee or you will unwittingly force yourself to be more likely to spend more of your money on the Citi credit card and thus generate added income for Citi in the form of Interchange Fees.

    Take your new card and wipe that shine off it by taking it on a tour of the town – Heck, take your new banker to lunch on it – you’d be surprised how beneficial having a banker friend could be!


    • You’re right, Bill. It’s that “time heals all wounds” thing they’re hoping for. Not happening this time. I’m on hold with Citi right now as I type this and I’ve got the offending card right on the table in front of me (what an ugly design for a card). It’s a done deal as soon as I get this call transferred to a CSR. I could never take money that wasn’t mine anyway…I actually have morals, unlike Citibank.

      • And…it’s closed. The guy didn’t even try to talk me out of it, exactly like others have reported. Just the reading of the scripted lines: “We’re sorry to lose you as a Citibank customer” blah, blah, blah… yeah, whatever dude. He’s just doing his job. It’s his bosses who ought to come back in their next lives as dung beetles.

  21. Still no mail from Citibank for me yet. If it doesn’t arrive soon, I assume that it’s because I tend to spend $200+ on that card per month anyway, and I was therefore “profitable enough” for them.

    However, I’m tempted to cancel my card anyway because I’m angered with their practice of treating customers like witless sponges. Citibank needs to be sent a message, and the best way we can do that is by literally voting with our wallets.

  22. I received the same letter a few days ago and just got off the phone. I canceled my AT&T Universal card which I held since 1992. I have a low special offer balance which will be repaid this year. I won’t do business with a company that has no ethics! I was planning to use this card after the balance was paid. I guess that on time payments and living up to my end of the agreement for the offer that THEY! gave me isn’t good enough and will deprive an executive of a portion of his bonus so that he won’t be able to get a larger yacht! Get real Citibank! At this point I won’t put up with any of this bad behavior. Go to your room Citibank and think about all the good customers that trusted you to do the right thing…Judy

  23. I received the same letter as the rest of you. I too carry a balance (~$12,000) at a promotional 3.99% rate. The letter states if I opt out, effectively closing the account, I can continue to pay the balance under the existing terms. However, I will loose online access and payment ability. They say they will credit the $60 annual fee back after you spend $2,400 on the card. But that means on the estimated 500,000 cards this is affecting, Citi is getting a $30 Million interest free loan that it doesn’t even have to repay the portions back to the cardholders that do not charge the $2,400 in a year. And what about cardholder like me? Since I still have a promotional balance, that $60 fee will be compounded by interest and additional annual fees until my promotional balance is completely paid off, which could potentially be several years.

    • Mike,
      I am curious of the line you used where you stated:
      “But that means on the estimated 500,000 cards this is affecting…”

      Where did the 500,000 number come from? I’m not picking on ya, just curious if there is any main stream press that actually got some quotes from Citibank. I want to read more of what Citi has to say – I’ll be watching very closely their earning announcements to see how much of an effect this was on them – they’ll have to discuss it in some form I would believe.

  24. Had 2 citi cards. Got the letter for one of them (platinum select). Canceled both cards since we do not want to waste our time building up a limit or rewards on the card that could start charge annual fee in the future.

    Thanks and good bye citibank. There are many no annual fee cards available out there.

  25. Received the “letter” today – cancelled the card today!
    Closing and moving my Citibank IRAs as well. No more Citibank.

  26. Question to Mike about opt.out. I don’t see on this letter information about online payment
    ability. On my letter they just advise to cancel recurring payment on this card and losing rewards points. And what i don’t understand – why it didn’t work for Chase recently, when
    they started to charge 10$ fee and after two months refunded it back. Maybe class action lawsuit against Citibank charges will be in progress soon?

    • Mrs.LG,

      There is no doubt that some scum-sucking, bottom-feeding lawyer will “attempt” to take Citibank to court over this – it’s the nature of life today.

      Make someone upset and mad – Sue Em’

      I wish that the lawyers would just get out of the way and let nature take its course on this one. If enough consumers are PO’d at a company, then consumers will let their feet do the talking and Citi will realize they screwed up, then shareholders will be PO’d, who will then vote to fire the Board! Ah, capitalism at its finest – till the lawyers stick their sticky paws in the mix!

      Sorry to change the course of the thread – did not intend to hijack.

      Citi will only ever get my business again if I am offered a chance to take one of their cards that comes with some type of bonus like when they offered Thank-You points that could be converted into cash or a pre-paid credit card.

      As a consumer, I’m going to make them pay for trying to make me pay…

      Only if I allow it, will I allow Citi to be able to earn transaction fees from my purchases.

      I will never pay Citi anything – – Citi will only pay me!

  27. Called and canceled my card after I got the letter today. This is clearly a tactic to clear their books of people who do not swipe their cards. Every swipe of your card is money in Citi Bank’s pocket, money the merchant has to pay them.

    Among merchants in San Francisco, you will be hard pressed to find many accepting credit cards anymore. There are so many “cash only” places now that I almost never pull out my credit card anymore. And don’t give me that “it hurts business” rant; I’m seeing lines out the door of these places. Superior service/product = big business, no matter how you have to pay for it (and I do mean “superior”.) If going ‘cash only’ hurt your business, you may want to look at your service/product before complaining about you saying no to the Big Bank Mob.

  28. Citi credit cards sent an email telling me what a great customer I am.
    Two days later they send me a letter informing me of the $60 dollar fee.
    I plan to cancel this card.
    How long will people tolerate this rip off behavior from banks and the
    government,before the guilotines come out and heads roll?

  29. It was reported on Slickdeals that someone’s credit score dropped 8 points due to closing the Citi Card.

  30. Citi can kiss my butt. I had a credit card with them that is 15 years old and has a high credit limit. I got one of their “love letters”. Prior to that, I was notified that the APR was going up due to “the current economic climate”. I know my credit score is going to take a two digit hit when I close out my account, but I refuse to be held hostage by them. My credit score will recover in a few months. “Account maintenance fees” go on forever.

  31. Card member since 1990.
    Received letter.
    Canceled card next day.
    Adios Citibank.

    Please spread the word.

  32. Closed a Citi credit card a few days after receiving the letter. I hope they continue to lose money.

  33. Over the past few years I have used my card to purchase high dollar items at a low APR till paid in full.

    Last purchase was for $10,000.00 a year ago
    One before that was $5000.00

    Obviously one doesn’t want to charge anything on that card while the special APR’s are in effect as your payment goes to the lower APR balance first, before being applied to the high APR charges you may rack up. So yeah, I didn’t use my card.. but you made 3.9% on $15,000.00… and I paid on time and never defaulted.

    Oh crap.. I’m a perfect consumer that they couldn’t charge me late fees or raise my interest rate because I botched a payment. No wonder they sent me the $60.00 annual fee letter.

    Just cancelled earlier today and will make sure I avoid anything Citi from here on.

  34. I’ve had my Citibank Driver’s Edge Visa since 1999. Due to responsible usage of the card, my limit has increased from $2000 in 1999 to $21,800 today. No late payments. No balances that carry over from month to month. In other words, I was doing everything right.

    But I guess I was too responsible for my own good. And that just cost Citibank a longtime customer. In all actuality, I use credit cards for daily purchases and pay the balances off in full each month. I use a Capital One card for these purchases because it has a better rewards program. After all, if I’m not buying a new car, Citibank’s Driver’s Edge rebates are useless.

    I know I could easily make $2400 in purchases a year, but I don’t want to be forced to do so. Good luck, Citibank. You’ll need it with boneheaded decisions like this.

  35. For those of you who are carrying balances on the cards they are trying to sock an annual fee upon,I believe you can call citi and “Opt Out.” I think they cancel your purchasing power on the card so you can no longer make purchases, but you keep the balance and interest rate terms that were agreed upon when you made the transfer or purchase (ie. 2.99% until balance is paid in full). If you have a balance anyway, then you probably aren’t making purchases, so who cares if the card is cancelled. Plus, now you get to keep the same terms to pay off the balance without paying the annual fee or trying to transfer the remaining balance elsewhere. This is the way I understood the “Opt Out” form that I received. I could very well be wrong, but it is worth a shot if you are looking to cancel the card, but do not know where to come up with the money to pay off the balance.

    I didn’t read all of the posts, so someone may have already posted something on this. If that is the case, then I am sorry for repeating what might have already been said.

  36. I received the letter regarding the $60 annual fee dated 2/13/10. On 3/7/10 I called Universal Card at the number listed on my card, not the number listed on the letter. I told the CSR that this card was originally offered as “no annual fee for life”. After searching for the appropriate response, the CSR offered to transfer my call to an account manager. After a short time on hold, the manager took my information and I held while she reviewed my account. I mentioned that I had originally signed up as a “charter member”. Manager advised that based on her review, she would submit a request to have the changes to the TOS removed from my account, that the process should take 2 – 5 business days and that I would not be billed the $60 annual fee. I was also told that I would receive a letter confirming that this had taken place. So now, I’ll wait to see if the letter arrives and whether or not the fee will be billed in April. It would appear that managers now have been given some flexibility in dealing with inquiries of this sort. I have to say that the manager I spoke with was very courteous, responsive, and polite. I was even given the manager’s company ID number. After having read the replies left by others, I was very pleasantly surprised with the outcome of my call. I was reluctant to close this account due to the negative impact it may have on my FICO score, but I agree that the $60 fee is completely wrong. I would reccommed at least calling and speaking to a manager before “opting out” and closing your account if you are concerned about possible negative impact on credit score.

    • Follow up: I was on vacation for a few weeks. Upon my return I found a letter dated 3/8/10 – including “IMPORTANT ACCOUNT INFORMATION” showing “Membership Fee: $0 every 12 months”. I have not received my April billing statement yet, but it looks as if what the manager I spoke to said would happen, did happen. I should also mention that last fall, I borrowed $7,000.00 @ 1.99% for 12 months using a convenience check on this account. That fact may have had an impact on the decision to remove the $60 annual fee. I am paying $500+/month so that the balance will be paid off in time to avoid higher rates. Best of luck to all who are dealing with this issue.

  37. I have had my Citicard since 1995. It was a $50.00 fee and got AA miles. Since I can’t really afford to travel like I used to, I am not concerned about amassing miles any more. I paid off every month. First the bailout, then the interest raise, then the arrogance of this company. Then the Move Your Money movement, then I got a local Credit Union card and I am now letting my citicard roll each month for a little while with a $2.99 monthly automatic charge I will pay with a check each month. They will make nothing on that if you consider labor. I will cancel before the next yearly fee comes along and I will be delighted. I hope Citibank is having some very bad days.

  38. I to got the infamous $60 anual fee letter,we all need to make sure these credit card company’s get the message that we’re not going to tolerate this crap,cancel cancel,cancel!

  39. Citi is charging long-standing customers who use their cards infrequently, have high credit limits, low balances or no balances, unblemished payment histories, and high credit scores an annual fee of $60. The logic behind doing this is really no mystery. Citi assumes that these card holders will be so worried about hurting their FICO scores that they will pay the fee. It makes sense to go after this segment because these are the people who are always on time with their payments and who are fiscally responsible and care the most about their credit scores and access to credit. Of course, the decision makers at Citi anticipated some or even many will choose to cancel their cards, but they also anticipated, as any financial company will, that many will stay and use their cards more frequently. Citi probably even had an analysis done of how many accounts would be closed in order to determine if the company should go ahead with the fee.

    However, only if customers unaffected by the annual fee also cancel their cards then Citi may reconsider or realize they have made a mistake. It will take the majority of Citi’s customers to make Citi rethink it’s new strategy. In other words, for a “revolt” to be effective even those with newer accounts,lower credit scores and credit limits, high balances, and blemished payment histories, will have to cancel their cards and pay off their balances.

    At least, this is my analysis.

  40. Been a member since 2000. 9 yrs of excellent credit, with 9k credit limit, and never missed a payment. I only carry 2 credit cards so I’m probably taking a nice hit on my FICO. What a great pat on my back for giving them business all these years. I can understand a $10 hike..but this is just plain dumb for business. I hope Shareholders are beyond pissed and remove the idiots who saw this as long-term profitability for Citi. I suggest all Citi card members walk..even if you don’t have the fee..because sooner or later they will recover our loss through your credit card. So much for my plans on opening a savings account. Citi just lost a perfect young customer in his 20’s for life!!

  41. I too received a letter dated Feb. 13, 2010 for the infamous $60.00 annual fee on my AT&T Universal Platinum MasterCard starting April 1st 2010. I waited till today, March 29th to decide whether or not to opt-out/cancel my credit card. I did not want to take a hit on my FICO credit rating score. I am a charter member since 1993 and always paid off every month except on large bill items which took two or three months to pay them. Today, I finally decided and called to opt-out. It’s not easy to decide to do away with a card which I’ve had for 17 years and the fact that we earned the different card levels: Basic, Gold, Platinum, Diamond etc. while cherishing the extra $2000-$3000 credit bumps that you got for being a good customer. Not any more. I opted-out without a hitch but then I asked about my other CITI credit card and whether they were going to charge me the $60. I gave her the account number and she could not find it. It turns out the card had been canceled for non use without any mail notice. It’s not the best way to find out. Later, I found this web sight and thanks to MARCO, he pointed out about the “No Annual Fee for Life” promotion the “original” AT&T Universal Card was doing for the charter member benefit. I called the Universal Card 800 number as Marco suggested and could go no where with the customer service so I asked for the manager. She was very nice and polite and at first she resisted but this was the first she’s encountered. I had told her that I opted-out earlier but she is going to see what she can do to honor the membership agreement. I should find out soon. Thanks to Marco for reminding me of the “No Annual Fee For Life” membership agreement. CITI BANK do you want to know a secret? Do what Discover Card is doing and you’ll have no problem with people using CITI CARD without charging an annual fee and try up to 2% back after you spend $2400 per year. Share your wealth! Your customer will be happy spending money and you’ll be happy not getting too many complaints and making money. WIN! WIN!

    • Update: Hallelujah! Mon.5th of April 2010, day after Easter, my new AT&T Universal Platinum MasterCard arrives in the mail. My credit card has been revived after being shredded when I opted-out, so the customer service manager, Ms “S” sent me a new card with new expiration date. Thanks. It says “Annual Membership Fee:NONE”. I’m not sure why the change of heart but I think the no annual fee for life agreement clause may have had something to do with it for those that signed up for this AT&T Universal card. Their attorneys might be looking to prevent a class action lawsuit, which could cost them a lot of money, especially trying to correct destroyed FICO credit ratings to those that had opted-out/canceled because of the $60 fee. Then again as Marco said, it could be based on individual basis and that the managers have their options. I thank everyone for their input on this forum and I hope yours get resolved like mine.

  42. Cancelling your Citi cards most likely will not affect your credit score. Let me explain-Citibanks cards (at least in my case) DO NOT REPORT credit limits at all to all three credit bureaus. Your total credit limit is a big factor in how scores are calculated; the Citi card adds nothing to this. How do I know? I have an identify monitoring service which includes all three bureau reports and credit scores from all three each month. Cancelling a credit card that does not report credit limit will not lower your overall credit limit, hence no penalty for having less outstanding credit. Credit history will still show on a credit report for up to ten years even on a closed account; so if your account was in good standing when paid off and closed, this will show on the credit report. If you have a few other cards with some decent limits in good standing, you will be safe to cancel with no “ding” that is a common misconception.

    I too received TWO memos, one for the 60 dollar fee and the other telling me that my credit limit is going to 30k from a previous 50k due to low usage. It’s bye bye Citibank. I have been with them for around 20 years, and it amazes me how they are willing to play hardball with responsible, bill-paying customers (FICO scores above 810 from all three bureaus). It’s just a reflection of the times, the responsible people are paying for the poor financial decisions of the large corporations and the idiots who have overspent/overpaid during the last 7 years at the start of the “housing bubble”; not to mention using their non-existent equity in their homes to use it as a cashbox. Disgusting-

  43. I too am a charter member – where can I find the web site that states “no annual fee for lift”? I contacted At&T Universal/Citi and they basically said pay the $60 or cancel – no thank you for being a loyal customer or anything.

  44. Kudos to Marco and George…and persistence! I had called twice previously to argue my ‘no annual fee for life’ situation (card holder since 1992), but to no avail. Armed with the information that SOME annual fees WERE being waived, I called Citibank once again, and the third time was the charm! When you call, bypass the CSR and ask for an account manager. Make the account manager understand that, although Citibank does have the right to change their terms (and you will hear that line of defense), you were given a WRITTEN guarantee, way back in the early 1990s, that no annual fee would ever be charged your account. It seems these Citi account managers know NOTHING about us charter member-no annual fee for life ex-AT&T customers, so you must educate them when you call. I told the acct. mgr. I talked to, “I’ll wait on hold while you go to Google and type in ‘AT&T Universal Card no annual fee for life.” Although I doubt Google was consulted, I was put on hold while the acct. mgr. “reviewed my account”. Getting the annual fee waived appears to be a crapshoot at this point–if you’re told NO the first time, hang up, wait an hour, and call back again. If you’re patient (this means no yelling or screaming!) and persistent, eventually the squeaky wheel will get the grease. Be sure to tell the acct. mgr. that other charter members ARE getting their annual fees waived and give them the URL you’re reading right now as proof. If all else fails, raise hell in other ways. I contacted the Missouri Attorney General, the South Dakota AG, the FTC, and I found two ‘call for action’ type TV news reporters here in Kansas City who were both very interested in this bait-and-switch manuever CitiBank was trying to pull. You CAN get the annual fee waived, so don’t give up!

  45. I haven’t used my AT&T Universal (CITI Bank) card for over a year. I am a Charter Member since 1984 with a $18,000 credit limit. I get e-statements only. Since I had a zero balance, I only check the account every few months. I happened to check it last week to learn about the $60 fee. I did NOT get a notice in the mail about the chance of terms. I e-mailed customer service and they said “Since we did not receive your non-acceptance notification on or before 03/31/10, we are unable to process your non-acceptance and the membership fee of $60.00 will be assessed on your account.

    In order for you to receive a credit for the fee, we would have to close your account and the fee will be reversed automatically on your June statement.”

    So, I would have to close a 20 plus year account take a credit score hit and get a new account. I have never seen such horrible customer service! I am going to write a letter to the CEO or the head of CITI Bank and maybe my Senate Rep a letter.

    Need Advise – what should I do next?

  46. I had closed a Citi Platinum Select card account several years ago. All of a sudden, I starting recieving a monthly billing statement from citi cards. I wasn’t using the account and it had been closed by me using a snail mail request in writting. They listed a sixty dollar balance with no usage. Jesus, this isn’t legal. I called them and parted someone’s hair on the other end of the line. The foreign sounding voice took the sixty dollar charge off and closed the account.

    Philip, OKC, USA

  47. Since 1990 I’ve had an ATT U Card. Never once carried a balance and too thought it was “Free for Life.” What a sucker..

    I opened my statement today to see the $60 fee. After a few Google searches to find site like this I called customer service and cancelled. The first guy was Indian and wanted to explain why they were doing this. I told him I did not care and started to argue with him. He hung up on me. The next lady was American and gave me no trouble.

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