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Citi Dividend MasterCard Cardholders May be Converted to World Elite Mastercard

Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 7:42 AM
A senior Fatwallet member at this FW thread has reported that Citi Dividend Mastercard cardholders may be changed over to Citi World Elite Mastercard effective July 1st. It wasn't clear if this applies to all cardholders. One downside is the World Elite card has no preset limits which could hurt your credit score.
2
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,471 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,634
1. Friday, May 21, 2010 - 5:58 PM
I haven't received any notice of any changes to my MasterCard.  If it changes for the less beneficial side, the card is going to the "inactive folder".
1
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
2. Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 5:28 PM
Ah, found this blog post again:

 

Ever since this blog I was on the look out for any mailings from them. The first was from AT&T Universal Card (which is run by Citi). In their announcement letter they actually offered an opt-out option, so I called that phone no. and it was an automated process. Thus, it seems I'm fine with AT&T and they won't convert.

Today I got a similar letter for my Citi Dividend Platinum Card. That one announced first that the 2% cashback earnings for special categories such as groceries, gas, etc., will phase out starting in July and everything will be 1% cashback. The 2% will be replaced by quarterly special categories that earn 5% (similar to Discover). The second part of the letter then contained the bomb shell: my card will become a Citi Dividend World Mastercard with no pre-set limit. I immediately called them and ended up in India with a crappy phone connection:-( That CSR couldn't help me, even after supposedly checking out all the options and talking to some supervisor. I was less than happy.

So, after half an hour I called again and landed who knows where in the world (but better phone connection and much less of an accent;-)

In the meantime I had looked at other Citi cards to figure out to which type I'd like to convert my Dividend card (in the small print at the bottom of the letter it said: To receive the replacement card, your card acccount must be open and not default under any Card Agreement you have with us at all times. if your card account is closed for any reason, including if you convert to another card product, you may no longer be eligible to receive the replacement card.) - hence, I figured I could convert my card. Alas, the CSR told me right away that they don't do conversion anymore(!) - hm:-( However, he was very helpful and said he'd look at my options since I've been managing this account for almost a decade now in an excellent manner. He would talk to his manager to see whether I could opt out of the conversion. After a rather long musical interlude of a quite dubious quality the CSR offered me the excellent news that I've been opted out of the World Master Card and won't get converted.

I asked whether I'll get something in writing that would confirm my choice to which he replied that unfortunately not. However, he gave me his name and batch ID number. All in all, the second call was a positive experience for me, especially after the first call after which it seemed there was no flexibility on their side. I'll find out in a month or so I guess whether my intervention was actually effective...

Lesson learned: perseverance might get you what you want:-D
4
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
3. Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 8:07 PM
I just got the letter about the conversion yesterday.  Even if you decline the conversion option, couldn't they still "terminate" your account (as far as the old program guidelines and rules are concerned) even if you decided to stick with the old card?  IN other words, your account becomes like another Citibank credit card with one of the other tie-in program?
1
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
4. Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 4:18 PM
Re. #3:

I just called again and talked to another CSR who confirmed that I won't get converted and also that I didn't cancel my card by doing so.

If they change my card to a different rewards program or none at all, I'll check it out and will simply not use the card if I don't like what I see. To me the most important part of my decision is to keep my 23k limit showing in my credit file (which it wouldn't if it gets converted to a no pre-set World MC)!
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
5. Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 4:26 PM
I thought that the no pre-set spending limit meant that you can go over the current maximum limit and not get rejected as going over the limit?  I looked upon it as a temporary approval when you have to charge more than the current credit limit on the account.  You do have to pay that "overcharge" with the next monthly payment.  That amount can't increase your credit limit.  So changing to the new program and card doesn't mean that your credit line has changed.  That should still be the same as before.
3
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
6. Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 9:30 PM
Read the blog post above and especially the link about hurting your credit history. I can positively confirm from my own experience what is said in there: no pre-set limit cards don't get reported with their 'theoretical' limit and your overall credit limit will drop by the amount of the limit you had before conversion.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
7. Friday, May 28, 2010 - 12:59 PM
I just called in.  First line service rep swore several times there was no way to opt-out.  When I pressed, I was transferred to Account Services who opted me out no problem.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
8. Friday, May 28, 2010 - 7:22 PM
This new change appears to be the case where not everybody is "on the same page".  You get different answers depending on who you talk to.  Even though you can opt out of the new card program, I am suspicious that Citibank will eventualy shut down the old program and switch these old card users to a different program later.  The reason why they changed the program is because the program is probably paying out more than what they would want to.  A local grocery store set up a credit card that offered cash back when you shopped at the store.  So many people applied for the card and started to "bleed" the bank's profits from its use that the card program was abruptly shut down.  You got a nice 5% rebate when you shopped at the grovery store and many people often buy hundreds of dollars in groceries a month at that store which then made the program a losing proposition to the bank.  I am sure that Citibank is trying to "stem the losses" from this program by changing the rules.  So I doubt if it will allow these "grandfathered" accounts with the old program rules to stick around for long.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
9. Friday, May 28, 2010 - 9:28 PM
@8: I agree, this may well happen. However, my main concern is not to keep those perks. My priority is to keep my credit limit showing in my credit file rather than having it replaced by a no pre-set credit limit that doesn't show up in my credit history. The other concern is that the current cc would be closed and replaced with a new one, i.e., losing >10 yrs. that count to my average age of credit lines.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
10. Monday, May 31, 2010 - 1:53 AM
I read the letter more closely and the Dividend program is changing regardless if you are getting a "new" program card and account number or not.  Sp the unrestricted 2% rebate is going away.  I have a Bank of America credit card that has been converted to different programs several times (from MasterCard to VISA to Signature VISA to American Express) and the credit report still reports the last account as having been opened back when I first got the MasterCard account.  Just because you got a different type of card doesn't mean that your first opened account date is discarded.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
11. Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 9:47 AM
Just wanted to confirm that I was able to call in and talk with a customer service rep, who had to confirm with a supervisor to keep my card.  Long story short the dividend part of the account is changing no matter what but I can and did opt-out of the World MasterCard and can keep my Platinum Select card with my current card number and credit limit (I did not want "no pre-set spending limit") without canceling my card.  I called back and talked to someone else to just to confirm and I got the ID#s for reference.

So really it is only the program rewards that "must" change, just call and talk to customer service to keep your current card, it might take 2 calls but it can be done.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
12. Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 11:29 PM
I called tonight to try and opt out and decline the automatic "replacement". First call no such luck, the CSR insisted that there was no option to opt out and that the only thing I could do is cancell the account.

I took the advice of a previous commentor and called back 30 minutes later. This CSR knew exactly what I was talking about and quickly opted me out, no questions asked -- didn't even take him 10 seconds. I was assured I would keep my existing account number and credit limit, which were my two main concerns. Hopefully I won't run into any complications come July 1st. When asked about documentation to show I opted out, the CSR explained he doubts any such thing will be sent, but he kindly provided me with his CSR ID #.

I was very pleased with my second call. Both times it seemed obvious that I was connected to "outsourced" locations (note: I called between 10 - 10:30pm US-CST); the connection quality was low and the accents were strong. Just be nice and patient. If need be, call back every 30 mins or so until you get results. You CAN opt out. I believe it's likely against their policy, and perhaps even borderline illegal, for them to deny you the option to opt out. Bottom line is, they HAVE to give you the option to opt out. Keep calling and soon enough you'll speak to someone who understands this.
1
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
13. Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 4:39 PM
Citibank apparently did the same thing three years ago when they moved some cardholders to another card program (also a World MasterCard).   In that earlier scenario, their letter did state that you could opt out.  It seems that they did not want to allow that option in this case by not broadcasting it on the letter.
2
AnonymousAnonymous2,282 posts since
May 9, 2010
Rep Points: 3,952
14. Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 9:57 AM
Yes, the "opt-out" seems to be a normal process now. Got the "upgrade" letter from Citi yesterday. Called them today, and the CSR confirmed that $0 would be reported to the credit agencies. ha. So, I requested that my account be taken out of the "World" scheme and it was done in less than 10 secs!
I was also told to destroy the newly sent card and reuse my old one for all purchases. Meaning, the account number stays the same and the limit continues to be reported. Nice and easy.
4
gansvvgansvv1 posts since
Aug 18, 2010
Rep Points: 4
15. Friday, September 3, 2010 - 10:31 AM
Within the no preset spending limit there is usually a revolving credit limit, meaning as long as you make your minimum payments, you can borrow up to that amount, and anything over the revolving credit line would need to be paid in addition to the minimum payment. For example, on a no preset spending limit card with a 10,000 revolving credit line, If i were to charge $15,000 and not pay the entire balance, the next month's payment required would be the regular minimum payment on a 10,000 balance plus the entire $5,000 over the revolving credit line. This revolving credit limit is the amount that would be used to calculate your credit use ratio if your balance stays under it, otherwise it reverts to the highest balance ever charged.

 
1
papa1 posts since
Sep 3, 2010
Rep Points: 1
16. Sunday, November 7, 2010 - 7:51 AM
Another key point of these conversions to revolving line from the "pre-set credit limit" lines is the fine print.  Bank of America conversion to revolving line of credit adds that each purchase will be approved/disapproved individually and your available spending limit can be adjusted up or down monthly.  These new terms from the banks are adjustments to your terms of agreements that keep the advantage for the banks who now have to dance around the "speak in plain English" terms that the recent finance laws introduced. 

So now that $12,000 credit line and $0 balance cushion you had before the conversion disappears when you whip out the plastic to buy the $2000 big screen tv and find out your purchase has been declined by the credit card bank cause your limit was lowered to $1999 for your new billing period which started yesterday but you have not recieved the statement yet.
1
desertdesert1 posts since
Nov 7, 2010
Rep Points: 1
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