Citibank Sticks It to Customers -- and Congress

fist of money Citibank is dodging newly-enacted federal laws aimed at protecting consumers from unfair credit card company practices. The new law prohibits credit card companies from raising interest rates whenever they like, on short notice or no notice, and for no particular reason. To get around this, Citi mailed out letters announcing it was raising its rates for all of its customers to its bad-creditor rate of 30 percent, and telling customers that they are eligible for a "program" that lowers their interest rate back down to the previous rate they had been paying. The only catch: if they miss a payment their rate will zoom back up to 30 percent immediately and retroactively -- exactly the kind of behavior the law sought to end. Citi believes their behavior is legal because they are calling their new policy a "program" rather than a "rate." Citigroup customers only have only two options: go along with Citi's new "program," or pay off any remaining balance, cancel their credit card and try to find a different company.


I had a credit card through CITI bank with no balance on it. I received a letter from them yesterday saying that they were instating an annual fee. This fee is $60/year if I want to keep the card. But not to fear! It will be refunded if I spend $2400 in each respective year. $2400! There's no way I'd spend that much. My options were to either "close the account" or pay the $60 starting in June. I called and canceled the account.

This is after the fact that they hiked my interest from 10% to near 20% a year ago (why I paid the card off in the first place).

CITI is full of scum that's trying to make money however possible.

I received the same letter. I immediately called Citibank and told them to cancel my card and to send me something in writing to verify that it was closed.

Citibank said they would send me a confirmation letter in 5-7 business days. I did not receive the letter. Two weeks have gone by and I just called them again and they claimed the letter was mailed out the same day I called.

I am VERY CONCERNED that this unscrupulous company is going to charge me and everyone else who attempts to close their card this $60 fee! It will be their word against ours.

I asked for a confirmation number over the phone today and my gut tells me not to trust this. I still want something in writing from them because the $60 fee goes into effect April 1, 2010 and I don't even use this card anymore!

Help!! What can we do to prevent this charge?

Don't call to cancel. Calls are easily forgotten or ignored. Send a letter (keeping a copy) and if there is no response by the next month's bill send another. Back those up with calls and the appropriate indignation at being ignored.

What you are saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what you are trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say.

Right now all credit card companies are looking for other ways to get paid. In similar spaces the new laws actually came with exclusions so companies don't need to look for other ways =/

If the government wanted to help, they could help. What they are doing seems more like doing something which the masses will like without realizing that it does very little to fix the problems.

I had a citibank account I thought was closed in '02, I paid off the full amount, destroyed my card & forgot about it. Turns out between my last bill & my mailing the last payment they raised my rate by 12% so my last payment of $600 should have been $672 in order to close my account. Leaving me with a balance of $72. I was then sent to iraq where I spent the vast majority of the next three years, upon my return to the states I was informed I had been found liable for this surprise bill & ordered to pay the full amount plus legal fees (I failed to appear in court while I was in iraq) So in the end I paid (am paying) $3,786 for a $72 charge that never should have been.

...and an awful thing to do to someone in the service. Maybe you can tell a local newspaper or TV station about your dealings with Citi and get them to embarrass Citi over this treatment.

Anne Landman

This link: takes you to the DOD explanation of this act which modified the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940.
I believe that this may help you to retrieve legal expenses and any payments you've already made. It should make the debt, legally, as though it never existed and repair your credit reports.
Good luck

I would like to say that following up with the act would be the answer however you only defer interst or redce interest on entire bal while in active duty and still required to make at least a mdu paymnt on the credit card for purchases that were made before active duty. I also believe that if you are eligible for any adjustmnts because of the delay if entitled to any fee adjustments -which is unlikely, the credit bureau is not required to be adjusted as there was no docs to support active duty during this period. Now if the credits or adjustmnts were enough to bring the account current it would adjust reporting moving fowrd based on becoming current with the credits being applied to the acct but previous effects to the credit bureau have already been made and no considerations are made for adjustments unless it was a bank error and by that i mean it would have to be documented that previous correspondence was received for military leave b4 the actual occurence and the company oversighted adjustmnts to your acct in error.

I really wish this person would learn to spell and quit using shorthand. Terrible grammar and short hand detracts from the important information and attention that this issue deserves.

And to the point about not having proof on record with the company about Iraq deployment, you can fax/email/snail mail them a copy of the Official orders and a copy of the Soldier and Sailors Relief Act. This should bring them up to speed, and will help in the long run.