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The Citigold account offer to earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles and 40,000 Thankyou points is one of the best bank bonuses that repeatedly rolls around in some form. It’s a great bonus not only because you cashout with 50K/40K miles/points but it offers you great opportunities to easily meet your minimum spend through funding checking and savings accounts and allows you to rack up miles or points with those credit cards. Finally, the requirements for obtaining the bonuses are pretty easy to meet: a couple of bill payments and debits totaling $1,000.
You can find some great step-by-step information on opening up these accounts here, but what I wanted to talk about is dealing with the Citi customer service when trying to get a bonus. While I love Citi, some of the representatives can be, to put it lightly, quite misinformed so here are some tips for dealing with them based largely on my own experience.
From the beginning screen shot everything. After you open up your account verify via chat and/or secure message that you are enrolled for your specific bonus. Then, after you meet the requirements, message and/or chat with them once again to verify that you have met the requirements for your specific bonus. Capturing these communications helped me through the process of getting my Citigold bonus, as representatives seemed to take me a bit more seriously when I referenced my screen shots.
Get your progress notated in your file
Try to convince a representative to make notation on your file when you meet the requirements for the bonus (and when you’re enrolled, too). I found this made things much easier for me to navigate through Citi’s customer service. I spoke to a supervisor and requested him to notate on my file that I have met X and Y requirements and that I should receive the bonus by a certain date. Later on, these notes allowed me to get Citi representatives on board for my cause much quicker.
HUCA (Hang up Call Again)
Some people go through this process smoothly and others have to find their way through an obstacle course to get to the end. I don’t know why, but it’s very common to receive completely contradicting responses from Citi reps for this bonus. If you don’t hear what you think you should be hearing then hang up and call again and speak to a different representative.
I’ll give you an example of how this worked for me.
Last year, I initially enrolled in my promotion before I even had the AAdvantage Platinum card. At the time, I didn’t realize this was a targeted offer only available to Platinum Select cardholders. In fact, I didn’t even realize that until I called to check on the status of my bonus.
When I called up Citi one time I actually got chewed out by a really rude representative who was going off on how I would never get the bonus because I wasn’t targeted. (She was by far the worst employee I’ve ever encountered on the phone and just miserable to talk to.) So I replied and told her that I understood that was her position but if I was going to be rejected for this promotion I wanted it to come from someone who “acted professionally” on the job.
She then gave me a snarky “Okay, but they’re just going to tell you the same thing I’m telling you” and then supposedly attempted to transfer me out to a supervisor but the call actually just ended. I was pretty annoyed but I decided to give it another shot. So I called back.
I got a hold of a much nicer rep who was a supervisor and then I explained the situation. I told her that I had messed up and didn’t realize this was a targeted promotion but that I had screenshots of chats and messages with reps who had verified me that I would be receiving the bonus. I’d thus invested time into meeting the minimum debit requirements and bill pays. The supervisor was great and understanding. She stated that she would notate on my account that I was due for the bonus and apologized for the confusion.
So within an hour Citi did a complete reversal (in both service and results) and it seemed to be largely because of my screen shots. Now, to be honest I thought the first rep I spoke to was correct and that I would be denied the bonus. It’s completely understandable that they wouldn’t honor a non-targeted offer. However, because I called back and spoke with someone else, I was able to finally sort it all out. It was a great gesture by Citi to honor the bonus and one reason that I think it’s worth it to just stick it out when dealing with customer service.
Getting the bonus points and miles put into your account
Now, remember that the bonus does not come into effect until 90 days after the closing date of the month in which you met the requirements. So if you did your second-month bill pay and minimum debit purchases on March 15 and your statement closed at the end of the month, then you wouldn’t be eligible to get it until July 1. Some reps told me the wrong info on this so make sure that whoever you are speaking with really knows what they are talking about.
After that 90 day period you then need to call into Citi. I don’t know of any people who actually had the promo just appear in their AA account without contacting Citi.
When I called Citi I had to kind of go through the entire purchase over again.
First, the rep told me I hadn’t met the minimum debit purchase required. I knew I had so I asked to be sent to a supervisor. Then, to my surprise, the supervisor told me the same thing! That’s when I had to take the reigns and refer the supervisor to the transaction and then to the notes in my file. It took a long time of “please hold while I check on something” but then finally she got on the line and said yes I’d get the points in my account. I said great and then hung up.
But that didn’t actually work and the miles never showed up. That was because the rep never initiated a proper transfer for the miles….
Be sure you’re getting your miles
For you to be sure that you will receive your miles, what needs to happen is this: the rep should tell you that they have initiated the transfer of miles and then the rep should give you a password that you will use to open up a document in a message from Citi that tells you that you have been approved for the miles. Then they will show up in your account very soon (took a day or two for me). If you’re waiting for your miles to show up and have not been given a password then call and inquire about it!
This whole process took about 5 months to earn and receive my miles. In some instances it was an absolute headache dealing with Citi to get things done but in the end, these are free (or nearly free) miles that can you earn with this promotion and it is really worth it to jump on these promotions.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.