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Citi Backpedaling Popular Credit Card Offer?

Contributed by mm | April 29, 2005 4:08 AM PST

Citibank's Driver's Edge is probably the best credit card deal we have in recent memory. In case you don't know, the card offers 5% rebate on every single purchase you make in the first nine months and 1% after that up to an annual cap of $500 (plus no annual free and 12-month 0% APR balance transfer option). Imagine you can get an automatic 5% off everything from movie tickets to airplane tickets on top of whatever other discounts you are entitled to. Of course, you have to redeem your rebate by submitting proof of vehicle purchase or service, but who cannot find $500 in receipts when it comes to the auto world?

However, it looks like the deal is too hot and maybe too costly for Citi to keep. If you go to Citi's credit card site, you may notice that Citi no longer publicly offers this deal. The current deal? "Earn 6% rebates on purchases made at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations for 12 months, 1% after that and on other purchases."null

The new offer is nothing attractive; remember you can get 5% cashback on the same purchases by using Citi's Dividend Platinum card for good. (Actually, I have been a Dividend Platinum card user for 13 months now and I'm still collecting 5% on every grocery store, drugstore and gas station purchases.) Plus, you can request hard cold cash from your cashback balance anytime without submitting anything.

On the other side, Citi just sent me a notice saying starting from next month, the annual cap on the Driver's Edge card will be lifted to $1,000 a year, and rebates can be redeemed via Citi's Thank You network (which is inferior to cash of course). It is another god-send: I already accumulated $380 in just four months and I will soon redeem the money by submitting my BMW bill of sale. With this uplift of annual cap, I can surely enjoy the 5% rebate more.

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This Post Has Received 9 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


recog Commented on April 29, 2005

Any idea if the inceased cap applies to all accounts? If so, that's certainly great news -- I'm going to be in the market for a car before too long. However, I haven't heard anything about this myself, so I am just hoping that I'm included.


mm Commented on April 29, 2005

The notice comes from mail. The change is earmarked for May 23.


Jonathan Commented on April 29, 2005

Thanks for the link, but although the 1st splash page advertises the 5% off ALL purchases, when you actually get to the application itself and click on the Terms & Conditions, there is a section named "Driver's Edge Rebate Reward Program Information", with states:

"You earn 6% rebates on purchases made at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations for 12 months. After that, you earn 1% rebates on purchases made at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations. You earn 1% rebates on other purchases..."

with no mention of the 5% anywhere. Are you sure we can get still get the flat 5% back? I'm afraid that they simply didn't change the front page for the app...

Jonathan@MyMoneyBlog


--H Commented on April 29, 2005

I just got my Citi Platinum Dividend couple days ago. After using them couple of times in Walgreens and Safeway (was excited for the 5% cashback), it's blocked.

I called them and everytime I punched in my account number it's instructing me to call back on business hours Monday to Friday.

Log on to my account online to find out there had been a "suspicious activity" on the account. Which is even more ridiculous since if there had been really some "suspicious activity", should I have not been connected to a CSR pronto instead of having to wait till Monday?

Anyone ever experienced this ridiculous thing with their Citi cards?


Jonathan Commented on April 30, 2005

H,

I experienced the exact same thing in my Citi card. I was travelling for business and apparently this was "suspicious". So instead of calling me, they simply blocked my card. After a long tired day, having to search around for another credit card to use for a thousand-dollar hotel stay was a pain. Shrug, I've gotten hundreds of dollars from Citi in the last couple years, so oh well.


dave Commented on May 1, 2005

I hate all the games they play now and have gone to a flat rate card. Each offer seems to have too many exits to bother with.


Art Dardia Commented on May 1, 2005

I wonder if you choose to enroll on May 23, 2005 if your 5% gets overridden by the 3%.

The way I understood the offer was that this is a win all around. Increased amount of savings available, and increased savings rate for certain types of purchases (once your 5% special rate for 9 months ends).

My plan of action will be to wait for 5% to end, and then enroll for the 3%.


--H Commented on May 2, 2005

Jonathan:

The blocking itself is one thing (my MBNA was also automatically blocked everytime I go outside the country and forgot to call them) BUT being asked to wait the next day to call them to ask for status is what is throwing me off.

I may be petty but I could swear the Citi CSR I talked to the next day was really rude. I'm not the type who usually expects courtesy but compared to MBNA or Chase or Amex (my previous main cards), Citi's CSR really should take Manner 101 class.

But I'm a sucker for high rebates so I'll stick around while monitoring them closer.


mw Commented on October 19, 2005

I’m interested to know how the thank you network work in airline ticket redemption before I apply for Citi’s diamond prefered reward card. Too bad that they would not talk to me unless I’m their client. (when I called 1-877-7REDEEM, they want your phone number, and SSN in order to find your account number, and there’s no way around it and talk to a human being directly, as far as I know.) In particular, I want to know is the thank you point work just like any mileage point for any airline. For example: for 25,000 pt in my aeroplan mileage account, I can fly air canada from Florida, make one stopover Toronto, and then to Vancouver, and back to Florida. Will Thank You point offer the same benefit when it say 25000 pt for US 48 state/ Canada?? and second question would be, what is the actually process to redeem the tickets? anyone out there has actually done that before? any advice on who can I talk to?



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