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  1. Yankees368 says:

    I noticed this a few weeks ago. It’s just, wrong.

  2. georgi55 says:

    For one thing it makes it very hard to copy and paste into an excel sheet. My card does not offer CSV export…piece of crap.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @georgi55: Ever since they redesigned their website, Citicards.com has gone from an easy to use interface to a giant piece of crap. It takes about five steps to download transactions to Quicken, you can’t download specified date range, and the interface itself is almost impossible to use.

      Once I hit the next point tier with my Thank You Points I’ll probably be abandoning Citi, in no small part due to their new crappy web design.

      • internetsguy says:

        @InfiniTrent: you shouldn’t have to even visit citi.com to download your transactions. my citi card is set up in Quicken 2006 to automatically access my account without having to go to the site to download the Quicken file.

      • oneandone says:

        @InfiniTrent: Same here. I am a sucker for the thank-you points. Just about time to cash out. This plus their interest rate shenanigans got me fed up enough to put the card away for just about every purchase. (Though they were decent enough to offer the opt-out on the interest rate change).

  3. menty666 says:

    Wait a minute, you guys don’t

    ACT NOW TO GET FREE PENIS ENLARGEMENT SUPPLEMENTS

    put advertising in your day to day correspondance

    YOU’RE THE ONE MILLIONTH PERSON I’VE ANNOYED, CLICK HERE!

    with other people too? Hmmph, how ’bout that.

    • idip says:

      @menty666: LOL, i liked that.

      The ones i hate the most are when you go to any random website and some chick yells at you “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU JUST WON A FREE IPOD NANO!”

      and you’re all like… scared, very scared… lol.

  4. DevoAlmighty says:

    What I’d like to know is what the hell can you buy at Chipotle for 5 bucks?!

  5. AshleyKeen says:

    Citibank has been doing this for months and months, this is hardly new. Typically, the ad is related to your purchase — for example, I booked a flight to San Diego and the advertisement underneath was for booking a hotel. Frankly, I don’t find it that annoying. No more so than Amazon.com telling me what books I’d like when I log in, anyway.

    • Cyberxion101 says:

      @AshleyKeen: That’s sort of like, way different. For one, Amazon is a marketplace. You sort of expect that sort of thing there. You don’t when you’re looking up your balance, especially as they put these ads in between your charges. It’s just…stupid, if not really troublesome.

    • vastrightwing says:

      @AshleyKeen: Try copying and pasting with the advertisements into Excel and then trying to re conciliate your check book. It’s time consuming and annoying. I’d say there is a net loss for Citi since it uses more ink, paper and the added revenue won’t make up for the bad will it creates for most consumers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    oh citibank, I’m so glad you didn’t buy my bank. Go Wells Fargo!

    • Wombatish says:

      @catdogpigduck: Wells Fargo is just as bad, it other ways.

      They mail you the advertisements instead.

      And they like to pay other people’s credit cards out of your savings account. The first time was an honest mistake. The second and -third- time were just laziness and ineptitude, and three canceled accounts.

  7. Saboth says:

    I figured it was part of my world card’s deal, but this has been going on for months.

  8. suzieq says:

    I’m ok when companies such as Amazon do this, because I am at the site with the understanding that they will try to sell me something. I am ok when Gmail scans my emails and displays ads because it is a free service and they have to make their money somehow.

    However, when a credit card company, whom I am paying for their service (through merchant fees and whatnot) tries to scan my personal data and inject their ads in, that’s where I draw the line.

    I sent them a nasty email about it when I first noticed it about 2 months ago. Needless to say, I didn’t get a response and the ads are still there. And Firefox’s Adblock doesn’t block them either. :(

    • tundey says:

      @suzieq: You pay for the credit they extend to you. You don’t pay a separate charge for internet access to your account, do you? If their website goes down, would you expect a refund of your merchant fees and whatnot?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @tundey: Just because there isn’t a separate fee for it doesn’t mean you’re not paying for it. Where else does the money to run the web site come from if not from their customers?

    • SabreDC says:

      @suzieq: I disagree. They have more of a right to scan your transactions than Google has to scan your email, IMO. Mostly because when you use their credit, they are the ones making the transaction. They are the ones who did business with these merchants. These are their spending logs. You just get to view them so you know how much you owe them.

      And their scanning isn’t too efficient when you get a coupon for Drugstore.com attached to your recent balance transfer. I received an ad for Barnes and Noble attached to a recent grocery store transaction.

    • Brontide says:

      @suzieq: agreed. To unilaterally start monetizing the line items of my bill crosses a line for me as well. Maybe if it were opt in ( reduce your rate / get extra reward point ) I would be ok since it’s a choice, but this is just not cool.

  9. DeannaFlying fox says:

    I’ve seen this on my account for a couple of months now.

    I just ignore it. I mean, really, is it THAT big of a deal? They’re a company. They’re trying to make money. If you don’t want the service being offered, ignore it. *shrug*

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      @DeannaFlying fox: I feel the same way. They’re finding new, creative ways to bring in much needed revenue without sacrificing current service. Isn’t that exactly what we wanted?

    • Saboth says:

      @DeannaFlying fox:

      I don’t really have a problem with it either, although sometimes it can throw you off “I spent $100 with Sony? Oh wait, that’s the ad…the $100 was actually with Best Buy”, Yeah I know they are colored differently, but it can throw you a bit at times.

      • ccbweb says:

        @Saboth: Exactly. It can throw you a bit. It makes things harder, it confuses things, it obfuscates the actual information that the statement is supposed to contain. Put a splash page ad up between the login page and the statement page. Or put up a banner ad on top of the page or down the sides of the page. Inserting ads _between_ the lines of the actual statement is too far for the reasons stated above.

        • SabreDC says:

          @ccbweb: Really? You get that confused when a) there is no dollar amount in the rightmost column, b) there are no transaction dates on the left, and c) they are highlighted yellow? You find that to be hard, confusing, or obfuscating?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @DeannaFlying fox: I don’t have a problem with it either. I know they’re tracking my spending, I know they’re looking at what I buy. If the coupons actually help me, so be it. They haven’t so far, but we’ll see. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that they’re not real charges. They’re not even in the same font style and color as the real charges. If they were, I’d see how people would be annoyed..but they’re very obviously NOT charges. And they’re links!

  10. MeOhMy says:

    I don’t necessarily “like” it but I don’t have any trouble figuring out that a line that says “10% off cookies at Mrs. Fields” with no date and no cost is not actually a charge. It makes the statement hard to read, but it’s pretty silly that one might think it is “account activity” of any kind.

    • mk says:

      @Troy F.: i just noticed this the other day because i normally look at my account activity on my citibank bank statement page, that shows not only my bank and savings account info, but also my two citibank credit card info. On that page, these ads don’t show up. Once in a while I actually go to the citibank credit card site to make sure everything’s ok. I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal and, like others have said, if it’s a way to increase their revenue and not go out of business then fine. It’s better than then sending me more junk mail.

  11. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    the line items are blacked out, but i would find this especially wrong if i noticed it was targeted advertising. like if the bank is tracking my purchases and selling space on my statement to a similar product or company.

    • cordeliapotter says:

      @catastrophegirl: I think it is. Like with mine, if I shop at Borders, there will be a Barnes & Noble ad underneath that transaction. But it might be a random generator thing like gmail, and it’s not actually being tracked and recorded, just the ad is generated from keywords. But that’s giving Citibank too much credit.

    • winstonthorne says:

      @catastrophegirl: They are-ish. They have some kind of computer program which identifies (based on keywords in the merchant name) what you were buying and offers you a similar product. For example, I recently bought some essentials at Hannaford supermarket, and the little ad below that entry is “10% off Cookies for your Valentine from Mrs. Fields” (note: my purchase did not include cookies or treats of any kind, so they’re not getting that level of detail, only merchant data which they get anyway).

  12. Griffin Hammond says:

    Probably a coincidence, but I noticed one of my Citi transactions with the attached advertisement doesn’t show up on my Mint.com account. So if it turns out these ads get in the way of exporting transaction data correctly, I’ll be annoyed.

  13. tundey says:

    I think if they offer a way to export the data (without the ads of course!) and the ads are clearly indicated (as it seems in this screenshot), I don’t have a problem with it.

  14. winstonthorne says:

    They’ve been doing this since I got my account last June. It doesn’t bother me – hell, maybe one of the deals will actually be worth something to me.

  15. mbgrabbe says:

    I have a Citi card too, and I definitely find this advertising annoying.

    The Account Activity is supposed to be a place where you can audit the charges to your card and verify that everything is as it should be – THATS IT. Any kind of cross-marketing INSIDE these line items is distracting and pointless.

    Mint definitely handles this situation a lot better. They still advertise to you, but all the offers are together in their own section.

  16. The_IT_Crone says:

    That would be enough for me to stop using that card.

    It’s not just a problem with advertisements, but ads should NOT INTERFERE with you.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @The_IT_Crone: Agree. Citi advertising itself to you while you bank with Citi is annoying enough, but understandable. Third-party ads are bad. I would take my business elsewhere.

      No no no no no no no. Just no.

  17. Anonymous says:

    In Firefox, one can also block these ads by adding the following to userContent.css. Create the file if necessary and use a plain text editor like TextEdit or WordPad.

    @-moz-document domain(accountonline.com) {
    tr[class="promo-message"] {
    display:none !important;
    }
    }

    On Mac OSX, userContent.css at ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/[random].default/chrome/ On XP, it’s at C:/Documents and Settings[username]Application DataMozillaFirefoxProfiles[random].defaultchrome

    I don’t have a CitiBank account and haven’t been able to test my hint. Please let me know if it doesn’t work.

  18. Eric1285 says:

    They’ve been doing this on my account for a long time…at least several months.

  19. RevRagnarok says:

    This sounds like bull. They don’t make enough charging me and the vendor for every purchase, they just want even more?

    I would be OK with it under two conditions – (1) opt-in and (2) I get a cut. For example, they charge B&N 8c to put the ad next to my Border’s purchase, and I get 4c out of it deducted from my balance.

  20. ColoradoShark says:

    How about you call the company and complain?
    Hell, how about we all call up and complain?

    I think of this as a low tech DDoS (distributed denial of service). If enough customers call to complain the company’s phone lines will be tied up so they can’t get business done. This tips the balance against them doing it again as the gains from advertising is smaller than the loss from all the customers tieing up the phone lines increasing their costs.

  21. Eric Rhoads says:

    You know, this to me smacks of misleading information that could dupe people who do not know any better. What happens if one of the advertising links used is little more than a phishing scam? People may believe these links are valid transactions sanctioned by Citi and are “trusted” links.

    I know Citi is hard up for cash, but this just reeks of potential class action litigation.

  22. Mr_Human says:

    I see the ads on Citicards.com, but not on my Citibank Online banking site, which also has my savings and checking accounts on it. I guess you might need a banking account to access this site, so this is just a heads up to people who also might also do regular banking with Citi; if you haven’t already, you can link your Citi credit card to it.

  23. TheJinManCan says:

    Normally, I’d bitch. But with the economy the way it is, I know everyone out there is trying to get some positive flow coming in. Even though it’s online ad revenue, on my statement, I can’t say I really care. If it ain’t hurtin’ me, it ain’t hurtin’ me. Simple as that.

    I’ll be damned if I’m ever clicking on that crap, though.

  24. amandakerik says:

    Since it’s online, Adblock Plus’ sidekick “Element Hiding Helper” can cull them pretty easily – and there’s no flash of the ads before the page loads completely.

    I’m not sure whether Greasemonkey would affect Print Preview and Printing, but I’m pretty sure ABP:EHH will still hide them.

    Anyone care to test? (I don’t print much of anything these days and I don’t use Citibank)

  25. Shaftoe says:

    Does not bother me much. I mean it is their printing cost not mine and at least there is not an added fee associated with the ads.

  26. KevinReyn says:

    guys and girls we are attacking the wrong end of the problem here.

    Somewhere in some boardroom some marketing guy said hey lets put advertising in the recent account activity section. Everyone threw up their hands yelling BRILLIANT and the plan was put in place. Then that marketing guy went around to some potential advertisers and said hey guys we got this super cool new method of putting advertising in the recent activity transaction screen you what a part of that? That group of people threw up their hands and screamed BRILLIANT!! Where do we sign?

    So I put it to you this way. Yes citi makes some cabbage off the advertising and its annoying as hell. However who are the real culprits here? Wouldnt it be Mrs Fields and Drugstore.com? I see this kind of thing as being like the drug problem. We have always gone after the dealers and not addressed the demand. See take a dealer off the street someone else steps in.

    Tackle these guys head on. Call up Mrs. Fields and let them know hey your buying advertising at citi using this annoying line item thing in my recent activity log. I dont like it and I will not buy your products and recommend that my friends dont buy your products. If the companies advertising think its negatively affecting their business then guess what – they will stop.

    I suggest we start not only go after the citi’s of the world but also those who are feeding the beast.

  27. tc4b says:

    You’re advertising on MY statement, so please share the ad revenue. In that case, I’d be fine with it.

  28. TurboWagon00 says:

    My Chase does this as well. Totally ghetto

  29. vastrightwing says:

    Hey, call the bank and complain about fraudulent charges to your account. The CSR will point out that there aren’t any and you’ll tell them you see them in your monthly statement. After Citi has spent tons of money answering the confused calls by millions of annoyed customers, perhaps they’ll get the message.

  30. kc2idf says:

    This is very bad. It is apparently not enough that half of the contents of the bill envelope are ads, including a flap that I have to rip off to close the payment envelope. It is apparently not enough that the interest rate has been raised. It is apparently not enough that the American public has just dropped $3.5E14 to bail these guys out, with more coming.

    ENOUGH, ALREADY!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I, too, sent them an email months ago about this & got a generic response regarding new revenue streams. I’ve stopped checking my balance regularly and just signed up for mint.com — I use it just to keep track of citicard purchases, and it lets me track transactions and sort them and all sorts of goodies. Now I only log in to citi to pay the bill!

  32. rten says:

    I’m looking for a loophole in the law, because typically credit card merchant who advertise to you must offer a stronger refund/dispute policy. As a strong willed consumer I’ve exercised and won battles with the CC because they mailed me the (junk) advertisement in the bil.

    Legal text follows on EVERY bill you receive from every credit card company on the back of the statement.

    SPECIAL RULE FOR CREDIT CARD PURCHASES: If you have a problem with the quality of property or services that you have purchased with a credit card, and you have tried in good faith to correct the problem with the merchant, you may have the right not to pay the remaining amount due on the property or services. There are two limitations on this right: (a) You must have made the purchase in your home state or, if not within your home state, within a
    100 miles of your current mailing address; and (b) The purchase price must have been more than $50.
    THESE LIMITATIONS DO NO APPLY IF WE OWN OR OPERATE THE MERCHANT, OR IF WE MAILED YOU THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE PROPERY OR SERVICES.

  33. crazyasianman says:

    I’d had this for months on my account as well, never pay it much mind except I usually see offers completely unrelated to a purchased it’s next to; ie an electronics ad tied to a fast food purchase

  34. jmndos says:

    Hey, were the entries data mined ?

    Did the entry on your credit card card statement contain an ad for a genre tied to the type of item purchased ?

  35. Richard Brown says:

    HAHAHA it should show you deals on the products you already paid too much for ;)

  36. feckingmorons says:

    Simply start disputing them as unauthorized charges. Print a screen shot. Mail it off to the address on the statement for disputes with a note that you dispute it.

    A few thousand of those and they will stop that nonsense. They can’t simply ignore those as federal rules govern how they handle disputes.

    Sure it costs you 42 cents, but the satisfaction you get, and the entertainment when they actually mail you a paper letter as a response actually written by a human (even if a template) is priceless. Hmmm, that should be a commercial.

  37. kdollarsign says:

    I think with the death of print publications and a looming recession, we’re all just going to have suck it up and deal with more ads. this is the contraction before the collapse, the saturation point.

  38. ageshin says:

    These companies are in great need for money, for after driving the economy into the sewer, they need money to handle the billions given them as bailouts. Err something like that.

  39. bwcbwc says:

    Not just tacky, it’s a big security risk too. They’re posting insecure content from unknown sites into a secured web transaction. Even if the ads are vetted by Citi’s own network admins, the fact that the ads are http: links mean that the servers can be faked. And if they just post the ads provided by some advertising aggregator like quantserver or doubleclick, they’ve made their network security dependent on the vetting process of the advertising company. Plus, if you click on the link, you’re taken to a foreign website while your “secure” bank session is still logged in and information is cached in your browser. Any malicious code on the website can get financial information from Citi via a script.

    I can only hope that some lawyer decides this violates Sarbanes-Oxley or some other financial regulation and sues their bunions off.

    GMAC mortgage has been doing ads like this for some Credit Monitoring service as well. Once you complete a payment online you get a confirmation screen with a short blurb about the offer and a Continue button. They make it look like the continue button is to complete the payment, but it takes you to a new website without logging you out of the GMAC session.

  40. yukondoit says:

    Yeah, I noticed this quite some time ago. I guess I am so overloaded with idiotic advertising that I just don’t even care anymore. I probably have at least 50 or 60 of these ads — never actually read a single one of them.

  41. Anonymous says:

    My biggest beef with this is that they double a charge and negate it in order to insert an ad. You can see in the screenshot that they have two 88.09 charges and one 88.09 credit where the ad is inserted.

    This is very hard to scan and luckily I caught it before I chewed out a company for double charging my card. Plus the charges and credits show up in Mint which throws off my automatic budget tracking. Very annoying.