Citibank Reinstates Credit Limits If You Ask

Like many credit cards, Citibank is cutting people’s credit limits left and right but apparently if you call up and ask to get your credit limit back to where it was, they’ll do it for you. Classic tactic: Conduct adverse action, easily fix it for the small amount of people who complain, profit from the difference. As ever, squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Citibank Hacking Lines Of Credit — Again [CreditMattersBlog] (Photo: Groovnick)

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  1. flyboyJ says:

    They recently raised my APR for no reason whatsoever. So I called them up, talked to their retention department and told them it was really rotten for raising my rates on the same day they received billions in “bailout” money.

    Amazingly my APR is now half of what it was before…

  2. citking says:

    I haven’t used mine in a while (carrying a 0 balance, keeping it as a “just in case the furnace breaks” type of card), and just last week they upped my limit from $13500 to $16500. No real explanation.

  3. kaptainkk says:

    I guess it must just be Citibank that’s willing to work with you. I tried calling and arguing with two banks that cut mine and got nowhere except madder than hell. HSBC cut mine from $4k to $300 and Merrick Bank closed my account with $8k limit. Other cards have raised the APR but left my limits alone. The only card I feel safe to use is the one issued by my credit union. Low APR and high limit. The only reason I care is because of how fucking credit score driven this society is. Bottom line is that lowering limits is hurting your credit score, which eventually will allow the banks to make more money by justifying a higher interest rate on loans. Sorry SOBs!

  4. Saboth says:

    I called citibank a few months ago because they jacked my rate from 11.99% to 18.99%, despite my being a 10 year customer that usually keeps a healthy balance, and never missed a payment. I called up, and told the CSR something would have to be done about this. She said “what would you like me to do about it sir?” I said “I don’t know, but something.” She said my 2 options were to accept the rate or opt out and cancel my card. I was quite furious that she was willing to let a 10 year customer go so flippantly, so I opted out. A week later I called back and got a different CSR that was extremely helpful and got my card reinstated (since it was set to cancel at the end of the opt-out), and also lowered my rate down to 9.99% Now, that is how you keep a customer.

    • dako81 says:

      @Saboth: after 10 years your rate was 11.99%? I’ve only had credit for 3 years and I’ve got 8.9%

    • oneandone says:

      @Saboth: They recently (December) raised my rate as well – and I got the same ultimatum from 2 CSRs I spoke with. I gave up and opted out of the new agreement. I can use my card until it expires, but I was extremely annoyed at them & have now moved the citicard to the ‘use only in emergency’ envelope.

      I also got the same flippant vibe from them – though I’m only a 6-year customer. Interestingly, the citibank student loan people were much more interested in discussing options with me. Not much beyond a .25% adjustment, but they were quite nice.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just tried this tactic with American Express, who lowered my limit from $20k to $7K. I carry a balance, but pay on time (usually early) every month a little more than the minimum. I also don’t use the card anymore. When I called to request the reinstatement, I was told that “we [American Express] feel I should be paying more each month than I already am” given that I don’t even use the card anymore. They also said they ran my credit report and said other cards are saying the same thing, even though I pay more than the minimum on all my cards. Needless to say, once I am debt-free, American Express won’t be the “clean card” that I use and pay off each month.

    • I_am_Awesome says:

      @RonaldKnulla:

      Do you not realize that paying just “a little more than the minimum” is not a good thing? You’re a risky customer.

      I don’t know why people get so offended by their limits being reduced. Would you ever put $20k on your credit card?

  6. kairi2 says:

    now citibank is tricky. you can ask them to do something and they will do it, but you have to keep an eye on your statements to verify it has been done.

  7. QuantumRiff says:

    Its like they studied from the textbook of a medical insurance company. Deny everything at first…. And even better, when they reverse it, and put your balance back, they’ve done you a favor!

  8. varro says:

    I had my interest rate raised by Capone, but the Indian customer service reps could only parrot the “economic conditions force us to rip off the customers who don’t default” line.

    • pmw says:

      @varro: I spent at least 10 seconds pondering what cultural allusion or reference you were trying to make. (Is it that Al Capone was Italian and your credit card company is part of the mafia?)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I had my APR more than doubled back when everyone else was… when I called (didn’t really complain, just said that I was trying to pay down the balance) they lowered it back to *almost* where it was.

    Then yesterday they raised the limit by $1500 (it used to only have a $3000 limit). How random. It’s like, first we’ll penalize you even though you’ve never made a late payment or anything, and now we’ll give you more opportunities to spend on your card? I’ll be glad when I’m done paying this card off.

  10. kwsventures says:

    Why bother to call Citibank, which is the middle man now? Go directly to Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Chuckie Schumer to get your credit limit back.

  11. ogremustcrush says:

    Citibank just increased my limit for the second time in the last 3 months. Not that it matters much to me, I’d never put that much on my card.

  12. JoeWaiver says:

    I just called on my citi business card which they cut about 40k of limit, was told there is no way to consider the request without a hard inquiry. I’d just as soon apply for a new citi card for teaser promos if I’m going to burn a hard inq.

  13. chrisdd says:

    I had been delinquent on a number of payments on my Citibank card and got my rate jacked up to 31%. After 8 months of painfully and diligently paying my bill on time I called them and begged them to lower my interest rate. I truthfully told them that I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to pay them as I was expecting to incur some medical bills. The sweet girl I talked to put me on hold for a few minutes and cames back and told me that her manager had approved lowering my rate to 9% for medical reasons. I was flabbergasted. After reading all the posts on Consumerist about people who couldn’t get a break from their card companies I expected very little, if any relief from Citibank. What a pleasant surprise!

  14. Adhominem says:

    I have a Chase Freedom card as a college student with a 0% APR teaser rate for 6 months. After that it shot up to 29.98% APR. They’ve been lowering every 2 months or so, it’s at 27.49%.

  15. Nastrodoodimus says:

    Here is my best suggestion, pay cash for everything.

    If you cannot afford to pay cash; you probably don’t need it in the first place.

    If you are trying to build or repair your credit, start with a card and a $250 or $500 limit so you don’t get yourself in trouble. Credit problems are created by the user, not the card itself, but the credit card companies will charge your soul to the Devil if they can get away with it. If they could get cards in the hands of pre-schoolers, they would do it.

    I was faced with this same dilemma from several credit card companies.

    Never was late or missed a payment, only to have them jack my rate sky high. When I called them they gave me jibberish or offered to lower it for a 6-month period or some other crap. What did I do? I played the shell game and transferred to another card with 0% interest for 18 months. I said bye-bye and transferred the balance the next day.

    There is a balance transfer fee usually of 1-3% of the balance being trsnferred but it comes out less than what you would pay for the bump in your interest rate. Great because you are not doing business with the shysters anymore, which is worth its weight in gold to me.

    If the new card is giving you 0% interest for 18 months, try to pay off the balance before the end of the introductory terms.

    I will never use Citi, Chase, AMEX or Discover again. I don’t need them. I didn’t close the accounts and after not using them for a period of time you will get a letter stating they will close the account due to inactivity (because they are no longer gouging you and making money on you). Oh well! The funny part is after they close my accounts due to inactivity, they send a twice-weekly mailer, sometimes daily, telling me I’m pre-approved or begging me to come back. Fat chance asswipes!

    My credit score is sufficient enough to where I don’t have to worry about the credit hit. They are all in bed together, credit card companies, banks and credit bureaus, so what can you do? Interesting, that a person who pays cash for everything is punished by the three reporting agencies, banks, credit card companies, etc., when they try to buy a car, house or whatever. If you miss a car payment or are late on the mortgage, they justify that as a reason for jacking your rate.

    The best thing to do is go “green” i.e. cash and get rid of the twats; this being the only true way to fight back.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I went on a business trip to India and when I got my Citibank statement I saw they ha whacked me $600 for “foreign currency transactions.” When I called to complain they said it was in there agreement and there was nothing that could be done. I checked with Chase and they don’t do that. Canceled Citibank, happy with Chase so far.

  17. Madison Riley says:

    I have been with Citibank for 14 years. I have never had a late. I have had two loans paid in full with no lates. I have three credit cards with no lates. Citibank attempted to raise my insterest rate from 9.24% to 14.99% on my CitiFlex “due to the economy and other people not paying their bills.” I was offered the ability to keep my account open at the higher interest or I could have the agreed upon interest rate if I closed my account. I have a 751 beacon score. I have no lates. A couple years ago I decided to solely use Citibank because I felt they offered me the best deal. I know see that is not the case. Any suggestions?

  18. Cyril Rickelton-Abdi says:

    HSBC just cut without any good reason or warning my limit from 10k to 2k. Their sole excuse: Sorry Sir, the economy is not doing well… Is it me or I just saw this morning that JP Morgan announced record profits?