Citi Socked Me With Fee, Rate Increase Because I Lost My Card

Justin says he couldn’t pay his Citibank credit card balance because he lost his card and couldn’t log into the system because he hadn’t yet received his replacement. As a result, he was stuck with an interest rate hike and a missed payment fee.

He writes:

Just a tip/fyi to those who might not be aware, that I thought you might be able to use. I am a Citibank Private Bank customer, with a Citi Platinum Select card. I lost my card and was unable to make my December 4th payment because I could not log in to online banking until I actually received my new credit card from Citibank. I made the payment on 12/17, immediately after I received my new card. However, I was apparently charged with a missed payment and my interest rate was raised to the default rate, prime + 22%, from prime + 9%. I was not aware of this because, again, I could not access online banking in respect of my credit card until 12/17.

Being a Private Bank customer, I called my banker to see if there was anything they could do to lower my APR, considering I have made every single other payment on time for the past 2+ years that I have had the card, and only missed this payment due to losing my card. Apparently there is nothing they can do either. I am going to have to cancel the card and get a new one just to reduce the rate. Just thought I’d warn anyone with Citi as their credit card provider, even if you are a private bank customer, you’ll be dinged for one late payment.

Justin didn’t make it clear why he couldn’t handle the issue with Citibank over the phone before his due date passed, but the punishment for his missed payment — whether or not it was his fault — seems overzealous. What do you think?