Citibank Shocks Reader With Consumer-Friendly Policy

Anthony received a Newegg rebate in the form of a prepaid debit card. When he went to use the $15 card for a $15.93 purchase, he received an unexpected and wonderful surprise.

I recently received a $15 rebate from a purchase made at newegg.com. The rebate came as a Visa prepaid debit card through Citi Bank. This weekend I used the card for a purchase at OfficeMax. The purchase came to $15.93, so I told the cashier I had $15 on a card (which he referred to as a gift card), and handed him the card and a $1 bill.

He swiped the card and told me the charge went through, then handed me back the card and the $1 bill. At first I assumed I had simply misheard the price or remembered the amount of the rebate wrong, but today I noticed the receipt said the card now had a $-.93 balance. I immediately expected this to turn into a horror story- overdraft fees on a gift card, customer service nightmare- but it was not to be. I called the customer service number on the card and was told by the CSR that their policy is to automatically cover a small amount of overage- I think the CSR said $5- as a courtesy. I was told I did not have to pay the 93 cents, and would not incur a fee.

This was definitely a pleasant surprise, and I have now come away with a better impression of both Visa and Citi Bank. It may not quite be above and beyond, but it is an experience worth sharing.

No, it’s not to the level of “above and beyond.” Still, it’s nice to hear that the bank has such a friendly policy.

The question is, who eats the extra $5? The bank? Perhaps the unredeemed amount (not to mention fees) on thousands or millions of other prepaid cards more than makes up for any overages.

(Photo: pstardesign)