So, it seems like both Chase cards and now Citi cards are more restrictive in their interpretation of the waived fees under the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA), compared to the other major credit card companies. Since I’ve started posting on SCRA benefits of credit cards, it seems as though no one (that I’ve talked to) has had trouble getting annual fees and other fees waived from companies such as American Express, Barclaycard cards, Capital One cards, and US Bank cards.

However, many people emailed me and commented following the Chase cards post, saying that Chase denied them if they were not a cardmember before starting active duty. Well, it seems as though Citi has been following the same policy.

I received the following letter from Citi, and indeed got separate letters for each of my Citi cards, which include the Citi Exec AA, for which I got 100k AA miles, and the Citi AA Platinum personal and Citibusiness AA, both of which gave me 50k AA miles.


So, unfortunately, Citi does not give you SCRA benefits if you’ve not had one before you started active duty, along the same lines as Chase cards. This is curious to me, since I had neither before I started, but Chase gave me SCRA benefits and Citi did not. I’ve asked multiple card companies multiple times what database they’re using to determine eligibility, but haven’t yet received an answer; the phone reps genuinely do not know, and eligibility is determined by a separate department.

Fortunately, according to Milenomics (an excellent blog if I do say so myself), Citi is one of the most willing to waive your annual fee to retain customers. The Points Guy has a similar experience. So, come May, I’ll be calling for both my Platinum personal card and my Citibusiness card to ask for an annual fee waiver, a retention offer, or a downgrade to the Bronze card. I don’t really want to cancel outright, because I want to boost my length of credit, but I will if they’re inflexible.

Anyone yet had success getting SCRA benefits from Citi?

Posted by glenn | 8 Comments

8 responses to “Follow up from the Citi card annual fee waiver post”

  1. Alex says:

    I think we should start a letter campaign for chase or citi to reduce their fees for mliitary members since AMEX waives $450 fee for their platinum card.

  2. Andy says:

    I disagree. Military service is not compulsory. While I fully appreciate the sacrifices made by our armed forces, they should have been well aware of those sacrifices well before their induction.

  3. Jared says:

    Why should service members get their annual fees waived? I understand many service members (but certainly not all of them) do make sacrifices, but you also get many other benefits other than annual fee waivers. I just don’t get why everyone is so eager to pile benefits on service members. There has to be a line.

  4. Andy says:

    @everyone – Let’s remember that credit card companies are not REQUIRED by the SCRA to waive annual fees, just late-payment fees while on deployment. I think our current benefits are more than adequate, and I think a testament to them that they go above what the law requires. And I somewhat agree w/ Jared – I think there does need to be a line. Read the COL’s article a couple weeks ago about military entitlement, it’s a great read.

  5. Benji says:

    Did I see your name pop up on a new blog at saverocity? Are you blogging at both locations?

  6. Alex says:

    I was recently was able to get Chase to waive the $395 fee for the United Mileage Plus Club Card. I was also able to get them to waive the fees for my other cards totaling $634! I was able to get them to do this in spite of having applied for most of these cards after my entry into the military by using my AMEX Platinum as leverage. I essentially said I was dissapointed in Chase and that if the fees were not waived I would strongly consider ending my business relationship with Chase (which made me sort of sad lol because I really do enjoy their customer service and awesome benefits). I told them that AMEX waives the fees for military members on their platinum card and the fees for additional cards and any other products as well. This is what I think finally swayed chase and now I have this benefit as long as I am in the service! I must give some kudos to chase even though it did take a while, but I think chase is absolutely awesome and is definitely on the customer service level of AMEX now!

  7. […] We, of course, wanted to know how he leveraged it, so he commented on our post: […]

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