Hey gang, I’m going on deployment soon, so this will be my last post for a while (this is Andy btw). I wanted to go over how to get some free points on your Credit cards if you’re in a rut. With many bloggers declaring the end of manufactured spending, which it truly is, credit cards are still the best way to accumulate points and/or miles. Unfortunately the death of the golden age of MSing (RIP Vanilla Reloads, Serve, Amazon payments, Coopera, REDbird) means it’s incredibly difficult to hit the signup bonuses of 5 or 6 credit cards at once for most normal people. Why not try to utilize some of the credit cards we already have and save our hard pulls for huge signup offers instead?
This is where the reconsideration call for a credit card comes in – you call to say you’re thinking about cancelling your credit card, whether or not you actually are. Banks generally try really hard not to lose a customer, so sometimes they’ll try to “enhance” the cards rewards for a period of time. Not all banks do this (US Bank will cancel your card in the blink of an eye), but Citi is generally known to give the best offers. As long as you call and use the buzzword “cancel”, they’ll transfer you to a “specialist” who will usually give you some tempting offers. I’m waiting for my Transunion hard pulls to go down (I’m at 20 from 24 last Fall, yippee!), so I figured instead of applying for a new card, why not see what Citi can offer me?
I called and said straight up, “hello, I’d like to speak to the reconsideration dept, as I am considering cancelling one or more of my credit cards”. I find that honestly usually works best, and indeed, they transferred me right over. The specialist with whom I talked could not have been more considerate or accommodating, and he patiently offered deals on my 5 personal cards and 1 business card. They were as follows:
- $200 statement credit with $4k spend in 6mo
- 4TY points/dollar
- 4/dollar at supermarkets/drug stores/gas up to 50k TY points
- 1/dollar on all eligible purchases up to 50k
- or 10k TY points for $3k in spend
I took the last one on that; I was planning a big trip to Vietnam (in an upcoming post) and was going to be spending some money.
- $1k/month for 3 months gets $95 statement credit and 1k TY points/month
- or $1k/month gets $95 statement credit
obviously I took the first one.
Citi Hilton Reserve
- $750/mo for 3 months gets 750 Hhonors points per month (blech!)
- $1k/mo for 3 months gets 1k Hhonors points per month (nope!)
- 3Hhonors points/dollar at restaurants
I took the last one, although I doubt I’ll use it; indeed I might be either downgrading this to the Citi Dividend or just outright cancelling it soon since I used the two free nights already at the Conrad Hong Kong (review upcoming).
Citi AA Exec
- $1.5k/mo spend gets $50 dollar statement credit/mo for 7 mo max up to $350
- $1k/mo gets additional 1k miles for the next 16 billing cycles
- $1.5k spend in the next 3 mo gets 5k miles and $100 statement credit
- $1.5k spend in the next 3 mo gets 15k miles
I decided to take the first one because I’m awash in AA miles and there’s poor overall availability. Doubt I’ll hit $1.5k per month, but we’ll see.
Citi AA Plat personal
- 5 separate purchases of at least $20 earns $95 statement credit
- $500 spend in 3 mo for 3k miles
I took the first one; simple and easy. 5 x $20 Amazon GCs.
Citibusiness AA Plat
- $2.5k spend/mo gets additional 2.5k miles for up to 16 cycles
- $1k spend/mo gets additional 1k miles for up to 16 cycles
- $5k total spend in 6mo gets 10k additional miles
- $95 total spending in the next month gets $95 statement credit
I took the last one; again, easy day, Amazon GC, and I don’t need AA miles at the moment.
Of note, I applied for and opened all these cards before I came onto active duty in August. I applied for and received SCRA benefits on all these cards, meaning I don’t pay any annual fees on them, even the big guns like the Exec and the Prestige! Here is how to get your annual fees waived if you’re going active duty. Of note, Citi is very strict about it – they will only waive your fees if you opened the card before going active duty; I haven’t heard of any exceptions.
When I get back sometime in about 2 months, I’ll post about the results from this, and also will detail my reconsideration call to American Express and to Chase!
Did anyone get any better deals than I did?