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New Citi Retention Process
Citi has been one of the most generous banks when it comes to retention offers this past year. Twice my wife has received 3X everywhere retention bonuses on the ThankYou Preferred card and we have also received credits to offset annual fees on a number of cards as well.
Today I called in to inquire about any available offers that might be available on my ThankYou Premier card. I really do enjoy the card, but the $95 annual fee was just charged so I wanted to go over my options. When I applied for the card a year ago, it had a split 50K bonus with 20K being earned in the first year and 30K in the second year after $3K in spend.
ThankYou Premier Retention Call
Obviously it is in my best interest to keep this card in order to claim the second half of the bonus, but that didn’t stop me from asking for a credit to offset the fee. To reach Citi I called the number on the back of the card and was then asked a few questions by the automated system to confirm my account. Eventually the system asked for the purpose of my call and I simply said, “agent”. This was to avoid having my account accidentally closed like others have experienced.
To Citi’s credit I was immediately connected to an agent without any further questions. Once connected, the very pleasant agent asked how he could help and I informed him that I was concerned about the annual fee and wanted to go over my options. Without hesitating he went into a pitch about converting my card to a no annual fee product such as the ThankYou Preferred.
Getting to a Retention Rep
Since I knew he was just a front line rep, I asked to speak to someone in retention. At that point we hit an impasse of sorts. He said, “Are you planning to cancel your account”? It was clear that he needed to hear this from me before moving further along in the process. I clearly didn’t want to say I was cancelling outright, so it took a little back and forth before I found the magic phrase. “If I don’t get an offer that makes sense to me, then I am going to cancel my account.”
Once he heard those magic words, he then input something in his computer. The reason I know he input something is that he narrated his actions to me. I thought maybe the computer would give him some offers for me, but after about a minute of processing he transfered me to a “specialist” in South Dakota. Without too much further conversation the retention agent presented me with four offers.
Citi ThankYou Premier Retention Offers
The ThankYou Premier retention offers available to me were:
- $95 statement credit + 1,000 ThankYou points for making $1,000 in purchases each month for the next 3 months.
- $95 statement credit for making $3,000 in purchases in the next 3 months.
- $50 statement credit for making 5 purchases of $10 or more in the next 3 months.
- 5,000 ThankYou points for making $3,000 in purchases in the next 3 months.
You might think that I took the first one, but I actually chose offer number 2. Simplicity is important to me and I don’t want to have to track purchases for the next 3 months. I would rather just spend the $3,000 and get it over with. That $3,000 in spending will get me the credit plus 30,000 points from my sign-up bonus. That is good enough for me.
Citi has definitely added more hoops to jump through in order for you to get to a retention specialist. I have no issue with this since they really seem to be doing a good job of attempting to get you into the product that makes sense for you.
From now on, I think the best process for getting to Citi retention is:
- Say “agent” when asked what you want by the automated system. Do not say “cancel” or you risk the system shutting down your account.
- When speaking to the first agent say, “I want to cancel my account if I cannot get an offer that makes sense for me.” (Or something along those lines.)
- Make sure to ask the retention specialist for all available offers so you can weight your options.
Citi continues to be one of the most generous banks when it comes to retention offers. While most of their offers now require a certain amount of spend, they are still very competitive compared to other banks. With the improvement of their product lineup, a solid selection of sign-up bonuses, friendly phone agents and overall generous retention offers, Citi has definitely grown to become one of my favorite banks to deal with.
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