Citi Retention Offer Screwup – Capped or Uncapped?
Last week I shared the details of an amazing retention offer my wife received on her Citi ThankYou Preferred card. This offer was in fact the same as the one she had received on a different ThankYou Preferred card six months before.
As it was explained to her on the retention call, she would earn 2 extra points per dollar on all spend. Since the ThankYou Preferred earns 1 point per dollar on normal spend and 2 points per dollar on dining, it becomes a 3X/4X earning card during the promotional period.
Sending a Secure Message to Confirm
Following my wife’s retention call, she sent Citi a secure message to confirm the terms of the offer. This is one of the strategies I laid out in my Citi retention guide. It seems Citi may now be sending out follow up emails as well, but it never hurts to frame the question so you nail down the detailed terms.
Here is what my wife said in the original message:
Hello, I just got off the phone with an agent and want to confirm my account was enrolled in the offer I was given over the phone. I was told I will receive 2 extra points per dollar on all spending for the next 6 months. Can you confirm the start and end dates of the promotion for my records? Thank you!
Fairly simple. Within a day she received a response. It was not what we were expecting. Here is what Citi said:
Our records show your Preferred card was enrolled to earn 2 bonus Thank You points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases. This offer is valid until 1/31/16 with a bonus cap of 35,000 points.
A cap? A cap? I had my wife think really hard back to the conversation and whether or not a cap was mentioned. She didn’t remember hearing of one. I was also standing next to her during the call and am pretty sure it would’ve come up. So she sent a response back to Citi:
Thank you. I was not told of any 35,000 bonus point cap. I am requesting that a supervisor go back and listen to the call, since there shouldn’t be any cap in place.
This request was made in good faith, since she honestly didn’t remember being told about a cap. Since the call is recorded, they can go back and listen. If she was told of a cap and just didn’t hear or remember it, then Citi would enforce it. The few times in the past we have had issues with a Citi promotion, they have pushed back hard and we have just had to give up. I was fully expecting that to happen. Fortunately a day after sending that request, my wife received this message:
We have successfully updated your special promotional offer to earn 2 bonus ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases.
Does this mean what it says? Have they removed the cap? Sometimes secure message agents just cut and paste boiler plate responses, so we weren’t sold. We needed to confirm in writing that the cap was lifted.
Just to confirm I will receive the 2 extra points per dollar spent without any cap correct?
No wiggle room here. We just wanted them to spell out that there is no cap. That small detail makes a huge difference as to the value of this promotion. Here was their response:
That is correct, we show your account is enrolled in the offer to earn 2 bonus Thank You points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases.
So we successfully received the promotion as promised on the phone.
So What Happened
As you can see, Citi never acknowledged that their agent offered a non-capped version of this offer, but instead changed my wife’s offer without any pushback at all. I’m not sure if a manager listened to the call or if they just decided to give her the uncapped offer. Perhaps the uncapped offer was eligible on her account, but the agent added the wrong offer by mistake. Either way, I am impressed with how quickly this was corrected and I commend Citi for that.
Does an Uncapped Offer Exist
Since posting about this retention offer last week, I have heard from several people who received it, but in the capped form. Basically, I haven’t heard of anyone else who has received the uncapped version in the past month or so. I do know an uncapped version existed six months ago, since my wife received it and we earned more than 35,000 points.
At this point I am not sure if the only offer you can get has the 35K cap or if there is indeed still an uncapped version. I did want to post this follow up, as to reflect the most accurate information possible. In the end, my wife was promised an uncapped promotion and that is what she received, but that offer may or may not even exist anymore.
3X everywhere with a 35K cap is still a very decent promotion, but it isn’t nearly as scalable as the uncapped version. In this case we got the offer as we had understood it, but I honestly am not sure if that is possible for anyone else at this point. Have other people received the uncapped 3X everywhere offer lately or has everyone received the capped version?