Stiffed Citi AA Exec Bonus Points: Arbitration Right Away?


Here’s another candidate for the 2016 Festivus Airing of Grievances. This time it’s brought to you by Citi, another bank who no longer cares for points enthusiasts. Before Citi introduced the rule that a customer could not receive another bonus whether it be Hilton, AA, or ThankYou, if they have opened a card within 2 years, I and many in my congregation, applied for cards that would otherwise be excluded. I chose the Citi AA Exec and a couple of weeks later, I applied for the Citi AA Gold. I was approved for both. In fact, Citi gave me an additional 5k for my Citi AA Exec because they couldn’t send it to the right address.

I received the bonus miles for the AA Gold, the second of my applications, but not for the Citi AA Exec. Foolishly, I thought the chat person could help me with this and, as usual, they were useless and recommended I call in. Well, to the shock of none, the customer service representative said that I did not qualify for the Citi AA Exec bonus points because I had opened a Citi AA World Explorer or World Explorer Elite or whatever the hell it is called within the last two years. That, she said, was a violation of the terms and conditions for receiving the bonus.

I quickly pointed out that I had received the bonus for the AA Gold card after I had applied for the Citi Exec so her logic was incorrect. Citi is now launching an investigation and I am sure I will get a letter saying that I am not eligible. Worse, I’ll be stuck with the $450 annual fee as there is a limited duration for when the card can be cancelled and prorated amount refunded. From there, I have two choices: write a useless letter to the Office of the President or simply file my intent to arbitrate.

As a consumer protection attorney, I have helped many Frequent Miler readers who have had claims from Citi to eBay resolve their disputes. Now, I find myself in the interesting situation where I have a fool for a client.

Why does it always have to be such a battle? Why can’t the banks just live up to the terms of their agreement that they and their behemoth legal team create? As consumers, we have to abide by the terms lest the banks close are cards at any time and for any reason.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from mesothelioma, call one of those attorneys you see on TV. If you or someone you remotely like is getting the runaround from a bank, email me, leave me a comment, send me a Tweet, or follow me on Instagram for pics of what I used to do when I had points. Enough is enough. I gotta have my points!

How many trips to the Admirals Club am I going to have to take to make up for the annual fee should I not prevail?
How many trips to the Admirals Club am I going to have to take to make up for the annual fee should I not prevail?


  1. “As consumers, we have to abide by them lest they close are cards at any time and for any reason.”

    English 101 wasn’t required at university eh?

    • Sorry but the job of grammar checker is already taken by Clifford, a hard ass for finding all errors without being a…. about it.

      Thanks for reading! smiley smiley

  2. Never assume malice when incompetence will do the trick. It’s more likely just a limitation in their systems, that they are unable to handle the intricacy of different policies and effective dates. Good luck to you!

  3. Didn’t Citi just changed their rule so that if you apply or cancel a card within the past 24 months, you won’t be able to get bonus from the same family of card (i.e, only 1 AA card per 24 months, if you apply for Citi AA Gold, then you won’t receive bonus for Citi AA Platinum, etc).

  4. You should litigate, err arbitrate them. The more people that do this, the less likely that the banks will try to withhold what they promised.

  5. lopere caught one…but :

    “If you ~~~are~~~ someone you love has suffered an injury from mesothelioma, call one of those attorneys you see on TV.”

    conjunction function.

    but i do love myself. though i don’t have mesothelioma….yet….

  6. “Never assume malice when incompetence will do the trick.” Meh – when it comes to banks the applicable expression is “Evil is as evil does.” Gaming LIBOR rates, illegally foreclosing on homes, money laundering, identity theft (ala Wells Fargo’s account openings) did not happen out of incompetence. There is a reason why so many bankers fear garlic and sunlight.

    • There are criminals and immoral people in every walk of life. Banks provide a valuable service that I’m sure you also use regularly to great benefit of yourself. I would much rather be stuck in a dark alley with a banker than with say an auto mechanic, a taxi driver, or a lawyer (no offense TPOL). People like you with a world view that all bankers are criminals usually also think the thugs rioting through the city streets are justified…so I won’t waste your time with pesky facts, logic, or evidence.

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