I signed up with Citibank/Mastercard my freshman year in college. I used to sign up for stuff on campus quite often, as they would give me various free things, t-shirts, radios, $100 gift certificates, etc. I also felt somewhat sorry for the vendors, as their income was $1 every time they got someone to fill out an application. I had a number of good conversations with different vendors.
I never received the card, and didn't even remember that I had signed up with them. Six months later, I got a statement from them, saying I had a $10 credit on my account since I was such a good customer. So, I called them up and asked for them to send me a card, and I think they ended up calling it a lost/stolen card, and so changed the account number and voided the old card, etc.
I have pretty much used that card exclusively for the last ten years. Occasionally, I have used different cards, when they have had some sort of promotion, such as if you make one purchase on our card, we will send you a DVD player, or when various companies would send $50 or $100 if you signed up with their company.
When we got married, I went through and cancelled all the cards, which wasn't too much of a hassle, although some of the clothing stores that had given me $10 to get a store credit card had gone out of business, and so it was somewhat difficult to get those cancelled, and off of my credit report, but eventually, everything got taken care of.
Citibank has excellent customer service, and except for one time, they have taken care of whatever I had asked for on the first call. And there usually isn't much of a hold time.
I have had random Russian people guess my number, or otherwise figure out the number, and charge stuff on the card. I have had companies such as Lingo not refund my money when they were supposed to. Citibank has always credited my account right when I call, and then I don't have to do anything else, and their billing departments take care of everything else. Occasionally, they have had to have their lawyers call up companies and forcibly take the money from the vendors, but I don't have to do anything, and can completely forget about it.
There was one time when I called and the customer support person said that she couldn't credit my account right then, and needed me to sign something first, but when I called back later, another person said that she had no idea why the first person didn't credit it right away, and promptly credited it then.
I used to use a 1% cash back card, but now I have a "Driver's Edge" card, that gives me 1.5% cash back, towards car purchases. I think you can also use it towards maintenance of a car, although I haven't tried that yet. The cash sits in an account for three years, so so far we have only made one claim towards that account, when the money was about to expire. That was when Heather's parents were going to give us a car, so we had them "charge" us $700, and Citibank paid for it. Pretty nice.
Posted by Jon Daley on October 5, 2004, 8:25 am | Read 5812 times
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