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Legit Citicard offer? 20% back?


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Got an email from Citicard today saying they'll credit back 20% of whatever I pay above the minimum payment. Seems too good to be true. I have about $1700 on one card which I transferred their to make use of their 0% interest offer. The 0% just expired so now it an ideal time for me to make use of this offer. However, it just seems to good to be true.

Here's the details from the email:

Earn up to $550 just for paying more than the

minimum on time.

Lowering your balance makes good financial sense – and the Citi Payment Partner Program can help you achieve it. Call 1-800-961-4839 to enroll now, and Citi will reward you with a 20% statement credit on the amount you pay over the minimum due on time.

* Get rewarded with a statement credit for paying more than the minimum on time within the next 4 months.

* Save money through reduced interest charges and no late fees.

* Build good credit by reducing your balance and paying on time.

Here’s how it works:

* Earnings will be credited to your account within 3 billing cycles after the offer period ends.

* Your account will be suspended until your statement credit is posted.

* Upon receiving your statement credit, your credit line will decrease by the total amount paid over the minimum, plus your statement credit.

Earn up to

$550

for on-time

payments made above

the minimum.

Call

1-800-961-4839

now and start reducing your balance today.

Offer ends 9/30/08.

And here's the small print which I haven't reviewed yet

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Eligibility

Your account must be in good standing to enroll in this program. You will not be able to enroll in this program if you are currently participating in a payment arrangement program. You will receive a confirmation letter within 2 to 3 weeks, which will provide confirmation of your enrollment, or the reason your account is ineligible to enroll. Should your account be enrolled, all on-time payments received on or after the date you called to enroll for a 4 month period will be eligible for the program. Payments received outside this offer period will not count toward the program.

Account Status

If at any point before your statement credit posted to your account, a purchase or charge is made to your account, including recurring payments, you enroll in a payment arrangement program, you consolidate the enrolled account into any Citi product, or you voluntarily withdraw from the program, your account will be removed from this program. Removal from the program for any reason will forfeit any accumulated statement credit earned. In addition the account will not be eligible for re-enrollment.

Calculation Method

Statement credit earned through this program will be calculated by multiplying the 20% matching percentage by a calculated matching base. The matching base will be the sum of the payments made during the offer period in excess of the required minimum payments. Payment dollars that result in a credit balance will not count towards the matching base.

The maximum statement credit earned through this program is $550. The total credit earned will be posted to the account via a one-time statement credit within 3 billing cycles after successful completion of the program. There is a limit of one statement credit per account.

Credit Limit

By accepting this offer, you authorize Citi Cards to reduce your credit limit, which will take effect within 3 billing cycles after the offer period ends. Your credit limit will be reduced by the following: An amount equal to the sum of the payments made in excess of the minimum due and the total statement credit earned through this program, minus any new debits and returned payments. Your cash limit will be reduced to no more than 30% of your new credit limit.

Please note that removal from this program for any reason or voluntary withdrawal from this program will still result in a credit limit reduction as stated above. You will not be eligible for re-enrollment and any accumulated statement credit you’ve earned will be forfeited.

Is there any reason NOT to do this? I have the cash but I was paying down higher interest cards first but this seems unbeatable. Citi Bank must really be hurting for money to be willing to take a 20% lose.

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Calculation Method

Statement credit earned through this program will be calculated by multiplying the 20% matching percentage by a calculated matching base. The matching base will be the sum of the payments made during the offer period in excess of the required minimum payments. Payment dollars that result in a credit balance will not count towards the matching base.

Hmmm....my gibberish to english translator says unless you pay it off in full and NOT have a credit balance, it doesn't count. ?????

I would bet if there is any "savings" to be had here, its a dicount on the amount of interest and fees they've already charge you.

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well, i am sure there is a FEE for this service, so the 20 percent that you MAY save will incur in a different charge lol, nothing is free! lol.... But if it were like that I would be getting my 550 cap real quick, i pay 200 on a 37 mini lol

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Hmmm....my gibberish to english translator says unless you pay it off in full and NOT have a credit balance, it doesn't count. ?????

I would bet if there is any "savings" to be had here, its a dicount on the amount of interest and fees they've already charge you.

I read this as meaning that if you pay MORE than your balance you won't get the additional 20% on the over payment. Meaning if you pay $1500 but only have a $1000 balance you'll only get 20% of the $1000.

EDIT: I see what you mean. If you over pay EVERYTHING within that payment won't count.

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Ok, so I called and gave the guy a good grilling. It doesn't make sense but there were no fees involved so I said the hell with it, I'll try it. It's not a perfect plan. Here's some notes.

1. No fees

2. Your credit card account is suspended while you're enrolled. Fine by me. I only ever used this card for a balance transfer anyway. I live off cash now anyway.

3. AFTER you're approved you have 3 months to make payments. 20% of your payments ABOVE the minimum payment will be credited back to my account after the offer period has finished.

Now, here's where it gets a little weird.

4. Your credit limit will be reduced by the amount of your 20% credit plus whatever you paid above the minimum. So, for example, your credit limit is $5000, you're approved and pay $1500 a month OVER your minimum. After the program is complete you get a statement credit of $300. Now here's where it gets weird. They'll take the amount you paid over the minimum, add the credit you received ($1500+$300=$1800) and reduce your credit line by that amount. So your credit limit $5000 - $1800 leaves you with a credit limit of $3200.

Now here's where I think they get people and the guy I spoke with said this was NOT the case (but what do they know) so this is just speculations. I think they're anticipating most people paying off their balance in full. Now this will effectively bring my credit limit down to zero. The statement credit I'll get will bring my balance below zero so I'll have a credit. I SUSPECT that they won't give that back to me. They'll say that any credits which bring your balance BELOW zero will be forfeited. There's nothing in the small print indicating so I'm just playing devils advocate here.

I suspect that I was given this offer because they marked me as high risk. They want my money before I lose my job (which I don't see happening) or they'll pull some Bull**** move wherein they'll say I was denied under this plan but they'll sneakily send me a letter approving me for a different plan.

I'll keep everyone updated. I get my approval/rejection letter within 2 to 3 weeks.

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The impression I got was that they wish they hadn't extended you so much credit. If you had a lower balance they would probably lower your limit like many creditors are doing right now. They would rather have 80% of their money back than a chance of losing it all.

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  • 5 months later...

Yah!!! I got my 20% credit today. $336 dollars just for paying off my balance. They never reduced my credit limit though which wasn't an issue as I just used my other Citicard which only has an 8% APR. Man, no wonder Citibank went under. Their right hand doesn't know what their left hand is doing.

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