Reader story – “How I got shut down by Citi”

Introduction

There has been lots of posts lately on FT and other forums about Citi shutdowns of late.  It’s not like a ‘wave’ like the OBC Blue Wednesday wave, but the number of reported shutdowns have increased in the past week or two.  We haven’t figured out what is the root cause – churning too much or MS’ing too much or possibly even due to too many debit card payments.  Anyway, while we guess at what is happening at the moment, I figured I’ll write a story about how a reader of mine got shut down in October 2015 by Citi:

 

The Citi shutdown story by my reader this past October (unedited)

Bad news for me today: my first ever major shutdown by Credit Card Issuer.


History: I had a Citi DC shutdown 5 weeks ago, I had called and paid $500 off with GC as I had done many many times, except this time my balance was actually $0 and they never informed me of that. When I checked online a few hours to make sure everything was good, I realized that card was closed and $500 payment was back on my gift card. I had a lot of questionable activity on this account so I assume when physical eyes saw my account, they had to shut it down.


Fast forward to today: All my accounts AND my wife accounts are closed on Citi with no explanation. 4 cards each. Luckily I only lost about 2,000 TYP and $40 in cash back stuff between everything, but still sucks. When I called Citi, I got the write to the “Office of the President” response…


Thoughts on the reason for closures: I don’t know what exactly caused the shutdown, but my guess is once something happened where someone looked at account, it was an easy decision.


Questionable Behavior the last 2 years:
1. Applied for 5 Exec Plat Cards in 6 month time frame per person last year
2. Opened Citi Gold Checking and Savings – Put $40K-$50K Credit Card load on each account and cancelled accounts within 3 months.
3. Total of 32 credit inquiries on my EX report the last 2 years (19 last 12 months)
4. Heaving MS on Citi DC cards – (NW Buxx, GCM, GC.com, Simon, etc)
5. Hundreds of $500 payments made on on Citi DC cards using GCs.
6. Over a hundred $1,998.12 Check Free Bill Pays made to the accounts
7. Citi Business & Citi Personal Credit Card application submitted every 6 months on average for past 8 years (churned AA Plat Pers & Bus 3 times last 4 years, in addition to the Exec Plats I did last year)


Basically, it’s been a fun ride with Citi for 8 years. Time to say good bye. Hopefully I can receive good standing again in 1-2 years..

Lessons Learned

Haha I don’t know what the lessons learned here are.  It’s like asking what charges should be brought against “El Chapo.”  As you can see, this reader was a HH (Heavy Hitter.)  He is also the one who keeps reminding me, “If you aren’t shut down, you’re not hitting it hard enough.”  =)

With the recent shutdowns though, I’m actually very afraid of my TYP.  I may just transfer them out to Singapore and hope I use them up in the next 3 years.