MoneyMateKate mentioned this a few weeks ago on her site and I kinda selfishly thought to myself, “Wow, sucks to be her…”

But now, after the letter I received yesterday from Citibank, well, sucks to be me too.

Here’s the body of the letter:

Notice of Change in Terms

I know, it’s tough to read but the main line reads:

We are increasing your variable APR for purchases. Your purchase APR will equal the LIBOR Rate plus 13.99%, with a minimum APR of 16.99%. As of September 17, 2008, this purchase APR is 16.99%. This APR equals a daily periodic rate of 0.0465%.

Okay, so the purchase APR is 16.99% and has been since September 17, 2008.

That’s news to me.

In fact, logging in to my Citi account, it clearly states that my purchase APR is 9.960%.

Nice of them to mail it so late that I received it in December, huh?

Wait, they mentioned something about December 3rd too…

Let me read it again…

Okay, so this means that tomorrow my purchase APR is going to jump from 9.960% to a minimum of 16.99%? Wow…

It really sucks to be me.

Honestly though, I’m not too worried about this because I don’t use the card for anything other than gas these days (so it’s easy to pay in full each month), but at the same time, I’m a little offended that they’d jack my rate so high for no apparent reason.

I know it’s their right, but still…

And sure, it may be because they’ve never made much money off of me. I mean, this is one of the accounts I opened to finance the siding project. I put a quick six or seven grand on it, at zero percent, and then put it away until the balance was paid.

Or maybe it’s across the board, you know, in an attempt to keep the company afloat. That’s probably more likely…

But for those that do carry a balance from month to month, this is like a death sentence.

I used to carry 5-figure balances at rates comparable to 16.99% (or, gasp!, 24.99%) and I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s hard getting hit for $200+ in finance charges each month. It’s a tough hole to dig out of…

If your in that situation and you get hit with this letter, I strongly suggest that you respond to the letter opting out and declining the change in terms. Sure, they’ll close your account, but I’m sorry, better credit card offers are still out there and you should look for them.

Citi’s days are numbered, I’m afraid.

No, “afraid” isn’t the right word… Have I mentioned before that I’m not a fan of their online interface? If not, I just did.

(Actually, I mentioned it here back on July 24)

They’re the only credit card company I have an account with that actually makes it difficult to make payments…

Looks like I’ll be swinging back to my Bank of America cards to pay for gas again.

You know, just in case I don’t pay in full one month…

Anyone else get this letter?


  1. Interesting…we both pay off our CC in full every month, but your minimim APR is a full 3 percentage points lower than mine. Hmph, bastard Citibank. They get a bailout and we get a financial wedgie. I think I’ll request my 1% cashback reward check (currently @ $120) asap, in case they come up with an excuse to revoke that!

  2. I got this letter too! Made me furious. Luckily, I just paid off my balance in full this past month (and on to my SBA loan and another bank loan).

    I decided to opt out. Shame on them. THEN I heard about their financial woes and it made sense, but still. And I’d been a loyal and well-paying (and debt-owing) customer for more than 12 years.

    Bye bye to Citibank!

  3. If it makes you feel any better, I received a letter from USAA last week. After 24 months of paying my statements in full, they’ve decided to lower my credit limit by 64%!! Way to keep a loyal customer, right?

    So I’ve decided to make the switch to cash in hopes that I’ll feel a little more pain with that “ouchie” moment and in turn spend a bit less… Should be 100% free of monthly credit card statements by mid January.


  4. I got a notice too, but mine was different. All it had under “The Changes” section was the default APR change; my variable APR was not changed. Of course, I only have one Citi card (a Universal Card from AT&T) and have had it for 10+ years now, plus it is a low limit card ($1400) that I use rarely. Honestly, it would not be a big deal at all to me if they canceled it except for the fact that it is one of my older cards and it might slightly hurt my average account age on my credit report.

    I have several high limit cards from varying issuers – I wonder how they decide who they are going to smack down and who they won’t? Doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me.

  5. They tried to jack mine from 9.24 to 23.99%! girl on the phone said they were doing that to everyone. of course I canceled the card immediately and am now boycotting anything CITI related.


    I guess the want out of the credit card business.

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