I've had a Citibank credit card for 22 years. I've always paid it on time, never over the limit, good customer. Last year, they informed me they were raising my rate to 29.99%, BUT they would credit back ~50% of the interest if I made my payment on time. I had a choice to opt out, close my card, and just pay it off at my current rate of 12%. I chose NOT to opt out at that time because this is my longest-standing credit card BY FAR and the 'length of credit history' aspect of my FICO score would be impacted, so I went with the option to pay the 29.99%, but only because I would get about 1/2 of that interest credited back each month, as long as I made my payments on time.
Fast forward 8 months, and I just got a letter from Citibank saying they had to discontinue the 'interest back' program due to federal regulations, and I have to pay the full 29.99% interest. This makes my payment of $250 on a $12,900 balance shoot up to about $550/month going forward. I told them I wanted to opt out now, since the option I chose earlier is not an option now. They said sorry, but you can't opt out now because you already chose to go with the 29.99%. BUT THAT WAS WHEN I WAS TOLD I WOULD GET 50% CREDITED BACK, which is no longer an option. The Citibank person told me "sorry, it's not us, it's the federal regulations, we can't do anything about it". I CAN'T BELIEVE IT.
So, what I did was just pay off my $12,900 balance immediately after I got off the phone with Citibank yestereday, as I will not be handing them $550/month, of which almost $350 will be in interest, causing me to NEVER be able to pay it back; that is insane and SO unfair. I can't believe they are allowed to do this, and go back on their agreement, and then tell me I have no choice, even though the option I once had is no longer an option (and that's out of their control).
The sad part is I know a lot of people don't have the money to pay off debts like that, so they are forced to make those extreme interest payments. Or, they have a choice to work with their "assistance" department to try to reduce the balance owed. The sad part is that Citibank wins because either they get the extraordinary amount of interest from ME, or if I get "assistance" and they help reduce my balance owed, they get paid from the government for their "losses". They win, consumers lose, not only financially, but a lot of emotional upset in the process.
So, anyway, glad I could pay it off, but can't imagine how people who can't pay must be suffering through these issues. I'm done with Citibank completely, will never use my card again. I am still leaving my credit card account open though, so as not to adversely affect my credit score, although I'm tempted to just close it and not worry about that. They lost a great customer due to their greed, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Everybody needs to stop using them!!