By: Revanche

Farewell Citi …. Hello Wamu …

October 14, 2006

Citibank has annoyed me for the last time. Remember that locking myself out of the ATM card and therefore also the website fiasco? Well, I got a new PIN number in the mail, etc. after that and after some halfhearted grumbling, continued to use Citibank’s online banking pretty regularly. I got up at 7 am last Friday to run some errands before leaving for Chicago which included a rushed stop at the branch nearest me to cash a check because the website indicated that they would be open at 8 am. [Our car was to pick me up by 8:30? 9? I desperately needed another nap because it’d been another late night at the office the night before.] Lo and behold, the branch was NOT open until NINE!! Ok, I’m flexible, I can deal so I went to the ATM to just deposit the check and withdraw some cash from another account. The stupid ATM machine led me through entering the PIN, picking the actions I wanted, picking the account I wanted to deposit to and then stops dead saying: We cannot do this at this time. Please call XXXXX.

I finally called using the handy dandy phone they have hooked up to the ATM and found that the PIN that was sent had somehow NOT solved the problem: the ATM card that I had been using for who knows how long was now considered UNactivated!! THIS was not part of any of the explanations I’d been given when dealing with the previous problems.

Frustrated, I gave up and retreated to my usual rent-money-only bank, WAMU, where I deposited and withdrew to my heart’s content.

As if that wasn’t enough, I signed onto Citibank’s site a few days later to transfer a payment to my credit card and got error messages for hours … when I finally called, the CSR had the gall to tell me that not one of my five credit cards were linked to any of my checking or savings accounts!! It took over 20 minutes to get the guy to just LOOK at the right account and figure out that he was completely wrong.

So, Citibank, I’m exasperated and fed up. No Thank YOU. The paltry 400 Thank You points I get each month are not worth this hassle and bother every time I try to do normal banking… I’m going to open a Free Checking with Free Checks for Life account with WAMU and I’m pretty sure I heard that they had quietly begun a high interest savings account program as well. If that’s true, I’m leaving Citibank and hanging out with my WAMU folks again.

Hm, perhaps I spoke too soon: I can only open one high-interest savings account per Free Checking account online. If I go to the branch, I might be able to open more than one high-interest account … *sigh* It seems that I’m asking too much wanting both good service and convenience in a single package.

I could open the three or four new Free Checking accounts to get all my high interest accounts but I really don’t need them and don’t want to have that much more stuff. Alright then … I’ll call the branch on Monday morning .. or evening .. and see what they can do for me.

Alternatively, I could move all the money in my E-fund to Emigrant Direct and go down to just a few savings accounts but … I’d rather have everything at my fingertips if possible. The extra .05% isn’t worth the loss of a few days at deposit and withdrawal.

Fine, at the very least I’m going to start applying for a new set of regular-use credit cards to use instead of my Citi cards. So there!

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