Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Costco Citi Visa Credit Cards: Part 2 (Problems and Workarounds Explained)

After several email exchanges and telephone conferences, we finally got a call back from a knowledgeable supervisor with whom we were able to discuss all the issues with the new Costco credit cards. If you have a problem, you might check here first to save yourself a lot of time. Here's the deal:

1. Because of all the problems so many Costco customers are experiencing with the new Citi cards, the wait-times to talk to a rep often exceed 30 minutes.

2. Contrary to having been told earlier that the feature was not working, Citi has no feature in its phone system to give you an estimate of the wait time. Citi has promised to consider our strong suggestion to add such a feature to its phone system.

3. You cannot process a payment on any Windows computer except through IE. Citi is aware of the problem, and has been for a while, and is working feverishly to fix it, but there is no target date. Citi has promised to consider our strong suggestion to put a notice on the payment page alerting users to the problem. In the meantime, here is the direct number to do an automated payment by phone: 1-888-521-5096. We did not suggest putting this number on the website so that it would faster for you to get through, although because it's an automated system, you should get through immediately.

4. The website will just go off-line at random. Citi is aware of the problem, and has been for a while, and is working feverishly to fix it, but there is no target date. Citi has promised to consider our strong suggestion to put a notice on the home page alerting users to the problem.

5. Unlike the way it worked with Amex, where you had multiple cards but just one credit card number, Costo forced Citi to issue a different card with its own number to each family member. As a result, you might get confused by some things. Here is what you need to know: (i) You will designate one of the numbers as the Default Primary; (ii) that number will appear on your website; (iii) you can set alerts on that number but not any of the others; (iv) even though you can't see the other numbers on your website, anything that happens on the other numbers will automatically appear under the Default Primary number; and (v) while you cannot even link a non-Default Primary number to the website, if you wish, you can set up a separate online access account for the non-Default Primary numbers. If this all sounds too stupid for words, both Citi and I agree with you completely. Citi (CitiBank or CB) has promised to consider our strong suggestion to stand up to Costco, even if it means doing a CBexit and take its credit cards system back again and make Citi great again!

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