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What's In Your Wallet?

Reviewing: Citibank Master Card Gold  |  Rating:
lexxia By lexxia on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 20 | Finances Expertise:

After being debt free for years, when we decided to return to a monthly car payment and had purchased the car and truck, that seemed to signal to the world that we were ripe and ready to be the target for every credit card company on earth to send us their information and ring our phone "inviting" us to take advantage of their pre-approved this, that or the other thing. At the time we were doing a lot of out of town travel and it was easier to call ahead for room reservations and things than to chance waiting until we were at our destination, so I accepted a few offers.

Recently I allowed a balance to run on the card thanks to some household purchasing we decided to do. As we normally pay off our balance, I forgot that we were going to let the balance run for a few months and I paid three separate payments during March and again a few more in April trimming the balance down nicely and making way for clearing it off this month (May).

The result? Citibank sent me our May statement and when I opened it up the minimum amount due for May indicated $0.00!! I knew I hadn't paid the balance off completely so was a little confused as to why Citibank wouldn't want a payment. We don't use this card very often and when we do we like to clear it off quickly so I wasn't expecting to be rewarded for paying a nice chunk towards the balance - isn't that what you're suppose to do? But, here we have a statement that doesn't want any money for May. That's an incredibly wonderful surprise however, it's also one I'm going to ignore - as much as we appreciate this little incentive.

Overall, Citibank, which we had before as well, has always been an excellent Credit card company in our opinion. A great rate, this card also came with no annual fee for the first year and it is $65 every year after if we choose to keep it. They have several types of cards and being able to choose the one that worked for us was easy and no hassle. I receive my monthly statement by email and by regular mail - a bit of overkill to be honest but I'd rather that than chance not receiving an email one month.

A few months ago our son asked to use a credit card to pay for his month's subscription to an online game. Shortly after he came to me and announced that several of his friends accounts had been compromised and he wanted to ensure that our credit card wouldn't be next. Rather than simply watching the account for any unusual activity, I contacted Citibank and explained the situation, emphasizing that as yet nothing unusual appeared to have taken place with our credit card number. The representative assured me that the best preventative measure was to simply cancel the card and reissue a new one. He placed an alert on the account that would signal the company to deny any further attempts to process payments and assured me that any charges that did happen to appear that may have been initiated before my phone call would be immediately removed from the account - no questions asked. He went through the charges that appeared up to the phone call to ensure all had been initiated by us thus far and our new card was in the mail within the week.

Another nice thing about this card is the protection plan. If we purchase any items with our credit card it automatically protects the item purchased in the event it becomes defective at any time or is stolen or lost - as long as it's been purchased using the Citibank Mastercard, it's basically like buying those extra extended warranty plans - Citibank automatically provides the protection. Additional features include travelers insurance and protection for things such as lost luggage with an offer to receive up to $150 in sundry purchases to tide us over til our luggage is found, lost/stolen traveler check insurance and "stranded" traveling protection in the event we are laid over somewhere due to bad weather - Citibank will come to our rescue, and more - as long as the card is used for the purchases initially, we are protected. We also have Accident insurance if something happens while traveling. Another great feature which isn't really part of the card is that it is accepted at Tim Horton's coffee stops ;) I've never even entertained the idea of putting a $1.65 on my credit card but it's nice to know I could if I was really, really desperate.

I'd recommend Citibank Mastercard to anyone who likes to have the flexibility of a credit card that rewards them for paying more than the minimum balance due. This card doesn't come with any Reward programs otherwise, but for us that's fine. Once we do away with some debt over the next few months in preparation for edging closer to debt free again I think Citibank may be one of the cards we choose to keep as an "emergency" buffer. Absolutely no complaints from us.