Following a resounding backlash from AFF members, Citibank has reversed its snap decision to slash the rate at which Citi Rewards points can be transferred to airline frequent flyer programs.
Last week, Citibank provided no notice before increasing the number of the Citi Rewards points required for a transfer to Velocity Frequent Flyer and Singapore’s KrisFlyer program by up to 25%. The changes, which were initially made on 1 November, devalued the existing point balances of all Citibank customers retrospectively. Unsurprisingly, Citibank customers were highly vocal in expressing their outrage.
Wow, Citibank, you have done it again! Whilst I don’t have immediate need for Krisflyer or Velocity points, I am livid that they just changed without any notification. I can see a lot of complaints from AFF right now.
Some members effectively stood to lose hundreds of thousands – even millions – of points overnight, with no warning.
Following the discovery, our members flooded Citibank, as well as the ACCC and industry ombudsman with complaints. But it didn’t stop there! One member had even rounded up a team of lawyers and prepared a case for legal action against the bank. Core to the case were Citibank’s own terms and conditions, which require the bank to give 90 days’ notice of changes to “the rate at which all Points in the program are generally earned or converted”.
The way I read clause 6.2 of the Terms and Conditions for the Signature card they must provide 90 days written notice for any change in the way that points are converted.
Citibank initially tried to argue that transfer rates did not count as “conversion rates”. But in an extraordinary change of heart, Citibank reversed its decision just four days later.
Looks like some reasonable news out from them. Good to see AFF power at it’s best, I also saw the post about legal action, great work.
Citi Rewards points can now be transferred at existing rates to Velocity and KrisFlyer. Many members say they will be transferring all of their points immediately and cancelling their cards, as they no longer trust the bank not to devalue their points in the future.
Now, warehousing points with Citibank is like accruing miles with Delta – you can never be too sure when and how quickly they will be devalued.
For the record, Citibank have since updated their Rewards program terms & conditions. It would seem the bank is no longer required to warn members when their points are about to be devalued. Meanwhile, some members believe that another change is just around the corner. But others assert that this is unlikely as it would cause another PR disaster.
Follow the extraordinary turn of events HERE.
(P.S. If you’re considering leaving Citibank and wondering where to look next, have a browse of THIS THREAD.)