Tim Foolery

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Citi AAdvantage World Elite – Results

Earlier this week I wrote about how the $450 annual fee was coming due on my Citi AAdvantage World Elite credit card and how I really didn’t use the benefits that came with the card.  I really applied for the card because of the 100,000 American AAdvantage miles earned after reaching a certain spend threshold.

My plan was to call Citi Card and see what I could do to either get the fee reduced, get a statement credit to offset the fee or earn additional bonus airline miles for meeting additional spend requirements.  Well, how did that turn out?  Not very good, that’s for sure.

I called and explained that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep the card because I wasn’t really using the benefits associated with the card.  The first rep explained some of the benefit including lounge access (I only used the Admirals Club 3 times in 2014 — mostly because I’m a United guy and in most airports United and American aren’t necessarily near each other), no foreign transaction fees (my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and my AmEx Platinum both have this benefit), then he explained some really esoteric benefits, like Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage – yeah, I’m keeping a $450/year credit card for that.

I then said that I wasn’t sure if those benefits were really that useful to me, especially for the large $450 fee.  I was then transferred to another rep — which is when I thought I’d actually start to make some headway.  I explained that I was toying with the idea of canceling the card because the cost out weighed the benefits.  This second rep, who was very friendly as well, said that she couldn’t do anything about the fee.  I mentioned that last year I was eligible for a $200 statement credit, but was quickly informed that nothing was available this year.  Well, is there anything else that might be available to a Citi customer?  Nope.  Wait…yes, we can transfer some of your credit line to another one of your Citi Cards.  Hmmm.  Well, I was concerned about impact of canceling this card and reducing my overall credit, so this was something.

I couldn’t get anything out of Citi.  I’ve used this strategy with other cards that I wanted to cancel and it has always worked.  I ended up canceling my card.  No annual fee, no more lounge access.  Not ideal, but saves me some money.  This kind of reminds me of dealing with Comcast – cable fee goes up, you call and threaten to move to a competitor and then they reduce your rate and throw in HBO for 12 months…except that ONE time, when they offer you nothing and immediately cancel your service without even attempting to dance with you.  Oh well, 12 months with this card netted me an additional 100,000 AAdvantage miles, 3 visits to the lounge and a $200 statement credit — all for $450.  Pretty good rate of return, if you ask me.

I know a bunch of you grabbed this Citi AAdvantage World Elite card last January and your annual fee is coming do — did you get any additional benefits from Citi, or did they just let you cancel?

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