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Citi to Raise Credit Card Interest Rates

In an article titled "Despite Pledge, Citigroup to Raise Credit Card Rates, Blaming ‘Difficult’ Environment", Eric Dash writes for the New York Times that Citi is "reneging on a promise it made to tens of millions of credit card customers in good times" by raising interest rates - by 2 to 3 percent - on credit cards for its customers that haven't had an increase in the last two years. The increased interest rate will be communicated to cardholders in their November statements. The affected cardholders can then choose to decline the increase and continue to pay interest at the original rate but only until their cards expire.

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Citi bank just raised my intrest rate form 7.99% to a MINIMUM of 24.99%. I have never been late on a payment in my entire life and this is a raise that I simply can not pay. All of this after recieveing over 40 Billion dollars of taxpayer money. I am no economists, but this looks like Citibank is doubledipping and takeing advantage of cardholders in a vulnerable market. I wonder if everyone filing bankrupcy is what they want, it seems as though they do not value costomers that are honest and pay their bills on time. Shame on them!!

I just received a notice that Citibank is raising my APR from 15.59% to 19.99%.

I actually closed my account 2 weeks ago after they were in the news for mass lay offs and asking for help. I still received a APR increase letter on Saturday saying they were increasing me from 8.99 to 24.99%. That is alot more than 2 to 3% that they are saying is the average, and based off of other blogs, it looks like they are doing this to everyone regardless of credit score or history. I am just glad I had already canceled the card so I don't even have to deal with calling them now to do so. I don't see how alienating your consumer base is going to make them money. After this, I can guarantee you that I will never do business with CITI again.

I have two cards with Citibank. Despite my perfect payment record and excellent credit score, they raised one card from 6.96% to 14.99% (a 115% increase) and the other from 9.99% to 16.99% (a 70% increase).

I just got off the phone with CITI, having opted-out of the new terms.

I'm not sure how anyone would consider it to be a smart business move to totally alienate your best customers by *doubling* their rates -- mine was 7.9% fixed and they increased it to a 14.9% MINIMUM variable rate, yet I've never been late with a payment, I use the card heavily and never allow the total balance to exceed 15% of my credit limit.

I did a quick check on my credit score to see if anything happened to trigger such a dramatic increase, but nothing has changed... I'm still an excellent risk. :P

Who's making these crackpot decisions?

Well, they just changed my fixed APR of 7.90% to a variable 14.90% rate. I chose to opt out after 7 years of making payments on time. I hope they keep enough customers to survive???

Mine just went from 9.99% to 24.99%, I called my congresswoman to complain...

I just received my rate increase letter in the mail yesterday. I have had a CITI card for most of my adult life... more than 15 years, and my credit score is somewhere above the 780 mark. I charge big items on my card and I make big payments to keep the balance low yet my increase went from 8.99% to 19.99% overnight. I closed the account, paid the balance, and shredded the card with a note to self "never do business of any sort with Citi". So we bail them out by taking a huge taxpayer loan and this is how they repay us?

Ditto here, 7.99% to 14.99%, never late, 790 credit score plus I buy their credit protection for $12/month. These are the same people who send me 6 pieces of junk mail offering to lend me more money every month even though I asked them to stop and have automatically raised my credit limit to some silly level (of which I use about 15% max.) . I called to opt-out and they can't even tell you when your account will be closed - it is either the expiration date or your "agreement renewal date" which they can't tell you when that it is.

This is among the most moronic moves I have ever seen. Citibank has just gone off of my list of companies to do business with for a long time......

Same deal here, my rate went from 7.99% to 14.99% minimum without any negative credit action on my part.

I just opted out as well. My current rate is 4.99% as is being raised to 24.99% and I have been a loyal customer for many years, always paying on time. This is appauling and I will never do business with Citi again.

I received the same letter on Saturday! Citi, despite never late and having a great credit score, will change my current fixed APR to variable and increase it from 9.9% to 19.99%!

I called and spoke to a manager and he stated that Citi no longer offers fixed interest rates on any of their cards and furthermore there aren't any exceptions for getting a lower rate. I told him that any reasonably intelligent person would decline such a ridiculous offer and then I proceeded to do so.

I called my other credit card, US Bank, and they said my current fixed APR is valid and will be for at least another 2 years and as of now they are not doing away with the fixed rate.

Funny how after they use our tax dollars to bail banks like Citi out they try to pull such a scam!

Citibank just raised my rate to 24.99 also from 9.99. I have never been late and always paid more than the minimum. I have until 5/09 to pay it up because I am opting out. They will then close my account. If it's not fully paid, I can still pay it at my current rate. I also have a checking account and savings account with them, but I am closing them also.

Mine went from 9.99% to 13.99%. Like all of you, great credit, high fico, etc. Unfortunately for me, I can't afford to close this account. It's one of my longest and has a high limit and I don't want to punish my fico at this time. I'll just continue to use it as I do now, sparingly with balances paid off monthly.

Same here...I'm quite appalled at how they treat their "good customers". I won't succumb to their 6 point increase. No way, no how. They just lost me. I have another cc with them which the rate has not changed so I'll keep that until I hear otherwise. Once that happens, I will close my checking and savings account. They can kiss my #$%!!

I just received the notice in the mail today. I promptly called and opted out. I then proceeded to shred the card (has less than $500 balance on it). I have been a faithful card holder with Citibank since 1991. Never again....

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I was so mad. 7.5% tp 24.99% for no reason. Does it have anything to do with the 300 billion they got in gurantee money? Call your congress person.

Same here... 10 year member, 790 credit score, never late in paying, always pay way more than minimum payment, low balance to available credit ratio... After confirming the news with an account manager I sent an email to the customer support center telling them to take a hike. I also asked them to kindly provide a copy to William R. Rhodes, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Citibank.

Same here. Been a member since 1989. Raised it from 14.9% to 19.9% (I hadn't noticed that it used to be 14.9%). Checked my FICO score and it's still quite high. This was my first credit card, but it looks like I'll be opting out.

I always pay my balances off every month, but this still irritates me to no end. I've been a Citibank card holder since 1987 and I've never been late. I should use up all my Reward Points now and close the account.

I just wanted to echo everyone's words here. I have a fantastic credit record, never been late or missed a payment and my APR is going from 7.99% to 14.99%. I've canceled my card and will never do business with Citi again. As many of you have said, I dont understand why they are alienating their best and most loyal customers. The best way to protest is to cancel and give someone else your business.

Citibank, is going to raise my interest rate on their card from 7.99 to something like 14 or 16 percent. I will soon get the notice. As soon as I found out via the WSJ that they were intending on doing this, I made provisions to pay off my balance immediately with "real money", not a credit transfer. I have a great credit score, which will only get better after my balance is paid off. I am not exactly sure how Citi finds this an attractive business proposition for them. I don't really think that they have a great credit risk analysis department and are basically trying to fleece their long term customers with low credit risk in order to try to recoup their own mistakes elsewhere, such as in their structured investment vehicle portfolio. I am going to keep my line of credit open, as long as they offer it, but use of this card will be minimal, there are other more reliable companies offering credit that don't play these games with their very long term customers with perfect long term payment histories, and who have the where-with-all to pay off their accounts.

Received my "no good deed goes unpunished" letter from Citi as well. I've wanted to get away from this company for some time because there was ONE late payment years ago and my rate went through the roof. So the card has since been used for emergencies only. It's really sad to see honest, hard working people take the fall for all of the greedy, "let's take the shortcut" people out there. To those that opted out, is it really as simple as making the phone call? Of course a letter will follow. For some reason I seem to have a trust issue with these guys...

Ditto. Same thing, here. High FICO, pay online, never late. Interest rate has gone from 9.99% to 14.99%. Everyone please write your congressmen with copies to Henry Paulson and the head of Citibank. I have been a responsible cardholder since 1990, we bail out Citi, they dump on us. Curious to know if the CEOs are getting their holiday bonuses with the bail out money? The Banks are the ruling class now, and we are all Serfs. This is so unfair. We need to BOSTON TEA PARTY.

opting out my account without a fight... why bother... they expect us to subsidize the world with our higher rates and their business after the bailout... i can't figure out why individuals and corporate america have made so many stupid decisions in recent years, yet we are expected to pay for it! i was always taught not to bite the hand that feeds me. maybe when we move to an all cash society, citi will learn... i am also closing my citi smith barney 401k account. f them! not a fan on any politician, but only expect things to get worse under the new administration. when your supposed tax refund gets smaller versus bigger, you will not call me an obama hater. i am a hater of nobody and think obama brings many things to the plate versus an aged man. he has already promised to raise the capital gains tax and disallow your mortgage interest from your tax return. i guess my federal refund will go from $3,000.00/yr to owing a couple grand. also, local gov't (loudoun county) stop over-inflating my house value leaving me no option to contest. well, i can but it will cost me 3x more to fight than my potential return, excluding lost time and energy. full of complaining today.... things will surely get better, but when..... mainly i feel sorry for people that aren't in my position and can't reasonably transfer their amount owed or pay it off within a year or so... raise rates so more people file for bankruptcy... smart decision citi... we have a mule in the farm a mile from my house... let's get him on the citi board, so that good decisions can finally be made... pandit you are an idiot... go manage a chucky cheese store, which is where you belong. better yet, why don't you go an pull a vince foster... tom

This is truly baffling behavior on Citi's part. The customers they most need to retain are the ones they are alienating and driving away. I have three Citi cards, about 40k in credit, of which I am only utilizing 6k (balance transfer at 0.9%). My interest rates went from 6.49% to 14.99%, and 9.99% to 16.99% with one card remaining unchanged at 4.99% - due to a promotional period. I have a 760 FICO, have never been late on anything and have had one of these cards for well over ten years. I am deeply offended by Citi's actions and immediately opted-out of the increases. Now Chase gets my business, which is Citi's loss. With the federal funds rate at historic lows, and with Citi having just received a massive bailout, these rate increases are abhorrent and insulting. Penalizing qualified customers in an attempt to recoup the losses incurred by lending to unqualified customers is a truly idiotic business plan. I sincerely hope that Citi is forced to repay every dime received via the bailout WITH INTEREST, and is not bailed-out again after they lose all their qualified customers!

I rec'd a letter from Citibank raising my 6.74% fixed rate to a MINIMUM of 24.99% regardless of the fact that I have the same card for almost 3 years and have never been late on payments.

I chose to "opt out" and in approximately one-year Citibank will close my credit card account because I am choosing to opt-out.

The alleged "bail out" is a prime example of a failed "trickle down economy" theory.

It does not matter that you are a responsible citizen anymore, this economy failing is affecting EVERYONE and will continue to spiral down in a domino effect.

If you have not been affected yet, it will soon affect you and those around you.

I know several people that received the letter advising them of the new rates, which are absolutly ridiculous. Citibank created the mess themselves & are getting several billion in nearly interest free loans! Everybody I know opted out, so their accts will close & they will continue to pay the acct under the current terms of agreement.

I just received my thank-you note from Citi which increased my APR to 18.99. Somebody remind me...didn't we just back their gambling debts with 300 Billion which could ballon to 3 Trillion

Same: 9.99% to 14.99%.
Never late. Never go over my limit. I've had the card for years.

This is exactly what Chase did to me a few years back. Except, obviously a different economic situation.

How does alienating your customer base make any business sense???

Same notice for me.....6.74% to 14.99%, my credit score is 760, never late, but alas, I have been paying off a large balance that was 50% of my credit that it is under 25% and I haven't added any charges, they want me to opt out and go away....they don't want you if you don't spend. I only carry one card...I have opted out of the increase, have until 2010 to pay what I owe at current interest, will let my congressmen know, and will never do biz with Citi again.

I too got a letter this week, raising my interest rate from fixed 11.9% to 18.99, I called and told them that this was outrageous, and opted out. So now my card is valid until it's expy date and then will be a closed account. I pay automatically out of my bank account every month, am never late, and have an excellent credit rating. This interest rate increase is a crock of %$#% and I will never do business with Citi again. O, and I have had the card for 10 years. Time to go to my local bank that I have a mortgage with and support local businesses instead of thieves who take 300 billion of taxpayer money and then turn around and give it to those same taxpayers prison style!

Yep, I got my letter too. I have two accounts with Citibank. The first is my very first credit card, that I got in college in 1992. I have NEVER had a late payment and they have raised my limit over the years, up to $25,000 now. I only have a $3000 balance on that one but it was at a 1.9% balance transfer promotion I got a few years ago and they sent me a letter saying that the balance transfer offer is over now (it was supposed to be for the life of the balance) and they are raising my interest rate to 24.99%. So I will now be paying $63 a month in interest instead of the $4.75 a month I have been paying for three years. My other account was at 6.99% with an $8,000 balance and they are raising it to 24.99% as well, so I will have to pay $200 a month in interest. I am getting a home equity line of credit and closing all Citibank cards and will NEVER do business with them again. This should be criminal. Especially in these hard economic times. I have they go bankrupt, as they are going to make all their customers go bankrupt. People are also going to stop spending any money or charging stuff and more retailers are going to go out of business, people lose jobs... we are headed for another Great Depression.

I think on some of the specialty rewards cards, they are raising the interest rate to 24%. On some of they are not raising it so high. That 24% thing just happened to me.

I've had the card for ten years. I do carry a balance, but I've NEVER been late, I've never been over limit and we have a good credit score. I was just ready to run another credit report because I thought maybe someone had opened up cards in my name and something showed on my credit report that prompted them to do this, but I just ran one not too long ago and everything was fine. Then I saw this post. I'm relieved that this didn't just happen to me, but at the same time, I've very ticked off. I'm glad I found this post. I think I am going to opt out as my card has another year on it. That way I can pay the old interest rate until I find a better card to deal with.

Well, count me in. I had two of their lowest APR credit cards. One was at 5.99% and the other was at 8.49%. Despite being an excellent customer from their perspective (several thousand dollar revolving balance and always paying on time), both went to 15.99%. I opted out for both accounts and if I ever get another offer from them, I'll make 40 copies of the rate increase notice and send it at their expense every friggin time.

Got the letter saying that my rate would go from 6.74% to 14.99%. I have an 810 credit score, and never been late. I called up to "opt out"; and when I brough up the fact that I have such a high credit score, the guy told me they were raising the rates on everyone due to operating expenses. I told him that was way too drastic, and they would just loose customers - like me.
I read an artical that Citi is saying that this rate hike is only affecting 20% of their customers. That would mean that 80% of their customers have a FICA score above 810 - not likely. I won't do business with those weasels at Citi again - but at least they sent a letter, and didn't just do it on the down low...

This blog is full of people having knee-jerk reactions to the increased APR. Sure, it's infuriating but just like almost all other knee-jerk reaction is ill conceived. If you don't carry a balance why close the account?? Especially if you have a high credit line it will hurt your credit score. Keep the card, pay off everything each month and the increased APR won't affect you or your credit score. If you're carrying a balance then opting out to keep the older APR may be wise.

I just received a wonderful Christmas gift from Citibank: my fixed interest rate of 6.9% is going up to 14.99%+ and may increase more depending on the prime variable rates. We have excellent credit scores, have never been late on a payment, and have been very loyal Citibank customers. We have been given the option to opt out, or pay the increase in interest. We are going to opt out, pay off the card, and never do business with Citibank again. I am disgusted that my taxpayer money has gone to bailout a bank who treats their customers by rewarding them with doubling or tripling interest rates. The government NEVER should have bailed out these banks. The inevitable has happened, and no amount of government money is going to fix this problem. Customers (the little guy) will always be the ones suffering from these financial institutions bad business decisions.

I am so glad I read this post. I got exactly the same letter last week, raising my rate from 11.99 to 16.99%--like many of you, I've never been late on my payments, never carried a balance over even a month, held the card for years without any defaults, in fact they steadily increased my credit line over the years so I was stunned to get the letter. My credit report shows no negative items. Needless to say these crooks after getting billions in bail-outs think they can squeeze just a little bit more out of the taxpayer. Citibank will NOT be getting my business again. I plan to opt out.

Like you all, I got the notice to raise my rate from 7.99% to 24.99%...the reason...the card isn't making enough $$$ for Citi...I asked if the $300bil ball out wasn't enough, did they think screwing their customers was the smart business choice? The answer was..bla bla bla...bulls--t..!!! I too plan to opt out and forget that CITI Bank exists...I will never do business with them again...nor will I invest in the company via any mutual fund...the Board of Citi is being investigated for involvement in a PONZI scheme where the top dogs made 100's of millions...on yours and my back...When will this nightmare end????

Same thing here... Our adjustable rate went from 14.99% to 24.99% overnight! OMG! Problem is we were recently talked into increasing our credit line in order to take advantage of promotional 4.99% for all purchases and transfers for ~1 year but ofcourse each time we make a payment it only pays off that portion of the account... never paying off the higher interest portion. And now the higher interest portion is going to 24.99! This is crazy at a time when everyone's real income and spending is plummeting, while cost of living (groceries, etc) has gone up! I feel so betrayed because our government just allotted all those billions of dollars to Citigroup, Bank of A etc only to have them turn around and screw us! Was it not stupid to not include stipulation that this money would be used to provide lower interest credit to stimulate the economy. Wow! I see no way in Hell that this economy is going to go anywhere but to tank with bank practices like this! Maybe we should just all file for bankruptcy... is that what they want?

I am not alone. I haven't been having the card nearly as long as some other people here; since 2004. I do have a balance but it is the only card with a balance that I pay every month on time. I figured a 6.99 fixed was safe, guess what? citi made a fool of me. 14.99% is what they want now. By the way, I opted out. I am not a victim of identity theft but a victim of citibank. I also have a secured loan with them. They can't go up on secured loans can they?

My APR just went to 28.990%. Yeah... As a lark I prorated the 6k balance as though it was a loan, and spread it over a 5 year payoff plan to see if I could truly appreciate the insanity. To do that, I'd end up paying around 11.5k on the balance. I know loan sharks in New York City that are more forgiving.

It makes me wonder though: Could some part of this be to fuel the people who carry a balance but COULD pay it off, at some difficulty but paid off none the less, like a lot of us plan on doing now? Though they may have lost a lot of financially established people, from this thread alone I see the potential of millions flooding into their already-fat-bailed-out coffers. After that, yeah, they've lost people like us but hey! August/September is right around the corner! Citi-Credit Card Representatives to a local College near your 18 year old freshmen collegekids today!

My husband and I just received our December statement in which our interest rates jumped from 7.74 to 13.99. We have never been late and have been a loyal customer with CitiCards. I never received a rate increase letter, just my statement. So my husband called CitiCards and was informed this was the rate being charged to them by the federal government. We did not know that we could refuse. Fortunately, I did a little web searching and found this site and learned that we could opt out. I sent them a message via website and told them we were opting out.

This is not the only card charging abusive rates..I just received a letter from yet another card increasing my rate from 5.9% to 19.99% with another lame excuse. Is there nothing that can be done about these apaulling rate changes? Class-action suits or lobbying congress? For one, I am contacting my State and Federal Congress person

Last month I was a bad boy, I thought i had completed the process of making my credit card payment with Citi Bank (labeled under Sears credit card) but I guess I forgot to press the final button to process thru the payment. After 7 years of excellant payments I made a mistake.......... The mistake gave them excuse to do what amounts to loan shark finger breaking actions. My intrest is raised from 12.83% to 27.99% on the balance........... After the TAX PAYING customers just bailed them out for billions of dollars, we should expect and demand more. Should this not be resolved by Citi, the only route after paying them in full will be to take a stand by contacting goverment politicians from the ground level all the way to the President -Elects office along with trying to get the media involed to continue to point out what amounts to credit card companies needeing goverment to put their foot down HARD.

We have a citi card @ 7.99% and they just raised it to 18.99%. The're a bunch of thieves!!!! With this economy companies really show their true colors. I've read that many people will pay their credit cards b4 mortgage. I've never been late on my cards and have good credit. If it comes down to sacrificing my credit for a roof over my head, well I would choose a roof for my family over credit card payments.

This is madness. I am going from 6.37% to 21.99% with high scores. We are being robbed. I intend to fight this.

Ok, here's what happened to me.

After paying this card on time for a decade, mysteriously, the electronic bill did not come in late November. It got by me - at the time, I was quite ill. This is the first time the bill hasn't gotten to me. I am now suspicious that this was intentionally not sent. Did anyone else have their bill go mysteriously missing recently? The timing just seems to strange. Please email me if this happened to you.

Same here... Citi increased my APR from 9.99% to 24.99% and then back to 15.99%. I have only been a CITI customer since 1.5 years. The Customer service professional and the Account manager in general was so rude when I was requesting her to re-consider the decision that I had a sad face at the end of this conversation. I have about $3000.00 in credit limit. I cannot close the card since my credit is new and it will kill my FICO. Will never do Business with Citi again. I just hope I get an offer from them to give me a loan or a credit card some day. I swear I'll be the most foul-languaged person to answer them back.

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