Twist & Turn with Citi Driver’s Edge Card

Before I applied for a Citi Driver’s Edge card back in December, I thought I could take advantage of the no-fee 0% balance transfer offer for 12 months and use the money to payoff our car loan which has an interest rate of 4.90%. Since I have been a Citi customer for almost ten years and have two cards with them with total credit limit more than $30,000, I was quite confident I could get a decent credit line to pay the $17,000 car loan. However, I was disappointed to see a mere $2,500 when the card arrived at the end of 2007. What am I going to do with $2,500?

On the same day when I received the card, I called Citi asking to move credit line from another card to the Driver’s Edge. The phone was cut off before the conversation completed, so the transfer never happened, but it was clear that such move is possible. Then I called over the weekend and experienced some interesting twist and turn during the process.

I first talked to a CSR who insisted, after talking to her supervisor, that I can’t move credit lines from other cards because of the 0% balance offer. That was the first time I heard such an excuse and thought it was ridiculous. I almost did it last time and have done it before with Chase. So I asked to speak with the manager directly. The manager basically told me the same thing and said I can request a credit increase, but they will have to review my credit files. That means another credit check and that’s not going to happen. So I told the manage just transfer me to somebody who can help me close the account. Then something interesting happened.

As I was talking to another account specialist to close the account because the limit is too low and I can’t move the credit line from another account to this card, he surprised me when he said “We can certainly do that.” Within the next few minutes, I moved $15,000 to the Driver’s Edge card and requested a check of $17,000 send to me. Next week, I will have the check in the mail and will deposit it in my bank account to payoff the remaining $16,952.07 car loan :)

When dealing with credit card companies, I often find talking with different people will get different results. I am glad I didn’t give up easily!

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6 Responses to “Twist & Turn with Citi Driver’s Edge Card”

  1. Nelson |  Feb 21, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    This is very true. Recently, I wanted to avoid paying the annual fee I was paying for my Visa. The card is affiliated to an an airlines program which offered a $50 companion fare (which worked well for me before). I don’t have fly as much as I used to so I tried to see if I could have the fee waived (it was worth a shot). After calling twice and talking to different CSRs, the last one told me that I could talk to a manager but it wouldn’t do me any good since the fee is charged by the airline and not them. Fair enough so I asked what I could do about it since I didn’t want to cancel the card because it was my highest credit limit card and didn’t want to take a hit on my credit score. I asked if I could open a different credit card with no annual fee and have the credit limit transferred and then I would cancel the old card. The CSR told me that she didn’t know of any credit card that did not charge an annual fee (yes, I made sure if we were talking about a regular card with no airline points/miles). Frustrated, I told her to just connect me to the NEW credit card applications division and I’ll try my luck with them. When connected, I explained my situation and the new CSR told me “Why don’t I just remove the airline upgrade part of your credit card, it would be the easiest thing to do”. Woohoo – Thank goodness someone knows what’s going on around there.

  2. Jesse |  Feb 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    You know that got me thinking…now I am wondering about the 0% discover I just got approved for…they didnt say the credit limit yet. If its not what I need, what a waste.

  3. Cully P |  Feb 21, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Clearly it helps to speak to the right person when you’re dealing with credit card issuers. Much of it has to do with your credit history, especially with the particluar issuer you’re dealing with. I have good credit, so I can basically ask for what I want if it’s an anomaly, but as long as you don’t abuse your position with them and pay your bills on time and are a ‘good’ customer, you should have no problems getting what you want. It’s a money business, and they don’t want to lose you.

  4. Sun |  Feb 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Cully: Actually, I wasn’t happy at all when I got only $2,500 credit limit. I told the manager that I have a loyal customer for almost 10 years and never missed a single payment, and I deserve better than $2,500 limit. However, they refused to increase my limit and told me that has to be done after another review of my credit, even though I am a good customer :)

  5. Tim |  Feb 22, 2008 at 4:20 am

    considering you had $30k limit on your other cards, that isn’t out of the ordinary to only get a lower limit on a new card regardless of your history with citi. It’s a good point to make that people shouldn’t assume that since you have good history with a creditor that you will automatically get a high limit on a new credit card. You still have to consider your outstanding debts, your credit score/history, and your existing open lines of credit. I would have thought, though, that you could have gotten a 0% BT offer on one of the other cards though rather than applying for a new card. Citi has sent me several 0% BT offers for my existing cards. Citi is very convenient, perhaps too convenient, since you can see the offers by signing online to your account and going to balance transfer.

    I would confirm that your BT check is no fee, because citi has changed their BT to 3% fee with no limits (just take a look at the link you provided to the citi driver’s). If there is a fee then, I think your $17k check will be reduced, because $17k * 3% = $17510, which is over your new $17500 limit.

    I’m not so sure I would have taken the offer considering that if you are late on a payment to Citi, it will default to over 20% whereas the car loan won’t. Also, considering that you will have to repay the amount by the end of November in order to avoid interest which is 9 months away. Remember the promo started in December, not when you cash the BT check.

  6. MJKIII |  Feb 24, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I had the same experience when trying to move a credit line between citi cards to maximize the amount of $$ i could “borrow” at 0% to put in my high yield savings. I will never deal with anyone but a manager again, as similar to Sun, i got 2 no’s, (i was persistent as i knew it could be done as i have done it before), then finally a yes, “i can do it right now for you”….

    just an FYI they said i couldn’t move credit from a personal card to a business card, but you can and i did.