I have written several credit card articles for a client before, but I never thought that time would come that I would be writing a review of Philippine credit cards for my own blog. My experience with Citibank credit cards is what drove me to write this review and I hope this will be an eye opener to some of those looking to apply for a credit card, especially Citibank credit cards.
The following are the credit cards I owned and my review about each of them.
Allied Bank Credit Card
My first credit card came from Allied Bank (now merged with Philippine National Bank or PNB). That time, I was really looking to find a bank that could grant me a credit card, which we could use for some of our high-amount transactions. I was tired of bringing cash along everytime I made a purchase, especially when I had to purchase things with higher amounts. Moreover, my husband and I was quite curious as to what a credit card can do for us. Since I was banking then with Allied Bank, I applied for a credit card there and was approved.
Allied Bank credit card was good, but it only offered a small credit amount, which was not enough for our monthly purchases. So, when another opportunity for another credit card from another bank came, we grabbed it with much gusto.
BPI Credit Card
My husband was offered a BPI credit card, and he made me his supplementary card holder. The credit amount was enough to cover our monthly expenses, so we decided to have the Allied Bank credit card cut. From then on, we used the BPI credit card for our purchases. From time to time, we were able to get freebies from Jollibee and Chowking for our purchases with the cards. Overall, we were satisfied with the card and the service of BPI.
Citibank Credit Card
I never imagined owning a Citibank credit card. The bad reviews I saw online kept me from getting one. However, when I was attending a travel expo at Mall of Asia, an agent for Citibank approached me. He made me sign an application, with a promise that I would be eligible for a free trip to Hong Kong or Singapore if I get a Citibank credit card. This promo could also be clearly seen from one of their banners at the expo. The agent also told me that there will be no annual fees for the card, as those will be waived annually.
Well, my bad! I fell for the sales talk. I believed every word the agent said, so I signed the application form. After all, why would I not try to have a Citibank credit card when there are no annual fees involved, plus I would be getting a free trip for two to Hong Kong? Yeah, I know. I was stupid. That was too good to be true. The free trips never materialized and the promised waived annual fees was just a lie.
Now, after a year, Citibank credit cards have become a nightmare for me. They bill me high annual fees and no matter how I contact them to have the cards cancelled, I am always sent an email to call a certain number. And this number is answered by a voice message telling me to press numbers. And everytime I press those numbers, I get a message regarding their promos and my card balance. I was never taken to a real human to whom I could talk about my problem with the card. Worse, they sent me two cards!
I have learned my lesson. I will never again trust Citibank agents with their too good to be true sales talks. Now, I am looking for another way to have the cards cancelled. Perhaps, I would just have to find a Citibank branch near my area so I could talk to a real person regarding the cards. Problem is, I just found that they do not have that many branches, and the nearest I could get to is a few drives away from my area.
I was finally able to talk to a human through their customer service hotlines. After being passed from one customer service representative to another, and after losing hundreds of pesos in phone top-up, I was finally able to have my card cancelled. The person behind the other line agreed to only cut one of the cards and asked me to at least try the other for another few months before I decide to have it cut. To cut the time spent talking, I eventually agreed. She said annual fees for the other card will be waived.
Then come June of this year, just a few months after I had my Shell Citi Visa Card cut, I received a billing statement for the annual fee of the Shell Citi Visa Card. I am doubly frustrated! I would have to call Citi’s customer service again to ask why they are billing me for a card that as far as I know have been cut months ago. Definitely, I will never ever get a Citibank card again! I will have the other card cut asap as well.