Sigh. I can be such a dumbass.
I wrote just yesterday about how I spent over $10,000 this year on my Citi Hilton Reserve card, and how I was excited to get an anniversary bonus of a free Hilton night.
I was feeling all prepared and on top of things because back in October, I called Citi to confirm this spend. I had carefully made a few big purchases on the card over the past few months, plus I had sprinkled in spend from several Vanilla Reloads, so I was confident that all was cool. The rep I spoke to agreed. I had definitely made over $10,000 worth of purchases on the card this year.
I then asked her when I could expect to receive my anniversary “free night” bonus. She responded that it normally took 6-8 weeks, and that I should keep an eye out for an email in late November or early December.
During my marathon retention call session yesterday, when I was deciding whether to keep or close this card, I realized that I had yet to receive this exciting email. So, I called Citi to confirm again. Yes, the rep told me. $10,226.81 had been spent on the card this year.
I wrote a secure message to Citi, asking them when I could expect to receive the free night certificate. This is the message I got in return:
Argh! This is so frustrating! But it’s totally my fault. I could have actually kept track of my purchases, or taken the time to look them up, statement by statement, in Citi’s irritating online system. But I relied on a customer service rep’s interpretation of what “$10,000 worth of spend in 2013” meant. (TWO customer service reps, but who’s counting?)
My bad, totally.
I know exactly what happened – I used this card to hold a few heavily-discounted, big-ticket hotel stays during a huge sale, and then I chose the one I wanted, and “returned” the rest. Months passed, and I kind of forgot about it. And then this happened.
So…no free night for me!
Has anyone else ever had a not-so-nice surprise like this? Do you have any lessons/tips to share?