Just got back from a 2 week vacation in the UK. I was staying in hostels most of the trip to save money as we were staying in a different city every night and hotels were at least twice the price.
Anyway, one of our final nights in Scotland, I was growing tired of dirty hostels and remembered I had like 60K thankyou points left over from my signup bonus I had never touched. So I wanted to blow this on a decent hotel for all of us to stay in, sounded simple.
With only a slow internet connection in the middle of the Scottish Highlands I called the number on the back of my card and expected them to handle this in a matter of maybe 20 minutes or so.
I was on hold initially for 30 minutes (which seemed odd, as I pay more than 4x times less for my Chase card and someone always answers within 30 seconds).
Fine, maybe it was a busy night, no problem.
Finally someone answers, I explain what I want and I get transferred to someone else, more hold time, I hang up and just try to book it on my phone.
I book two rooms at some fancy hotel, one room is confirmed and the other mentions I have an error with my booking so I have to call back.
I am on the phone again, transferred at least another half dozen times, then told the room was fully booked, and they would be more than happy to book me another hotel for the second room, as the first one was non refundable. So I would have to stay in one hotel and my mother and sister would have to spend it in another hotel. After getting transferred to a manager I was able to have this sorted out though.
I agree to them booking another hotel for us all to stay in. Thank god my Mom asked me what time they would accept us checking in a few hours later. I called the hotel directly and they said they have been fully booked for over a week for every room and they have no idea how I could of reserved a room, with my name not being on file.
This was then followed by another TWO HOURS of sitting on the phone trying to ask for my points to be refunded to me as the booking was obviously not going to be accepted upon arrival, and them admitting that it was an error on their behalf. I ended up hanging up, pleading with the guy to please refund the rest of my points as I could not spend any more time on the phone due to racking up a lot of roaming charges at this point. I did end up getting refunded which I found out when I got back home, but I am sure I wouldn’t of been if I had not spend that much time on the phone and spoke to three managers. I ended up paying for a hotel on booking.com with another credit card in full in the end……..
The next day I woke up to an email explaining that Citi were nerfing the rewards to the Prestige card, I was in fits of laughter.
I wouldn’t keep/use this card if the annual fee was $ 0 next year. They couldn’t handle a simple hotel booking, one of the most basic requests for a $ 450 travel card.
Interested to know if I am alone with this one? Has anyone else here had similar experiences with Citi or their ‘Prestige’ department.
Just found out Chase recently released a similar card with even better rewards, which will most likely be its replacement next year.