No more rewards
Today I had an interesting run-in with Citibank, my credit card provider. I had opened a credit card account with them last May (2006) during American Airlines' 25-year AAdvantage anniversary, and part of the promotion was 25,000 free frequent flier miles and no annual fee for a year. I called Citi back in March to close the account (not wanting to be charged the annual fee in May when my free year was up), and the customer service rep. enticed me to stay a member a little longer by giving me 3,000 free miles. (Not a lot, but enough for me). She said that my account would not be charged the annual fee until August, and that I could still call back in July and close it - with no penalty. Well, I saw the $85.00 membership fee on my June statement, and called today to complain. Turns out that either I misheard the customer service rep, or she got confused and said August instead of June (perhaps she looked at the "08" on my card as the month instead of the year, since the card expires 06/08). Either way, the membership fee was there to stay. Fortunately, Citi said their policy is to pro-rate the annual fee (since you pay in advance for the coming year), and because I called in June, the proration (is that a noun?!) was 100%. So I no longer have a miles-earning credit card, but I also don't have to pay the $85 fee. While disappointed at the miscommunication back in March, I guess I shouldn't complain at the pretty sweet bonus of 25,000 American Airlines freq. flier miles.
On a related note, I'm 5,400 miles short of 100k, at which time I become eligible for AA's OneWorld alliance redemption, Distance Zone 6. Basically I can take a trip - of up to 16 segments - of up to 20,000 miles flown. A possible itinerary: OKC-DFW-JFK-MAD-BCN-AMM-ATH-BUD-HEL-OSL-LHR-DUB-ORD-OKC. Maybe that will be my reward for persevering these next (three?) months in the final push to complete my dissertation. We'll see, although I confess it would be a fun trip!
Enjoy the week ahead!