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This is probably the most minor of minor complaints, but if you have the Citi Prestige® Card or the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card you’ve probably had to explain the location of the magnetic strip on more than one occasion.
Or every time you use the card, which has been my experience.
The sleek design of the card means that unlike every other swipe-capable card ever, the magnetic strip isn’t on the upper back of the card:
Instead, the “stripe” is actually on the bottom of the front of the card.
As a very shy introvert, having a conversation about credit cards with every purchase isn’t my cup of tea, so the Citi ThankYou cards have been getting pushed further and further into my wallet. That’s unfortunate, as the cards have some fabulous bonus categories, and ThankYou points have tangible value to me for flights on American.
So I was quite excited to see the post from Doctor of Credit noting it was possible to request redesigned versions of both cards, with magnetic strips on the back, effective today.
Requesting a card with a relocated strip
Citi isn’t promoting this option on their site as far as I can tell, so I called the number on the back of my Citi Prestige Card and asked to speak to an agent. As with nearly everything in my life, the first agent I spoke to was lovely, but had no clue what was going on:
Me: Hi! I heard y’all are offering a new version of this card with the magnetic strip on the back — can I request one of those please?
Friendly agent in South Dakota: Gosh, that would be great — we’ve received a lot of feedback about that stripe placement. However, I don’t believe that’s an option at this time. Let me check with a supervisor just in case if you don’t mind holding?
Me: Of course, thank you!
Friendly agent in South Dakota: Thanks for your patience. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that’s an option at this time, but I will make a note of your feedback. Hopefully that’s an option soon though.
Me: Okay, thanks for checking. Though are you sure there isn’t an option to request a new card? I believe this just started today…
Friendly agent in South Dakota: Well, I’m not saying there isn’t, but I’m a manager and I haven’t heard of it. I’ll make a note and escalate this though, because we do appreciate your feedback.
Me: Sounds good, thanks!
Obviously this isn’t a huge deal, though as I put my headphones away my husband (who was driving), asked “Aren’t you going to hang up and call back? You always hang up and call back!”
I explained that it probably wasn’t worthwhile in the middle of the night on a Sunday, as staffing is generally limited anyway, and if managers aren’t getting the memo it’s probably best for everyone to just wait and let the information percolate a bit.
So imagine my surprise when the phone rang a few minutes later (I mean, it’s always a surprise when my phone rings, but even more so in this case):
Friendly agent in South Dakota: Hi, Mrs. Funk? I just found the memo referencing the card update, so if you’d like I’d be happy to request a new version of the card for you.
A quick address verification and we were all set, and a set of cards with the strip on the back like nature intended are on their way to me.
This is a very small thing, so I actually find it impressive that Citi has responded so quickly to customer feedback. Of course Citi should be motivated to remove obstacles to using their cards, but what should happen and what actually happens are often not the same.
I am legitimately excited to be using these cards more often now. I’ve been using the Citi Prestige Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card for internet purchases and times where I can swipe the card myself, which means I’ve been using less-preferred cards in other situations.
And having an agent call me back with the right answer was a super nice way to end my Sunday!
Has anyone else been annoyed by the magnetic strip placement on these cards? Will you be requesting a replacement?