mouseprint: fine print of advertising
Go to Homepage


Subscribe to free weekly newsletter

Mouse Print*
is a service of
Consumer World
Follow us both on Twitter:
@consumerworld



Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

July 1, 2019

Citi Double Cash Card to Drop Almost All Benefits

Filed under: Finance — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:24 am

Citi Double Cash CardCiti had bad news for credit card holders last week. If you have the popular Citi Double Cash Card that pays two percent cash back on all purchases, the bank announced it was dropping most benefits that come with the card.

If you happen to go to look at your account online and click “benefits,” the following fine print popup appears:

MOUSE PRINT:

The following is a summary of changes that are being made to your card benefits.

Effective September 22, 2019, Worldwide Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection, Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance, Citi® Price Rewind, 90 Day Return Protection, Damage & Theft Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranty will be discontinued and will no longer be provided for purchases made on or after that date. Coverage for purchases made before that date will continue to be available, and you may continue to file for benefits in accordance with the current benefit terms.

We are making these changes so that we can continue providing the key benefits that our customers use and value most at no additional cost. This change requires no action on your part. See FAQs under Card Benefits for answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding these changes.

As a cardmember, you will continue to receive a range of other card benefits including FICO® Credit Score, Citi® Identity Theft Solutions, and Citi Entertainment.

So, starting September 22, even the most basic of benefits that almost any card offers like collision damage waiver when you rent a car and protection for purchases damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase are being discontinued. And then the great benefits they offered like adding two extra years of coverage to any length manufacturers warranty, giving back the difference if an item goes on sale after you buy it (“Price Rewind”), and giving you a full refund on an otherwise unreturnable purchase within 90 days are all disappearing too.

The bank says that too few people took advantage of these benefits compared to their costs of providing them. However, by Citi’s own calculation, the Price Rewind benefit was enjoyed by close to 700,000 cardholders last year, and returned over $17-million to them.

Citi Price Rewind

According to MarketWatch, here is a full list of benefits being discontinued on some or all Citi cards including the Citi Prestige Card, the Citi Premier Card, the Citi Double Cash Card, and Citi’s co-branded cards with American Airlines:

•Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
•Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
•Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
•Trip Delay Protection
•Baggage Delay Protection
•Lost Baggage Protection
•Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service
•Travel & Emergency Assistance
•Damage & Theft Purchase Protection
•Extended Warranty
•Medical Evacuation
•Missed Event Ticket Protection
•Citi Price Rewind
• 90 Day Return Protection

UPDATE: The Costco Visa card is also affected according to Clark.com and Citi. At a minimum, trip cancellation coverage and Price Rewind are being discontinued on that card.

There is no obvious go-to substitute for the Citi Double Cash card. Fidelity Investments has a 2-percent cash back card, but the money has to go into a free Fidelity account and only gets deposited after you spend $2,500. It does have traditional Visa benefits but not the price guarantee or return protection.

This article lists cards that still offer the price protection benefit (but in many cases the benefit is set to be eliminated). Feel free to suggest other alternative credit cards in the comments that are rich in benefits and cash back.




• • •

September 24, 2018

Senator Sent “Official Summons” to Potential Donors

Filed under: Finance,Uncategorized — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:38 am

Residents in some Texas counties recently received a mailing in an official looking brown envelope that said “Summons Enclosed…Open Immediately.”

Cruz envelope

Who wouldn’t open that right away if it was in their mailbox? The first line of the return address had the name of the local county and indicated it was an official summons:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Official Summons

Inside was a standard solicitation to make a campaign contribution to Senator Ted Cruz for his re-election campaign. And his name was also in small type on the outside of the envelope.

Cruz inside mailer

A spokesperson for the Federal Election Commission told the New York Times that the mailers were not illegal, as “the F.E.C.’s regulations don’t speak to how candidates may choose to word particular solicitations to potential contributors.”

However, Texas state criminal law may have been violated:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Texas Penal Code – PENAL § 32.48 – Simulating Legal Process

(a) A person commits an offense if the person recklessly causes to be delivered to another any document that simulates a summons, [emphasis added] complaint, judgment, or other court process with the intent to:

(2) cause another to:

(B) take any action or refrain from taking any action in response to the document, in compliance with the document, or on the basis of the document.

(c) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the simulating document:

(2) purports to have been issued or authorized by a person or entity who did not have lawful authority to issue or authorize the document.

So, simulating a summons, even if the real sender is disclosed, is a misdemeanor in Texas.

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act also prohibits the sending of a solicitation that misrepresents or implies it was sent on behalf of a governmental entity. This law is probably not applicable because it relates to commercial enterprises.

And under United States Postal Service rules, government lookalike mailings, such as using brown envelopes requesting donations for political causes, are not allowed unless the envelope has an explicit disclosure that there is no governmental connection. Misuse of a federal agency’s name or official seal is usually necessary, however.

So what does the Cruz campaign say?

“…there were a few complaints that came not to us but through the local media or twitter,” a campaign spokesperson said. “Our mail efforts have been both effective and critical to identifying and engaging our supporters, and getting them involved in our campaign efforts to keep Texas strong.”

The aide also said that the campaign “believe(s) we are in full compliance legally.”




• • •

June 4, 2018

Citi Cuts Back on Credit Card Benefits

Filed under: Finance — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:58 am

Don’t you hate those credit card notices that announce “important updates” or “changes,” but don’t tell you what the old terms were so you can compare?

Citi sent out an email last week announcing revised terms for many of its credit card benefits starting July 29. But without referring to the old brochure, you would have no idea if the particular benefits were improved or cut back. (Hint: those notices rarely contain good news.)

So Mouse Print* looked up the old benefits to compare them with the new changed ones.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Citi benefit changes

As you can see, some benefits like roadside and travel assistance were eliminated. Other benefits were cut back substantially, but not eliminated (thank goodness).

One of the benefits that has remained the same is Citi’s extended warranty. Unlike any other credit card, Citi (at least on its Double Cash card) will add 24 months of extended warranty coverage free to almost every manufacturer’s warranty. So a one-year warranty becomes a three-year warranty. This benefit is substantially better than other cards that merely promise to double the manufacturer’s warranty for up to an additional (one) year.




• • •

May 14, 2018

The String Attached to Discover’s Free FICO Score Offer

Filed under: Finance,Internet — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:16 am

This week in Consumer World we featured an offer from Discover to get a free copy of your genuine FICO credit score. Before you sign up, however, you may want to check their privacy policy, which might better be described as their “not much privacy” policy.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Discover privacy

First, hats off to Discover for finding an easy way to convey a complex privacy policy without pages and pages of dense text.

But that is where the good news ends. Discover clearly says that at least for a “short time” they are going to market their services to you. But they are also going to share much of your information, like name, email, and your online activity with both their own affiliates and with companies they are not affiliated with. And they are going to share your birth date and social security number with companies that service or market their products.

This all made MrConsumer a little uneasy — an unusual feeling for someone who is generally privacy insensitive.

You have to decide if the reward of a free FICO score is worth the price of your personal information being shared with others.




• • •

February 19, 2018

Don’t Bank on Higher Interest on Savings

Filed under: Finance — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:17 am

Have you noticed that interest rates on savings accounts have been creeping up over the past few months? A review of bank ads a couple of weeks ago from the Boston Globe reveals some of the rate hikes.

Admirals-1

This is certainly much better than the fractions of one-percent that have been offered in recent years. But this bank has tucked a nasty provision in the fine print.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Admirals-2

That’s right, to get the advertised rate you have to deposit a minimum of $200,000. Thanks for nothing, Admirals Bank.

Of course, this was not the only bank ad in the Globe. A few days earlier, HarborOne bank offered a higher rate with better terms.

HarborOne-1

*MOUSE PRINT:

HarborOne-2

This bank only requires one-eighth the minimum deposit of the first bank — $25,000 — to get a higher interest rate.

But we are not done. Another ad in the same paper as the Admirals Bank ad is even more generous.

Metro-1

*MOUSE PRINT:

Metro-2

Now we’re up to 1.50 percent with a $25,000 deposit. But one final ad in the same paper tops them all.

Belmont-1

*MOUSE PRINT:

Belmont-2
Belmont-3

Bingo. One and a half percent on balances of only $10 or more from Belmont Savings Bank. But why hide that great fact in the fine print?

To the other banks: How about being upfront and posting your minimum deposit requirement right next to the advertised rate that grabbed the reader’s attention?




• • •
« Previous PageNext Page »
Powered by: WordPressPrivacy Policy
Mouse Print exposes the strings and catches buried in the fine print of advertising.
Copyright © 2006-2020. All rights reserved. Advertisements are copyrighted by their respective owners.