Citicard - saga while overseas

By madwombat | Sep 28, 2017, 05:07 PM
I am looking to replace my Citicard with a decent card that provides good FF points with Singapore Airlines and a good customer service. My recent experience with Citicard and their Card Services Direct platform has been a disaster. I was away for work in Athens and while checking in at my hotel I was advised that the card had been blocked. Luckily, a friend of mine guaranteed the hotel bill with his card, and I was off on the phone to find out what had happened. The card was blocked due to an unauthorised Netflix transaction (am not a Netflix member) and they had called me on my Australian office number despite having been informed that I would be away for a month or so and provided with alternative numbers in Europe. To cut a long story short, they have been incapable of sending a replacement card as a matter or urgency and have been unable to call at pre-arranged times to organise the emergency card.

I was lucky to have friends and also alternate cards to use as my trip continued to other countries where mobile coverage is pretty poor. I mention this as in order to talk to Card Services Direct you need to receive a PIN on your mobile - no provision for cases where no coverage exists.

Any suggestions?
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By jhor | Sep 28, 2017, 08:04 PM
I'm sure everyone's experience will be different, though I also left Citibank after disappointing customer service. I've had overwhelmingly positive experiences with Westpac. When my card stopped working in Sweden they arranged for an emergency card, collected from a bank in Stockholm, where I was at the time. They also reimbursed the $90 mobile phone call I made back to Australia to sort that out. I've also had many favourable experiences with American Express, however it's only Westpac that I've really had to put to the test while overseas, and they did very well.
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By KinHo | Sep 28, 2017, 11:26 PM
AMEX has a good points transfer to Singapore airlines KrisFlyer. One point to one FF point.

Using your card in Coles and Woolworths will clock 3 points to $1. There may be other merchants that will earn you more than the usual 1 point per $1.

I have a Platinum card directly from American Express and not thru a bank. There is a $200 airline credit every year. I understand a higher tier card this airline credit is higher.

Last edited by KinHo at Sep 29, 2017, 01.16 AM.
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By BOF | Sep 29, 2017, 04:20 PM
I took out a Virgin Money High Flyer card with the main aim of converting velocity points to KrisFlyer. However the card is actually run by Citibank and I concur that the service is absolutely appalling. That and the removal of x3 points for virgin bookings means I'll probably ditch it before annual fee due.
Last edited by BOF at Sep 29, 2017, 04.22 PM.
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By elchriss0 | Oct 02, 2017, 12:12 PM
Bank of Melbourne or St George's Signature VISA provides effectively 0.825 krisflyer per $, priority pass membership and 45k krisflyer bonus. Pair that with AMEX explorer card when they have the 100k bonus promotion plus you get $400 travel credit (effectively making the card free) and 1.5 krisflyer per $.
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By madwombat | Nov 28, 2017, 10:58 AM
Thanks to all for their good suggestions. The only downside I can see with AMEX is that they do not offer cash advance. Hence the need to also have a traditional credit card. In this respect the Aplify Rewards looks better. Other ideas?
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