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AT&T Universal Cash Rewards Card Closing Shop

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I received a letter today detailing how Citi has decided to discontinue the AT&T Universal Cash Rewards Card for “business reasons.” It boils down to this… if you have 50 reward dollars or more then you’ll be able to cash them out, otherwise you have until June 30th to accrue to the necessary dollars. If you are in any of their protector programs, it’ll end automagically. If you have a balance, you still have a balance and follow the terms of that balance until you’ve paid it off.

Unfortunately, the AT&T Universal Cash Rewards card was my main 5% off gasoline card so I’ll be shopping around for a card that’ll give me 5% on gasoline, supermarkets, etc. Since the account terms and conditions will continue, I’ll pay off my card in full and request a 0% balance transfer for the full credit limit which will have that rate for 12 months. One last hurrah!

Update: I’ve signed up for the Citi Platinum Select credit card, read about the card’s info here (it’s basically the same card as the AT&T Universal Cash Rewards card)

Dear Jim,
Citi, the issuer of your AT&T Universal Cash Rewards Card, has decided to discontinue this credit card for business reasons. Therefore, your account will be closed on 6/30/06. This letter outlines the important information about the closing of your account.

When will your account be closed?
No further charges will be accepted on your account as of 6/30/06. Your current account terms and conditions will continue to apply to any balances remaining on the card.

What to do about your outstanding balances.
If you have an outstanding balance you will continue to receive a monthly statement even after your account is closed. You should continue to send payments until your balance is paid in full. Prompt payments will protect your credit rating.

What to do about Cash Reward Dollars you may have earned.
If you have earned 50 Cash Reward Dollars or more, call us at 1-866-676-4659 by 7/31/06, so that we may send you a check for the total amount shown on your monthly billing statement. If you are already registered to redeem Cash Reward Dollars online, you may request a check at www.universalcard.com.

What about my AT&T Universal Card calling benefits?
The monthly AT&T UNiversal Card calling benefits associated with your card, including 30 free phone minutes, 2 free directory assistance calls, and wireless cell phone insurance, will no longer be available for use after June 30, 2006. You will no longer be able to purchase additional minutes after June 1, 2006 and any purchased balance will no longer be available for use after June 15, 2006. If you have a purchased minute balance after June 15th, you will receive a credit on the credit card used to purchase the minutes. The credit will be issued between June 16th and June 30th.

What about automatic monthly payments you have set up?
If you have set up automatic monthly payments to your card, please contact these businesses to establish an alternative form of payment to ensure continued membership/status/coverage.

If you are currently a member of a debt protection product such as Credit Protector, Balance Protector or Payment Aid, you will not be billed in the future and your coverage will terminate at the end of the billing period in which your account is closed. If you are a member of another membership program that bills to your account monthly, such as Watch-Guard, Drive America or others, your membership/coverage will terminate unless you contact the program provider and provide an alternative form of payment. if you have supplemental insurance coverage, such as accidental death, hospital indemnity or others, your coverage will also terminate unless you contact the insurance company to establish an alternative form of payment to ensure continued coverage. You can find the phone number for each program on your monthly billing statement next to that program’s charge.

Thank you for your business.

Sincerely,

Julie A. Garry, Vice President and Business Manager

P.S. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service at 1-800-423-4343.

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43 Responses to “AT&T Universal Cash Rewards Card Closing Shop”

  1. Cap says:

    thats wild that they’ll close the account.

    I would think they generally convert your account to one of their no-frills, no-benefit credit card.. just to keep the customers.

    Guess not?

  2. wujimon says:

    wow, that’s just nutty! I can’t believe it! I haven’t received anything in the mail for my card but will surely be on the lookout now!

  3. jim says:

    I’ve been reading some other sites and they say that you’ll receive two letters. The first one is the one I typed out above and the second has instructions on how to convert your card from the AT&T Card Rewards to the Citi Dividend card… they also say if you get a nice rep you can get them to send you a check for the rewards if you have less than $50. Guess it depends on how lucky you are.

  4. Bummer. I already have a Dividend card, so that doesn’t help much.

  5. Brian says:

    Jim, if you can’t convert the card you can reallocate the available credit to your Dividend card.

  6. Justin says:

    Citi stopped offering the AT&T Cash Rewards card to new customers a while back, now must have decided to get rid of those accounts altogether. They have two other AT&T cards, with one being a rewards card that offers their ThankYou points. It’s not cash, but it’s an option if you like the AT&T benefits. Otherwise, Citi Dividend makes sense–watch out for that 17.99% interest rate, though. (Although I’m sure you would never carry a balance.)

  7. LAMoneyGuy says:

    Yea, not so much how lucky you are, rather how profitable a customer you have been for them. I suspect not carrying a balance, not incurring late fees, etc. makes them not too interested in keeping you a customer!

  8. Kevin C says:

    I just got the same notice, Card canceled… sooo sorry. Too bad that was my primary card and I used it for business.

    Never kept a ballance on it month to month.

    Oh well,

    Kevin C

  9. jim says:

    LAMoneyGuy – I suspect that the 3% or whatever credit cards charge businesses to process charges was profitable enough for them… it’s just that they said they had too many similar cards and it was more efficient for them to try to consolidate them.

  10. deno pasucci says:

    IAM VERY DISAPOINTED WITH AT&T CARD IHAD IT FOR MANY YEARS .JUST OUT OF THE BLUE TO DISCONTINUE A CREDIT CARD IS A POOR WAY TO DO BUSINESS
    IAM SURE IT DOESEN’T DO MUCH FOR THEIR CREDIT IN THE BUSINESS WORLD . IAM DISCOURAGE WITH AT&T

  11. Action Joe says:

    IT WAS A NICE RIDE WHILE IT LASTED!

    I CALLED CITI AND THEY WERE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SEND ME A DIVIDEND CARD, WITCH PAYS 5% ON MOST PURCHESES. I PROMISE I WILL NEVER CARRY A BALANCE!

  12. Richard says:

    I received the same notice. just seems “unusual” for them to flat out cancel the card without any attempt to retain my business. I did a search to see if it was real and what was behind the move. I am not satisfied yet but see I am not alone. I had aleady opted to get another rewards card from Chase because I kept exceeding the $300.00 annual limit. Next, I am wondering if I should cancel the card before 6/30 to protect my credit rating?????

  13. jim says:

    I wouldn’t bother cancelling before 6/30, they have said that another letter was going out to tell you that you can convert the card to another Citi card and retain your “account opened date.”

  14. Evan says:

    I too received the same first letter and was dissapointed. It was kind of a shock actually. I did carry a large balance, and the AT&T universal cash rewards card was my 2nd highest interest rate card (8.07%). I’m sure that I was making them money, so I’m assuming their decision to cancel was based on the total profitability of the program and not on their individual profitability from my card.

    I may accept their newer offer, and try to get my $30 in rewards from them. I’ve had the card for a long time, so if I can maintain my ‘account opened’ date, and get a better rate, I could forgive their abrupt letter… and if what I read above is true, there may be similar card programs for those pine for the good ‘ol days of AT&T Universal.

  15. Jimmy says:

    I too received the same letter. But on universalcard.com they are still accepting applications for at&t universal card!

  16. The Decider says:

    Here’s a couple of ways to look at this:

    1. They have an agreement with the NSA and HS to use this tactic to ferret out Al Queda

    2. They are trying to stave off the looming collapse of the Dollar and our economy by stealing everyones cash rewards below $50

    3. They are trying to cover up the fact that someone stole all their account records for these cards and are racking up huge amounts of debt

    4. They just want you to know that THEY OWN YOU!

    It would be a good idea NOT to get another card from Citi or a phone account from AT&T.

    Yours in Democracy ,

    The Decider

  17. Rich says:

    Crap, I have $42.85 in rewards. This SUCKS. I’ve had this card since 2002, go figure.

  18. kare says:

    Yes, what is that loud Sucking Sound? Oh yes, it’s the sound of AT&T sucking (!) up all the cash rewards under $50. Isn’t this the same as lying to the customer, who relied on their word (despite the fine print saying they could end it at any time)??? They should’ve spelled out in large letters that they would end it, in fact were considering ending it, and all balances

  19. Jean says:

    I loved the thank you rewards. Is that being closed too? I think it stinks .

  20. Dave says:

    I may be a dinosaur, but I’m what they call a “charter member.” I got the card when AT&T first issued it in 1992, and the widely advertised deal was “no annual fee for life.” I wonder how they got out of that one? Any lawyers interested in a class action lawsuit?

  21. Kim says:

    I had just reached the $50 limit for getting cash back when I got the letter cancelling the card. I, too, wondered why there was no mention of transferring me to another Citi card. As it’s June 20 and I haven’t received the second letter mentioned in other posts, I guess I’m not a good enough customer to keep (I pay off my balance every month, and I don’t rack up huge charges).

  22. Jon says:

    I, too, am a “charter” member. The cancellation letter was rude in its tone and could have been worded much better. That’s cosmetics, though. The real insanity is that they can’t make sufficient profit on 3% of $20-30,000 of annual charges from a good-credit customer? I haven’t received the second letter either, but if I did it would go directly to the round file. Why reward Citi for boorish behavior by switching to another of their cards? There are plenty of banks out there with attractive programs who want my business.

  23. jim says:

    Hey Jon,
    I felt the same way and that second letter never came.

  24. Frank Kelly says:

    Check out http://www.bcsalliance.com There is a section called “File a complaint against your credit card company”. They recommend reporting the company to your State attorney general’s office, the Better Business Bureau, your elected representative, and the FTC. The article on the web site gives links and addresses. I intend to contact all of them. This was handled poorly by AT&T.

  25. Chuck says:

    I think y’all have missed the “business reason.”

    Several months ago, the purchase of the old AT&T by SBC (formerly Southwestern Bell Corporation) was completed, and SBC changed its name to AT&T. The “old AT&T” is gone — the company now called AT&T was originally Southwestern Bell, back when AT&T was “THE” telephone company. SwBell bought up Pacific Bell (Pacific Telysis), Ameritech (also a former Baby Bell), and now its former parent, AT&T. SBC/AT&T is also in the process of buying Bell South (subject to various governmental permissions). Since Cingular is a combination of SBC/AT&T (60% and Bell South (40%), look for Cingular to be renamed AT&T Mobile or some such name in the very near future. In short, Ma Bell is back — except that now it’s one of the original Ma Bell’s daughters!

    Of course, (the old) AT&T hadn’t had anything to do with the card for a long time, having sold it to CitiBank years ago, along with permission to use the name “AT&T” and the old AT&T logo. (The new SBC/AT&T logo is similar, but is different from the old logo, which is the logo used on the AT&T Universal Card.)

    My guess? — SBC/AT&T gave CitiBank notice that they owned the name “AT&T” now, that it was listed that way on the NYSE, and that SBC/AT&T wanted the card discontinued.

    I was a “charter member” of the AT&T Universal Card, but I don’t think I even carried a balance, even for a month. Therefore, I wasn’t one of those who got a “second letter” offering a different CitiBank card.


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