Did I Receive A Retention Offer for the City National Bank Crystal Card?

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image: CNB.com

At the end of 2016 I shared how I used my $250 airline fee credit for my City National Bank Crystal Visa Infinite card.

Soon after, I had a couple of big decisions to make regarding my card. The first thing I had to decide was whether or not I would attempt to get the fee credit once again in 2016. Secondly, did I want to keep or close my account.

I went back and forth on whether or not I should try getting the airline fee credit so soon after getting it at the end of last year.

I decided to take a gamble but it did not pay off. I purchased another American Airlines gift card and hoped to see the credit post soon after. I waited and waited but had no luck. The same kind of purchase which triggered the airline fee credit in the past did not work! I guess you can’t win ’em all…

A couple of days before the $400 annual fee was due, I called in to find out about some sort of retention bonus offer.

While the $400 fee sounds very high, the card actually offers a lot of benefits making it worthwhile to many. (12 Gogo passes per year, $250 airline incidental fee credit per year which are also good for authorized users, Global Entry credit, Priority Pass membership with guest admission etc…)

What I learned again was that City National Bank is really odd and like no other bank I’ve ever dealt with before.

You can’t simply call in and speak to any rep about your account. I needed to speak with a specific rep. (In my case it was the banker I dealt with during the lengthy credit card application process.)

When I called in, I seemed to always reach the banker’s voicemail. This was definitely frustrating and almost as annoying as all of the info and time it took to get approved for the card.

I spoke with representatives when I called the 800 # on the back of my card a couple of times and was told it could be possible to get some sort of retention offer but they weren’t really sure. I’d have to speak to my banker.

I finally received an e-mail after missing each others calls a couple of times.

I was told that the fee could not be waived or lowered. There also weren’t any offers other than the option to switch my card to one of their fee-free cards.

I can’t say that I was interested in another product with none of the perks that come with Crystal card. I decided to close my account once the $400 annual fee was reversed.

In the end I decided that I didn’t want to keep spending $400 per year on the card. Had I added an authorized user to better take advantage of the $250 fee credit, my opinion might be different. (I started to add Kim last year but the lengthy process got in the way.)

Either way I am happy with the perks that I received from signing up for the card. The 100,000 points sign up bonus was enough to get the Michael W Travels family flights for our trip to Costa Rica at the end of this year!

Do you find the $400 annual fee for the City National Bank Crystal card to be worth the perks it offers?

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4 thoughts on “Did I Receive A Retention Offer for the City National Bank Crystal Card?

  1. Since the annual travel credit is per card, and not per account, the net cost to me is negative. No it is a no-brainer to keep this card. Plus, the $100 off round trip is a nice perk.

  2. Marcus- The City National Crystal is a really strong card and I had a tough decision to make whether or not to close it. The thing is, with my points used up and AA gift cards not crediting for 2017 when I tried, it just didn’t make sense to spend $400 to keep it.

    Jeff- It was definitely the hardest and most annoying credit card application process ever!

  3. I’m keeping it for now. I got 1.35 return on points for my flights to DR. I like that the 3 point category is broad between gas, restaurants and groceries. I do have the 3 authorized users and was able to use the $250 credit for each to buy AA gift cards. I have not tried yet for the AA gift cards in 2017 hopefully that will still work. The Priority Pass through the card is the best out there as there is no limit to the guests you can take into the lounge with you. The car rental coverage is excellent as well.

    Agree that it is like no other bank in dealing with your account. That is frustrating and reason enough to cancel.

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