Online banking deteriorating! Or, so I got the Citi’s Costco card.

I mentioned the new Chase online banking website and I wasn’t happy about it.

Little did I know… Just a few days later I had to sign up to the Citi online banking system, with my brand new Citi Costco Visa card. What can I say?.. Hey, Chase guys, your site is awesome!

So what made me so upset about Citi?

For starters – I already have a Citi credit card. I own a business, for which I have a CitiBusiness Mastercard. So I used the Citi online banking before, and I know it is horrible. What I didn’t know was that setting up a new account for my Costco card using the same username will delete my previous account for the Business.

Why? This worked fine for me with Amex (where I also have a Business card in addition to the now defunct Costco card). Using the same login I could see all of my cards in one place. Not at Citi. Once I signed up with the Coscto card – my business card disappeared.

When I contacted them – their response was “you never had an online account for your business card”, to which I can only say “Really, Citi?”. After that – they suggested to sign up with a different user account and explained that at Citi it is impossible to use single signon for different types of cards. Hey, Citi – what century is it for you?

So, did that. Now I have an online account at Citi for my Costco card and another one for my Business card. I won’t tell you what are the 4 hard-coded recovery questions there, but I’m pretty sure no-one can remember the answers to those half a year later when they forget their passwords. I mean, “Who is your favorite singer”? Today it’s Justin Bieber, tomorrow it’s Justin Timberlake, who knows? People change their taste in music more often than they change their mother’s maiden name, that’s for sure.

Once logged in – the experiences are entirely different. With the Costco version – you get a relatively good-looking web site with modern design and some standard features like showing your latest activity, clearly visible messaging etc. Once you click one some of those, the “nice and sleek” design disappears, but I assume that’s because you’re not actually supposed to contact the customer service, and if you are trying – why not make your life miserable with a tiny text box that you’re only able to get to after confirming explicitly that yes, “I’d like to perform the task” of actually contacting you.

For the Business option, the website looks like it was designed in the early 1990’s, before the flashy banners, but after the invention of the HTML tables… No activity on the landing page, all the actions are hyperlinks and not buttons, and you need to go through a bunch of menus to update your phone number instead of a direct button “My Profile” I can see on the Coscto version of the site.

After using the American Express site for years, I’ve grown to expect consistency between different types of credit cards, feature parity and at least similar language for the similar actions (and not “Transactions” for Costco vs. “Unbilled Activity” for the business version).

I guess for Citi – it is still too much to ask…

Well, at least the card benefits are better, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice 🙂

Your Little Advisor.

 

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