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So long AT&T Universal Card, nice knowing you


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Just received this:

Hi, . We are writing to inform you that your AT&T Universal Rewards Mastercard® will be closed and you will no longer be able to make any transactions using your card as of April 23, 2021 because Citi no longer services U.S. Card products with a mailing address in your country of residence. Your creditworthiness wasn't a factor in our decision. blah, blah.

 

Had the card for 30 years, of which nearly 20 were here in Thailand. Wonder what spooked them. Hope it's not contagious. It's always good to have at least one card to make dollar payments from stateside accounts. Let's see if my CU follows suit. Fingers crossed. Anyone else seen similar?

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It does seem to be a global phenomenon. 

 

UK banks and cards are closing the accounts of many they "suspect" of being non-resident in the UK. Unrelated to Brexit, BarclayCard pulled my plug 8+ years ago and then demanded I pay the entire balance immediately (as it was actually zero I obliged) 😞 

 

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13 hours ago, Why Me said:

Wonder what spooked them.

 

Your domicle, obviously.

 

Your credit union will not leave you without options, in the event they were to drop a current affiliation. Do you have credit card with them now?

 

13 hours ago, Why Me said:

with a mailing address in your country of residence

 

This is your major problem. Do you maintain any sort of address in the U.S.? Is there one you can use (trusted family)?

 

What do you require in a credit card? No annual fee? No foreign currency fee? Miles/points?

 

Have you checekd your credit rating recently?

 

 

8 hours ago, Why Me said:

Just applied for a CC.

 

OK. Your CU has your Thai address?

 

This could go either way.

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Citi Mastercard shut me down a couple months ago after 25 years with an email saying it was shut. Apparently they mailed the notice in the post I was out but I never got the letter.

 

Looks like only way to get a credit card now, being retired here with no address elsewhere, is in Thailand or none at all?

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9 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

Your domicle, obviously.

Obviously but I have had a Thai address on record with the AT&T card ever since moving here nearly 20 years. There's been regulatory overhead since 9/11 for any US financial operation to do business with international clients. I guess a recent cost benefit analysis by Citi concluded expats aren't worth the trouble anymore.

 

9 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

OK. Your CU has your Thai address?

Yes. I called them yesterday and asked if it could be a problem. Was told, no, they have many members with international addresses. Fingers crossed.

 

On a related note, Fidelity where all my investments are has been sniffing recently at my domicile. I used my brother's US address to open an account with them. But because I've called them from Thailand they've become suspicious.

 

What I understand is that they don't close the ac. for an international address but "restrict" it. One restriction being mutual funds are not available, but ETF's are ok.

 

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14 hours ago, Why Me said:

Obviously but I have had a Thai address on record with the AT&T card ever since moving here nearly 20 years.

 

Credit card companies, Citi in your case, change their terms and conditions every year. Maybe take a look at an older and newer T's & C's to verify any residence requirement.

 

A credit card from your CU seems like the best move.

 

Fiedlity does offer a credit card. It's not the best by any stretch but handy to have, IME. (Fid Visa, operated by First Financial, just dropped a couple of key benefits incl collision damage, and added one new benefit: Lifelock.)

 

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23 hours ago, Hamus Yaigh said:

Citi Mastercard shut me down a couple months ago after 25 years with an email saying it was shut. Apparently they mailed the notice in the post I was out but I never got the letter.

 

Looks like only way to get a credit card now, being retired here with no address elsewhere, is in Thailand or none at all?

 

I opened a checking account at State Dept. Federal Credit Union using my Thai address, since they are willing to open account for expats.  After a couple of years with them I applied for and got a credit card.

 

I also get a credit card with Capital One providing only my US mailing address which they recognized as a commercial mail forwarding address, but they never asked for my physical address.  

 

All of the in-person transactions on the CapOne card are in Thailand, so if they cared, they would know where we live, but so far they don't.  

 

I would never get a Thai credit card, because they lack statutory fraud protection.

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12 minutes ago, cmarshall said:

I opened a checking account at State Dept. Federal Credit Union using my Thai address, since they are willing to open account for expats.  After a couple of years with them I applied for and got a credit card.

 

Forgot about SDFCU. Awesome option. Anyone can open an account here, AFAIK.

 

Was there some waiting period to apply for a credit card? Could you apply for a credit card immediately after opening an account? Or did you just wait three years as a personal choice? 

 

Just saw this: "Ability to join SDFCU and apply at the same time"

 

https://www.sdfcu.org/premium-cash-back

Edited by mtls2005
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1 minute ago, mtls2005 said:

 

Forgot about SDFCU.

 

Was there some waiting period to apply for a credit card? Could you apply for a credit card immediately after opening an account? Or did you just wait three years as a personal choice? 

 

I never saw anything about a waiting period, but I don't think they would be likely to give you a credit card immediately.  SDFCU is very cautious.  They required a fair amount of documentation to open the account.  In my case, I didn't apply right away, because I had enough cards at the time.  I don't even remember now why I changed my mind.  

 

SDFCU is my favorite bank these days.  If you have your SS benefits direct deposited with them you qualify for Emeritus Member status, the chief benefit of which is domestic wire transfers at $6 a pop.  Then if you have an account at Bangkok Bank, which has an ABA routing number, your wire transfers will qualify for the $6 rate.

 

If you need a card quickly and have a good credit rating, you might give Capital One a try.  I opened that one years ago, so don't know what their current policies are.

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I got the same thing from Citibank re my MasterCard. I have had the card 50 urars and with a foreign address for the last 25 years.

 

Changed my mailing address to a US address and supposedly that will avert this.

 

This (closing accounts with Thai addtesses) will occur in mid to late April. I don't know if it is all foreign addtesses or just some countries.

 

I also have a credit card from USAA with my Thai mailing address. Haven't heard anything from them.

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Can't figure out if this is related to Citi or Mastercard, or Thailand, or some new regulatory/reporting issue? Maybe a domestic U.S. address/residence was always required, but just not enforced until now?

 

Credit Unions and USAA may have different "rules" re: servicing customers residing utside the U.S.?

 

I use a U.S. address for all my financials.

 

Citi is said to be considering divesting some of their foreign consumer banking operations, including those in Thailand. But that is just being discussed, so not sure cutting CC users loose now makes any sense? 

 

 

Citigroup considering divestiture of some foreign consumer units - Bloomberg Law

 

The move, part of Fraser's attempt to simplify the bank, can see units in South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia being divested, the Bloomberg report said.

 

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/citigroup-considering-divestiture-of-some-foreign-consumer-units-bloomberg-law-2021-02-0

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, pmarlin said:

A US re-mailing service who gives a mailing address may help. I use one and so far had no problems.

 

Yes. I used a UPS store/box ("Apartment NNN") for years, no issues at all. I didn't do re-mailing as I went back frequently. Now use family address, they re-mail important stuff ($1.20 airmail) like new credit cards to me here. 

 

 

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On 2/24/2021 at 6:37 PM, Why Me said:

Just received this:

Hi, . We are writing to inform you that your AT&T Universal Rewards Mastercard® will be closed and you will no longer be able to make any transactions using your card as of April 23, 2021 because Citi no longer services U.S. Card products with a mailing address in your country of residence. Your creditworthiness wasn't a factor in our decision. blah, blah.

 

Had the card for 30 years, of which nearly 20 were here in Thailand. Wonder what spooked them. Hope it's not contagious. It's always good to have at least one card to make dollar payments from stateside accounts. Let's see if my CU follows suit. Fingers crossed. Anyone else seen similar?

 

When I came here eleven years ago, I had five US credit cards. For the first few months, I made several large purchases but always paid off the entire amount at the end of every month for each card. It didn't stop them, however, from cancelling me some six or seven months later. One right after another, within a day or two, every card cancelled me. So I've been on a cash only basis since late in 2010. I almost wish I had just maxed out the cards and stuck'em with the balance. 

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Here's a May 2019 article talking Citi cancelling credit card for folks with a "UK" address.   Appears Citi decided almost 2 years ago not to provide credit card accounts for folks with a foreign address in certain countries.   Guess they are just now getting around to Thailand.

 

https://americanexpatfinance.com/news/item/180-citi-closes-small-portion-of-u-s-credit-card-accounts

Partial quote of above weblink news article

 

Quote

 

New York-based multi-national Citibank has confirmed that it has informed a “small portion of U.S. credit card-holders with mailing addresses in certain international countries” that it will no longer be able to service their accounts, citing “local regulatory requirements”.

News of the card account closures came in response to a query on behalf of a card-holder currently resident in the U.K., who first obtained a Citibank “AAdvantage Gold MasterCard” some years ago, and who received a “notice of pending account closure” earlier this month.

 

 

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1 hour ago, John Drake said:

 

When I came here eleven years ago, I had five US credit cards. For the first few months, I made several large purchases but always paid off the entire amount at the end of every month for each card. It didn't stop them, however, from cancelling me some six or seven months later. One right after another, within a day or two, every card cancelled me. So I've been on a cash only basis since late in 2010. I almost wish I had just maxed out the cards and stuck'em with the balance. 

 

Did you have a US or Thailand address onfile with those credit card companies?

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11 hours ago, Pib said:

 

Did you have a US or Thailand address onfile with those credit card companies?

 

So long ago, it's hard to remember. But I think they were all tied to my US P.O. Box.

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