Two citibank credit cards = payment mix up and erroneous late payment report to credit bureaus

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Dec 27, 2019
My wife and I are in the process of looking for our first home - a process complicated by Citibank's inaccurate report to credit bureaus of a 30+ day late payment causing my credit score to drop from ~835 to 740 (first late payment in 19 years).

It all started due to having two Citi credit cards (the American Airlines Executive Platinum Mastercard and Citi Prestige). I lost track of the due date for my AA Mastercard and so submitted my payment about a week after due date. I was originally charged a $25 late fee - which is legit.

After mistakingly making payment to the wrong Citi account (Prestige instead of the AA Mastercard) - resulting in that account having a large credit balance - I was charged a late fee on the AA Mastercard. Upon seeing this I reached out to Citi and had them transfer the credit balance to the correct account (AA Mastercard) that was now 1-2 weeks late. Fast forward another couple weeks and I get yet another late fee ($39) charged to the AA Mastercard. Upon contacting Citi customer service I was told that transferring the credit balance from the Prestige card to the AA Mastercard wasn't the same as making a normal payment from my bank and thus hadn't reset the account to be current (later I was told it should have counted). I pointed out that the money was with Citi before the second late fee was charged and that the customer service agent didn't inform me that if I just made a payment from my bank account as normal versus transferring the credit balance from Prestige to AA Mastercard that the account would have been current. I promptly made a full payment from my bank for the entire balance at that time (even portions not due) to ensure everything was 100% current.

A short time later my wife and I started receiving alerts that there was a change to our credit reports. Upon reviewing my reports, I see that the AA Mastercard is now reported as being 30 days late - which is inaccurate and effecting our credit scores.

When I called on 12/6 and spoke to "Jonathan" he informed me that the $39 late fee would be reversed (it was a couple days later) and that the report to the credit bureaus that my account was 30+ days late would be corrected. Jonathan informed me that the process to correct credit reports could take ~30 days.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I received a letter from Citi saying, "We've reviewed your request to update the information on your credit report. Our records show that the information on your credit report is correct. We've informed the credit reporting agencies that you are disputing information on your account. Please allow at least 30 days for them to make this update...."

I would like to get the erroneous 30+ day late entry removed from my credit reports. The time between the original payment due date (10/22) and the date Citi had the funds -albeit in the wrong account (11/6) is much less than a month. Even taking the time the funds were transferred to the correct AA Mastercard account (11/20) is less than 30 days.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Dec 27, 2019
Thanks Neil. I don't see any Citibank contacts in your list?

I'm a little concerned that I already contacted someone (albeit frontline customer service) and they were supposedly fixing it only to get a letter a couple weeks later that appears to contradict that. What is the best way to get to someone who actually has authority to follow through on what they say? Thanks.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I have nightmares about a snafu like this. I have 6 or 8 credit cards from Chase and so far I've only done it once, and I am now meticulous about checking everything 3 times at the beginning of every month. With Chase, by the way, it took one 5-minute phone call to make the problem go away.

If I'm understanding this correctly, Citi should be ashamed of themselves for giving you such bad service. When you moved the wrong payment into the right account, I assume you did it by phone. The CS rep should have explained the situation to you so you could straighten it out on the spot. How on earth would you know that moving the credit from the wrong account (it's your money after all) to the right account would not be enough to make it all straight. So go after Citi and don't stop until they unscrew it all.

On the new mortgage application, as long as your credit and background have no other issues, it should be easy enough to submit a letter of explanation if needed. Mortgage lenders are far more savvy than bank CS reps and they are aware that a credit report may have incorrect info that's difficult for the consumer to fix. As long as there's not a pattern of bad behaviour, you should be OK. While everything is fresh in your mind, create a list of the facts in chronological order, being as concise as possible. That's all I had to do years ago with an erroneous ding on my credit report.
Dec 27, 2019
Happy to report that after using the contacts from the Elliott database referenced above I was put into contact with someone from the executive support team who was able to get this resolved. Citi has asked the credit reporting bureaus to remove the delinquency reported. Will follow up in a couple weeks to make sure that has happened. Thanks all.