Citibank… Financial Review?

I received an email from Citibank asking me to update my financial information they have on file. My first thought was ruh roh this is like an American Express Financial Review.

But they weren’t shutting down my ability to charge to the card pending provision of documentation. They weren’t even telling me there are any consequences for not providing them the information.

I logged in and the website asked for my income and the amount of my mortgage payment. I gave them the information, wanting to stay in Citi’s good graces (and the answers are consistent with what I told them when I applied for the card, and sufficient to support the credit line they have extended me). I figured there was little downside.

They immediately accepted the information, and that was the end of that. The income hasn’t changed in an order of magnitude way so I don’t expect much to change, they would normally use the information and compare it to the credit they’ve extended as they consider whether to raise or lower my credit line.

Citibank has been known to occasionally request more intrusive information like proof of social security number, address, or even to request a transcript of your tax return (now we’re getting into ‘financial review’ territory) but that wasn’t the case here.

Instead it was a relatively harmless email — at least since the information I gave them was consistent with what I had told them before. And – conveniently – they even listed what I had previously given them as my income and monthly payment and allowed me to say nothing had changed or change the figure.

All done in under 30 seconds.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I think this is just a regular user information maintenance, like those “please update or confirm your contact information” tab that will pop up when you log in once in a while.

  2. I recently had this pop up when I logged into my Citibank account, and I went ahead and updated it as well. It sounds like it could just be routine. Perhaps they use this information to grant credit line increases to people whose incomes have increased significantly since applying?

  3. There’s always the fear when an email like this comes in that it’s some sort of phishing scam.

    It’s always a good rule of thumb to skip any links in the email and log into the website on your own, typing the URL (or using a bookmark you created).

    Not wholly unlike never volunteering information when you receive an unsolicited phone call.

  4. Always got to be careful with stuff like this, of course. I got a letter in the mail from Citi asking me to “confirm” some information and send it back to them in the envelope provided. Looked legit, and the PO Box was in Sioux Falls, SD, where Citi’s offices are located.

    Still, you hear stories, and something didn’t smell right about it. So I called Citi and they said they never sent such a letter and asked me to forward it to their fraud department. Scary. We always have to be vigilant.

  5. I had this pop up while logging in to my account. At first I just closed the pop up, but it kept coming back, so eventually I just updated the info. But just recently before it even came up, Citi decided to close one of the cards I hold with them. It was titled something like “Sorry we weren’t right for you” and basically said I never used it, which was true. I used it once or twice a year just to try to avoid it, guess it wasn’t enough.

  6. This is routine and as you said, nowhere near financial review territory.

    Clickbait title once again. Wear the crown with pride, Leff.

  7. I received this email also and must say I have never been asked to update my financial information as it relates to an open credit card account. If I want a credit increase, I will call and ask for one.

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