Living with credit, New products, Protecting yourself, Rewards

Wachovia card user wonders ‘What’s next?’

When Wachovia’s credit card and banking business was purchased by Citigroup this week, it left me with a more than a few concerns about my Wachovia accounts.

Will my reward points be honored? Will the terms of my credit card be changed? Will my bank and credit card eventually change to Citi? Will those changes happen in concert or will I need to make adjustments to make sure I have overdraft protection?

Cash in reward points?
Some bloggers are saying cash out my Wachovia rewards now just to be safe. But having only amassed about 4,000 reward points, I’m not sure cashing them out for anything is a prudent idea. I checked online and my 4,000 points aren’t enough to buy a $10 restaurant gift certificate. They might buy HALF an umbrella!

Nothing has changed,” one Wachovia spokeswoman told But I’m not convinced. Just last week I got an email announcing changes to the Wachovia Possibilities Rewards program, including “enhancements” to the reward program. I was advised that I wouldn’t be able to access my reward program from Oct. 23-26, and that I need to re-register my card after Oct. 27. Registering it in the first place was confusing, and, frankly, I’m not sure it wouldn’t just be easier to sign up for a Citi credit card and bank account.

Are they changing the program because they knew they were being purchased? Are they still changing it now that their banking and credit card divisions will be wholly owned by Citi in a few months? And then what happens? My account changes to a Citi account, I’m forced into new credit card terms and have to learn the rules for a new reward program? What a hassle.

Although I’ve had my Wachovia account for seven years and the Wachovia credit card for about a year and a half, this might just be a sign from the economic cosmos that it’s time for me to move on to a new way of banking, close these accounts and move all my finances to another bank account that I opened about 15 years ago.

Courtship is over
Wachovia courted me with a very convenient online bill pay system and the convenience of being right across the street from my old employer. I have since changed employers and the ecconomy is changing daily. I’m not that familiar with Citi, its reward program or other services. Maybe I should be less concerned about the hassle of changing my accounts to another bank and more concerned with the future hassle that might ensue if I continue to keep banking with Wachovia.

See related: Credit crisis survival tips, What happens to credit card debt if your bank fails?, Citi buys Wachovia’s banking, credit card assets

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  • Ooh, David, be wary about closing your account. There’s a saying in the credit business that “old credit is the best credit.” If you have a long and positive payment history on that card, you would hurt your credit score by closing the account.

  • K.Sebring

    Get plenty of information, before doing anything. I heard and only know of, good things,about both banks I think you will be fine. I wish I was as lucky.I was with another Bank. Not a happy camper.