My rate went from 9.74 to 14.99 around January as well, which I only let pass uncontested cause I had recently had several accounts closed and needed to maintain an available credit line.
Come May/June my account insisted there was no balance due, zero. I checked it repeatedly for almost 2 weeks and could see there was extra money in budget but couldnt place where it was coming from.
June 10 they call to say my payment is 2 days late, while on phone I post payment through Bill Pay (next day delivery).
June 12 online statement now has late charge (39.00) and defaulted to 29.99 which I propmtly protest. Representitive agreed to remove late charge and would have to file a request for rate review since computer wouldnt let her restore it.
June 24 no credit or response yet so call back. Next rep was at least very honest about it, it seems recently citicards reprogrammed thier computer so no rep can remove a late charge if the account is presently current. And no request for rate reconsideration was ever filed. He filed one and I had a written response in 3 days. I defaulted on my account but they would reveiw my account and reconsider lowering it after I made 12 consecative payments on time.
I have written offers from june 14 offering to set up pay back provisions removing all late fees and payments that are actually lower than the predefault amount. I now have 5 written positions and 2 verbal that all contradict each other.
Being as Im single with no kids and no seizeable assets, there is a means to an end of sorts for me. The interest rate cant get any higher and all it can cost me by refusing to pay is late fees. I will no doubt ineviateably have to pay them, but federal banking laws will force them to charge it off thier books in 120 days. That degrades thier securities and deprives them of desperately needed immediate cash flow.
Such a series of events need only occur in 1 out of 158 accounts to strip all profit out of it. Short of another massive bailout citibank is bankrupt while most of the other banks are actually buying back preferred shares the goverment holds against them. Citicards attempts to double and quadruptle its interest/profit margin is self destruct mechinism.