How Citibank’s New Policy Almost Ruined My Vacation

by Evil HR Lady on July 20, 2019

I’ve had a Citibank credit card for almost 20 years but Citibank canceled it on Thursday. I have a monthly storage shed payment that hits the card, but otherwise, I rarely use it. But, I pay it off every month and am generally a low maintenance kind of a person. (I realize, paying it off every month and not using it a ton means I’m not a hugely profitable customer, but I was loyal.)

I’m also an American citizen who lives in Switzerland. I’ve been honest and upfront about my physical location. Many expats use their parents’ or siblings’ or friends’ addresses for US accounts to keep the bank in the dark. US banks don’t like to to have customers abroad any more than foreign banks want to have US citizens as customers.

Through a stroke of bad luck, my Swiss credit card number was stolen right before I went on vacation. The company caught it and canceled my card. They sent me a new one, but even though I’ll often talk about the benefits of Swiss efficiency, it doesn’t apply when banking is concerned. My new Swiss Mastercard hadn’t arrived five days later when I needed to board my plane to Newcastle, England.

To keep reading, click here: How Citibank’s New Policy Almost Ruined My Vacation

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr DACHsund July 20, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Trade-off, right? Banking is a bear, but earnings exclusion is easy. I’d be tempted to use my storage shed or family location as my US mailing address, just like RV retirees have a purely nominal “home” mailing address.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion

https://www.financialsamurai.com/why-not-work-overseas-make-more-and-pay-less-taxes/

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MariaRose July 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm

Sounds like a big headache but as a current ( in the USA) Citibank user, I throughly understand your frustration. One thing I have learned over the years is to be diligent in checking on every account especially since the access is available online. There’s still a bit of a delay factor in the bank process system which confines everything to “business hours “ despite everything else supposedly being 24/7. With the online access you will have better communication since mail is usually slower especially since there’s a big difference between USPS and the mail system in Europe and I doubt that any US banks will send mail via first class for something like an communication, which explains why you may not have received the notice. Since you get income from the USA in dollars you need a banking account that doesn’t add a processing fee. I don’t know which you should have other than it should be an international bank. The main reason I have stuck with Citibank is the available offices close enough for me to do those banking needs that I can’t do online—like cashier checks or money is a different denomination than the version allowed at an ATM. Good luck with your future banking choices. Thanks also for reminding us to periodically review our banking accounts.

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JC DoubleTaxed July 21, 2019 at 9:17 am

U.S. tax and compliance laws apply Kafkaesque double taxation on U.S. persons tax resident overseas.

There are extra U.S. penalties, tax, and disincentives for money, accounts, pensions, and investments in countries other than the US; even if you live permanently overseas, your accounts are local to you, and you already pay a fair share of tax to the country you live in, at equal of higher rates than U.S. taxes as with ~92.5% of the U.S. persons overseas.

In an increasingly global and mobile world the US should not punish US persons living, working overseas, and expanding US influence and trade overseas.

Once resident overseas the U.S. provides to its citizens ZERO resident services, ZERO local protection of property, and ZERO protection of local individual rights in exchange for: the double taxation + extra reporting + extra penalties. Thus the one-way double tax claim is unjust, is un-American, and has been called Tributary Slavery. It represents tax cheating by the U.S. Government.

Based on the numbers of 9 million U.S. persons resident overseas and U.S. federal spend per U.S. resident, the U.S. should be paying $113 billion in resident services to overseas Americans. NOT ZERO!

Any U.S. persons overseas must visit purpleexpatorg, The Isaac Brock Society, americansabroadfortaxfairness dot org, citizenshiptaxation dot ca, Facebook Groups: American Expatriates, and FixTheTaxTreaty dot org. Twitter rally point: #FATCA.

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