By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate…
Why does every credit card have a different customer service number on the back, even two cards from the same bank? Of course this is known as the “magic of branding” and it’s designed to make sure you can never easily remember one simple phone number for all your cards such as 1-800-CITIBANK or (888) CAP-1-SUX or any number that would be straightforward and uncomplicated, because who wants that, right?
Actually, banks maintain separate customer service lines both for branding reasons and to reserve their best agents for their most valued customers. However, what many people don’t realize is that any customer service agent can access all the credit cards you hold at that bank.
This leads us to a very simple trick: no matter which card you’re calling about, always call the number on the back of the most premium card you have with that particular bank.
For example, if you’ve got questions about your American Express Delta card, call the number on the back of your AmEx Platinum or your Premier Rewards Gold. Then tell the agent you’re actually calling about your Delta account and they’ll be happy to help you with any issue you have. Ditto for using Chase Sapphire Preferred agents to handle your Chase Freedom card, or calling a Citi ThankYou Prestige number to work on any of your Citibank accounts.
This trick will normally work only if you really have a card for the customer service number you’re calling — you can’t use a AmEx Platinum agent if you don’t have a Platinum card. But even a co-branded card such as an airline or hotel card may have better customer service than a standard no-fee card.
So the next time you have a question about your basic credit card, look over your card collection and instead try calling the agent for one of your fancier cards. With any luck you’ll be treated more like Queen Elizabeth than Shannon Elizabeth.
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