Credit Card Overlimit by Citibank PayLite

I have been a long-time Citibank credit card (CC) user, charging most payments with plastic. You see, I don’t like bringing a lot of cash. Thick wallets are ugly, and mostly uncomfortable inside pockets.

I have lost the same CC twice and requested replacements. I have also forgotten online passwords and PIN codes, and paid penalties for delayed payments. But I have never hit the CC limit – until now.

I encountered my first issue when trying to update the CC expiration date in PayPal. This CC was a replacement to an expired card, so the update was necessary. But PayPal wouldn’t have it, and told me to contact my bank. So I called up Citibank, and was told that I had reached my limits. The next day, I tried to register the card again, and this time the CC update was accepted by PayPal.

I thought my woes were over, but NO. Every time I’d swipe my CC, I’d get a text (SMS) that my CC had reached its limits. I knew this to be impossible. After all, I knew my limits, and knew that my current expenses were only a third of that limit. So, I sent Citibank an email, and received this response some days later (with figures slightly modified):

Thank you for your message.

We would like to inform you that your account has already exceeded the limit as of today. Kindly refer to the details below:

Outstanding balance: P33,xxx.xx
Total outstanding installment balance: P59,xxx.xx
Outstanding floating balance: P16,xxx.xx
Total: P110,xxx.xx
Credit Limit: P88,xxx.xx

There’s my culprit – Total outstanding installment balance. See, I had made purchases done on a 12-month PayLite 0% installment scheme. It turns out that the FULL amount eats up the Credit Limit every single month, even if I’m charged only partial amounts! With that, I’d be able to use up only P28,xxx.xx (Credit Limit Installment Balance) every month, instead of the full P88,xxx.xx Credit Limit. SNEAKY BASTARDS!

So the next time you think about going on an installment with Citibank’s PayLite scheme, consider if the amount if safe enough not to cripple your Credit Limit.


4 Responses to Credit Card Overlimit by Citibank PayLite

  1. JP says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am searching for credit card overlimit by Citibank because I am worried that I will be charged extra for exceeding the limit. Do you remember how much you were charged for exceeding your credit card limit?

    Right now my card’s limit is 17k, I purchased something worth 16k (it got approved somehow), but, 2 monthly installments will be added on the billing date worth 3k, which will push the total to 19k, and thus exceeding the credit limit. I am planning on paying 2.5k before billing date just to prevent the total from exceeding the limit. Have you done this before?

  2. When you use City PayLite to purchase something worth 65K for 12 months, how much credit limit do you need to have? Does it have to be more than 65K, or more than just the monthly payment which is about 5500?

    • gchang says:

      Ideally greater than the original price. e.g. If you buy something worth 60K, and paylite at 20K for 3 months, 60K “becomes used”, then 40K the next month, then 20K. So if you have 100K credit limit, your available credit becomes (using the same concept earlier) 40K, then 60K, then 80K, then finally returns to 100K.

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