Citi Helps You Choose Watch-Guard Preferred - Products News


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Products » Citi Helps You Choose Watch-Guard Preferred

Citi Helps You Choose Watch-Guard Preferred

Citi Helps You Choose Watch-Guard Preferred
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi.

Do you find it difficult to make all the decisions that are asked of you in a day? Everywhere you turn someone is trying to sell you something, enroll you in a program, or get you to check a box or sign your name to something. Never fear – Citi is trying to help you out by making some of those little decisions for you.

If you didn’t look carefully at your Citi credit card statement recently, you may have missed the opt-in box for a security service called “Watch-Guard Preferred,” which provides credit monitoring, cash advances, and identity theft protection. Don’t worry, though – Citi thoughtfully checked the box for you.

David Lazarus, a reporter for the L.A. Times, writes that Julian Bermudez of Cypress Park, in Los Angeles, was one of many customers to take note of the pre-checked box on his Citi card statement, enrolling him in the $5.95-per month service. Lazarus spoke to Bermudez, who said “I don’t like someone saying yes for me. That’s so not cool.”

Just Sign on the Dotted Line

Turns out, Citi wasn’t exactly saying yes for customers – they were only encouraging them to say yes by checking the box for them. To be enrolled in the security program, they still would have had to sign underneath the box, something that wasn’t clear to many Citi credit card holders, who saw only a “YES” box that was already checked.

This explanation, along with the instructions to sign underneath the pre-checked box to enroll in the service, was on a slip of paper accompanying the statement – filed in along with the advertisements and terms and conditions in fine print. Most customers discard those flyers as soon as they open the bill, leaving only the payment slip – which is where the pre-checked box in question was located. The line where customers could opt-in for the Watch-Guard security service was right next to the payment amount box.

Citi’sSide of Story

According to Emily Collins, a spokesperson for Citi, the box was on the May statements of only “a portion” of the Citi’s customers – though she decline to say how many. Citi has more than 20 million customers in North America, so “a portion” could easily be in the millions.

Collins said, “We apologize that some customers may have found this message confusing, and are always listening to feedback as we work to ensure that it’s clear and simple for customers to find the information they need.”

She also pointed out that if Citi customers enrolled in the service – knowingly or unwittingly – “should they change their mind, we cancel their enrollment and credit them appropriately.”

Troubled Track Record

If this sounds like an innocent mistake made by a company that’s simply trying to do business and generate revenue while offering their customers a useful security service, consider this: The company that owns Watch-Guard Preferred – a Connecticut-based firm called Affinion Group – has paid out more than $22 million in settlements due to what their own spokesperson, Mike Bush, acknowledges were shady marketing practices.

Bush stressed that the illegal marketing tactics “had nothing to do with our ID theft protection products,” which may or may not make potential customers feel better about giving Watch-Guard Preferred $5.95 a month.

Paperless Prevention

For its part, Citi says it will no longer include pre-checked boxes on their credit-card statements, but Roman Shteyn, founder of and credit expert, has a better idea.

He suggests that customers enroll in paperless statements whenever possible, to avoid this sort of misleading marketing practice. “If customers simply set up direct online payments and opt out of receiving all this paper mail junk, not only will they avoid making late payments that could lower their credit scores, they won’t be subject to these offers in the first place,” says Shteyn.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

Bank of America Outfitting Debit Cards With EMV
Bank of America Outfitting Debit Cards With EMV

Posted: October 07, 2014

Bank of America will be integrating EMV technology into debit cards to increase security, making it the first U.S. bank to do so. This rollout will include all new and reissued consumer and business debit cards. Continue reading

Brooks Brothers and Citi Sign Multi-Year Deal
Brooks Brothers and Citi Sign Multi-Year Deal

Posted: July 07, 2015

Brooks Brothers and Citi Retail Services have inked a new multi-year credit card deal, and this new partnership paves the way for Citi to provide the 200-year old apparel retailer with co-branded and private label credit cards. Continue reading

Credit Cards Are Actually the Best Way to Protect Yourself Against Fraud
Credit Cards Are Actually the Best Way to Protect Yourself Against Fraud

Posted: February 19, 2016

When it comes to fraud there is a lot that consumers can do to protect themselves. But there is also a lot that credit card issuers can do to help them out including offering services like credit monitoring. Continue reading

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Introducing the New Citi Rewards+ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
For Excellent, Good Credit
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
For Good/Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees
Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
For Fair/Bad Credit
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!