Funny that they would use insuffient number of accounts reporting a balance. There's also one for 'too many accounts with a balance'
Personally I would forget Citi as well. I've been with them for about 8 years and got a CC with them 2 years ago. I am carrying 90% usage and they sent me a letter to participate in Payment Partner program with would reduce my CL but I would assume they're gonna close it anyway if I pay it off without using the PP program. I'm pretty much over them. Customer service is really bad too.
There are, unfortunately, no guarantees, but I think the odds are in your favor. Worst case scenario, you lose a 1/2 hour of your time and the cost of a piece of paper, an envelope and a postage stamp. And even if you don't win, you'll feel a heck of lot better after having sent them a nice, scathing and sarcastic letter. Wait ... on second thought ... leave the sarcastic and scathing out -- that only works for me.
I had an issue with Citibank and also Bank of America not so long ago. I applied for a credit card with each of them and got the 10-day notice from hell. When the ECOA letter came they both cited the same exact reasons:
1. No mortgage showing on my credit report; and
2. Insufficient number of accounts showing a balance.
I called for a recon and they stated that they liked to see 40 - 50% of open accounts with a balance. I had 2 out of 20 showing a balance. I thought this was bogus and, if you ask me, absurd; they want me to spend more and not pay early to prove I was a good risk?
The no mortgage excuse was even more absurd. I have had several mortgages over the years and none are still owing. I had two specifically with BOA and one with Citibank that were paid off quickly. On each recon the analyst could actually see my mortgages, but said that if they are not still open they didn't consider them. Bogus!
Recon failed. Talk about pissed.
Using the name of the Citibank CEO and the e-mail address protocol used by Citibank. I sent an e-mail to the CEO. I also sent a copy via fax to the Citibank CEO and another fax to the CEO of BOA. I know people here on MyFICO.com will find this exceptionally hard to believe, but the tone of my letters were absolutely sarcastic, condescending and, simply, nasty. Basically I told them that I doubted their reasons for denial complied with the ECOA, their risk managers needed a lobotomy and thirdly, considering the class of people they were dealing with lately, they should be smooching my fat rump for remaining their customer.
Within a couple of days they called, apologized profusely and asked me, "What credit limit would you find acceptable?"
From what you have explained, they may or may not have a valid concern with the "high revolving balance" excuse. But I'd not go down without a fight. Just think of it as the ultimate recon.
Yup. Some creditors are clueless.
I think we can combine some of the wacky excuses we've heard / received and write a book.