Not sure you want to publish this, but I read in the “Other Credit Cards” Flyertalk forum that CITI has a phone number that goes directly to the retention line. It was answered before I heard it ring once!
My offer was for 5 transactions on the card in the next 3 months to receive a statement credit equal to the annual fee. Done deal. As many Citicards as some of us have, I’ve added it to my memory dial. By the way, this is also the number where they can shift credit lines for you (the guy did it while I was holding). It seems CITI has no problems re-allocating credit lines, that was just an issue with Chase (for me) apparently.
Great to see your trip is going well –