I’ve previously written posts that summed up how Citi applications work in neat boxes like the 1/24 and 1/48 rules. But if you found one of those posts on the Google, I’ve redirected you here because a lot has changed with the Citi bonus rules – so let’s get it all in one place.
In this article
Citi Credit Card Velocity Rules
Before we even get into specific cards, you can only get a maximum of 1 Citi credit card every 8 days and no more than 2 in 65 days. Got it? Good. Now that’s out of the way.
Citi Credit Card “Families”
It used to be very simple. There were several Citi cards that earned ThankYou points where a bonus on one precluded a bonus on any others. Back when the Citi Prestige was a card you could still apply for, you had to worry about whether you had opened or closed a Prestige, Premier, or Rewards+ in the last 24 months to figure out eligibility and strategize since you could only have one per 24 months. But that’s just a lot of words that no longer matter.
There are currently 6 Citi card sets of rules to know. Let’s go one by one.
Citi Premier Bonus / Application Rules
You want to read the Citi Premier bonus rules carefully: Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+®, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months.
So to be clear, if you got a new card bonus on a Prestige, Premier, Rewards+ or ThankYou Preferred in the last 24 months or if you closed any of these credit cards in the last 24 months, you cannot get the Citi Premier bonus.
This means you will want to prioritize it first. Now, let’s say you have a Citi Premier from 2.5 years ago and it’s still open. In that case, you are eligible for a bonus on a new Premier card. You just can’t close the first one beforehand. And if you were to close that Premier, you would want to read the downgrade rules carefully first to not lose all your points.
So, we always want to start by opening a Citi Premier. The rest won’t be as complex as only the Premier blocks you from applying if you’ve gotten other ThankYou cards first.
Citi Custom Cash Bonus / Application Rules
The Citi Custom Cash earns 5X ThankYou points on up to $500 in one category per month is in a class by itself. You can get the bonus regardless of any other Citi bonuses you have gotten recently. Note the one card per customer restriction in Citi’s bonus language, though: “Our policy is to offer only one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per customer. Bonus is not available if you received one for opening a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account in the past 48 months.”
So here, the only restriction is another Custom Cash card – but it’s if you got one in the last 48 months and still hold it.
The points are awarded as ThankYou points worth a penny each, but can be combined with your Citi Premier card to access airline/hotel transfer partners.
(Learn how to apply and more about the Citi Premier card)
Citi Rewards+ Bonus / Application Rules
That language is now gone from the Citi website. Only the 1/8 and 2/65 rules are in your way. The points are awarded as ThankYou points worth a penny each, but can be combined with your Citi Premier card to access airline/hotel transfer partners.
(Learn how to apply and more about the Citi Rewards+)
Citi Double Cash Bonus / Application Rules
The Citi Double Cash credit card historically has no bonus offer. However, right now you can get $200 when you spend $1,500 in 6 months. The points are awarded as ThankYou points worth a penny each, but can be combined with your Citi Premier card to access airline/hotel transfer partners.
(Learn how to apply and more about the Citi Double Cash)
CitiBusiness ThankYou Card Bonus / Application Rules
Want the secret CitiBusiness ThankYou card that you can only get in branch? This is subject to having last gotten the bonus on the same card in the last 24 months and that you have not closed the same card in the last 24 months. I know, that “or closed” rule is tricky so be aware. Otherwise, this card and bonus is in a class by itself.
(You can only apply for this card in a Citi branch.)
Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Card Bonus / Application Rules
Citi really tightened up the rules on these cards a couple of years ago. However, you can get up to 4 bonuses within 48 months as follows.
For the standard Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard, American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months. So, only if you got a bonus on this exact card in the last 48 months are you blocked from a new bonus.
(Learn how to apply and more about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard)
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard® is similar. Only having gotten the bonus on the Citi® / AAdvantage®Executive World Elite Mastercard® in the last 48 months precludes you from another bonus. American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive account in the past 48 months.
(Learn how to apply and more about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard®)
And if you really need more miles, the bonus offer on the no annual fee AAdvantage MileUpSM credit card is generally quite small (around 10,000 miles), but once again, as long as you didn’t get a MileUp credit card bonus in the last 48 months, you are welcome to grab it.
(Learn how to apply and more about the Citi AAdvantage MileUpSM Card)
Lastly, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® plays by its own 48 month rule. If you haven’t gotten the exact same card in the past 48 months, you are good to apply and receive a bonus. This is completely separate from the personal AAdvantage cards.
(Learn how to apply and more about the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®)
So, there you have it.
Clear as mud, those are all the restrictions on receiving bonus offers on new Citi credit cards. The most important things to take away from this are that you always want to get the Citi Premier before any other ThankYou-earning credit card and that you should always consider getting an AAdvantage credit card bonus once per 4 years – at least on the standard Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard.
Citi Reconsideration Phone Line
If you are declined, you can call Citi for reconsideration. It’s not like the Chase Reconsideration line, where they can really work hard to overturn denials and reallocate credit lines (which Citi will not do), but it’s still possible to have luck with Citi reconsideration.
Call 1-800-695-5171 for personal credit cards or 1-866-541-7657 for small business credit cards.
In my experience, the most common reason for a denial that reconsideration can overturn is something simple mismatched, like an address or phone number. It’s worth a shot. Note that if you are declined for Citi Velocity rules, i.e. 1/8 or 2/65, it shouldn’t process the application at all, saving you a hard inquiry.
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.