[RUMOR] Is Citi Pulling ThankYou Premier Applications?

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[Updated Oct 10th]:

Based on intel I’ve received, it’s very likely the bonus drops significantly if not to 0  tomorrow. Not definite but solid odds. But I don’t expect the app to be pulled. (Expect not guarantee). Still, not too worthwhile with no bonus.

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[Rumor updated: Monday, Oct 8th, 1pm Eastern time: the latest is that the card won’t be closing to new applications but that the 60k bonus will drop to NO bonus]. I’ve reached out to Citi for clarification and will update again if/when I hear back.

First off, this is from the rumor mill.

One blog, No Mas Coach, who I do not know personally and cannot vouch for the source of his info, has posted that he has sources telling him that Citi will be pulling the Citi ThankYou Premier card apps this Thursday, October 11th.  I have not been able to corroborate this rumor.

That said, things have certainly been changing at Citi ever since Jud Linville left Citi and Anand Selva took over cards. The Citi Prestige was discontinued (for new applications) recently and then we got wind of rumors for a yet unannounced Citi card called Citi Explore (which may or may not ever launch). I wrote about why the Citi Explore, as rumored, didn’t make a ton of sense to me. And I think the revamped Amex Gold card announced last week only muddies the water further for the Citi strategy.

Now this rumor of cancelling new signups for the Premier is a bit of a shocker to me. The competition has been lighter for the mid-tier cards like Premier while Chase had really been gunning for the Premium market. I think there’s certainly a chance we find out the rumor is a misunderstanding and the card doesn’t close to new applications.

But given the shakeups at Citi lately, I’m also not surprised if it does.  No Mas Coach also mentioned in his post a rumor of the AA signup bonus being removed, which I really don’t think will happen as the co-branded cards are a totally different animal, and that almost makes me a bit more curious about where he is getting that info.  But it could also all be happening…

If the card really goes away, one has to wonder what kind of shakeup in card strategy is happening at Citi.

I’m hoping we will hear more substantive news Monday/Tuesday of this week so we can firm up our strategies.

That said, if you’re under 1/24 with Citi, and you appreciate the advanced level value of Citi ThankYou points (for example, to transfer to Etihad, Cathay Pacific, or Avianca for partner redemptions), you may want to get this card now.  (Link: Apply for Travel Rewards Credit Cards)

The bonus for this card had been 50,000 ThankYou points for quite some time and was recently raised to 60,000 points.  There have been many previous reports that the bonus was going back to 50k (or lower) on Thursday Oct 11th. Whether or not they are true and/or if the card goes away completely is anyone’s guess for now.

It’s worth considering that applying for this card would make you ineligible for another ThankYou bonus for 24 months. But then even if a new ThankYou earning card came out that you wanted, you could product change into it or just apply without a bonus. You’ll still have this one.

I’ll say this: If you collect ThankYou points and could use the 60,000 point bonus OR if you could really use the card’s benefits in your wallet, namely, 3X ThankYou points on Travel (includes gas), and 2X on Dining, or any of the other card benefits, then maybe you just want to go and get it now, just in case.  The Prestige rumor did turn out to be true and it hasn’t come back on the market (yet, anyway). 

Stay tuned for more info.

(Link: Apply for Travel Rewards Credit Cards)

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