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Million Mile Secrets Reader Kevin writes:
Kevin can call Citi to convert his Citi American Airlines Platinum card to the Citi Double Cash card, if he’s had the card for at least 12 months. And Citi shouldn’t need to make another hard credit inquiry.
Citi Double Cash Card
Link: Citi Double Cash Card
With the Citi Double Cash card, Kevin can earn 1% cash back on purchases and another 1% cash back on payments.
Other card benefits include:
- NO annual fee
- NO spending categories (you earn cash back on all spending)
- NO limit on the amount of cash back you can earn
Why Downgrade to the Citi Double Cash Card?
Kevin has decided that his Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is no longer worth the $95 annual fee. So what should he do next?
1. Try for a Retention Bonus
Kevin can 1st call Citi’s Retention Department at 800-444-2568. He could say he wants to cancel his Citi American Airlines Platinum card because he doesn’t want to pay the annual fee. The representative may make him an offer to keep his business.
According to the Flyertalk thread on Citi retention bonuses, many folks have been offered a $95 statement credit and 1,000 American Airlines miles when they spend $1,000 on 1 statement with in the next 16 billing cycles. This more than makes up for the annual fee.
Kevin can use this information to evaluate any offer he gets from Citi. If Citi gives him a bonus he likes, he should keep the card.
2. Cancel or Downgrade?
But if Kevin isn’t given a bonus offer or isn’t satisfied with his offer, he can either cancel the card or switch it to another Citi card with NO annual fee, like the Double Cash card.
Canceling the card can reduce the age of his credit history over time and banks don’t like it when you frequently open and close accounts. So the better option may be to convert to the Citi Double Cash card. Just call the number at the back of your existing Citi card and ask to convert the card.
Citi typically won’t allow you to convert your card if it hasn’t been open for at least 12 months. So Kevin should keep this in mind.
If the annual fee on his Citi American Airlines Platinum card will be due within 2 months, Kevin should remind the representative to give him a credit for it. That’s because it takes 51 days for Citi to convert cards.
He also gets to keep his line of credit, which is good for his credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit you’re using compared to the total credit available to you). This will give him a higher credit score.
Will Citi Pull Your Credit Report?
Because Citi has already approved Kevin for the credit line he has with the Citi American Airlines Platinum card, Citi will NOT complete another credit inquiry when he converts to another card.
His original account information will be transferred to the new card.
Drawback to Converting to Citi Double Cash
While converting to a no annual fee card like the Citi Double Cash card is a smart choice, Kevin should be aware that he won’t get a sign-up bonus.
While there is currently no public offer for a sign-up bonus, some folks are receiving targeted offers in the mail. Kevin can’t get a sign-up bonus unless he completes a new application. And in that case Citi WOULD pull his credit report.
If you have a Citi card you feel is not worth the annual fee, you may be able to downgrade it to the Citi Double Cash card. You typically must have the Citi card you’re converting for at least 12 months before you can convert to another card.
However, you should see if Citi will offer you a retention bonus. This may make up for the annual fee and enable you to keep the card for another year.
Converting to a no annual fee card does NOT require a new credit pull and may be a better option than closing your account. That’s because you can keep your credit line and you never have to cancel the card. This helps you build a long-term relationship so you can get approved for more cards in the future!
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