How to Downgrade to the Citi Double Cash Card

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Million Mile Secrets Reader Kevin writes:

I’m considering downgrading my Citi American Airlines Platinum card to the Citi Double Cash card.  How does this work?  Do they pull your credit report?

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.

How To Downgrade To The Citi Double Cash Card

But If He Converts to the Citi Double Cash Card, the Bank Won’t Give Him a Sign-Up Bonus!

Citi Double Cash Card

Link:   Citi Double Cash Card

Link:   My Review of the 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?

Link:   Why Everyone Should Have a NO Annual Fee Card

Link:   Does Cancelling a Card Hurt Your Credit Score? 

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.

How To Downgrade To The Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card Has No Annual Fee, Which Means Kevin Never Has to Cancel It. This Will Help Him Build Trust With the Bank!

By converting his Citi American Airlines Platinum card to the Citi Double Cash card, Kevin can begin establishing a long-term relationship with Citi.

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 coverts 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.

Bottom Line

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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30 responses to “How to Downgrade to the Citi Double Cash Card

  1. @millionmilessecrets
    called citi recon line to convert aa visa select to citi double cash.. they said not possible because they are in “different product families”

  2. I tried this and they said it isn’t a conversion option yet.

  3. Timely post. My $95 was due tomorrow. However, as purcitron points out, this whole post’s premise is wrong. You can’t downgrade from an AA card to the double cash because they are different product families. I called and initially was told (likely by an overseas CSR) I could only downgrade to the AA bronze card to avoid the fee. However, then the specialist I spoke to close the account (who made sure to indicate to me she was in Florida) right afterward gave me the $95 credit + 1000 miles each billing cycle over next 16 cycles of $1000 spending without my even asking. I was surprised, since this is a sock drawer card for me. They’ve now earned my spending for the next year, which is smart!

  4. Sooooo I don’t know if it matters cause I saw you put AA Visa, but mine was the MasterCard and I converted it about a week ago to a Double Cash since my fee was up. They told me not allowed to offer bonuses for keeping card so I said I would convert. I have to call to get the fee removed from my bill now on my Double Cash but I’m switched over.

  5. Can I cancel my AA visa when the AF becomes due; then in x months apply for the AA MC? I recently was told I could not have two AA cards open at the same time when I applied for AA MC while still owning AA Visa. How many months would be x before applying for MC?

  6. Tried requesting PC from Simplicity to Double Cash, they said no not permitted. Is anyone having luck doing a PC to this?

  7. @mmt You cannot be approved for another AA Visa or AA MC if you applied for any type of AA CC within the last 18 months (varies from 12 to 22 months, YMMV, but 18 is the most likely timeframe).

    You do not have to cancel any open AA cards to be approved, the only question is how long it’s been since you applied for one of any type.

  8. @mmt Don’t forget, US Airlines miles will convert over to AA miles sometime in the next year. So if it’s AA miles you want, and you don’t have a Barclays US Air cc, apply for that now before it goes away. Those 40K miles will be automatically transferred over to your AA account when the merger is complete.

  9. Can I change Citi ThankYou Preferred to Citi Dividend Card?

  10. I had the same experience as @Jon, with a Citi AA AmEx, although the first Citi rep I called told me conversion was impossible. I called again later and a different rep did the conversion in 5 minutes.

  11. What about downgrading from a Premier card? Can you still redeem points for airfare at 1.2%, or does that automatically go away when you don’t have a Premier-level card?

  12. I’ve called the number a couple times on Friday and today and I keep getting a message that the office is closed. Wonder what is going on.

  13. You can convert an AA card to the double cash. I did and just received my new card. If they tell you no, hang up and try again.

  14. I have a Diamond Preferred that gathers dust in my sock drawer. It’s my oldest credit card account so I keep it open. I spoke to a rep about downgrading it and she told me that they would need to hard pull my credit and close the Diamond Preferred account.

  15. Citi is known to issue 1099. Are they going issue 1099 for getting a check vs. redeeming (will not earn the 1%)?

  16. Ok I just tried and was able to get it converted. They even offered to have the Annual Fee Refunded.

  17. If you convert an existing CitiCard to Double Cash do you still get the 15 month zero interest on purchases? Or do I need a hard pull on my credit for that?

  18. I checked. If you convert your existing Citi card, you do not get the zero interest promo. You have to apply like a new customer and get a hard credit pull to get the zero interest.

  19. I just called and ask to convert my Citi Advantage Amex to a Citi Cash….it took 5 minutes no problem. Shipping to me within 10 days.

  20. I have a Citi® Dividend World MasterCard with $29 accumulated in cash back ($50 or greater required for redemption). If I ask to have my card converted to the double cash back card, will I lose my accumulated cash back which I can’t redeem yet?

  21. @Simon – in my experience, converting an account is basically treated as “closing” that account, as far as rewards terms go. So they will usually make your forfeit accumulated rewards. They won’t warn you about this, they’ll just process the conversion and there’s no going back, as I found out the hard way once or twice. If you want to use them, you’ll need to try using them before you convert the card.

  22. just converted my card smoothly to a citi double cash

  23. FYI, I converted my aadvantage platinum card to the Citi Double Cash card without any hassle in 5 minutes over the phone. Just call 1-800-950-5114.

  24. I too converted my ThankYou Preferred to Double Cash in less than 5 min.

  25. I too converted my ThankYou Preferred to Double Cash with a phone call to 1-800-950-5114. I will see about moving some of the CL from my Siplicity card (which could NOT be converted) to this when i get the card.

  26. I called the number on the back of my ThankYou Preferred Card last month and was told that I could not convert the account. I just called 1-800-950-5114 and had no trouble doing the conversion.

  27. Just tried to convert my AAdvantage Platinum MasterCard to the Double Cash card (called the number on the back of my card) and was told the only card I could convert to was the AAdvantage Executive Platinum card. I told the rep that I didn’t want a card with an annual fee anymore, as I wasn’t getting $95 worth of value from the card. When he said there was “nothing he could do” I said that I’d had this card for thirteen years and that Citibank would rather I cancel my account than convert to another? He didn’t have a response for that other than my account was not eligible for conversion. Found this site, called 1-800-950-5114 and was immediately told my account was eligible for conversion and in 51 days I will have a new Double Cash card. Good grief, credit card companies are shifty!

  28. I called citi to request a product change from my Citi Premiere to
    Thank You Preferred to avoid the $95 annual fee and preserve my $10000 credit line and my 11000 Thank You points. Citi rep said he could do that but it would involve a hard pull to make the product change. He said that is a recent change caused by some new government regulation and now all product changes require a hard pull. I did the exact same product change for my wife 5 months ago and was assured no hard pull was involved. Has anyone heard of this change recently or is this rep misinformed?