New Citi Rules Restrict Sign-Up Bonuses to Once per “Brand” Every 24 Months

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There’s bad news for folks who like Citi cards.

Via Doctor of Credit, Citi’s changed their application rules to restrict folks from earning the sign-up bonus from more than one card of the same “brand” within 24 months.

Until now, most Citi cards would allow you to earn the sign-up bonus again if you hadn’t opened or closed that specific card in the past 24 months.  Now, they’ve tightened the rules so you can’t receive the bonus if you’ve opened or closed a card under the same family of cards in that timeframe.

So, for example, if you have or have had the Citi ThankYou Premier in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved for a Citi Prestige, which also earns Citi ThankYou points.

New Citi Rules Restrict Sign Up Bonuses To Once Per Brand Every 24 Months

Citi’s New Rules Restrict Folks From Getting More Than One Card of the Same Brand in 24 Months

There’s no official word on these changes from Citi, except for new language in the terms and conditions for certain cards.  I’ll share what I know so far.

New Stricter Rules From Citi

Link:   Which Cards Let You Get the Sign-Up Bonus Again?

Citi offers different cards under the same brand.

Popular Citi travel brands:

  • American Airlines
  • Citi ThankYou points 
  • Hilton

For instance, their American Airlines cards include the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® , and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®.

In the past, you could get the sign-up bonus on these cards again if you hadn’t opened or closed the same card in the past 24 months.  And you could earn the sign-up bonus on different cards without worrying about the 24-month-rule, because they were considered different card products.

Now, it appears Citi is treating all cards under the same brands as one card product for the purpose of earning sign-up bonuses.

For example, the terms & conditions for the Citi Prestige card now read:

Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige cards opened or closed in the past 24 months.

And for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi / AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Other cards this may affect include the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, Citi® Hilton HHonors™Visa Signature® Card, EXPEDIA®+ CARD from Citi, and EXPEDIA®+ VOYAGER CARD from Citi.

It’s Not Just Citi, So Have a Strategy!

The banks have been tightening up their application rules.

American Express now restricts personal and small business card sign-up bonuses to once, per person, per lifetime.

And Chase won’t approve you for most cards if you’ve opened ~5 or more new cards (except certain business cards) in the past 24 months.

So I’m not surprised Citi is changing their rules, too.

What Will It Be Like in Practice?

That said, it’s not known yet if Citi has started enforcing this rule.  And depending on the link you use, some landing pages still include the old language.  Like the Citi Executive AAdvantage, which still reads:

American Airlines AAdvantage ® bonus miles offer is not available if you have had a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® opened or closed in the past 24 months.

So it’s possible they’re rolling out the new policy slowly.

I’ll keep you posted as new information becomes available.  It could be that targeted Citi card offers that you get in the mail will have looser restrictions.  But be sure to read the fine print!

Ongoing Card Perks

The language on the offer pages specifically says you will not earn the bonus miles or points. But it does NOT say that can’t get the card again.

So if a card’s perks are appealing to you — such as the Citi Prestige 4th hotel night free — it sounds like you’ll be able to open a new account.

If you apply for a Citi card while having another of the same brand opened or closed in the past 24 months, please share your experience about earning the bonus in the comments!

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18 responses to “New Citi Rules Restrict Sign-Up Bonuses to Once per “Brand” Every 24 Months

  1. Well, that’s really stupid of Citi. Restricting the bonuses like that won’t get them many new applicants for cards. When I sign up for a card that has a bonus, I really use that card. I have more cards than I need, but I pretty much use them all.

    Oh well. I guess I won’t be applying for many new cards then in the future.

  2. you sold the blog at the right time

  3. D, I know Chase only allows I think 5 card applications per 24 months. My question, do cards such as Fidelity Cash Back card count? They are a VISA card, but I do not see any reference to Chase on the application. Or what about store chain cards, such as Menards or Home Depot.

    I don’t want to jeopardize a future Bonus from Chase by getting one of these if it counts against me. Thanks

  4. he did?

  5. Confirming that your link for citi Platnum Executive card works, I have both personal citi personal and business AA cards within 12 months.

    Notes: I got a message after application to call to give more information, agent wanted to confirm a few things after 2 min approved.

  6. Does apply since when. I AM In the middle of getting thw hilton bonus

  7. This is a very interesting change. It doesn’t seem nearly as draconian as what Chase and AMEX have done. Once per lifetime (AMEX) is incredibly strict to say the least, but the Chase change hurts much more because you get penalized for activity that has nothing to do with Chase (i.e. applying for non-Chase cards in the last 24 months). For example, you can get an AA card, wait six months, get a Thankyou card, wait six months, get a Hilton card, wait six months, and then get an Expedia card (or something else to fill the gap). Six months later, you can start all over again. The problem with that approach is that Chase punishes you for those apps, not Citi!

  8. Citi screwed me on the citigold checking offer and now they are gonna restrict me here too. What a crock.

  9. Do you know if the ‘Citi AAdvantage Gold Card’ is included in the ‘American Airlines’ family restriction?
    I took a look at their online application website – and I am not seeing any reference to this restriction.

  10. @Pat yes… clear as day:
    “American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles not available if you have had any Citi / AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.”
    https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=citi-aadvantage-gold-credit-card

  11. Will the Citi AA Business card be an issue or it is separate from the personal accounts?

  12. @Nickk
    As it states in my previous comment: “bonus miles not available if you have had any Citi / AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage card)”

    So, it seems you can get a personal and a business AAdvantage card and earn a bonus on both for the moment, assuming those are the only cards you have/had.

  13. What’s happening is that the churning customers have juiced the systems and the banks don’t have a reasonable way to control it churners save some for us fair to good credit folks commlng up lol

  14. what if this new 24 month rule is not listed on the terms and conditions of the application for a citi card? Is the rule already in affect?

  15. This is unfortunate for newcomers like me. Why couldn’t they just restrict per card to 24mo?

  16. the link containing the old language is true until you click on the APPLY button. When you do, the new language with the words “ANY'” aadvantage card comes up on the application page.

  17. Clicked on the apply link and it goes to a secure application page with the statement:
    American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi®/AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

    Looks like the loophole is closed. 🙁

  18. Darius, Emily and All

    Doctor of Credit says:

    Apply for Citi Cards until August 28th under the Old Terms
    http://www.doctorofcredit.com/apply-citi-cards-august-28th-old-terms/?

    This link says you can still get the 50K offer for the CITI AA Platinum Select after $3K in spend.
    https://secure.fly.aa.com/citi/footer-plathv

    Good luck all! 🙂