Million Mile Secrets reader, Laura, sent in a question on Facebook:
I received the sign-up bonus from the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. The Citi rules say you can NOT get the sign-up bonus again on a Citi card if you opened or closed any card in the same “brand” over the past 24 months.
Excellent question, Laura!
The Citi rules restrict folks from earning a new card sign-up bonus if you’ve opened OR closed a card under the same family of cards in a 24-month timeframe.
I checked with Citi and a product change does NOT restart the clock. But there are some exceptions. This is generally good news if you’re planning on re-applying for the card in the future.
I’ll remind you about the Citi sign-up bonus rules and share tips to make the most of Citi bonuses in the future!
What Are the Citi Sign-Up Bonus Rules?
With Citi cards, you can only earn one sign-up bonus within the same family every 24 months. This means you can NOT earn a sign-up bonus on a card within 24 months after you’ve opened or closed a card within the same brand.
These are the Citi card brands and cards impacted:
1. American Airlines
- Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Mastercard
- Citi American Airlines Executive World Elite Mastercard
2. ThankYou Points
- Citi Prestige
- Citi ThankYou Premier Card
- Citi ThankYou Preferred
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students
As an example, here’s how the new rule works.
If you have opened OR closed the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Mastercard in the past 24 months, you wouldn’t be eligible to earn the sign-up bonus on Citi American Airlines Executive World Elite Mastercard. Because these 2 cards are in the same family.
The Citi rule applies specifically to earning sign-up bonuses. So it’s still possible to apply and get approved for a new card within the same family. But you’ll miss out on the sign-up bonus.
Completing a product change (downgrade) will NOT re-start the clock. But only if you keep the same account number.
For example, let’s say Laura’s had the Citi American Airlines Executive World Elite Mastercard for less than 24 months. Then, she completes a product change and downgrades to Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card. She does NOT have to wait 24 months from the date of downgrading to re-apply and earn the sign-up bonus on the Citi American Airlines Executive World Elite Mastercard.
But if you product change from the Citi Prestige to a card within a different brand family like the no annual fee Citi Double Cash, you’ll likely get a new account number. This means the 24 month clock WILL restart for earning the Citi Prestige sign-up bonus again.
Thanks to Million Mile Secrets reader Dave for clarifying the rules!
Strategy for Earning Citi Sign-Up Bonuses
Here’s a tip for timing your Citi sign-up bonuses.
Consider applying first for certain Citi business cards, which are not impacted by the rules.
For example, you’re eligible to earn the sign-up bonus with the CitiBusiness American Airlines Platinum Select World Mastercard, even if you have one of the other Citi American Airlines personal credit cards.
And remember you don’t need a huge corporation to get a business credit card. Here’s a post with 10 activities that may qualify you as a small business.
Plus, Citi small business cards don’t count toward Chase’s tougher application rules. so opening one won’t knock you out of the running for valuable Chase cards.
Citi’s rules make it difficult to earn multiple sign-up bonuses for cards within the same brand or family.
Because if you open or close a card within the same brand, you’ll have to wait 24 months to be eligible to earn a new sign-up bonus on another card within the same brand.
The Citi brands include the American Airlines and ThankYou points cards.
That said, completing a product change (like downgrading) does NOT count as closing your account. But you must keep the same account number.