If You’re Converting From 1 Citi Card to Another, You Need to Know This Rule

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

If You’re Converting From 1 Citi Card to Another, You Need to Know This Rule

Million Mile SecretsIf You’re Converting From 1 Citi Card to Another, You Need to Know This RuleMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Last year, Citi tightened their application rules.  And now, you can’t receive the bonus on a card if you’ve opened or closed a card under the same family of cards in the last 24 months.

But what about a card conversion?  How does that affect your ability to be approved for another Citi card?

If Youre Converting From 1 Citi Card To Another You Need To Know This Rule
Credit Card Rules, Terms, and Conditions Can Be Tricky, but We Love Answering Readers’ Questions!

Million Mile Secret Agent Pat asked:

I’d like to apply for the Citi ThankYou Premier card in Spring 2018.  Because by that time, it will have been 24 months since I last opened or closed a Citi ThankYou points card.  And I should qualify for the bonus.

That said, I just got a letter from Citi indicating they will be converting my old Citi Forward ThankYou Visa card to a Citi ThankYou Preferred Card in January 2018.  And I’m concerned this conversion will impact my eligibility to earn the sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou Premier card.

It’s easy to understand why Pat is concerned.  And why there’s confusion about card conversions.  But here’s the deal.

Citi Application Rules

If you convert from 1 Citi card to another, but keep the same account number, you should be eligible for another sign-up bonus within that family of cards.  But if your conversion results in a new account number (which is more common than not), it DOES reset Citi’s clock.  And you’ll have to wait 24 months to be eligible for a sign-up bonus from a card in that same brand.

In Pat’s case, the fact that Citi is converting the card from a Visa to a MasterCard is a sure sign that the account number will change.  So it WILL affect eligibility for the Citi ThankYou Premier card.  And if possible, Pat should get the Citi ThankYou Premier card before the conversion goes through.

Otherwise, Pat will have to wait another 24 months!

If Youre Converting From 1 Citi Card To Another You Need To Know This Rule
More Often Than Not, a Card Conversion Restarts the Clock on Citi’s 24-Month Application Rule

If the timing doesn’t work, Pat could consider other great rewards cards that earn flexible points.  Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Capital One Venture card, or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

It’s also worth noting that currently, the Citi ThankYou Premier is NOT offering a sign-up bonus.  So unless there’s another reason for wanting it, Pat might want to skip applying – for now anyway!

And remember, just as there is a strategy to maximizing your miles & points to get Big Travel, there is also a strategy to applying for credit cards.  Because each card issuer has their own rules that can affect whether you’ll be approved for their cards.  And you’ll want to make sure you’re earning the biggest sign-up bonuses you can!

Bottom Line

Citi will NOT allow you to earn the sign-up bonus on certain credit cards if you’ve opened or closed a card in the same family of cards in the past 24 months.  And this rule includes card conversions, unless your account number stays the same.

Because of rules like these, it’s important to keep each bank’s individual application policies in mind when deciding on your credit card application strategy.

Thanks for the question, Pat!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 36,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

You might want to call citi to see if you can beat them to the punch and proactively change to a different city credit card that does not earn thank you points. I have found that Citi’s rules are very loose about product changes. They are one of the few banks that I have found will allow you to product change from one family of card to another family of card.

They sent me an offer to change my think you preferred card that I’ve had for years to the citi double cash which I have been thinking of getting and that would save me a credit pull. Problem was, I wanted a high limit on my double cash card and my thank you preferred only had a $2000 limit. However my American Airlines card had an $8000 limit. I called and asked if I could change my American Airlines card to the citi double cash and they said yes it qualified.

I don’t know if the double cash is part of the thank you family or not, but I’m sure you could at least get a no annual fee citi credit card that doesn’t do any points. And then just product change it after you get your premier card.

I also wanted to get the AT&T card last year right after they stopped accepting applications for it. They told me I could change my thank you preferred or my Hilton card over to the ATT card.


Hope this helps, and if you do it I hope it works for you.

Million Mile Secrets

That’s a great suggestion, Zack.

If it’s possible for Pat to convert his existing card to a card in a different brand, then he could still qualify for the sign-up bonus on the Citi ThankYou Premier card (when and if one becomes available!).

I’m in the same position as Pat. I have a Citi Forward card since college that has points in it. I’m trying to keep the Chase 5/24 rule under wraps, but with these forced changes, I may need to ditch the card. Unfortunately, my Citi Forward TY points are linked with my Citigold bank account and I have a lot. Can anyone confirm that this conversion would reset the 5/24 rule and also if cancelling my Citi Forward card would forfeit all of my TY points?

Million Mile Secrets

I spoke with a Citi representative who said you’ll have 60 days after closing your Citi Forward account to use your rewards.

If you end up converting it, it should NOT affect your Chase 5/24 status. Because it shouldn’t be a hard inquiry on your credit report. But I’d double check with Citi once you decide which card to convert to!

Confirmed. They will not pull a hard credit check since it’s the same brand. Whew! Thought I needed to start over again with Chase. But it is kind of a bummer that I won’t be able to enroll in another personal TY points earning card for the next 2 years!