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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