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Earlier this morning, the news came out that Citibank had changed the rules of who can get a bonus for signing up for their credit cards. Previously, you could get a signup bonus as long as you had not opened or closed that card within the past 24 months. The new rules state that you can only get a signup bonus if you haven’t opened or closed ANY card in that card’s family (so any Hilton for a Hilton card, or ANY ThankYou card for a Citi Premier or Prestige, etc.)
When do the new rules start?
The application pages of all of the Citi cards have been updated with the new language, such as the below (emphasis mine)
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.
So we all assumed that the rules were put in place immediately. Chuck from Doctor of Credit reached out to a contact at Citi who said that the new rules would start on August 28th. I agree with Miles to Memories who suggests that while Doctor of Credit is a believable source, we still haven’t had OFFICIAL confirmation, so proceed at your own risk.
What cards to get before then?
According to the current rules and best practices of credit card churning, you can apply for one Citi card every 8 days and 2 cards every 65 days. So between now and August 28th you have the option to potentially get 2 Citi cards.
The other thing to consider is that the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card is slated to come out on August 21st, so if you’re looking at getting that, it’s something to keep in mind. Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card wouldn’t have any impact on the Citibank 1/8 and 2/65 rule, though applying for a Citibank card might impact your chances of getting a Chase card under Chase 5/24.
My Citi application plan
So, assuming that we can confirm that you can still apply for Citi cards under the old rules through August 28th, here’s my tentative plan
Even though I am over 5/24, I am planning on giving the Chase Sapphire Reserve card a try when it comes out on August 21st. I’m going to try in branch per this Frequent Miler post, and as such I’d prefer to not have any super recent card inquiries on my credit report that I have to explain. So I will just go for 1 Citi card between 8/21 and 8/28, probably the Citi AAdvantage card.
I don’t think Carolyn is going to apply for the Sapphire Reserve card, so she still would
- 1 card will be the Citi Prestige – hopefully I won’t screw up the Citi Prestige $250 airline credit like I did on MY card. She’s had the Premier card recently but not the Prestige.
- For the second card, I think we’re within 24 months on her Hilton HHonors card. I could get the Hilton Reserve card, but I’ve already got so many free hotel nights I don’t know what to do with them. I’ll probably go for a 50,000 AAdvantage card as well.
Enough about me – What are your plans for applying for Citi credit cards over the next few weeks?