Citi Not Honoring Bonus Applied For Under Old Rules!

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Citi Not Honoring Bonus

Citi Not Honoring Bonus

Back on August 28th, Citi supposedly put in place new brand restrictions on bonuses. Previously you could get a bonus on a card if you had not opened or closed that same product in the past 24 months, but now the restrictions apply to entire product families. For example, here is the language for AAdvantage cards:

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.

The rules suddenly showed up on the Citi application page one day, but a Citi media rep confirmed to Doctor of Credit that the rules wouldn’t go into effect until August 28, 2016. So, on August 26 my wife and I (along with many of you no doubt) applied for Citi cards.


  • My wife applied for a Citi HHonors Visa Signature since she had opened a HHonors Reserve card in the past year.
  • I applied for the HHonors Reserve card since I had opened a Visa Signature in the past year.

The cards weren’t approved right away, but after processing for about a week they were eventually mailed to us. I have been traveling quite a bit so it took awhile to get online access, but once I did I sent a secure message for my wife’s card. I heard back quickly from Citi and they stated that she ISN’T eligible because of the HHonors Reserve that she had opened. (Different card, same family.)

I have been having issues getting my card registered for online access due to an error and haven’t had time to call and verify the bonus yet. I am not hopeful of course, but haven’t verified anything either way for my card, but I have been through several layers of reps with my wife’s card who all say she isn’t eligible.

Your Experiences?

Citi Not Honoring Bonus

Right now I am still going back and forth with Citi’s reps and I will escalate this further if need be, but I wanted to both report this and ask if anyone else has had a similar experience. If you opened a “same product family” card within the past 24 months and then applied for another card before 8/28 (and were eventually approved), is Citi honoring the bonus? Have you confirmed it in writing?

I’ll make sure to follow up to let everyone know how this turns out.


  1. Citi didn’t honor my sign-up bonus: I don’t think I’ve ever received worse customer service in my life. I signed up for the Citi Premier ThankYou online. I was approved by phone. A week or so later I cancelled the Citi Forward card, which I had opened a decade earlier. The card has been discontinued and there’s no trace of it on their website. Yet it somehow belongs to the same family and so they declared me ineligible for bonus. Unreal.

  2. I’m not exactly sure when I applied, but I got the approval email on 9/3. Then I got a UPS envelope dated 9/4 saying I as approved and noted the $2,500 spend for 2 WE nights. The tracker show progress.

    I have two other Hilton credit cards (both no AF).

  3. forgot all about this….
    applied at very last minute
    citi HI 75K without anti churn language, applied atl ike 8:45PM PST on aug 28, not instantly approved. called recon got approved but not finalized because dept for final approval was closed for the day, they just went home early or shut off the phone lines recon told me. My acct was not “finalized” till next day. AM est. Called about bonus. Was told I would get bonus. Have the tracker online.
    guess I just got lucky…

  4. The Hilton Reserve cards were wonky right from the beginning when card the launched, I got two then and the second set of nights took months to get issued.

    I applied AA Exec 60k on 8/26, approved 8/29, statement closed Oct 4 and all miles awarded, posted to AA today 10/6

  5. Few data points from 3 different family members (all had bonus trackers):

    1. Citi AA Gold – instant approval, 25K points posted fine.
    2. Citi AA Plat – instant approval, 50K points pending.
    3. Citi HHonors Reserve – instant approval, 2 free nights pending.

    1/3 confirmed, hoping other 2 go through fine.

  6. applied prior to 8/28. booked 3500+ in travel related expenses (airfare/car/et al.) and already received the largesse. Already had similar card, hadn’t cancelled that one yet…

  7. Applied for Executive on 7/16. Didin’t get sign up bonus. Rep said the reason was because it was too close to my cancellation date of Citi AA Business (12/15).

  8. Getting it approved before aug 28th is the key. I applied for reserve card on aug 14. Next day approved. Got the welcome with bonus info . Its my first HH card. Applied for no fee card on aug 22nd . Next day approved. Got the welcome letter only by sep 1st , but 75000 bonus was mentioned. Met the spend before the statements closes and also got the bonus for both the cards.

  9. I got applied for the Citi AA Business card on 8/22 and was approved on 8/30. The rep confirmed the 50,000 pt bonus after spending $3000 when I activated the card. I also got confirmation by secure message. I had received the personal version of the AA card in February 2016.

  10. We screwed up. Original Citi AA card received 11/14. Should have waited. Tried to squeeze one in. Instantly approved, but not with bonus. Sent SM. Citi rep said we’d still be eligible to reapply/receive bonus in 11/16 since we didn’t get bonus this time. He obviously haven’t read the new rules.
    Now what? Cancel both? Reset date?

  11. I agree with everyone else. It’s a chance we took. I didn’t get it either. Doc’s info was wrong. The terms were there, plain as day. Close the account and move on.

  12. I don’t think this is a fight that you can win seeing as how the terminology had already been changed even if they were not supposed to be enforcing it yet. That is the main reason I didn’t rush to apply for anything…I felt like a bait and switch was likely….citi didn’t honor their no spend offer that went out last Christmas…they are my least favorite company to deal with.

  13. looking at all the DP, it looks like 26th is cutting it too close man. when did it get approved? same day? approval date is key and lots of people who applied earlier in the week w/ approval seem to be OK. hope you get it man!

  14. I applied in July and they didn’t approve until right after August 28th. They said I’m not eligible because I already had a Hilton card. One rep told me this has been the same rule just changed from 18 months to 24months.

  15. Same here with AA Gold card. Applied Aug 26. Had to call Citi – Spoke with rep, moved credit line, CSR congratulated me for receiving the bonus. The welcome package came without bonus stating the 24 months rule. Sent a secure message, received the same answer and quit the pursuit.

  16. I applied early Aug for the Prestige card, $3K spend for 50,000 points, I got the bonus — no problems at all. I would imagine there is a ton of confusion when they’re going through a rule change.

  17. You played it too cute by applying only 2 days before they changed policy. Seems like without instant approval, your application got put in a queue and you missed the deadline by the time the app was approved. Your mistake. So sorry. Too bad.

  18. I logged on my account online to check the status of my bonus. I also applied for the Citi Hilton card with the two weekend bonus. It shows how much more I need to earn to complete the bonus. Should I also verify if i’ll get it or was that enough? I don’t want to keep spending on a card that will not give me back anything in return.
    Any suggestions?

  19. My SO and I each applied for and were approved for the regular Citi Hilton card (75k after $2k spend; no annual fee) on August 22, and the our progress towards the 75,000 points shows in our accounts. We are big churners, so no doubt we would not get these bonuses under the new rules that went into effect August 28. Maybe we got lucky!

  20. I applied on Aug 27th around 11pm and was told to call in. I called in and was put on hold and around midnight, I was prompted by a machine that the dept was closed and to call back tomorrow. I ended up being approved for the card (AA Gold) the next day after I called in. The letter in the mail didn’t mention the bonus. So I called in and the rep said no bonus.

  21. well, you read the terms and conditions. You thought that they weren’t being enforced yet until August 28th but due to your card taking longer to process than usual, you were unlucky. That is hardly something that you can complain to Citi about!

  22. I also applied on August 26th for the Hilton HHonorsReserve Card. Also took a week to get it and was denied the 2 free nights and statement credit for $100. Tried messaging, twitter and sending a letter. Have not gotten anywhere and am about to cancel it as the annual fee is due Monday.
    I have the no fee Hilton card which I got earlier this year.


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