Citi Rule Change Application Strategy
Now that Chase Sapphire mania is dying down, we can shift our focus towards an upcoming Citi rule change and it is a big one. In case you missed it, beginning on August 28, Citi will be restricting bonuses per product family. For example, here is how the new language reads on an AAdvantage card application:
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.
This new language is already in place on the application pages for the following product families:
- Expedia+, AAdvantage, Hilton HHonors, ThankYou, AT&T
While the language is there, apparently it isn’t being enforced until the 28th. This was first reported by Doctor of Credit and a couple of readers have seemingly confirmed it. (You may want to confirm it with Citi yourself.)
For more info on the new rules, best bonuses and my analysis of all Citi cards, see:
- Citi’s New Bonus Rules: The Terrible Changes You Need to Know About & What This Means
- Citi App Strategy BEFORE New Rules (8/28): What to Consider & How to Maximize Apps
My Application Strategy
The first thing to consider is that Citi only allows 1 application per 8 day period. This means that I can only pickup one Citi card. I could have applied last week and then again this week, but I didn’t feel the need to get two cards so this was deliberate. If you are wanting a Citi card you should know that you can get only 1 before the new rules are in place.
The Brands & Cards
The next thing to look at is which brand I want to focus on. Here are my thoughts.
Expedia+ – I don’t care very much about this program and don’t have any of these cards. I can’t see myself wanting more than one of these anyway, so no need to apply now.
AT&T – Both my wife and I have the AT&T Access More. We are set.
ThankYou – Both my wife and I have the Prestige and Premier cards already. We are both eligible for a Preferred bonus, but the only option is 10K points. Not too appealing and we are earning a lot of TYP from the AT&T cards.
AAdvantage – We both would be restricted from getting an AAdvantage Platinum card under the old rules, so the Gold or Executive cards are the only options. Neither is interesting, we are less than 12 months from being able to get the Platinum card again and the business card will be an option too.
The Citi Hilton HHonors Cards – Our Choice
My wife just closed a Hilton HHonors Reserve card and hasn’t opened up a Visa Signature card in over 24 months. On the flip side I have recently (within the past year) opened up an HHonors Visa Signature card, but haven’t had the Reserve card. In other words, I think we are going Hilton. Our situations are the opposite, but the same.
Right now the Visa Signature has an increased 75K bonus offer and the Reserve’s 2 free weekend nights are valuable enough to pursue. The bottom line is these new rules will lock us out of these cards for awhile, so why not get them now, especially considering we have Diamond status and thus get more benefits during our Hilton stays.
As with every Citi application we have made over the past few years, our applications both are pending further review. Generally we receive a call from Citi within a few days to process and considering we are traveling, we’ll actually probably call in a couple of days when we get a little time. I do expect approvals based on past experiences with Citi, but time will tell.
For many of you, applying for a Citi card in the next couple of days may be a way to gain access to a bonus that will unobtainable for awhile under the new rules. In our case Hilton was the answer, but the right choice (including maybe doing nothing) will be different for everyone.
What is your Citi rule change strategy? Let us know in the comments!