Why I HOPE Citi Adds the New 48 Month Rule to ThankYou Cards

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 I HOPE Citi Adds the New 48 Month Rule to ThankYou Cards

Why I HOPE Citi Adds the New 48 Month Rule to ThankYou Cards

Citi recently switched up the rules on the American Airlines credit card applications and many people thought it was a negative change. Including Andy at The Lazy Traveler who recently wrote a piece on why the 48 month rule is bad for American Airlines cards.  And while I agree with him on AA cards it got me to thinking that I hope Citi adds the new 48 month rule to ThankYou cards.

 I HOPE Citi Adds the New 48 Month Rule to ThankYou Cards

What is the Current Terms for ThankYou Cards?

Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months.

This is what we call the family rule.  If you have signed up for OR closed (another pain in these terms) a ThankYou card in the last 24 months you are not eligible.

 I HOPE Citi Adds the New 48 Month Rule to ThankYou Cards

The New American Airlines Credit Card Language

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months.

The time frame has changed to 48 months from 24 months but the family language has dropped from the cards. Also closing a card has no bearing on the 48 month clock.

But 48 Months is Worse Than 24 Months – Why Would You Want That?

It does sound weird that I would be hoping for 4 years between bonuses instead of 2 years.  The reason I like the 48 month terms better is because the new terms drop the family clause. The family clause is more punitive than the bump up to a 48 month term in my opinion.

The main reason Andy said the new terms for the American Airlines cards are worse is because there are no options with AA cards.  If the Gold card still came with a bonus, and the MileUp card had a competitive offer then I think his tune would change.  But as it stands there is really only one business card and one personal AA card worth getting.  That isn’t the case with the ThankYou card lineup and that is why I welcome the change, if it should ever come.

 I HOPE Citi Adds the New 48 Month Rule to ThankYou Cards

Example of What I Am Talking About

Currently if I signed up for the Citi Premier or the Citi Prestige card I wouldn’t be able to get the other one for 24 months.  If I decided the card was not working for me after the initial 12 months and closed it I wouldn’t be able to get the other card for 36 months from the first approval, since closing it would reset the clock.  The maximum I could do is get 2 cards in 4 years under the current set up:

  • Year 1
    • Sign up for Citi Premier
      • Pay the 2nd annual fee to not reset the 24 month clock.
      • Try to product change to a no annual fee card and hope this doesn’t reset the clock.
  • Year 3
    • Sign up for another Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card
    • Rinse and repeat every 24 months.

With the new 48 month terms the family rule drops off so the application pattern looks differently.  I will space out the apps by 12 months although you could cram them all in within a few months if you wanted to.  The only thing holding you back from getting them all at once would be that you can get 2 Citi cards in a 65 day window (they have to be 8 days apart though).

  • Year 1
    • Sign up for the Citi Premier
    • Close or downgrade at will since the closure terms have dropped off
  • Year 2
    • Sign up for the Citi Prestige
    • Close or downgrade at will since the closure terms have dropped off
  • Year 3
    • Sign up for the Citi Preferred
    • Close or downgrade at will since the closure terms have dropped off
  • Year 4
    • Sign up for the Citi Rewards+
    • Close or downgrade at will since the closure terms have dropped off

Repeat the process over again starting in year 5.

I would prefer this set up because you are able to get 4 welcome offers in a 4 year cycle versus 2 with the old set up.  More is always better in my book!

Final Thoughts

While the new 48 month terms may not be better for American Airlines credit cards I hope Citi makes the same changes to their ThankYou card lineup.  Partly because the ThankYou cards have multiple options and the AA cards don’t.  But the main reason is because the new terms drop the family rule and remove the term that closures reset the clock as well.  Those two are more punitive than a longer time frame when you have plenty of options!

Share your thoughts in the comments section.  Do you agree or disagree with my thinking?

 

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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