Posted by William Charles on April 28, 2015
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Published on April 28th, 2015 | by William Charles

120

19 Things Everybody Should Know About Citi Credit Cards

We recently did a post on 15 things everybody should know about American Express, it was a popular post so I thought why not do similar posts for other card issuers. Given how much buzz there’s been for Citi cards recently (e.g Citi Prestige & Premier 50,000 point bonuses), Citi was a natural second choice. So here they are:

  1. Citi allows you to view your pre-approved and targeted credit card offers online. Citi regularly sends out sign up bonuses that are more than the public bonuses (e.g Citi Prestige 100,000 point offer). It’s possible to view what these offers are online. I’d recommend checking regularly as new offers are added and removed often.
  2. Citi does not have a limit on the amount of credit cards you can hold with them. Unlike some other card issuers, you can have as many Citi credit cards as they’ll approve you for.
  3. It’s possible to create a virtual credit card number. If you’ve ever purchased something from a dodgy merchant or signed up for a free trial, chances are you’ll know how useful something like this is. You can create a one use credit card number that is linked to your Citi account that can be used for online purchases and also free trials and the like.
  4. Citi has strict application rules. You can only apply for one Citi personal card every 8 days, you can apply for no more than two Citi personal cards every 65 days and you can apply for one Citi business card every 95 days. Some people are also being limited to one Citi card every 60 days, but this doesn’t seem to be a hard rule. Because of these rules, it’s not possible to sign up for multiple Citi cards on the same day to get the multiple inquiries merged into one.
  5. You can get the sign up bonus on Citi cards more than once. You’re not eligible for another bonus if you’ve opened or closed a card within that brand/family in the past 24 months though.
  6. If you do a product change to a different Citi product, this 24 month clock will start ticking. When you do a product change with Citi, they’ll consider the original card closed. This means that you’ll be able to get the bonus on the card your product changing from in 24 months time, it also means you won’t be able to get the sign up bonus on the card your product changing to until the card has been closed for 24 months.
  7. Asking for a credit limit increase with Citi can result in a hard or soft pull. Typically if you call and request a credit limit increase and they come back with an instant decision it will result in a soft pull, if they ask for more time it’ll result in a hard pull being done. The customer service representative should be able to tell you what they’ll do before they do it as well.
  8. If Citi denies you for a credit card, make sure you call their reconsideration line. Just because you’re denied doesn’t mean it’s the end, give their reconsideration department a call (numbers and opening times here). Usually it’s not too difficult to turn that denial into an approval. If you’re new to call reconsideration lines, read this first.
  9. Re-allocating credit limits with Citi is a hard pull. In some rare instances they’ll only do a soft pull, but talking to customer service representatives about credit reallocation’s is usually like pulling teeth. Before they can even consider doing a reallocation, both credit cards need to have been opened for at least six months.
  10. If you apply for a Citi credit card and then see a higher sign up bonus, ask to be matched. Citi doesn’t have a hard and fast rule like Chase, but they’ll usually match you to the higher bonus if there hasn’t been too much time in between when you first applied and when you request the bonus being matched.
  11. Citi will not expedite shipping on new cards, but if one of your cards has been lost or stolen they will expedite the new card to you. Simply call 1-800-756-7047 and ask to speak to a representative about getting a replacement card being sent out, ask it to be expedited and there shouldn’t be any additional charge. Update: reader Shan was able to request expedited shipping on a new card.
  12. Citi is very very generous when it comes to spending bonuses, but you’ll need to ask to receive one. Citi regularly sends out targeted spending bonuses (e.g earn 5x ThankYou points on all purchases for the next three months). Most people just wait and hope, but if you actively call the Citi reconsideration line and ask them if you have any spending bonuses on your account, they’ll be happy to tell you (remember to be polite and friendly). We recommend calling at the 60 day mark, 180 day mark, new calendar year mark and 360 day mark.
  13. Citi is known for charging cash advance fees, so let your cash advance limit to $0. Citi is known for charging cash advance fees for things like: funding a bank account with a credit card and purchasing American Express gift cards. So becareful and make sure you set the cash advance limit to $0.
  14. Citi will refund the annual fee as long as you cancel within 30 days of it posting. After that 30 day period, they refund it on a prorated basis.
  15. For some cards, Citi often gives out the credit card number instantly, upon approval of the card, so that you can use it immediately online. Only AAdvantage and ATT cards seem to get this option.
  16. Citi business credit cards don’t get reported to the personal credit bureaus which is useful for keeping your credit report cleaner.
  17. A Citi credit card which was closed out can be reinstated upon request soon after being closed. If the card was closed by mistake, you should be able to convince them to reopen it with no hard pull.
  18. You can check your application status with Citi online.
  19. If you set up auto pay with Citi they will adjust your auto-pay if you pay it in full or make a partial payment.

You can view other posts in this series by clicking the links below.



120 Responses to 19 Things Everybody Should Know About Citi Credit Cards

  1. Bob says:

    Also, Citi is usually very generous with their retention offers. Just give them a call when your annual fee is due (or a little before) and tell them you are thinking of cancelling. Or call the retention department directly. I’ve gotten my annual fee refunded every year on my AA card.

  2. Kaiyu Yang says:

    I just got declined by CITI att card and they said I got too many inquires and new accounts opened recently. Is it possible to call them to get approved? How should I say it?

  3. Paul says:

    Will, since Citi started offering some very nice promotions, I have become more acquainted with their policies. These might be some points to expand on, if you have the interest or knowledge.

    Cash Advance: be careful about using Citi in certain instances due to purchases/transactions being coded as cash advances. In order to mitigate this problem, I had my cash advance level set to $0.00 via a phone call. It was quite simple. When I tried to do the same on my wife’s card I was told to call in for verification. The phone CSR stated that it could not be done. I then asked via a secure message. It was handled, though they did state that the cash line in the future may be denied an increase. I assume “cash line” means cash advance and not credit limit. Regardless, cash advances can be set to $0.00 even if the CSR says no.

    On this same note, it would be good to know if this applies for the AAdvantage Amex that Citi has. Since Amex Serve is now only allowing Amex cards; will the AAdvantage Citi Amex earn points via Amex Serve or will it show up as a cash advance? That would be very helpful to know.

    • Not sure about AAdvantage Amex, I imagine we will find out after April ends as most people have reached their loading limits. Adding in the bit about cash advances with Citi.

  4. jun says:

    #12. Do we call reconsideration line or retention line to ask for spending bonus?

  5. sheila says:

    I just got my Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select card annual fee waived. Does this mean I can only churn the card 18 months after the account is closed?

    • Paul says:

      You need a span of 18 months between your previous card account and the future card account in order to churn the card. Congrats on getting the annual fee waived, but if churning the card is more important then close it and start waiting.

      • atxtravel says:

        Does this rule apply to Exec cards?….if I want to get a regular personal card in less than 18mo, and haven’t had one of those in over 2 years, but still have the Exec one.

    • augias says:

      I believe you can keep the existing card and then just get it again 18 months after the last approval…. at least for AA citi cards that works. So, closing the card resets the 18 month counter, so that’s not something you may want to do.
      I recommend to read the flyertalk thread on the AA citi card offers.

  6. kj says:

    Can you elaborate if you have knowledge on switching citi products. For eg. Keeping the same number which one has for ty preferred but changing card to double cash.

  7. Dave says:

    Applied for a Citi Premier yesterday, and got a decision pending message. Called reconsideration, and they say I need to wait a week for a decision. Called again today, and same thing. I’ve always been able to get an immediate approval with cards through recon, so this is new to me. I guess i’m just impatient, but is this a common thing?

  8. Shan says:

    Regarding the expedited shipping, it applies to new card as well. I got the new AA Platinum card with expedited shipping last month. I just called the general line after the instant approval and requested it. Approved right away. Hope its useful.

    • Interesting, added that to the post.

      • PorkIsKing says:

        I applied for the Premier and Prestige card recently. Both times, at the end of the reconsideration line phone call and being approved, they said they were not able to expedite the new card.

      • Kenny says:

        On my next Citi card, I will try my hardest to get expedited shipping. I got approved for the TY Premier, and it almost took 2 weeks for the card to arrive! When it did arrive it showed up in a fancy package and materials. Seems like for the same cost (or lower) they could have just sent the normal set of papers in a regular envelope and sent it via priority. It would have been a lot less annoying.

        • Yuki says:

          Can’t agree more. Waited for 1 week and half now and the card still hasn’t showed up yet. Called in and the representative said we can do rush shipping with $6 LOL

      • Jessica says:

        Called the recon line to check on my application (it was pending) and found out I was approved for my Reserve card. The guy on the phone said that he couldn’t expedite the card to me but assured me it would be in my hands in about a week.

        Well, its been a week and half, and just like Yuki I went to the regular Citi credit card “Online Technical Assistance” line this time and they said I was able to expedite new cards for $6: it’ll be here in 24-48 hours. If you need to card FAST and don’t mind spending the $6, be sure to call up the Online Technical Assistance line even if the recon folks tell you they can’t do it.

      • Chap says:

        Wife (on her 3rd Aadvantage MC in less than a year) called right after approval and asked for expedited shipping. The card will be here in a day or two.

    • Chris says:

      I tried, but no joy for me. They will not expedite shipping on new cards.

    • John Paul says:

      I was just was accepted for a CitiBank ThankYou Premier card (1/11/16) and called in to ask them to expedite the shipping as I am heading out of the country in 3 days. The rep advised that it takes Citi 4 days for their computers to register a user’s information then it would have to be a conversation from there. I asked who I could speak to about expediting the 4 day information transfer and the rep advised that it was the way their systems work so nothing could be done. I asked if they could send me my card number information before the card arrived so that I could use it in the meantime, and was told it was impossible for this card.

  9. Shawn says:

    If you downgrade a card to avoid the annual fee, does that count as a hard pull?

  10. Steve says:

    I got the citi personal American airlines card but screwed up and didn’t meet the minimum spend within the first 3 months so didn’t receive the 50000 miles bonus sign up offer. Can I still get the bonus if I close the account, reapply in a couple of weeks? Or do I have to wait 18 months?

  11. Marriott Marty says:

    If citi moves credit when you call in after your new application is pending would that result in a second credit pull?! I am maxed on the various banks credit limits and normally need to call citi and would like to avoid a double credit pull for obvious reasons

  12. Mike says:

    I’ve seen plenty of references to manufactured spending pitfalls with Citi in general, debit/gift cards processed as cash advances mainly. How common is this and what can consumers do about it?

  13. Kenny says:

    On #14, I am not aware of any prorated refunds. AFAIK, if you miss the 30 days (which is 37 in practice) there is no refund.

    • Pretty sure they will prorate Citi Prestige at the very least, at least I saw some data points when researching that article. I’m going to do a bit more digging though, at first glance it looks like maybe they used to prorate and now no longer do so. You have personal experience in them not doing it?

      • Kenny says:

        No personal experience, all the datapoints I know of are on the Executive card. People who tried last year (during the 100K Executive offer) to cancel after the 37 days did not receive prorated refunds.

  14. Josh says:

    Can you signup for 1 personal Citi card and 1 biz citi card on the same day? I know you have to wait 8 days for another personal card signup. Is that the same for business cards?

    • Rodney says:

      You have to wait the 8 days between two applications of any kind, so the answer is no.

      • rO says:

        not true, as of 9/15. There currently is no waiting time between applying anymore according to customer service over the phone and through web chat.

  15. Rodney says:

    FYI, Citi has an Amex-like memory on whether you burned them with bankruptcy in the past, but only the business card recon and the executive office have access to it. If you apply for CitiBusiness and discharged a Citi balance in bankruptcy 20+ years ago you cannot override the automatic decline.

    Personal Citi cards have no such restriction, but if you appeal a personal card denial to the Executive office it is likely they will decline based on a past Citi bankruptcy, even if it’s no longer on your credit reports.

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  17. Zzzzzz says:

    10. If you apply for a Citi credit card and then see a higher sign up bonus, ask to be matched.
    It is not true for me. I asked to match my Hilton from 60k to 75k offer, and this is their answer: Unfortunately, we will be unable to apply the requested reward points because your account was not directly enrolled in or directly solicited for the 75,000 reward point offer.

  18. Dillon Welch says:

    Re #11:
    I applied for the Citi Premier and was not able to get it expedited after calling both the number listed here as well as the general credit card support line (800)-950-5114. Both reps told me that Citi does not expedite new cards. Note that the rep that I got on the number you listed transferred me to the credit card application status department.

    • Jessica says:

      Did you try calling the Online Technical Assistance line (1-800-347-4934)? After I told them I was going out of town next week and really needed the card fast, they let me expedite a new card for $6. They said they already mailed the old set, but that I could disregard it when it comes in.

  19. Justin B says:

    Just another data point. I applied for the Citi Prestige on Tuesday. After several dial-a-rep attempts, nothing was working to get the card expedited in time for my next flight. So I wrote a message to the secure messaging system and also tried contacting the application department. Everyone advised it couldn’t be done but they seemed to have gotten the memo. They sent it next day air and in time for my trip.

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  21. George Smiley says:

    Can one have more than one Premiere or Prestige card? Do we know that yet? I’m wondering if I should cancel and get the 18 month clock starting or wait to cancel until shortly after I reapply.

  22. Dave C says:

    Just a data point: I have the AA Plat and Prestige. I’ve called at the 60 day and 180 day for both and the new year and have never gotten a retention / spending bonus. I use the Prestige all the time and the AA Plat I used just for sign up bonus. Not sure if they’re just tightening up on bonuses or not.

  23. Alex says:

    I just got rejected for the AA Business card. They told me that the previous account must have at least a year of credit history. New rule?

  24. dan says:

    last month, approved for the prestige last month. nicely asked to expedite the delivery; although the rep. at first said can’t, the card was arrived in 2-3 days. citi can expedite, but guess that it’s up to the rep.’s mood or decision at the time

  25. Tom Martin says:

    I don’t want to pay an annual fee for a card
    I also want to avoid a hard inquiry run on my credit history
    My FICO® Score from Citi and Equifax is 853 as Jan 26, 2016, and Key Factor(s) affecting my FICO® Score:
    • Time since most recent account opening is too short
    FICO® Scores consider how recently a person opened a new credit account as shown on their credit report. Your score was impacted because of the time since you opened a new account.
    • Too many consumer finance company accounts
    FICO® Scores consider whether a person has any consumer finance company loans on their credit report. Your credit report shows one or more consumer finance company loans, which impacted your score.

    I have a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MC. I received it on or about April 9, 2015 (some 691 days ago) and used it the first day I had it. The $95.00 annual fee was waived for the 1st year, but now will post in about six weeks for the subsequent (2nd) year. I have several other cards that don’t have an annual fee that give me cash back or other incentives, and I don’t want to pay an annual fee for a card. I phoned 877-290-3995 and sucked up to the CSR today, she told me that the annual fee couldn’t be waived, but I can change product to another Citi card.

    Citi might run a hard inquiry on my credit history that I want to avoid in order to change the product to another card. I phoned 877-290-3995 and sucked up to the CSR again just now, and the CSR informed me that they still won’t waive the annual fee for me.
    Once my initial 12 months have passed, would I get dinged for transferring my AA-MC to a Double Cash card? The second CSR told me there is no hard inquiry involved. Would the transfer be seamless as far as my credit score is concerned?

  26. tscateh says:

    Whenever I check with City for prequalified offers, nothing ever comes up. FICO is 854, I have an AA and a Hilton wth them and a Sears card through Citi. Why would they not have a pre-qual offer for me? I have same with AmEx.

  27. Bodiddely says:

    According to the Flyertalk thread on the AA cards, it is possible to have open more than 1 AA card of the same type. So for instance, one could open an AA Platinum WE MC in 1/16, keep it open, and another 7/17 and get the bonus a 2nd time.

    Is it possible to do this with TYP cards such as the Premier and Prestige? Or will they only let you have 1 open TYP card of the same type at once?

  28. NubieChurner says:

    I applied for TYP and AAdvantage Plat on the same day. TYP instantly approved. AAdvantage Plat later denied. And denied a couple more times despite another submission and my calls to recon.
    I was told today that my subsequent apps for AAdvantage Platinum were declined by the system because ThankYou Premier is a high-end / top-end card. That precluded me from getting any other cards for at least a couple of months. Darn.

  29. Paul says:

    I just used the Citi recosideration line after a denial (BK 2008 due to heart surgery). Got approved by just waiting, no questions even asked of me 🙂 $4000 credit line to start for a Hilton Visa Signature Card

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  31. Dave_B says:

    You have a lot of references in this article to 18 months, which probably need to get updated to 24 months based on the article you just posted about citi credit cards.

  32. Kaleb says:

    How hard is it to get approved for Citi cards with recent inquiries and recently opened accounts? How about total accounts? Does it help to have a banking relationship as it does with Chase?

  33. peggy says:

    Just applied says to call in further info needed. I call they dont ask me anything just leave me on hold . They come back and say needs further review will ne notified in 5 to 7 days does this mean its declined?

  34. Concerned says:

    I applied for a AAdvantage platinum select card. I received a letter in the mail stating they are reviewing my application, but need to verify some information to make a decision. It further states they have attempted to contact me to verify information on my application. It states they were unable to verify my residential address, phone #, and or employment/ income. They are now requesting 1) original home phone bill showing phone and address 2) showing name /address on a copy of a BANK, credit card statement or utility bill 3) a copy of my recent PAY statement showing name and date. Is this common practice now to process a credit card application? I called the number on the letter and spoke with a rep. She stated they had called and could not verify this information. I received no voicemails from Citi nor did my caller id indicate Citi or any calls from South Dakota were received. I asked if there was an issue with my credit report, and she gave no direct answer to my question. She continued to instruct me as to the 3 types of information they need. I advised her I would never send a copy of my bank or credit card statement thru the mail to an unknown party to review. She later told me in the conversation that they had not called me, that was an error of hers. She gave no explanation of the letter to ease my mind. Is this scenario of common application practice now?

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  37. Gary S says:

    Question for you credit and/or Citi experts out there:
    I’ve had both a Citi Diamond Preferred Mastercard and a Citi Visa rewards card in the past. I had a BK that was discharged 2 years ago, with those cards included. I’ve since obtained a Capital One card with an initial $3k cl which went up to $6k after 5 months and is currently $9k now. My current credit score is 701 transunion and 708 Equifax. Since opening my Capital One card last April, I’ve charged a max of $3345 but have always paid down my balance, well over the monthly payment due. Fortunately, I’ve been able to get back on track with my finances. I’ve been waiting to apply for the Costco Citi Visa card, since Costco announced that it was switching from Amex and now that I can apply, will I automatically be declined because of my BK history with the 2 Citi cards? It’s been over 2 years since they were discharged and they are no longer mentioned in my credit report. I’ve seen posts about blacklists but have also seen post about blacklists being a myth. If anyone has any idea of my chances getting my application approved, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

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  39. sam says:

    So, if you do 2 personal citi cards following the 8 day rule, and THEN apply for a third city card, but business card on the 8th day as well, it shouldn’t violate any “rule”, right? Thanks!

  40. Gaurav says:

    Should this be updated from 18 months to 24 months?

  41. JW says:

    Hi, Chuck – I still have an AA VISA. I am thinking to do a product change to Double Cash before Citi convert it to a MasterCard. Citi rep said the product change will not be reflected as closing the existing AA account. That is great because I’d really, really like to keep the card history and its age. However, that is conflict with #6 on the list. Any thoughts? What should I do? Thanks.

    • Dave says:

      Following on that, I still have the AA Visa too. I never received a letter about it being changed over to MC. Is this slated to happen, and if so- anyone know when?

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  47. Chris says:

    i am having difficulty getting a credit card with citi, they keep declining my approval.
    when i put my annual income which is around 200k$ and rent of around 1k8 .. is there something i have done wrong or havent gotten ?? please someone help me out i need clues.

    thanks

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  50. Steve says:

    I applied for citi bank and they denied me because they said I filed bankruptcy 17 years ago and had a balance with them of $135 dollars, so after all this time even with me having American Express cards and discover card and others I was denied because of that only reason, not any other reason. No bad recent credit just them still holding a grudge. Is this even right?

  51. ccchurn says:

    regarding the 24 month rule, it only mentions opening or closing a card, If I open a thank you preferred card over 2 years ago, but never closed it, does that mean I can get the bonus on the thank you perimer card?

  52. Andy says:

    Does anyone know how quickly the points post on the AAdvantage card? Terms say 6-8 weeks, but many Chase cards say that as well and post after first closing. This is my first experience with Citi.

    Thanks!

  53. MAG says:

    I have a question about new accounts and their first statement. Does any one remember if the spend put on a Citi card shows on the first statement generated. Thinking about applying for the Prestige tomorrow Dec 7, wondering if it would be possible to maximize the $250 for this calendar year or if I am too late. If I am too late I might go with the Premier.

  54. Justin says:

    Does anyone know how the citi business cards fit into the new rules. Meaning is the American Airlines business card treated as a completely separate product family of the personal American Airlines card. I currently have both but was considering canceling my business card just so I can get the bonus again…..

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  57. Gene says:

    @William Charles?
    do you know if its possible to product change from the TY premier to the Dividend?
    i dont see the option to apply for the dividend on their website?
    thanks

  58. sri says:

    I have received a pre-apporved offer on citi double cash credit card and was given a credit line of $2400 and with in a week I received another preapproved offer on same citi double cash credit card. I would like to know if I can also apply for the second one too or how its gonna impact my score.Thank you

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  61. sirtheta says:

    DP: no hard pull if you’re denied for 2/65.

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  63. Logan says:

    Dp: can only apply for 2 any Citi cards in 65 days. Not specific to personal. Applied for business and personal same day , approved.
    Applied for personal card 9 days later, instantly denied. No hard pull (yet). I’m usually notified right away.

    • 10g says:

      Thanks to your post. I went and apply for both on the same day and was approve for the citi aa card and while the the citi aa business went to pending. It was approved 2 days later. Thing sucks is citi only gave me 1,500 and 2,500 limit which is super low compare to other bank at 5-10k per card. Did citi decide I had too many total credit available at other bank, currently over 100k with 0% utilization

  64. Adam says:

    I just wanted to contribute my experience as a datapoint.

    I wanted to change my cash advance limit to $0 on my AAdvantage Platinum Select card. I used the Live Chat function on the website and the CSR I was chatting with said my cash advance limit couldn’t be less than $750. I pushed back and was told repeatedly that the lowest available amount was $750. I agreed to have it lowered to $750, but I’m not happy that it can’t be $0.

    Also, I asked about any available offers for additional bonus spending and was not offered anything. My account has been open for 95 days

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  66. Jody says:

    I am > 6 hard pulls in 6 months but received a targeted AA mailer without the 24 month language. Does the mailer bypass the > 6 rule?

  67. Desmond says:

    The author of the article should include another thing about Citi Cards:

    One cannot do a “Product Change” with the Citi SIMPLICITY (Master) card.

  68. Desmond says:

    The author of the article should include another thing about Citi Cards:

    One cannot make a “Product Change” “FROM” the Citi SIMPLICITY (Master) card to any other Citi credit card.

      • DESMOND says:

        Nope, I have had the card for over 10 years, and I have called every year and they have repeatedly informed me that that is the only card you can’t product change FROM. I have got various answers from it being an issue of the CARD Act (I think the customer service reps. throw this reason around any time that they don’t know the specific answer) to the card falls in a special category because there are no late fees, no penalty fees etc. The only time they ever allowed a product change was for the few versions of the Simplicity “VISA” card that they changed to “Mastercard” after Citi moved much of its business to Mastercard. But, if one always had the Mastercard card, you can’t product change from it, PERIOD. You can call Citibank to verify and I would appreciate that confirmation. Thanks.

  69. Jeff says:

    Anyone know if you have had a card for more than 24 months, apply/approved for the same card, then cancel or PC original card before earning bonus on new card if that would DQ you from the bonus based on the T&C?

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