Posted by William Charles on August 11, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on August 11th, 2016 | by William Charles

126

New Citi Rules Limit You To One Bonus Per 24 Months Per Brand (American Airlines, Expedia, Hilton & Citi TYP)

Update: We have a more complete post about this rule, found here.

We just posted about changes to Citi churning rules on ThankYou point earning cards, I didn’t think these restrictions were added to co-branded cards but after further checking they are. Basically you can’t get the sign up bonus on a new card if you’ve opened or closed a card within that brand (e.g American Airlines, Expedia, Hilton or Citi ThankYou points) within the past 24 months. Previously you were limited to the specific card not being opened or closed within 24 months (e.g you could get the Citi Prestige and then apply for the Citi Premier two months later and it would be fine).

citi thankyou point bonus change

AT&T

Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had any AT&T Access card or AT&T Access More card opened or closed in the past 24 months

American Airlines Cards

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles not available if you have had any Citi / AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Expedia Cards

Expedia+ Points Bonus Offer is not available if you have had any Expedia+ or Expedia+ Voyager card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Hilton

Bonus Hilton HHonors points are not available if you have had any Citi®Hilton HHonors card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

ThankYou Points

Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige cards opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Business Cards & Personal Cards

The new restrictions treat business cards and personal cards differently. For example, you can get the sign up bonus on the American Airlines business card as long as you haven’t had an open or closed American Airlines business card within the past 24 months, when you last had a personal card does not come into play.

What Happens If I Have A Mail Offer Without This Language?

Honestly, I don’t know. I highly suspect Citi would be enforced to honor the deal though as the language is not included in the mail out.

Our Verdict

Obviously this is a pretty major change by Citi, they have really been cracking down on people chasing sign up bonuses. First they added the rule that you couldn’t receive the sign up bonus if you’d opened or closed the same card within 18 months, then they extended that restriction to 24 months. Now that restriction applies brand wide, rather than being for a specific card.

This rule isn’t as restrictive as the rules from American Express (one bonus per card per lifetime, although this rule is often waived in targeted offers) and Chase’s 5/24 rule (won’t be approved for most cards if you have 5 or more new accounts within past 24 months). We will update our list of churnable cards page and also things you should know about Citi to reflect these changes.

The real question is if this change is being currently enforced, my suspicion is that Citi wouldn’t have added it unless they plan to enforce it. In the past when this sort of language has been added with Citi it’s been enforced immediately although you’ve occasionally been able to find links without the wording and then it wasn’t enforced. If anybody does find these sort of links, feel free to share them in the comments.

This will probably change my churning strategy going into the future, I’ll have a think about my plans and do a dedicated post shortly.

Hat tip to reader Tom

 



126 Responses to New Citi Rules Limit You To One Bonus Per 24 Months Per Brand (American Airlines, Expedia, Hilton & Citi TYP)

  1. Nick says:

    The Prestige is the only TY card currently giving a bonus at all right?

  2. Ian says:

    I thought its based on each credit card. I just checked Citi Hilton; while the homepage of credit card has the below terms, when you click apply, the app page shows terms without mentioning it.

    Weekend Night Certificates offer is not available if you have had a Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card account that was opened or closed in the past 24 months.
    erms and Conditions.
    Hilton HHonors Bonus Points offer not available if you have had a Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card account that was opened or closed in the past 24 months.

    • Winnie says:

      I hope this stay for a while. I applied the HHonors Visa Signature back in April 2016 and would like to apply HHonors Reserve later on this year.

    • bob says:

      interesting. I have been waiting to pull the trigger on the Reserve card – but i went ahead and did it today. I closed the regular Citi Hilton card late in 2015.

      I’m hoping i get the certificates. it would save me about 90K points for a vacation i’m planning

    • Click the apply button and you’ll see the new language.

  3. P says:

    Darn. Well at least i only have 2 cards. And it would be 24 months next year since I got the bonus.

  4. howard says:

    So does it apply to cards applied recently (before new rules came into effect)?

    • MH says:

      Read the heading again slowly up to the parenthesis. Over and over.

      • MJ says:

        asshole…. just be nice and answer

        • Raul says:

          LMAO. No I agree with MH. A little reading comprehension is needed badly by some in here and they will never learn if we have to hold ur hand through everything. But then again most people would say I’m an a hole too.

        • Calling somebody an asshole isn’t nice either and isn’t a good way to get a question answered. EVERYBODY please be nice and respectful to each other. If you don’t want to answer a question, just don’t answer it.

      • howard says:

        Sorry for not being very clear. I applied for a prestige card two weeks ago and it’s still pending, and I got a Premier bonus last year. I am hoping the new rule won’t apply to me based on the time of “application” (not eventual “approval”)

    • We’re not sure when the new rule was added, but it’ll exclude you from future cards based on what you currently hold now.

      • howard says:

        Thank you! So if the language was not there at the time of application (not eventual approval, because my application is still pending), then the rule shouldn’t apply to me, correct? I applied for a prestige and there’s absolutely no reason to get it without having a bonus

        • Raul says:

          U may or u may not since ur in a very unique situation. Just gonna have to wait and see but I would think that ur ok just depends on if they added the language b4 u applied or afterwards. We r not sure when it was added

    • Bill says:

      I’m not sure why people are being snarky in response to your question which I think is a legitimate question. Reading the article and terms it seems like any card opened or closed within the last 24 months will prevent you from getting the bonus. It doesn’t give a start date and say any card obtained after 8/1/16 etc. The article does not specifically mention this scenario, but Citi policies typically apply retroactively to all cards.

  5. J says:

    Not really surprising since people were churning the hell out of the AA-cobranded CCs.

    • Bill says:

      I get why they did this, because people certainly were abusing it but the worst part of citi’s policy is that closing or product changing a card will reset the clock as well. I wish they just made it 2 years from when you got the bonus like with Chase only minus the 5/24 nonsense. I would perfectly happy with that even if they limited it to one bonus per family of cards.

  6. taki says:

    Does citi att and citi bestbuy also included?

  7. Hank says:

    Yes, it’s enforced. Knew someone who got rejected for Hilton on 08/03, reason: already have reserve.

  8. Marty Dee says:

    Was told forever couldn’t get the premier bonus if I had the prestige bonus . I did get both . This makes it appear to be true finally .

  9. Brandon says:

    Darn! Was planning on including an AA Gold in my next churn (never had gold, have had multiple plat in last year). Anyone have a link that doesn’t include this language for gold, or have they all been updated?

  10. Nate says:

    Thankfully I will have 100k UR to drown my tears in soon.

  11. Glenn says:

    Well, at least I got a bunch of these (multiple AA Execs at $100K, all the TYP cards) before the door slammed shut. I guess given that TYPs are only going to be worth 1.25 rather than 1.6 cents AA after next July the TYPs were going to be less interesting going forward, but still…

    Yuck.

  12. Gin says:

    Does this apply if you happen to be an authorized user of an AA or Thank you card but never opened one up for yourself as a primary user?

  13. Dustin says:

    Does this mean we should be closing our Citi cards as soon as bonuses post in order to start the 24 month period? Would downgrading a card count as “closing” the account?

  14. Lantean says:

    The question is… Can we apply for two cards on the same day and still get bonus for both?
    Let’s say AA plat and AA gold?

  15. James says:

    Will it affect any previous applications? I applied citi prestige last week and received my new card two days ago. Can I still be available to get the sign up bonus?

  16. somy says:

    does citi reserve and citi honors visa fall in the same category. i never had reserve but did get hilton visa an year back. any ideas?

  17. Glenn says:

    Okay so the only Business Credit cards Citi offers are the Costco and CitiBusiness AA Cards. Ignoring the first. The 2nd only requires you not have had the CitiBusiness AA card in the last 24 months.

    So it seems like you could still do ONE Citi AA application every year. One Personal, One CitiBusiness. One Personal, One CitiBusiness. Etc.

    50K per year. Max. Yeesh.

    Unless of course Citi slips up like they have in the past.

  18. user says:

    The funniest thing is, some internet people take churning for granted, and they keep bragging about “I’d like to get at least $500 from a hard pull”, like they are valuable to any lender.

    • John says:

      I think the funniest thing is how people brag about flying business and first class and act as though they will be able to continue doing that forever using miles and points. Good luck with that.

    • Kevin says:

      And the days of it are very quickly coming to an end. People are going to have to earn miles by actually (gasp!) flying on planes and staying in hotels, and actually spending on the credit cards. What a horrible turn of events.

      • Raul says:

        No they won’t. U can still fly and stay at hotels for free and will continue to. The sky is not falling. It’s a new rule we have to deal with and get around just like 5/24 and amex 1 per lifetime. If ur smart u will find a way. If ur dumb u will say its all over and time to pay for hotels and flights. I can still make a butt load of points with my chase Ink and all that costs me is a very cheap annual fee.

  19. Mordy says:

    Glad I jumped on the reserve on Aug. 5 for DW. Haven’t recieved the card yet but she did receive the letter confirmed the account and the sign up bonus. Small miracles.

  20. AlwaysFlying says:

    Million Mile Dumbhead and Frugal Travel Goat will hopefully shut down soon not being able to feed the insatiable mouths of their masters.

  21. Dario Filippi says:

    I wonder if this applies to the checking bonuses they offer sometimes. Get an AA credit card and the AA checking bonus…

    • Dukie02 says:

      I would guess that it won’t count between banking and credit card accounts (since one is considered a bonus and the other a taxable rebate), but I would guess that they will add language about “any checking or savings account with an AA bonus” to their banking products.

    • Doesn’t read that way, so should be fine.

  22. joe says:

    weird… I just went to the citi prestige link. First hit on google

    https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=citi-prestige-card

    Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had a Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.2

    Earn 40,000 Bonus ThankYou® Points after $4,000 in purchases
    Bonus ThankYou® Points can be earned by new Citi Prestige® cardmembers approved through this offer. To receive bonus points, make $4,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Balance transfers, cash advances, fees, interest and items returned for credit also do not qualify as an eligible purchase. Once these points post to your account, you may redeem them for great rewards, including $400 in gift cards. To redeem points, visit thankyou.com or call 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596). Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had a Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

    • joe says:

      nevermind, I see that the click thru page shows the new restrictions.

    • Chuck says:

      I’m not seeing that now

      • joe says:

        Looks like the first page says :

        Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had a Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.2

        But when you click thru it says :

        Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

  23. Noms says:

    In the same vein, do you know if the “one bonus” within 24 months also includes retention bonuses received within the 2 year period (e.g. after year 1)?

  24. joe says:

    I suspect that this is going to very messy. They’re going to have offers/links with the old rules and new rules out there at the same time!

    anyone know exactly what the terms were for the Doc’s link

    https://www.citicards.com/cards/credit/application/flow.action?app=UNSOL&sc=4KMZ13A6&m=315D111111W&B=C&ID=3131&naInd=M

    that is now dead… ? Thanks

  25. Rod says:

    If I opened the Citi AA card 8/2014 and closed it 8/2016, when would I be eligible to get bonus again? Would it be 24 months from close date….so 8/2018 is my date to open?

  26. dan says:

    about the open & close, let’s say that i’ll close the premier this month, 8/16 and close the prestige in 1/17, will i get the TY bonus pts from the prestige or any TY CCs again around 9/18 which is 24 mos since closing the premier? correct?

  27. Joseph says:

    Would this a apply to Hilton reserve since its offering nights not points?

  28. Rachel says:

    I opener the link for AA Biz card and this is what it said :
    “This card is not available if the business already has a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® account. Bonus miles and any additional special offer not available if you have had any CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® account opened or closed in the past 24 months”
    ?

  29. Jes says:

    The wording of the new rules is ambiguous to me – it says if you had it opened or closed. What if you say have a Prestige and have had it open for more than 24 months and leave it open, and then apply for a Thankyou Premier ?

    Thoughts?

    • That’s fine as the clock wouldn’t be reset.

    • Ian says:

      I thought it means you would not qualify to receive any bonus if you apply for the Premier (and if Citi started giving bonuses again for Premier);..because you have a opened TY Prestige in the past 24 months (even though, let’s say you opened Prestige in 2012).

  30. Dan says:

    I opened a Citi Prestige last night 8/11/16. It was late and I didn’t read the offer thoroughly like I normally would. Bad luck I guess that my apporama was last night. In any case I got approved but then saw that I can no longer get the bonus since I already had the citi preferred card and got the 40k bonus within the last 24 months. Now you are saying this rule won’t apply until 8/28/16? How can you be so sure? Willing to bet $450 annual fee? I’ll be a gin-nee pig for you if you want to cover the fee if they don’t give me the bonus.

    • Our information is based on their media department, we are passing on the information we have. Why on earth would we agree to pay your annual fee if the information we were given is wrong?

  31. Raul says:

    I have a question that’s not quite on subject. Y do you think is the cause for all the new restrictions by amex chase and now cit is? Is the economy doing better and banks don’t need to lure people in with huge easy bonuses or is it something else like banks trying to cut back on profit losses? Or could it be that there are too many new players to the game

  32. ff_lover says:

    Hopefully more award seats will now open up (less competition).

    Folks,
    The Banks read most of the popular blogs (TPG, FTG etc.) and when TPG/FTG constantly mentions Business/First class $5K+ seats “for free” with “lots of nice/glossy pictures”, to get more affiliate clicks (~$300/per click), that catches the attention. It has been happening for MS and now for signups.
    Remember TPG/FTG are sellouts to Corporation (Bankrate.com, Flyertalk etc.).

  33. Mark says:

    The direct offer link to CC you have says, you must not have opened or closed a card in last 24 months in order to receive bonus. So what difference does it make whether you apply before August 28th or not? If you have had this card in last 24 months, that means you will not receive bonus whether you apply before or after August 28th correct?

  34. Rusty says:

    I really great post by the originator (William Charles) – questions answered with the skill and patience of a teacher! I’m quite new here and some things slip past me pretty easily. Can you explain the tern Per “Brand”
    (New Citi Rules Limit You To One Bonus Per 24 Months Per Brand)

  35. Jetsfan says:

    If I have all of the offered TY cards and opened each of them more than 24 months ago, can I get a second Prestige or Premier and the accompanying new bonus? Thanks in advance!

  36. John says:

    If I apply for a Citi AAdvantege Gold card before the 28th would I still get the bonus? I got a Citi Platinum card some time in December 2015 which was converted to a World Elite.

    • As long as you haven’t had the gold card opened or closed within the last 24 months, you’d be fine.

      • Mark says:

        Just above, you said the rule doesn’t kick in till August 28th?? So I’m confused Doctor. If I had a premier in last one year and was closed recently and if I applied before august 28th, would I get the Bonus?

        • Chuck says:

          Mark, there’s always been a rule that you won’t get the bonus if this particular card was opened or closed within 24 months.

          The new rule – to take effect on the 28th – groups an entire family of cards together as one.

  37. Mark says:

    May be clarification is required: 24 month rule still apply whether on or before; The changes that will go into effect will be that it would include whole host of line instead of a specific brand. Is this correct? The 24 month period is already in effect for the same type of card. for e.g. Citi Premier.

  38. JP says:

    I rolled the dice and applied for a Citi AA Platinum Select card after downgrading my old one to Bronze during 3/16. I got instantly approved using a 50K offer that I found online but I am aware that I will not know if I can actually get the bonus until I have it spelled out in an approval letter, correct? Because calling Citi’s customer service will not be able to confirm? In the case that I receive this card with no bonus…is there any reason to keep it open, any other options I can do because it seems silly to have a card with no bonus and a $95 fee if I am not getting anything. I read some data points of folks still getting the bonus recently even with past accounts opened/closed in the past 24 months.

  39. John says:

    Just applied for the AAdvantage Gold, already had the Platinum from December. The language had the “family card” mentioned in it. I rolled the dice and no mention of a bonus. I don’t think the 28th is the final date.

  40. Ender says:

    Does Thankyou preferred college considered as a regular Thankyou card for this purpose?

  41. tassojunior says:

    In spite of the language being on the Hilton Reserve app I wonder if people will still get the 2 free nights as they probably come from Hilton, not Citi. Not going to be the guinea pig but won’t be surprised if it works.

  42. RA says:

    What if I did a product change? Just converted by Dividend to a Premier. Since this isn’t opening or closing an account, would I still be able to get the Prestige bonus if I were to apply in the next few days?

    • Chuck says:

      I’ll guess in your case you will not be eligible for a Prestige bonus, but can’t say for sure. (Most people have your question in reverse, and that point isn’t clear either.)

  43. sean says:

    i applied for the aa business card prior to 8/28/16 met my $4k spend this month and was told i didn’t quallify for the bonus since i had the aa personal card closed in past year. so no differentiating between brands for personal or business. bummer

    • Chuck says:

      That doesn’t seem to add up. The terms are pretty clear that business and personal are separate.

      There was a small period that they had them combined IIRC. Maybe you applied then.

      • Sean says:

        Contesting it will see how it goes got pissed off I closed my account (bad sign of a churner) but was told if I do qualify they will provide the bonus. Will advise update in two weeks.

  44. Hud Callaway says:

    Sorry if this has already been answered, but I’m trying to make sense of the wording…”Opened or closed”. Does this refer to application -> open and closing account or does it apply to currently having the card? Example: I opened AA Personal Platinum Select on 1/14/16. Currently have it opened. 2 years have passed since I opened it. Will I qualify for a new AA Personal Platinum Select now since I currently hold the card? In a perfect world, I’d love to apply for the 50k bonus they have running now and cancel my older one. TIA

  45. tony says:

    if have a AA personal within last 24 months, will I get the bonus for applying AA business?
    thanks

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