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 no allows you to view your pre-approved and targeted credit card offers online. Citi used regularly sends out sign up bonuses that are more than the public bonuses (e.g Citi Prestige 100,000 point offer). Unfortunately this is no longer available.
  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 48 months though.
  6. If you do a product change to a different Citi product, this 48 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 48 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 48 months. Others have experienced that the 24-month clock does not start over with a product change.
  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. Citi no longer allows credit limit reallocations.
  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. Others mention calling phone number 1-888-248-4226.
  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.

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20201103
20201103

“You can only apply for one Citi personal card every 8 days”
Does this include cards like Citi Shop Your Way (Sears) Mastercard?

WunibaldTax
WunibaldTax

I applied for the Citi AAdvantage on 07/12 and got approved. Would I be eligible to apply tomorrow 09/15 for the Citi AAdvantage biz version? First time having both of these cards.
Also, I am quite terrified at the comments below regarding not having any hard inquiries within the last 5 days. I plan to apply to both Venture X and Citi AA Bz tomorrow. Hopefully I get approved for both!

oliver
oliver

When we ask to downgrade a citi credit card, will our credit history has a newly opened account and a closed account or it will remain the same account? I saw someone said that he experienced the first case recently but I hasn’t seen any other data point like that.

sottovoce
sottovoce

DP: application denied — I’m at 6/24, 1/12. I unfroze my credit and applied for two cards, one with BofA, and then the Citi card. Got approved for the BofA card and denied for the Citi card. Apparently the Citi application picked up on the earlier hard pull, as I was denied for having an inquiry within the past five days. Might be worth applying for this one first or unfreezing a different bureau if you’re applying for multiple cards on the same day.

Bobby
Bobby

Called various Citi customer service lines– told repeatedly that they can’t expedite a new card… BUT there is a workaround.
Eventually it was disclosed that they technically “can” expedite once the account is actually opened (when card number is assigned; usually 1 or 2 days after application), but by then the new card is almost always in “to be shipped” status and they aren’t able to change the shipping method.
However, calling 1800-842-6596 you can let them know that you will be going out of town very soon (before new card is slated to be delivered) and you are worried about safety of it sitting in the mailbox for an extended time.
They can then cancel the original card number, assign a replacement and expedite it via FedEx. This will get you the card in 3-4 business days as opposed to 10 business days.
Be polite and walk the customer service rep through it, as they may not have done this before. If you are nice, they may waive the $6 expedite fee.

dogepoints
dogepoints

Another dp on the new 5 days rule. I applied for a custom cash a few seconds after sending an application for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve and was instantly denied for the citi card. I had no other inquiries or new cards in the last 12 months. Chuck William Charles

Pat
Pat

This is a red flag in Citi (sending two applications in the same day). It happened to me once and the recon call did not go anywhere. You may try recon to see what happens.

Magus
Magus

is citi strict with ms gift cards?

Beat2def
Beat2def

“available if you have received a new account bonus for a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months”

If I received my bonus in July of 2018, in August of 2022 can I apply and get the bonus?
I can’t remember when I cancelled the card (no spreadsheet, sorry). Probably March 2019.

Servo
Servo

Also get the instant card # with the Costco card, just got it yesterday.

TravelGeek
TravelGeek

“ You’re not eligible for another bonus if you’ve opened or closed a card within that brand/family in the past 48 months though.”

Is that still valid? The current 80k Citi Premier offer seems to use a 24 month rule.

“ 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.”

Thanks!