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


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. 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. 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.

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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.

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?

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.

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

For retention and spending offers, just call the number on the back of the credit card. The reconsideration department won’t be able to help with this request.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

Tried and no luck, they told me explicitly no expedite shipping for new card.

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

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?

Marriott Marty
Marriott Marty

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

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?

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.

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?

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

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.

Not true as of early 2017. Applied and approved for both personal and business cards same day, however the pulls were separate.

Where the 2 pulls from the same bureau or different ones?

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.

Had that same problem with them. Like an elephant they never forget. With persistence though, I was able years later to get a secured card plus three store cards administered by them. However, they just closed the three store cards when they arbitrarily decided to do account review, pulled a credit report and saw I had numerous credit inquiries. Seriously, they closed my accounts over credit inquiries!

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