Demystifying Citi Annual Fee Refund Policy

Recently, I’ve had a few conversations with readers about Citi’s annual fee refund policy when closing, downgrading, or product changing a card. Due to the high degree of confusion on this matter, I sought to clarify the rules. Citi’s reps typically put it all in a single basket so that you have 60 days from when the fee posts to cancel or downgrade, after that there is no prorate. In practice, here’s my best guess/understanding of how it works:

[Note, some people have had success calling in and getting them to adjust for a full refund or a larger refund. Those are good data points, but aren’t the focus of this post: the goal here is to try clarifying how Citi’s automated system deals with product changes, downgrades, and closures.]

  1. If you close a card within 30 or 60 days, you get a full refund, not prorated. We used to put the number at 30 days, but multiple recent reports indicate that reps are saying the policy changed to 60 days. Reports indicate (1, 2) that cobrands get 60 days. I’m unsure if Citi’s own cards also get 60 days or if those only have 30.
  2. If you close a card at any point in middle of the year, you get a prorate from the date you called in to close the card. This works even in mid-year; I did this very recently with Citi Prestige and got a $225 refund on the fee. Multiple readers have reported (here and via email) Citi reps saying it won’t get prorated after the 60 day mark, but this does not appear to be accurate. I’m unsure if cobrands get prorated like Citi’s own cards or if those can’t be refunded in mid-year at all.
  3. If you downgrade within the same family of cards, e.g. Thank You Prestige to Preferred, the annual fee gets prorated based on the number of months the card was held. Downgrading takes a couple of months until fully processed (takes 50-52 days), and you’ll thus land up with an extra couple of month’s worth of fee than expected. This all holds true whether you downgrade in mid-year or downgrade soon after the annual fee posts.
    The same policy applies to cobranded cards: if you downgrade within the same family of cards (e.g. $99 AA card to no-fee card), it’ll take 50 days to process and the annual fee will be prorated.
  4. If you product change outside the family within 30 days of fee posting, e.g. you change a $99 AA card to a fee-free ThankYou card or you change a Prestige to a Dividend, there are numerous conflicting data points. Some have experienced (and 1) the product change taking 50 days while others have not. Some have gotten (1, 2) a full refund while others have gotten a prorated refund (1, 2).
  5. If you product change a cobrand into one of Citi’s own cards in mid-year, I believe the system won’t automatically give you any refund at all. You can try calling in to get a prorate.
  6. For the American Airlines Executive card only: If you close or the product change or downgrade the card after 37 days, you will not be refunded. Reportedly, you won’t even get a prorate in this scenario (though others have heard differently).

These rules stated above are my understanding from threading together numerous recent data points, and there may be inaccuracies here or additional scenarios we haven’t considered. Please drop a comment with your own recent experiences from the past year, especially if it’s a counter data point to anything stated, just try to be clear on the details since there are numerous variables here.

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usernamechuck
usernamechuck

I pc’d my prestige to rewards+ about 29 days after fee posted, and was surprised to see an actual full refund appear in my account. (Also, it was quick… I think less than a week)

lilurbanachiever
lilurbanachiever

I can confirm this is still the case.

ndg
ndg

Now in the process of closing my citi premier miles. Posting date of the P5000.00 annual/membership fee was last July 8, 2020. I confirmed that I am cancelling through citibank.com.ph’s “secured messaging channel” just today July 27, 2020. Base on the discussion the P5000.00 should be reverted right?

joe
joe

Not sure about Philippines cards but if there’s chat you can try that. They said normally it takes 51 days but they accelerated it for me and I received the refund within 5 days

joe
joe

Downgraded Premier to DC before annual fee posted and I was charged $95 to the new DC card about a 3 weeks after conversion lol

Jason
Jason

Downgrade citi presitage to prefer within 30 days after annual fee post, and received full refund soon after conversion. The account number remains same.

keeb0730
keeb0730

On 5/4/20 I tried to downgrade my Citi AA Platinum to a MileUp card but it had been like 45 days. The phone rep said she couldn’t help me get a refund because of the 37 day rule other people mentioned below.

I was pretty annoyed but I decided to Live Chat instead. The rep downgraded my card without any issue.

“I certainly understand your concern, in this case you can convert the card into a Citi A Advantage Mileup card, where in there is no Annual membership fee and all your Miles will get transfer to this card.

The Annual fee will be credited back after 1-2 billing cycle automatically.”

The annual fee refund posted on 5/23/20.

Just adding this DP it convinces someone here to HUCA.

Good luck!

Yana
Yana

Just converted my Premier to Rewards+ thru online chat. The online banking immediately shows the account has been converted, but the online rep says there won’t be prorated AF refund since it’s over 37 days.

Yana
Yana

update: received the prorate AF refund two months after the downgrade.

Peter
Peter

Citi Prestige cancellation period to refund (no prorating allowed) the annual fee is 37 days as per the representative on 4/10/20

Jason
Jason

I still have another week to go until the PC is fully complete, but I PCed my AA Exec to a MileUp and so far have not seen the AF post at all. I believe I avoided this by PCing on the exact anniversary of the card being opened as listed on my credit report, instead of waiting for the AF to hit.

KKR
KKR

I cancelled my card on 45th day after annual fee posted and got only prorated refund. This was for the citi prestige

Richard
Richard

KKR
How long did it take for the refund to appear?

Kkr
Kkr

3 days I believe

chainsaw
chainsaw

Citi changed the cancellation window to 37 days on AA Platinum beginning this past Sunday without warning. They advised me it was 60 days before and then changed it underneath my feet. They don’t care if you had the prior rules or if AF was put it into place prior to that. No proration no nothin. Thinking about cancelling out of spite. Ridiculous.