Posted by William Charles on July 27, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on July 27th, 2017 | by William Charles

81

How Does Downgrading/Product Changing A Citi Card Affect Your 24 Month Eligibility? (Hint: We Have No Idea)

More up to date information here.

In every recent post about Citi cards we have mentioned that you’re not eligible for the sign up bonus if you’ve opened or closed a credit card within the same family in the last 24 months. We also link to our detailed post on that rule. Inevitably somebody asks what happens if you product change/downgrade your card. Does this reset your clock or not? Despite having a section on that linked post regarding downgrades people continue to ask. To answer the question, we don’t have any hard data points and don’t currently know how these product changes affect your eligibility.

Frequent Miler has an interesting theory that product changes within the same brand (e.g one American Airlines card to another or one Citi ThankYou card to another) do not reset the clock and that changes between two different brands (e.g American Airlines card to Citi ThankYou points card) do. I know that this post has no real point, but I wanted to post for two reasons:

  • To try and get some hard data points from readers. I think surely somebody has tried this and knows the answer, if that’s you then please share your datapoints!
  • To remind readers to read the articles we write properly. A huge number of the questions on this blog are answered in other articles that we have linked to in the article readers are commenting on. If you have a question it’s always a good idea to read the article and any relevant linked articles before asking. I love helping readers but I have a finite amount of time and every question I answer that has already been answered is just less time for me to answer a question that hasn’t been answered.

Data Points

In this section we will share any data points we find/are posted.

  • Counted as an opening/closing:
    • Between two different families/brands: 1

 

Follow-up PostDid Product-Changing your Citi Card Result in a New Card Number?



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DH7
DH7

LOVE the title hint

DH7
DH7

First line missing 24-month language ironically – should read “… within the same family [in the last 24 months]”

Jeff
Jeff

I downgraded a Thankyou Premier card to Double Cash one year ago. Applied for and got the Prestige, met the spending requirement and did not receive the points. When I called to ask why, was told it was due to the product conversion of the Premier card last year. This is despite no hard inquiry and no new account on my credit report. Very interested to hear other people’s experiences.

joe
joe

thanks Jeff for your data point.

PG
PG

Ditto

Vic
Vic

Thank you for trying it out.

Bummer that you didn’t receive bonus for Prestige 🙁

brteacher
brteacher

I don’t understand this comment at all. If you got the Premier a year ago, then it doesn’t matter what you did with it—you would be within the 24 months. You got a card within the same family within 24 months, so it’s irrelevant whether you still have the card, canceled it, or downgraded it.

What DoC is looking for is people who have had a card in the same family for over 24 months, downgraded it, and then applied for another card in the same family to see if downgrading resets the clock or not.

Matt
Matt

Hey, you should re-read what Jeff wrote. No where did he say he opened Premier last year… He said he product changed Premier to Double Cash a year ago…

Jeff
Jeff

Correct. I got the Premier back in 2013 and the Prestige in April 2017. The only event in the preceding 24 months was the product change from Premier to DC.

Greg the Frequent Miler

Jeff (and anyone else who was denied a bonus after a product change):
Did you keep your card number or did they issue a new number when you product changed?

Jeff
Jeff

They did change my account number.

Greg the Frequent Miler

Thanks Jeff. It seems that account number changes may be a key factor in whether or not the clock gets reset.

wiivile
wiivile

To me this is absolutely inexcusable and if Citi ever denied me a signup bonus based on having product changed a card in the past 24 months, I would file a CFPB complaint. Product changing is not opening or closing an account- the account number stays the same and the tradeline stays the same on the credit report. I would not accept this.

jimmy
jimmy

please let us know your data point on CFPB complaint result.

dan
dan

good point! unless citi had additional or specific language about sign-up bonus associatehd with PCs related to PCs, valid reason to contact CFPB to see what the ruling will be

Jeff
Jeff

I have written a complaint letter to Citi. If they deny it again or ignore me, CFPB is next.

Jeff
Jeff

Update: Citi ignored my complaint letter but they did not ignore a complaint to the CFPB! The process was very smooth from their website to a phone call i received. They told me I’d hear from Citi by a certain date and I did. Ultimately Citi has promised to make good on the 50,000 points and “re-educate” those who make these decisions. I have my doubts about that but at least I’m getting my points!

Robert
Robert

Hello, I had the Citi prestige
Then I downgraded to Citi perferd
My 24 month restarted from the downgrade time.

Hope this helps someone

Jeff
Jeff

How do you know this? Were you denied a subsequent bonus?

Robert
Robert

I called them over the phone.
That’s what they told me.

Vic
Vic

Thanks for the info.

Just so you know:

A hard data point can only be acquired through experiment.

Asking the rep does not guarantee positive or negative experiment result, and would require further verification, so it is Not a hard data point.

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

I appreciate you explaining why this is not a hard data point rather than just saying it insultingly to those who may not understand that reps repeatedly give false info.

When I called in I told the supervisor about the continual false/grey info I was given.

XXX
XXX

They don’t always give correct information over the phone.

NinjaX
NinjaX

hey rob. did you CC number change? that seems to be key for now…

Louis
Louis

Speaking of PC-ing a card, has anyone had luck with their Forward card? It’s collecting dust and I’d like to change it to at least the Double Cash….

Jeff
Jeff

They would not let me product change it but they did give me a decent retention offer- 10k thankyou points for spending $3000 over 6 months.

Eric
Eric

Several months ago I tried to PC my Forward and my Costco and was rejected for both.

Rob
Rob

I had an AA plat select for many years and downgraded a year ago to AA Bronze with no AF. Just approved for the AA Executive 75k card and will report back if they pay the bonus or try to deny me.

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

Yes please do report back. +1

dan
dan

rob, if citi refused the bonus while the $450 AF is already collected upfront, that won’t be nice. hope citi will give u the bonus

dan
dan

since no language or specifics in the T&Cs stated that a PC is a closing/opening

Jeff
Jeff

Billing the fee means absolutely nothing regarding whether you will get the bonus. I paid $450 and was denied the bonus.

Larry
Larry

I converted a Premier to a Double cash after 1 year. do I have to wait 2 years from conversion date?

Blue
Blue

This rule really had me turning over options earlier this summer. My AA Gold is like 15 years old and my AA Platinum is like 10. Decided to bite the bullet and PC them to Dividend and DoubleCash just to keep the lengthy tradelines alive.

I guess the basic strat is now get the card, hit minimum spend and they you’re eligible for another one in 26-27 months or so if you don’t get a mailer.

Dave
Dave

I had Citi Premier and product change to Citi preferred. They have closed the Premier and opened a preferred account and even did the credit inquiry. I am not sure if I want to apply for prestige, spend money and then get declined for the bonus!!

Vic
Vic

Sorry to hear that. I’ve seen one data point like yours, downgrading resulted in HP, new account with new number.

Citi in general is just hopeless… CSR is as useless as their IT.

MM Austin
MM Austin

If PC resulted in closing an existing account and opening a new one, then what is the point of PC, why wouldn’t somebody just close the existing account. and rather than opening a useless card, go for something worthwhile for that Hard Enqury.

Till now I thought by PC, we get to keep the Account Age and no Hard enquiry is done.

Eric
Eric

I have done 2 PCs from Citi in the past and neither resulted in a HP. I verified that with the rep before doing so.

Dave didn’t say whether or not he asked the rep beforehand.

Mike
Mike

A related question is when is the 24 month rule applied, either 1) at application for new card or 2) when the bonus is earned (either when the spend is completed or the statement closes on which the spend is completed). #1 is better as it gives certainty – just open a new account before downgrading/PC, but the 24 month language seems to imply #2. So if its #2, I have a data point for product changes. I PCed an old Amex AA to a Dividend. Started the process in June. Citi takes ~45 days to complete a PC (in my case, PC will complete in August). Had opened a new AA about a week before I initiated the PC. Met the spend and received the 60k Bonus on first statement (in July), after the PC was initiated but before it was completed. So the initiation of a PC is not considered a closure if rule #2 is being used. Open question is whether I would have received the bonus if I had let the PC complete before meeting the spend, which if I had, would mean that rule #1 is the one being used by Citi.

Matt
Matt

Hey Mike, I posted a similar question to DOC Citi 24month thread. No one really knows for sure when the 24 month rule applies. Most bloggers including Chuck believe that closing old version of the card immediately after new card approval would be fine which supports your point number 1. William replied to my comment there and took a conservative stance and went with your point number 2.

It’s safer to assume the worse and go with your point number 2. So, better to close/product change old card after you receive bonus from the new card.

You data point could also show that the bonus eligibility is set in stone when the application is approved, going with your point number 1. This is if you assume product changing means closure of old account on that day. It does take 45 days for the conversion to complete but I believe that number has more to do with if you later regret the conversion, you can still revert back at the 45day mark. As far as Citi is concern, I think they still assume the date of product change is the closure of old account. At least that’s my guess.

Mike
Mike

Yes, I saw your question and DOC’s response, and noted it was a more conservative approach than had been written previously. It was actually DOC’s response to your question that prompted me to speed up my spend in order to complete it on the July statement, rather than on the August statement which will close after the PC has been completed. Didn’t want extra risk on the 60K. Rule #1 does seem to be a lot easier to apply, everything is simply determined at time of application/approval. And with Citi’s IT, they should be shooting for easier to program rules. (Of course, look how complicated they make TYP, by tying points earned to particular cards.) But until we know for sure, I agree with DOC’s more recent position that it is prudent to assume rule #2 is the one Citi is using. Of course, I neglected to follow that by not waiting to do the PC until after the new card bonus posted. (My decision to not wait was also based on DOC’s initial position that rule #1 clearly applied). On your point about whether Citi considers the date of PC to be the date of closure, in support of that, Citi did reverse the AF on the old AA that had been billed earlier in June, right after the PC call, even though the PC will not complete until August. On the other hand, when I asked what rewards I would receive if I happened to use the old AA prior to PC completion, I was told I would get AA miles. So who knows.

Matt
Matt

Mike, you said “On the other hand, when I asked what rewards I would receive if I happened to use the old AA prior to PC completion, I was told I would get AA miles.”

I dont think we should rely on what Citi says. They are not reliable. Actually, I was told the opposite in my case. I product changed Citi AA to Citi Dividend. Before I receive the Dividend card, I was told by Citi that I can earn Dividend dollars using my AA card since technically I already coverted… I didnt bother to double check or verify that. Either way, it’s not really about what we are discussing. We can only rely on more objective data points from people. Hopefully more people will post about their PC experience.

Matt
Matt

And yeah, It’s likely that bonus eligibility is set when account is approved. Look at all the credit card sign up bonus… it should be set up that way. Probably more logical and natural for IT department to set it up that way. However, we never know unless more people give DPs. Maybe Citi IT can post something anonymously here. One can only dream right, haha!

Ben
Ben

Does Citi get cranky if you cancel a card immediately after hitting minimum spend (like Amex)?

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

(Posted this in another thread, but felt it more useful here… actually tried to post last week but after a much more thorough post, my internet kicked out once I hit “post” and it lost it, lol)

I called and spoke to a rep and asked the typical questions, they gave me the “No a PC means you closed it” so I said lets talk to a supervisor, he did, and his supervisor said “no it should not count as a close” then I asked to talk to a supervisor directly, and when I did, said supervisor put a note on my account that I will be eligible, despite if I should be or not. She read over the material at her disposal (for roughly, 5 minutes on hold?), and said no documentation they have clearly outlines what a product change is… so its a grey area, even she said, but she was very nice and put a note on my account saying to honor a signup in the TY family…. She was the head over the PHX office, so not just some low level supervisor….my circumstance is as follows….

May 2015 TY Premier opened,
July 2016 product change to Preferred
June 2017 product change to DOUBLE CASH

I will be a hard DP later in the year (as to whether it AUTO-gives me the credit, that is). For now I am under 5/24 so its DP’s for whether Chase Business Cards count toward 5/24 (conflicting reports) and just in general time to get more UR points for myself.

I do not think my comment was super descriptive, so please ask any questions if you’ve got them Doc or Chuck, or anyone. We shall get some DP’s!!!!!

Matt
Matt

Uh later you talked about Chase so I was a little confused.

You talked about your old Premier got product changed to Preferred then to DC, but you did not talk about when you signed up for a new card… When was that?

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

Have not signed up for a new card yet. The chase stuff was unrelated. I was rambling. Sorry, ha.

Matt
Matt

I still dont understand your post. Since you have not signed up for a new card yet… technically, you do not have a personal data point to add…

The only main point from your post that I can understand is your conversation with Citi representatives. We already know that Citi representatives can give variable answers to different people so they are typically not reliable.

I welcome you to post later about your new Premier card after you sign up and after you know whether or not you will receive the sign up rewards at that point. Otherwise, it’s all hypothetical situations at this time and no valid conclusion should come from your post.

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

Well boy l, I’m so sorry to make a comment on your sacred blog, in which I say “I will be a hard DP later in the year”. The other major point of my post was that a high level supervisor said it was clearly a grey area… which is clearly why they won’t give a PR firm answer.

Where is your hard DP or attempt to better the topic aside from telling people you already know?

Maybe you can try reading a little more before you start telling people when you’ll accept their post, big shot.

People like you man, gah.

Mo
Mo

Actually, she does already have a DP. Namely, what she said, “said supervisor put a note on my account that I will be eligible, despite if I should be or not”.
So, it seems like we all just have to get a supervisor to put a note on our account. I like my odds a lot better with such a note.

Brian
Brian

If i pced a AA business to business thankyou will that disqualify me for bonus? It was done maybe 4 months ago

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