Language Change in the Citi 24-Month Rule and Implications (24 months becomes 27 months & more)

Citi has a rule that you can’t get a signup bonus on a card if you opened or closed that card (or any card in that family) within the past 24 months. Reader sdsearch picked up on a small change in the language of the terms. The change wouldn’t be on any normal person’s radar, but for hobbyists who like clarifying the terms minutiae, it’s interesting to note – see below for implications of the change.

Old Terms:

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.

New Terms:

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 cards, in the past 24 months.

The new language has been there for at least a month, though I never picked up on it until reader sdsearch sent this in today. I’m going to guess that they changed the verbiage when they added ThankYou Rewards+ to the language. That card was launched in January. (My searches on Way Back Machine didn’t yield any good results since I can’t find any signup bonuses in the pages saved there.)

On other Citi cards, like the American Airlines card, it still shows the old language:

50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles can be earned by new Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® card cardmembers approved through this offer. American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a MileUp℠ or CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.”

Implications

  • Negative: The biggest implication is that you have to wait 24 months from the date you received the bonus, not the date the card was open. Essentially, the 24 month rule is now a 25 or 26 or 27 month rule since you usually get the bonus 1-3 months after signing up. Note: I’m not convinced that the internal Citi system actually changed their coding to deny you the bonus in such a scenario –  my gut feeling is that the system will still count the 24 months from date of opening. Even if that’s confirmed, personally, I’ll still wait the extra few months to fulfill the technical language of the terms in case there’s an issue with the bonus and I’m at the mercy of a human.
  • Positive: If you didn’t get a bonus on a card, that does not reset your clock. In the post Can you get a Signup Bonus if you Previously had the Card without a Bonus? we couldn’t find any data points, but noted that based on the language of the terms, you are ineligible for a bonus even if you didn’t get the bonus the first time, being that it depends on card opening. Going forward, ThankYou cards with the new terms should be eligible if you didn’t get the bonus the first time. (It’s quite possible that’s how it always was in the internal system, but now we have the language suggesting that as well.)
  • Positive: Conversions into a given card family should no longer reset the clock. For example, if you product change a Citi Dividend card to become a Rewards+ card (a card which is part of the ThankYou family), that should not reset your ThankYou 24 month clock since you did not “receive a new cardmember bonus” or “close” a ThankYou card. Note: it very well may reset your Dividend 24 month clock (in the hypothetical world that there was such a thing) since changing over the product may be considered “closing” the Dividend card. 
  • Positive: You may be able to open multiple ThankYou cards at once and get the bonus on all of them since you haven’t “received a new cardmember bonus” or “closed” a ThankYou card within 24 months. See discussion here.

My personal guess here is that they made this change when adding the Rewards+ card into the ThankYou lineup because they wanted people to product change to the card (sources indicate that they are pushing product changes to this card) without having to affect their 24 month status. As such, I’m unconvinced the negative change state above will actually materialize, but in any case, the technical terms imply that way.

Thanks again to reader sdsearch for sending this in.

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psh
psh

I’m thinking that having an old Preferred card closed by Citi due to inactivity will reset my clock for the Thank You familly. Citi’s language does say “if you have closed…”, but I suspect it actually won’t matter if I closed it or Citi closed it. Any thoughts?

Luisa
Luisa

Psh: I am in the same situation. Have you found any information about this? Thanks!!

Sandy
Sandy

Citi closed my Preferred card because of inactivity too. I had over 50000 TY points in that account. So I called Citi to reopened the account. Citi told me that the account number will be the same as my old preferred. Did it reset the TY points 24month clock?

Alessa
Alessa

I opend prestige in Oct 2017 and received bonus in Dec 2017. Today I went to a branch and asked about the 24 months rule, the banker made some phone calls and told me the 24 months rule was from the day I opened prestige, which was Oct 2017. I could apply for a citi premier card and receive welcome bonus. Not sure he made mistakes or I am eligible for the welcome bonus now.

playwithcards
playwithcards

you may want to consider opening both premier and prestige in 9 days to get two bonus.

john555
john555

So if I opened and closed the premier without getting the bonus, this has NO effect on the 24month rule? I am still having trouble wrapping my head around this.

Taylor
Taylor

Interesting DP here: I product changed my TY Preferred I’ve had from 2013 to the Double Cash after I learned that you can transfer Double Cash to TY. Called twice and talked to 3 CSRs about whether it would reset my 2 year clock. A TYP agent spoke to a supervisor who said that because my card was over 3 years old the transfer would not count against me and I would get an intro offer if I applied.

Ken
Ken

Any data points on whether the eligibility date is from the account opening or bonus award date?

Lantean
Lantean

I volunteer to be the guinea pig to test if we can get two sign up bonuses per card family.

Next week I will apply for Citi Premier and then 9 days later I’ll apply for Rewards+.
Curious if I get the second bonus. If not, it’s only $1k spend, not a huge deal.
Unless you guys think I should apply for different card or in different order?

Lisa
Lisa

Please let us know what you learn. Thanks.

Brokenarcher
Brokenarcher

Did you get both bonus? I’m considering doing the same. Thanks!!

Sandy
Sandy

I am wondering if you have received multiple welcome bonuses.
Let us know. if you have, what kind of Citi TKP card did you apply for?

MrDioji
MrDioji

update please!

Lantean
Lantean

Lisa
Brokenarcher
MrDioji

Hi guys,
Sorry for the tardy response… I was waiting for the 60k offer to come back on the Premier card. I applied for it as soon as it was available and 8 days after approval I applied for the Rewards+.

So… I was approved for both cards. Before I received my Premier I received a welcome letter from Citi confirming the bonus. I have already spent $3k+ on this card.

Today I received a welcome letter for my Rewards+ card… and indeed it does say I will receive 20k bonus after $1k spend.
So I don’t have the bonuses yet but it is looking good.

jason
jason

UPdate?

Dave
Dave

Did you get both bonuses?

Lantean
Lantean

jason
Dave

Hi guys,
So after all… I did get all 3 bonuses:
Premier
Rewards+
Prestige

So it seems like yes, as long as one is eligible at sign up, they will get the bonus.
Hope this helps.

Sandy
Sandy

Is there anyone who applied for several Citi Premier card before getting any bonus and received all welcome bonuses? Instead of applying for different kind of cards
like Citi premier, prestige and Reward+.

Byron

I am waiting on my old Prestige and Premier to hit the 24 month clock. Citi confirmed to me that whichever of these was the last one CLOSED, is the one that reset the 24 month clock, not when I got the bonus. The learning is to actually close both cards about the same time for future bonuses. I closed those two cards about 6 mos apart, meaning one card will have been close 30 months when the other one hits 24 months. The learning was that it was when the card was closed and not when the bonus was earned. This came from Citi Supervisor that went and checked on this while I was on hold.

sdsearch
sdsearch

The terms have included “since last open and since last close” for several years now. What changed is that “since last open” changed to “since last signup bonus earned”, but the “since last close” didn’t change. And since you can’t close a card before you earn the bonus (since you don’t earn the bonus if your card is closed), the closing (if done) is obviously the last possible of those events! So IF you closed, then, yes, of course it measures from the close date. It’s only if you HAVEN’t closed that it now measures from the bonus rather than from the open.

So your example has nothing do with this change in terms. This change in terms only matters if the card is still open.

Snorlax
Snorlax

It’s been this way for the last few years.

Billy bob
Billy bob

A bit off topic… I have a Citi American biz card (has a ~$95 AF) that is almost 2 years old. Can I get the bonus again soon? Either by opening a second card (I can use a new EIN) or product changing to a no annual fee version. Or am I SOL bc I will have to close this card (to avoid AF) and can’t hold two of these cards?

Matthew

You can, but you would have to wait until after the 24-month period to apply. I would recommend 26 or 27 months as I’ve heard people having trouble doing it exactly at 24-months.

sdsearch
sdsearch

The business card offers say::”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.”

So your only chance seems to be to keep it open for 26+ months (even if that means paying another AF, assuming you can’t get a retention bonus), and you’d have to use a different EIN and hope that Citi doesn’t get mixed up about that. But while the EIN seems to be used for the first part (“if the business already has”), the SSN is used for the second part (“if you have had”), so you’ve got avoid having either an open or a close ANYWHERE NEAR 24 months (which as others have said, means wait until 26+ months to be safe).

You can close the card you have as soon as you’re approved for the new card. You should close the new card a while after your signup bonus posts, to maximize how soon again you’ll be able to apply for yet another one.

Corridor
Corridor

I have a screen shot from 1/5 showing the old terms. It had to happen some time after that.

Jr
Jr

Good news everyone. I got approved for this card and activated and confirmed with prestige cs that ONLY the 24 month rule is enforced. So its the time that counts not the bonus. She confirmed she did see on my account my eligibility for the bonus.