Published on July 31st, 2017 | by Chuck135
Did Product-Changing your Citi Card Result in a New Card Number?
For a long while, we’ve pondered whether an upgrade/downgrade with Citi results in a reset on the 24-month clock which allows you to get another Citi bonus. You can see our latest post here where we asked for reader’s data points.
TPG has now clarified with Citi that any time the card number remains the same with the product change, your 24-month clock will not reset and you’ll continue to be eligible for a new bonus. The implication is that if you do get a new card number, the clock will reset and you’ll have to wait 24-months.
Note, for other purposes, such as credit reports, a new product-changed account number does not show up as a new card, and it retains the account age of the initial card. However, for the purposes of the bonus, Citi considers it a new card.
I’m not 110% convinced that the Citi response is actually an accurate portrayal of what their computer system will automatically process, but at the minimum we have official confirmation from Citi that so long as the account number remains the same, we are good to go. If the system does not give you the bonus when you deserve it, we now have a source to quote and get manually credited.
There are two reasons an account number might change when product changing a card:
- If the product change is from Visa to Mastercard or vice versa the card number will always change. Visa cards always start with the number 4 and Mastercards always start with the number 5. Keep in mind that changing from between Visa and Mastercard is not something you request specifically, and you might not even know that it’s changing between Visa and Mastercard during your product-change phone call request. Hopefully, you can ask the agent during the call and they’ll be able to confirm.
- Even if you product change within the same card network (Visa > Visa or MC > MC), Citi often changes the card number during the product change process.
Now the million-dollar-question is: when does Citi issue a new card number with a product change and when do they keep it the same? Let’s assume the card is keeping the same network (I believe most of Citi’s cards are Mastercards, besides Costco). Will they keep the card number the same or not? Maybe the rep will be able to answer for you this question during the product change process. Maybe not.
From all the data points I’ve seen so far, product changing has always resulted in a new card number. But I only know of a few data points, and all of them are for product changes outside of the same card family (TY > Dividend, Dividend > DC, TY > DC). It seems logical that product changes within the same family (AA > AA, TY >TY, Hilton > Hilton) would retain the card number, especially AA > AA and Hilton > Hilton, but we won’t know until we get data points.
Reader input: Please let us know if you did a product change with Citi and if it resulted in a new card number. It’s vital to note whether the product change switched card networks between Visa and Mastercard. Thanks for your input!
Optimally, you’ll let us know:
- Result (number changed or number stayed the same)
- Name of old card and Name of new card (e.g. Hilton Honors to Hilton Honors Reserve)
- Which networks these cards were on (e.g. Mastercard to Mastercard)
- When this product change happened (e.g. middle of 2016)
Based on the comments, results seem to vary highly.
In the majority of case, it appears that product changes within the same card family will not get a new card number while product changes outside the card family will. (All American Airline cards are one family, and ThankYou Prestige/Premier/Preferred are one family.)
HOWEVER, many others have gotten a new card number even for product changes within the same card family and some had their card number remain the same even when product changing outside of the card family.
Update 4/18/18: We do have one data point which indicates that product changes with a new card number will not reset the 24-month clock, contrary to what Citi reps have said.