New Citi application rule might be a net win

Last Friday, Doctor of Credit reported what looks like a pretty positive change in application terms on many Citi cards. Specifically, Citi ThankYou cards have received a slight wording change in the terms surrounding the Citi 24-month clock that may not make it possible to open more than one ThankYou card at a time. Note that we will need more datapoints to know how the new wording is being applied, so YMMV for the time being.

The old Citi application wording said:

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.

In the past, if you had opened or closed any of those cards in the previous 24 months, you were ineligible to receive a new cardmember bonus on any of them.

The new wording sounds worse on the first read, but it’s actually better. Here it is:

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.

At first glance, this looks a bit more restrictive because the terms now indicate that you can not have received a new cardmember bonus in the past 24 months. That means the 24-month clock is now based on when you received the bonus (which would be 1-3 months after you opened the card depending on how quickly you met the spending requirement) rather than on when you opened the card. That’s a slightly negative change as it means you’ll need to wait a little bit longer to apply again once you have received a new cardmember bonus.

On the other hand, a key positive change is that you’ll notice the terms no longer indicate that you are not eligible if you have opened any of those cards in the previous 24 months — only if you have received a new cardmember bonus or closed one of them.

That makes it sound as though it may be possible to open two ThankYou cards at the same time and receive the new cardmember bonus on each. Furthermore, a product change at least theoretically should not lock you out of a bonus for 24 months. Doctor of Credit reports that part of the impetus for this change was to enable people to product change Rewards+ card without worrying about resetting the clock. Finally, if you opened a card without earning a new cardmember bonus in the past 24 months but now there is a bonus available, you should be eligible to receive it (provided you have not closed the card).

Overall, this looks like a net win as long as the terms are enforced as per the new wording.

H/T: Doctor of Credit via Miles to Memories

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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JL100
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JL100

so you could have opened one 1 month ago and received a bonus 25 months ago, and that would work?

Yus
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Yus

I got a prestige card (product change from an aa card) last september. I did not get a sign up bonus for it when i did the product change. Does this change in rule mean I am eligible for the current bonus on the prestige?

Chris
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Chris

I’m not sure. First if you product change Citi might look at the account you changed from as closed and reset the clock. Second it might be that the eligibility for bonus points is determined at the time you qualify for them after the initial spending. Then if you open two cards at the same time one bonus will post before the other invalidating the other. So this is highly speculative

Alex
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Alex

Very well could be the case. I was shutdown by Citi this past year so I won’t be able to test in the near future. But, if I recall correctly, Citi bonuses post at close of statement once you meet the spend. Could one apply for two cards (is it 8 days apart?), change statement close date to be the same, and cross spend thresholds on the same date (having the bonuses credit at the same time)?

Lantean
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Lantean

I volunteer to be the guinea pig for this.

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?