Is There a New 48 Month Rule?
Update (Aug. 5, 2021) – A Citi supervisor says that there’s a new 48 month rule for the Citi Premier Card. The application page states that you are not eligible 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 accounts, in the past 24 months. But it has been supposedly changed and I guess has not been updated on the application page yet. The information comes from a Miles to Memories reader who called in to check the Citi Premier bonus eligibility.
You can see data points of approvals and denials at the bottom of this article. Also please let me know in the comments if you have been approved recently for a new Citi Premier Card, within 48 months of receiving a bonus or closing a ThankYou card listed in the terms. That could help determine if this new information is true, or just the latest case of phone reps making things up.
Approvals for Citi Premier Are Proving to Be Difficult
Update (Jul. 24, 2021) – Citi recently improved the welcome bonus for the Citi Premier card. You can currently earn 80,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 with your new card in the first three months. For the next few months you can also transfer those points to American Airlines AAdvantage miles. This is the first time that Citi has offered this option. So that 80K Citi Premier bonus can be redeemed for $800 or more. The best value will probably be when transferring points to travel partners.
As you might expect, many people are applying for the Citi Premier card to take advantage of this improved welcome bonus. But as more and more data points come in, we are seeing that getting approved for a new Citi card is much harder than we thought. This is true at least for the Citi Premier card, which is the hot item right now. We do not know for sure what new rules might have been put into place, or if there is an actual hard rule that has been implemented. But we are seeing more denials than usual for sure. I have some data points listed at the end of the article, and you can also provide your own.
In the past I have mentioned a rumored 3/6 inquiries rule for Citi. More recently we have also seen data points that you need to be at 1/6 or even 0/6 when it comes to new cards. But even that apparently is not enough for some people. There’s are several data points on reddit that speak to the contrary. So what reasons are Citi reps giving new applicants after they are denied for the Citi Premier Card? Here are some that we have seen repeated a few times:
- too many revolving accounts
- last inquiry is too recent
- not enough credit utilization
Reading through all the data points, there’s no one reason that you can single out. It looks like the things that matter most are the number of total revolving accounts and recent inquires. We usually count them for the last six and 24 months. I believe that Citi will most likely combine your recent account and inquiries and come up with a decision on whether to approve you.
Please let me know in the comments if you have recently applied for the Citi Premier card and share your data points. I’ll add them to the table below. Also please share any theories that you might have as to what could be the most important factors when it comes to Citi approvals.