Citi Credit Card Application Rules and Bonus Restrictions

Citi has several credit card application rules and bonus restrictions that you should know before you apply for a card.

Below are a few rules and tips you should know. 

One Personal Card Application Every 8 Days

You can only apply for one personal credit card every eight days, also called the “1/8” Rule.

Any application, even a denial, counts towards this rule. 

If you apply within the 8 day period, there is a high probability that you application will be denied.

Two Credit Application Every 65 Days

Citi limits you to two credit applications (personal and business) every 65 days, also called the “2/65” Rule. 

In theory, you could have the following timeline for Citi cards:

  • First Application = Day 1
  • Second Application = Day 9 (limited by the 1/8 Rule)
  • Third Application = Day 66 (limited by the 2/65 Rule)
  • Fourth Application = Day 74 (limited by both the 1/8 and 2/65 Rules)
However, we recommend you space out your Citi credit card applications to boost your approval chances. Credit card companies do not like to see someone quickly acquiring cards.

One Business Card Application Every 90 Days

You are limited to one Citi Business card every 90 days. 

Business cards count towards the 2/65 Rule, so you need to ensure that you also did not apply for two personal cards within the last 65 days.

Six Hard Inquiries Within Six Months

Citi will likely deny your application if you have more than six hard credit inquiries on your credit report in the last six months.

This rule only applies to the credit report that Citi pulls for your application.

For example, you could have ten inquiries in the last six months on Equifax, but you don’t violate the rule if Citi pulls your TransUnion report with only two inquiries.

However, it is almost impossible to know what credit bureau Citi will pull, so generally be aware of this rule when applying.

Bonus Restrictions: Citi ThankYou Cards

Citi groups all of its ThankYou cards into a single “card family.” These ThankYou cards include the Prestige, Premier, Preferred, and Rewards+.

You are ineligible for a new sign-up bonus if you received a bonus from a ThankYou card OR closed a ThankYou card within the last 24 months.

You have to be very careful with this rule because closing a card resets the clock. 

For example:

  • No Bonus– You close a Prestige after 26 months, and then apply for a Premier or Prestige shortly thereafter.
  • Bonus– You wait at least 24 months after receiving the Prestige’s sign-up bonus to apply for a new ThankYou card, you receive the bonus, and then close the Prestige shortly thereafter.

Downgrading a Card: There are mixed reports on whether downgrading a card will reset the clock. The general rule is that as long you keep the same credit card number (i.e. same number, different card), the clock is not reset. But if the downgrade results in a new credit card number, that will reset the 24 month clock. 

Bonus Restrictions: Citi AAdvantage CArds

Citi does not take the family approach to sign up bonuses for the American Airlines AAdvantage credit cards.

You can get a sign-up bonus for each card every 48 months, and closing a card will not affect the bonus.

These cards include the American Airlines Platinum, Platinum Business, Executive, and MileUp cards.

For example, you could get receive a bonus on the AAdvantage Platinum, and then get another bonus on the Executive card as long as you wait 8 days from the first application.