Citi Denied My Application – The Reason Is One That Is Becoming More Common

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citi application denial

My Recent Citi Experience & Denial

For a lot of people, applying for a ton of cards at a time is their chosen strategy. The nickname for this strategy is “app-o-rama” or AOR. The premise is that banks don’t see your credit inquiries in real time and thus don’t see that in addition to applying for their card, you applied at other banks as well.

Following an AOR, many people then wait at least 90 days before doing it all over again. After 90 days banks seem to care less about applications, or at least that has been the case for awhile. (Of course as we know Chase certainly cares about all inquiries lately.)

I don’t personally subscribe to the AOR every 90 rule, but last month I did do a round of applications on the same day. This was mostly because it had been awhile since I applied for anything and there were a number of good offers I wanted to take advantage of. Among them were the Amex Business Platinum 150K offer and the Citi Prestige 50K offer.

My Recent Citi Experiences

citi application denial

After applying for the Citi Prestige, I was told they needed to verify more information to process my application. This is the same language I have seen after every Citi application for the past year and a half. I normally just wait and they call me within a day or two and approve my application. This is exactly what happened with the Prestige. Success!

But then I got greedy. Citi only allows one application every 9 days and 2 every 65 days. I generally NEVER apply for a second card with the same bank 9 days after the first, but I decided to do it with Citi. Since I have an AAdvantage Executive card with an annual fee coming, I want to convert that card to a ThankYou Preferred with the hopes of eventually getting a good retention offer.

The only problem with making that conversion is that I most likely won’t be eligible for the 20,000 point sign-up bonus as a new customer if I apply later due to Citi’s new bonus rules. So to prevent any problems, I decided to apply for a ThankYou Preferred just 9 days after applying for the Prestige.

The Denial

citi application denial

After submitting the application, I received the same pending language as before. This time though, within a few hours of applying, I also received a denial email. After a few days I called in and spoke to a couple of representatives, but was told I couldn’t shift credit or close a different account to open this one. I was denied and there was no overturning it.

So what was the reason for denial? Too many recent applications. Since I had applied only 9 days after my latest application round, they could see those inquiries and even some of the new accounts. Remember one of those accounts was another Citi card too.

It has always been a good strategy to try to get reconsidered via Citi’s Executive Department, but I think I’ll skip that route this time. I honestly don’t blame Citi for the denial and don’t think it will be easy to get someone to approve the application considering I just got a different Citi card.

Related: Credit Card Reconsideration Strategies When Calling In Fails

Back to My Normal Strategy

citi application denial

I am not as aggressive as some when applying for credit cards. I often go 5 or 6 months between application rounds, which I feel is the best strategy for me. I have found that by doing this I am able to jump on increased offers in between cycles. If you are constantly living on the 90 days edge, if a great offer jumps out, you may not be able to get approved.

Between this denial and Chase’s new bonus rules, I feel it is important to practice a more sustainable strategy. While this ThankYou Preferred application wasn’t impulsive, applying for so many cards close together is never a good idea. Before you ridicule me for saying that, I am aware that many people are getting Citi cards every 33 days. What works for some, doesn’t work for all.

Note on Too Many Inquiries

Before I close, I want to make a point to mention that too many inquiries is a common denial reason that banks give. Discover, Bank of America, Barclay’s Citi, Chase & American Express, U.S. Bank (and others) will all deny you if you have had more inquires than they like. This is because someone who applies for a lot of credit is generally at higher risk of default. As of this time I don’t believe Citi has instituted any hard rules like Chase.


In the end a denial always hurts and feels a little personal. For now I think I’ll just convert the Executive card to another Dividend with the hopes that next year’s 5% bonus categories are better than this year’s. By doing that I’ll still be able to pickup the ThankYou Preferred at a later time when I am more likely to get an approval.

As for my next round of applications, I am in no hurry. When your points balances get into the million(s), quality is more important than quantity. Now if I could only somehow get Bank of America to like me.

Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. I hate this all carp inquires and denying for decent people. I have a credit card from capital one, discover that a long time means almost decades. I never miss any payment no mortgage (Paid off). No hard inquiries. I was affected by these crap credit bureaus. Equifax got hacked and leaked all information and they give us 2 years of credit monitoring but bad guys start doing bad things to people after 2 years. They give hard time to people for getting loans or credit but they did not secure people’s information. This is is pretty much dumps-sheat.

  2. What # did you call about the denial? I was denied instantly on 6/3 for Citi Premier. Never got an email or letter why. Called twice these week hitting different prompts and unable to talk to a person. Im guessing it was because 2 days previously I used up my last 5/24 slot applying for the Marriott.

  3. Re Dividend, it’s probably well known but Best Buy $200 vgc have a $5.95 fee and earn 2% rewards that can be redeemed for nonBest Buy merchant gc. Not that bad at 5x.

  4. I have a Thank You Premiere card coming, my 1st Citi card other than a Sears-Citi. Is there a way to store TYPs like with Chase’s Freedom or Amex’s Everyday cards?

  5. Definitely no hard and fast rule with any of them except Chase’s own cards which makes it more frustrating when denied. I have 16 EQ and 17 EX inquiries in prior 12 months and no issues getting approved with Chase (non-UR), Citi or Amex this week.

  6. I would be curious as well what’s considered too many inquiries, which most likely is different for each person.
    Got approved for Citi Hilton Reserve in February with 3 prior inquiries the past 2 years.
    After that, I got denied for a Chase Hyatt Visa with 4 inquiries the past 2 years.
    After that, I got approved for a Amex Surpass with 5 inquiries the past 2 years.
    Finally, I got approved for a Amex Premier Rewards Gold with 6 inquiries the past 2 years.

    • If you go back two years, then I have quite a few inquiries with both Equifax and Experian. Probably close to 10 with each. Transunion is pretty clean since only Barclay’s normally pulls them here.

  7. Why doesn’t BOA like you? Ever consider throwing a little banking their way? Although I say that a bit tongue in cheek since their race to automation and the way they treat peeps is over the top. Can’t wait for the robots to take over in branches.

    I think it’s just a matter of history with BOA.

    • I do have a bank account with them, but I don’t really know why. There must be some issue that I don’t know about, but no one will tell me anything and their denials or limited lines use standard language. Luckily my wife doesn’t have the same problem.


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