Citi Application Strategy Before New Rules
This morning I covered the news that Citi has implemented new language on their applications limiting bonuses by product line. Specifically, you cannot get a bonus for a card if you have opened or closed a card within that same product line within the past 24 months. The product lines that contain the new language are:
- Hilton HHonors
One interesting tidbit of news did come out later in the day today. Doctor of Credit reported that a media rep at Citi told him these new rules won’t go into effect until August 28, 2016. I trust Doctor of Credit as a source, but I have not personally confirmed this and thus recommend you try to confirm this yourself before applying. If this is indeed true, I think there are some interesting things to keep in mind before that date hits.
First off, Citi will only allow you to get one card per day, however you can get two cards eight days apart. (Day 1 and Day 9) That simply means it should be possible to fill in your product portfolio twice before the new deadline hits. This is really good or at least good compared to where we thought we were this morning.
Given this news, you could:
- Get two cards within the same family if you are interested in those type of points.
- Get a single card within two types of families in which you have opened other cards in the past two years since on the 28th you will no longer be eligible to get those cards.
For example one, let’s say you really love Hilton and you currently don’t have either of the Citi Hilton HHonors cards. You could get both of those cards before the 28th providing you qualify. When the new rules go into effect you won’t be able to get both products without waiting 24 months.
Example two is fairly simple as well. Maybe you applied for the ThankYou Premier six months ago when it had a bonus and now you want to pickup the Prestige before you get locked out. Additionally, you also have the HHonors Reserve and want to pickup the Hilton HHonors Visa Signature to get those points before you can’t get them either.
Both of these scenarios are ones that I think many readers are likely considering. So then which cards to get and what scenario to choose? Well, that will be largely up to you, but let’s look at what is available in each family. Before we do though, remember that under the current rules you cannot get a bonus on a product if you have opened or closed that same product within the past 24 months.
- ThankYou Preferred – 10K after $1K spend + $100 credit after $100 LiveNation spend.
- ThankYou Premier – No known current bonus
- Citi Prestige – 40K after $4K spend.
Analysis: This one is easy as there is really only one card to apply for right now. The Prestige is changing next year, but it still has a lot of value until next July. This is probably a card you will want to get before those changes anyway. Keep in mind if you get this card now, you might keep yourself from being able to get a bonus on the ThankYou Preferred or Premier cards if they bring one back.
- AAdvantage Executive – 60K after $5K spend
- AAdvantage Platinum – 50K after $3K spend
- AAdvantage Gold – 25K after $750 spend
Analysis: Ah the card family that many people are blaming for all of this mess. It has been possible in different ways to earn a lot of these miles through various Citi cards, but that is about to stop. Now might be the time to pick the last AAdvantage card you will get for awhile. Keep in mind that the Executive card does come with Admiral’s Club membership which might be important given the upcoming changes to the Prestige card.
- HHonors Visa Signature – 75K after $2K spend
- HHonors Reserve – 2 free weekend nights + $100 statement credit
Analysis: The 75K no annual fee offer is the highest it has been and is a great deal in my opinion if you want to grab some points. I think it is worth a look for people who have opened the Reserve recently since they will be locked out of the Visa Signature card for awhile. On the flip side, the Reserve is nice as it comes with two free weekend nights and Gold status. If you don’t have a need for a ThankYou card, the double Hilton card strategy might be worth a look.
- Expedia+ Voyager – 25K after $2K spend
- Expedia+ Card – 15K after $1K spend
Analysis: Neither of these cards is great and I can’t see someone really needing both. I personally would focus on other programs where it pays to get multiple cards in the same family. You can always get one or the other of these cards down the line.
- AT&T Access More – No known application
- AT&T Access – 10,000 bonus points after unknown spend (Bonus isn’t mentioned on app.)
Analysis: If I had to choose between the lesser Access card and the Access More it wouldn’t be a contest. Right now there aren’t any known Access More application links, so I would probably hold off and pray that one returns. There are only two cards in this family and the More card is the one I would want. I wouldn’t prohibit myself from getting it by going for the lesser version right now.
As always I recommend only doing what you are comfortable with and staying within your own plan when it comes to credit cards. You don’t need to apply for two Citi cards just because it might be possible and just because the rules are changing. With that said, if you feel comfortable and if it makes sense for you given your personal situation, then now might be the time to formulate a Citi strategy for the next couple of weeks.
What are your thoughts? Are you going to apply for two cards? Which families are you looking at? Share with us in the comments!