Is There A New 3/6 Rule For The Citi Premier Card? Data Points Suggest So

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Citi Premier 3/6 Rule: Everything You Need To Know

I recently wrote about Citi destroying my perfectly laid plan.  A plan that was supposed to net me a Citi Premier card and its beautiful 60,000 point welcome offer.  Long story short, Citi slapped me down with a denial. I was pretty surprised, as it was my first ever Citi denial, and wasn’t sure what to make of it really. I had heard of Citi cracking down on some approvals but my recent activity wasn’t crazy or anything. That article started a conversation between our friend Doug at the Travel Rewards Warrior Facebook group.  He had been compiling data points on this very thing.  My personal profile lined up pretty well with what he had been figuring out. It appears that there is a new Citi Premier 3/6 rule we need to be aware of now.

Details On Citi Premier 3/6 Rule

It has long been known that Citi has a 6/6 rule, and it is on our credit card application rules guide.  A 6/6 rule means that you can not have more than 6 hard inquiries in the past 6 months and be approved by Citi for any cards.

From Doug’s, and my own, data points it appears Citi has tightened that rule on the Citi Premier.  It doesn’t seem to be affecting other cards, as of yet at least.  The new rule is pretty firm at 3/6.  That means you can not have more than 3 hard inquiries in the last 6 months and get approved.  Out of Doug’s numerous data points no one has been approved at 4 or more inquiries.  Most people have been approved at 3, but there have been some outliers.  It appears that mortgages and other lines of credit have counted against some people.

My Credit Profile

I applied for the Citi Premier on 10/9/20.  Here were my recent hard pulls:

  • US Bank Business 4/20/20
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards Business 5/1/20
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards Personal 7/30/20
  • Choice Privileges Barclaycard 8/4/20
  • SoFi Personal Loan 9/27/20

I was at 4 or 5 inquiries depending on whether or not the SoFi personal loan was included. I was trying to take advantage of the $600 referral double dip on that one but was denied.

Since my application the US Bank Business application has dropped off and the BOA Business card should in a few days. That would put me at 3 inquiries with the SoFi personal loan included. But, that does not count the recent Citi pull for the Citi Premier card.  That would put me back above 3/6 rule 😢. I am tempted to try it anyway just to see if SoFi truly counts or not.  It would only cost me a couple more days of waiting since the next two inquiries are days a part.  I could also try reconsideration since it is within 30 days they may not have to pull my credit again.

It is also worth noting that I had signed up for a few Amex cards during this time frame but Amex will often skip a hard pull for current cardholders.  That is one of the very nice perks of being a long term American Express customer.

Final Thoughts

While new rules are usually a bad thing for the consumer this one isn’t overly terrible with some proper planning. Hopefully I can turn my Citi Premier denial into an approval so I can take advantage of Benjy’s double dip find with my old card.  Those 60,000 points would go a little bit longer with that one.

It does appear that there is a new Citi Premier 3/6 rule but it can be navigated with a little prior planning.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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