Getting Ready for Citigeddon (Huge Rules Change): What I Am Applying For & Making That Decision

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Citi Rule Change Application Strategy

Citi Rule Change Application Strategy

Now that Chase Sapphire mania is dying down, we can shift our focus towards an upcoming Citi rule change and it is a big one. In case you missed it, beginning on August 28, Citi will be restricting bonuses per product family. For example, here is how the new language reads on an AAdvantage card application:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi / AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

This new language is already in place on the application pages for the following product families:

  • Expedia+, AAdvantage, Hilton HHonors, ThankYou, AT&T

While the language is there, apparently it isn’t being enforced until the 28th. This was first reported by Doctor of Credit and a couple of readers have seemingly confirmed it. (You may want to confirm it with Citi yourself.)

For more info on the new rules, best bonuses and my analysis of all Citi cards, see:

My Application Strategy

The first thing to consider is that Citi only allows 1 application per 8 day period. This means that I can only pickup one Citi card. I could have applied last week and then again this week, but I didn’t feel the need to get two cards so this was deliberate. If you are wanting a Citi card you should know that you can get only 1 before the new rules are in place.

The Brands & Cards

Citi Rule Change Application Strategy

The next thing to look at is which brand I want to focus on. Here are my thoughts.

Expedia+ – I don’t care very much about this program and don’t have any of these cards. I can’t see myself wanting more than one of these anyway, so no need to apply now.

AT&T – Both my wife and I have the AT&T Access More. We are set.

ThankYou – Both my wife and I have the Prestige and Premier cards already. We are both eligible for a Preferred bonus, but the only option is 10K points. Not too appealing and we are earning a lot of TYP from the AT&T cards.

AAdvantage – We both would be restricted from getting an AAdvantage Platinum card under the old rules, so the Gold or Executive cards are the only options. Neither is interesting, we are less than 12 months from being able to get the Platinum card again and the business card will be an option too.

The Citi Hilton HHonors Cards – Our Choice

Citi Rule Change Application Strategy

My wife just closed a Hilton HHonors Reserve card and hasn’t opened up a Visa Signature card in over 24 months. On the flip side I have recently (within the past year) opened up an HHonors Visa Signature card, but haven’t had the Reserve card. In other words, I think we are going Hilton. Our situations are the opposite, but the same.

Right now the Visa Signature has an increased 75K bonus offer and the Reserve’s 2 free weekend nights are valuable enough to pursue. The bottom line is these new rules will lock us out of these cards for awhile, so why not get them now, especially considering we have Diamond status and thus get more benefits during our Hilton stays.


As with every Citi application we have made over the past few years, our applications both are pending further review. Generally we receive a call from Citi within a few days to process and considering we are traveling, we’ll actually probably call in a couple of days when we get a little time. I do expect approvals based on past experiences with Citi, but time will tell.


For many of you, applying for a Citi card in the next couple of days may be a way to gain access to a bonus that will unobtainable for awhile under the new rules. In our case Hilton was the answer, but the right choice (including maybe doing nothing) will be different for everyone.

What is your Citi rule change strategy? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. For Citi Hilton card, I have visa signature bonus received in Aug. 2015, if i keep the card open and get Citi HH Reserve card next year in Sept’17, do I receive 2 free weekend nights or do I need to first cancel this citi visa signature card,wait 24 months (i.e. Sept. 2018) from closing and then apply to receive 2 free nights?

  2. My husband applied for this a couple of weeks ago and it said pending. We got a letter in the mail asking us to send a copy of his social security card verifying that it’s him…..he should have easily been approved for this card. He has no Citi cards. I do however have the Thank You, AA and the Hilton. Any idea why they would send a letter like that?

  3. Have you seen any DP’s to support the believe that the rules don’t kick in until the 28th, despite already being written in the terms? I’ve seen mixed data, but mostly counter to this, unfortunately. I’d love to pick up a couple new cards for wife and self but feeling hesitant to waste the hard pulls

  4. Well, none of the Citi cards available to us (had the Exec and Platinum too recently) seem compelling, but the FlexPerks is only going to last till Sept 2 anyway so…

    The 25K AA Gold card? Dunno, we’ve got lots of AA miles at the moment. Might not be worth the pull and required spend. No 10% miles back or anything and not NAF so… meh. There’ll be Barclay AA cards soon anyway right?

    HH Reserve? I can’t as did it too recently. She can but of course I’m the one with HH status, and that will expire at the end of the year. But hey, she’ll be dumping her Surpass soon and so the Gold status… and two free nights we’ll probably be able to use… sounds like a winner for her.

    HH NAF 75K for me I guess. Better than a sharp stick in the eye. Maybe one free night somewhere.

  5. I’m thinking I could wait, and hold out to see if the Prestige comes out with a nicer offer than 40K points. I don’t have a TY point card, other than the AT&T card, and I think they’re considered different categories, is that correct?

  6. I applied for the Citi Hilton Reserve. Nothing else seemed worth it. I don’t have any TYP cards under my own name, so no hurry on those. AA Executive is meh at 60,000. Would bite at 75,000-100,000.

  7. i’m thinking of applying for the Prestige, in order to use the TY points earned from my AT&T card. Is there an alternative to Amazon that I could use for online purchases in order to earn 3X points with my AT&T card?

  8. shawn or anyone,
    as i just got the hilton reserve last week & have had the hhnors visa for 1 yr, should i close the hhilton visa now then apply for it again around 9/18 for a new bonus (assuming that i still keep the reserve open til then)? while this card has no AF, will the acct need to be close to receive bonus, or will still get the bonus after 24 mos even though acct is still open? TIA

  9. Shawn,
    Thinking of getting the Hilton Honors Reserve card. It says you get a free weekend night certificate if you spend $10,000 within a year starting at the annual fee. Since the Annual fee is not waived the first year, could I in theory wait to start my $2,500 minimum spend until after the annual fee posts on the first billing statement and that way the $2,500 for minimum spend will also count towards the $10,000 yearly spend? Then since I already spent $2,500 the first few months (again, after the annual fee posts), all I have left is another $7,500 in the year in order to get the free night certificate.

    Then I should be able to get the 2 free night certificates lets say in month 2, and then go heavy in month 3 to get the additional free night as soon as possible after I get the first two.
    If all goes like that, I should be able to use all three certificates for a fri, sat, sun stay down the road before the expiration date of the first two certificates…??


  10. Thinking about AA gold, since I have Platinum. I don’t have any Hhonors so I can wait on those. I just hope they honor the bonus, since app page shows 24 month language. 25k AA miles is barely worth the hard pull.


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