Watch Out For New 48-Month Restrictions on Some Citi Credit Card Applications

Jun 17, 2019

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Update 7/5 9:15am ET: A new 48-month restriction appears to have been extended to all Citi AAdvantage card applications, including those here at The Points Guy and other outlets.

It’s no secret that credit card welcome bonuses are the quickest and easiest way to rack up a large chunk of points and miles. So to prevent people from gaming the system, over the last few years issuers have implemented various rules restricting how often you can get another bonus. For instance, American Express has some of the most restrictive card-specific anti-churning rules, allowing just one welcome bonus per “lifetime” per card type. Citi, on the other hand, has historically been somewhat more flexible, allowing multiple bonuses on a given credit card as long as you wait 24 months between canceling and re-applying for a card within a card family.

However, that may soon change. As DansDeals reports, Citi has quietly updated its offer terms on some applications for AAdvantage cards to extend the waiting period from once every 24 months to once every 48 months.

It’s important to note that, as of this writing, only some application links are showing this change in terms. In fact, the offer terms on the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp applications here at The Points Guy still show the 24-month restriction. The application links with 48-month language currently only appear on Citi’s website (and not even on the website’s main page). The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.   

However, to be safe, you’ll want to triple check the offer terms when applying for any of the above Citi AAdvantage credit cards, as the terms could change from 24 to 48 months at any time.

One positive change with the new terms is that the restriction is now on each individual card, as opposed to the entire Citi AAdvantage card family, meaning you don’t need to wait between getting the bonus on the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, for example. Additionally, it appears that only getting a welcome bonus will reset the waiting period, as opposed to also when you close a card, which is the rule stated in the 24-month terms.

It’s not clear yet if the new 48-month requirement will be extended to other Citi-issued cards or to all application links. The Citi Premier® Card, for instance, is still offering a best-ever welcome bonus of 60,000 ThankYou Rewards points after $4,000 in spend in the first three months to new applicants who haven’t opened or closed a card within the ThankYou card family in the last 24 months. Also, remember that AAdvantage cards issued by Barclays operate under different rules, so make sure you’re familiar with the credit card application restrictions at each issuer. The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom Line

If what we’ve seen with the changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer terms is any indication, it could be just a matter of time before all applications for Citi-issued AAdvantage cards get the new 48-month restriction, but it could also be a test that ends up getting targeted or rolled back. So, if you’ve been considering getting a Citi-issued AAdvantage card and it’s been more than 24 months since you got one (but less than 48 months), now’s the time to apply. Just remember keep a close eye on the offer terms when doing so.

Related: Choosing the Best Credit Card for American Airlines Flyers

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