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Citibank just dealt another blow to the miles/points game. Yesterday, Doctor of Credit broke the news that Citi added new restrictions on credit card bonuses. The new Citi rules limit you to one bonus per brand every 24 months.
This is a significant change. Previously, Citi set a limit per product, not per brand. Consider the following example. Under the new rules, if you opened or closed the Citi AA Platinum card within the past 24 months, you cannot earn the bonus from the Citi AA Executive card. This applies to American Airlines, Hilton, Expedia, and Citi’s own ThankYou Point cards.
If you have a targeted offer that does not contain the new language, you may be able to earn the bonus. At this time, we do not have any compelling data points. If you try this route, please comment below to let us know what happens.
You may be able to side-step the 24 month clock from account closing by utilizing a product change. For example, you may want to change your Citi Premier card to a Citi Double Cash card. Since you didn’t technically close the ThankYou Point card, this will likely not reset your 24 month clock. Keep in mind, Citi only allows product changes after the account has been open for 12 months.
Business credit cards are handled as separate products from personal credit cards. You will still be eligible to earn the bonus from the CitiBusiness AA card if you have opened or closed the personal AA Platinum card within the past 24 months.
AA Platinum Loophole?
Does this effectively put the nail into the coffin for the Citi AA Platinum Loophole? This is difficult to say, because data points are limited. The outlook is not positive, but if you get a targeted offer or in-flight application, check for the new language. Citi’s systems have shown a distinct inability to track bonus timing well, which opened this loophole in the first place. Only time will tell on this one.
This is another tough blow in a year that has not been kind to the miles/points game. Constant restrictive rule changes highlight the need for good personal record keeping. You will need to know precisely when you opened or closed your Citi cards if you want to time your next application correctly. We recommend using a spreadsheet to track your open/close dates for every card.
Please report back in the comment section with any data points related to the new rules.