Published in: Credit Cards | Dec. 20, 2018

Citi Credit Card Application Rules: What You Need to Know

By:  Lyle Daly

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If you’re thinking about opening a Citi credit card, take a look at its application rules first.

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Image source: Getty Images

Citi has plenty of popular cash-back cards, airline cards, and ThankYou® Rewards cards, but the card issuer also has its fair share of restrictions to keep in mind. To ensure you qualify for a card’s sign-up bonus and that your application won’t get automatically denied, it’s important to know Citi’s application policies.

Citi application rules

Citi’s rules pertain to the number of applications you can submit within specific timeframes. The limits are:

  • Up to one personal credit card application in any eight-day period
  • Up to one business credit card application in any 90-day period
  • Up to two Citi credit card applications in any 60-day period, which could be two personal cards or one personal and one business card

If you try to submit more applications than allowed, Citi will automatically deny any that exceed its limit.

Restrictions on sign-up bonuses

Citi limits sign-up bonuses to one bonus per brand in a 24-month period. In this case, brand refers to the different lines of Citi credit cards.

Note that Citi considers its personal and business cards to be separate here. For example, you could get a personal card with Citi, and then get the business card version a month later, while receiving the sign-up bonuses on both. 

Here’s what you need to remember about this restriction -- if you cancel a card or product change it to a different one, that restarts the 24-month waiting period before you can get another sign-up bonus within that card brand.

How to choose the right Citi card

With Citi’s restriction on sign-up bonuses, it makes sense to choose the brand of cards you like first, and then pick the card with the biggest bonus. Here are two of Citi’s main card brands and the cards in each one offering the best sign-up bonuses, plus a couple other card suggestions to consider.

ThankYou® Rewards cards

The ThankYou® Rewards program has Citi’s most versatile travel cards, because they earn points that you can either send to different transfer partners or redeem through the ThankYou® Travel Center.

Citi / AAdvantage® cards

These airline credit cards earn miles in American Airlines’ AAdvantage® program, which you can use to book award flights.

Cash back and 0% intro APR cards

Citi has a well-rounded lineup of lucrative cash back and 0% intro APR cards that are among the longest offers on the market. Check out our picks of the best Citi credit cards for a deeper rundown on each.

Our #1 cash back pick has a surprise bonus

This may be the perfect cash back card! That's because it packs in $1,148 of value. Cardholders can earn up to 5% cash back, double rewards in the first year, and avoid interest well into 2020. With such a deep bench of perks you'll wonder how this card packs in a $0 annual fee. Best yet, you can apply and get a decision in two minutes. Learn more with our in-depth review.

Find the right card for you

Cash Back & Rewards