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Citi is in the process of adding further restrictions when applying for their credit cards. Under the old rules you could only get a sign-up bonus on a particular card every 24 months, while under the new rules (which we understand take effect on Monday, August 29th) you can only get one sign-bonus per “type” of card every 24 months.
Citi also limits how often you can apply for new credit cards:
- You can only apply for one Citi card every eight days
- You can apply for no more than two Citi cards every 65 days
- You can apply for a business card no more than every 90 days
At this point, you only have time for one application, so will need to prioritize. I figured it would be helpful to go through the main category “types” and look at the current offers.
The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card and Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card qualify as the same “type” of card, as both earn Hilton HHonors points. If you already have (or have recently had) one of the Hilton Citi cards, I’d consider applying for the other before the new rules take effect on August 29th.
75,000 points for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
Hilton’s no annual fee Citi product, the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card, is offering an increased limited time sign-up bonus. The offer is for 75,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Per the offer terms, the sign-up bonus is only available to those who have not opened or closed the card in the past 24 months.
The card offers the following points earnings structure:
- 6x points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton portfolio
- 3x points on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations
- 2x points on everything else
Beyond that, the card offers some status benefits as well, including:
- Complimentary HHonors Silver status for as long as you have the card
- Fast track to HHonors Gold status after four Hilton stays within your first 90 days of card membership
On the one hand, this offer seems to come and go at least twice a year, so there will almost certainly be another chance to pick up this card at this rate.
On the other, 75,000 points is a great sign-up bonus for a no annual fee card. There’s huge value in holding onto no annual fee cards long term, and this is one of the better bonuses we’ve seen on such a card.
Personally if I were to just apply for one co-branded Citi Hilton credit card, it would be the Citi Hilton Reserve Card. While it has a $95 annual fee, it is better in just about every way, including:
- HHonors Gold status for as long as you have the card (which gets you free breakfast/club lounge access and more)
- HHonors Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a year
- A sign-up bonus of two free weekend nights at any property in the world (potentially worth up to 190,000 HHonors points)
- An anniversary free weekend night bonus for any year in which you spend $10,000 on the card
Enjoy two free nights at the Conrad Koh Samui
Citi has several AAdvantage-earning products, including the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.
Of those, I think the Executive card has the most compelling offer.
The Citi AAdvantage Executive Card has been offering a limited time increased sign-up bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles upon completing minimum spend. This is 10,000 more miles than the previous bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles.
Through this offer you can earn the 60,000 mile bonus after spending $5,000 within three months. Ben values American miles at ~1.5 cents each, so those 60,000 miles would be worth ~$900.
The card does have a $450 annual fee, though it also has the single most generous lounge access perk of any credit card out there.
Specifically, those with the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card receive an Admirals Club membership. But it gets much, much better than that. You can add 10 additional cardmembers to the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card at no additional cost, and they receive Admirals Club access as well, with each allowed to take two guests per visit.
With the Citi Prestige® Card no longer coming with Admirals Club access as of July 23, 2017, this card is even more interesting than in the past.
ThankYou Points can be earned with the Citi Prestige® Card, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, and a an assortment of “Preferred” cards. I would only consider for applying for the Citi Prestige at this point, however, as the other cards have low-to-no bonus offers anyway.
While the offer has recently changed on this card, and we’re seeing a scaling back of benefits, I still think it’s a great card, and is currently offering 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
You get complimentary access to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges (through 7/23/17), and a Priority Pass Select membership giving you lounge access for yourself and two guests. There’s also a $250 annual airline fee credit, along with a $100 Global Entry application fee credit. And everyone’s favorite perk — the 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge.
I used the 4th night benefit in the Maldives last year
Beyond that, you get 3x points on air travel and hotels; 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment; and one point for all other purchases, and the ability to transfer points to airline partners.
Everyone’s priorities will be different, and it’s worth taking the time to think through which of these bonuses will be most applicable to your travel goals.
If you don’t have any of these cards, or any in the associated category “types” I would make sure to pick up the best bonus now. I’ve never had a Hilton product, for example, and think I’d rather get the two free nights from the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card than the 75,000 points for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card. It just depends.
Are you applying for a Citi card in the next few days? Which one?