Rules to Know for Citi Credit Card Applications

Citi has a handful of credit card application rules to be aware of to determine intro bonus eligibility. It’s important to understand the 1/8 Rule, 2/65 Rule, 1/90 Rule, and the Citi 24 month rule.

citi rules

Citi 1/8

The Citi 1/8 means you can only submit one application every eight days, and additional applications will automatically be rejected.

For example, if you apply to two credit cards in one day, one of them will be automatically rejected. Wait for 8–9 days before trying to apply for the second card.

Citi 2/65

The second Citi rule to be aware of is 2/65: 2 applications every 65 days, any additional applications will automatically be rejected.

Tying it all together

If you wanted to apply for more than one Citi card, the timeline would look like this:

  • Application #1 = Day 1 (not impacted by any rules)

  • Application #2 = Day 9 ( to account for 1/8 rule)

  • Application #3 = Day 66 ( to account for 2/65 rule)

  • Application #4 = Day 74 (to account for 1/8 AND 2/65 rules)

In practice, the applications should probably be more spaced out, but the dates are used to illustrate the rules.

Realistically, you probably don’t want to apply to that many Citi cards in one year because of the bonus rules, which we’ll cover later in the post.

Business cards: Citi 1/90

Citi 1/90 only applies to business cards; you can submit one business card application every 90 days.

Business cards also count towards the 1/8 AND 2/65 rules. Business and personal cards are separate applications, unlike other banks.

Soft rule: Citi 1/60

Some people have been affected by Citi 1/60; one application every 60 days, but not everyone.

Since people have been able to get around this rule, it may only apply to those who don’t have a banking relationship or a thin credit profile.

Soft rule: Citi 6/6

You can only have six hard inquiries in 6 months, or else you’ll automatically be rejected. The hard inquiries are not Citi specific.

Sign up bonus rules and eligibility

signup bonus rules and elgibility

signup bonus rules and elgibility

  • Green = no annual fee

  • Blue = annual fee (typically $95, sometimes waived in Year 1)

  • Red = High annual fee (typically $450)

  • White circle = no sign-up bonus

Citi 24 Month Rule

You can only get a bonus for a specific group of cards once every two years. The 2-year clock is not based off when you last applied for a card; it’s also based on product changes and card cancellations.

Example: If you apply for the Hilton Honors in May 2017, you’ll be eligible to receive another Hilton bonus in May 2019. However, if you product change the card in 2018, it resets the bonus clock, and you won’t be eligible for another Hilton bonus until 2020.

The good thing about Citi is you can freely product change cards from different groups. If you have a Costco credit card, you can product change it to a Citi Double Cash card.

Optimal strategy

Apply to no annual fee + no sign-up bonus cards first, then go for the annual fee + high sign up bonus cards later.

The other benefit of this strategy is that you are building the foundation for your credit history.