Posted by Chuck on March 29, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on March 29th, 2017 | by Chuck

31

Citi’s Application Rule Explained (8/65 rule)



Citi has strict rules on how many card applications they’ll accept from someone. Many people are confused about this, and we’ll try explaining Citi’s rules as clearly as possible.

Note: This post is not about Citi’s 24-month rules regarding how frequently you can get a signup bonus (we have a separate post on that churning rule). Here we’ll discuss when they’ll process your application at all and when they’ll deny you, often without even pulling your credit.

There are still some question marks here – please contribute your own data points in the comments. We’ll try to keep this post updated with any future rule changes as well.

Personal Cards (8/65)

There are two rules to be aware of regarding Citi personal cards:

  • Must wait 8 days after application before applying for another card. While this rule is well known, there are data points of those who got approved for a second card within 8 days, so  this might not be a hard rule (Flyertalk). Based on this, I’d guess that a hard pull will be done for applications within 8 days.
  • No more than 2 Citi applications within 65 days. The real rule is 60 days, but it’s become common to wait 65 as a safeguard since Citi has been known to miscount.

These two rules have borne the short-hand ‘Citi’s 8/65 rule’.

That is, after applying for a Citi card (Day #1), wait eight days before applying for another Citi card on Day #9. Then you’ll have to wait until Day #66 to apply for a third card. Then on Day #74 you can apply for the next one. And so on.

Business Cards

Regarding business cards, the rule is as follows:

  • Must wait 90 days between business card applications. Again, we’ll wait an extra 5 days to be safe.

For example, if you apply for a business card today Day #1, you can apply for another business card on Day #96.

Personal + Business Combo

It appears that both business cards and personal cards combine toward for the 65-day wait. A friend reports that during a recent business card application, Citi didn’t even do a hard pull due to the fact that he had done two personal two applications within the past 60 days. Other reports (1, 2) confirm this as well.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 1.00.28 AM

The 8-day rule is often relaxed when applying for one business and one personal card, meaning that you can apply for a personal and business card on the same day or the same week and don’t have to wait 8 days in between (Frequentmiler and others). This can be the case even when applying for both with your SSN. Being the 8-day rule is a soft rule, it’s difficult to track solid data on this.

It seems likely that if you apply for a business card using an EIN, the 8/65 on your EIN will run separately from the 8/65 on your SSN, and you’ll be able to get three cards within 60 days (2 personal and one business). (reference)

Notes about the Rules

  • Even denials count. For example if you were denied for your second card on Day #9, you still have to wait until Day #66 for the third application. And the same is probably true for business cards: if you were denied a business card, you’ll have to wait 95 days to try again.
  • The only day that matters is the application date, not the card approval date.
  • All calendar days count, even non-business days.

Other Rules

New 1/60 Rule?

In the past few months, some people have been told by Citi that only one new card can be approved per 60-days.

Is there a new 1/60 rule? Based on numerous data points, my understanding is that this is not a firm rule, rather a selective option put forth as part of a denial.

In a similar vein, I’d guess that there is a hard pull done in these cases.

Max Hard Pull Rule (6/6)?

Many people mention that Citi does not approve applicants who have six hard pulls on their credit report within the past six months.

There’s not a whole lot of information out there on this rule, but it’s probably a generalization, not a firm rule. There will presumably be a hard pull if you apply when you have more 6/6.



Since this rule tracks pulls, not cards, it’s much easier to get around it by spreading your hard pulls around various credit reports. Most people are usually under 6/6 since even if they do have six hard pull, overall, in the past six months, there will be a few pulls with each credit bureau, not six with a single one.

Max Credit

This isn’t a rule, but some people mention having a hard time getting approved for a card after they have a certain number of cards, or, perhaps, a certain amount of overall credit limit with Citi. This is probably true for a lot of card issuers, and it’s something to keep in mind.

If you have too many cards and high credit limits, consider proactively closing some of them before applying. Or try asking the credit analyst to close out another card in order to get the new one approved.

FAQ

1) You say that denials count. What if I mistakenly applied for a third card within 60 days. Does the 8/65 start over or is the dead application rendered non-existent?

Flyertalk suggests that your clock probably resets anyway, as if it were a real application. Some data points confirm this as well. (I did hear one data point about a Citi business card which would seem to suggest otherwise regarding the 90 day business rule.)

2) Is a product change considered an application toward your 8/65?

Logically, it shouldn’t count since it’s not an application.

3) If you have a targeted offer which doesn’t have the 24-month language, will it bypass the 8/65 rule?

No. It’s subject to 8/65 and it counts against future applications as part of 8/65.

4) Any advice if can’t remember the exact date I applied?

You can figure it out from your application number. The date is written year/month/day in the application number. For example, 201412150000 means you applied on December 15, 2014. (Flyertalk)

5) Is there an easy way to count up 8/65 without adding up the days on the calendar?

Try this.

6) Can I apply for a card I already have to have two of the same card?

You can usually do that with personal cards but not with business cards. That does not mean you’ll get the bonus on the second card. Read more about that here.

Other questions? Drop a comment below.

 Other posts worth reading about Citi cards:



31 Responses to Citi’s Application Rule Explained (8/65 rule)

  1. PJ says:

    Got an AAdvantage in January and in February. 1/60 did not apply for me.

  2. Traveler says:

    I received two personal cards, and foolishly applied for a business card without even thinking about the 2/65 rule. Was denied. I will follow up to see if they pulled, but it doesn’t appear they did.

  3. TomTX says:

    Chuck,

    Could you do a current one for Chase? The recent Marriott email and mailer seem pretty firm that I can get the card. The offer is tempting, but I am well above 5/24

  4. Dan says:

    I believe I have a couple useful data points:

    I’ve had success sticking to the 2/65 when using Citi Aadvantage mailers. I then tried to mix in a citi business aadvantage (making it 1 business and 2 personal applications in the 65 days window) and was insta-denied. No hard pull. Letter said duplicate applications. From that experience, I became suspicious that business was counted in the same 65 day window as the personals (otherwise the denied application doesn’t make sense, as my only other citi business card was closed a year earlier).

    Still unsure what role the business application had, I recently tried applying for citi hilton reserve (with one AAdvantage personal in the last 65 days as well as that denied business application occurring in the 65 day window). So this 65 day window had 1 personal (approved) and 1 business application (denied). I applied and was insta-denied (seemingly no hard pull). Will have to see what the letter says.

    These two data points in combination lead me to believe that business is included in the 65 day window.

    • Chuck says:

      So the two things we learn from your experiences are:

      1) Business and personal combine for 8/65. This is another confirmation to what we wrote here.

      2) Insta-denied applications do count toward 8/65. This is a confirmation to what we quoted here as a suggestion from Flyertalk.

      Good DPs, thanks.

  5. sirtheta says:

    re #3: I can confirm that targeted mailers do not bypass 1/8 or 2/65.

    I have also seen multiple DPs of people using no-24-month-language links being denied for 2/65.

  6. shulem92 says:

    applied for the citi Costco 3/21 approved
    applied for premier 3/29 instant approval
    guess 1/60 is a myth

    • shulem92 says:

      ETA: it looks like the first time they pulled EX (in NJ), but the second time got pulled from EQ. interesting

  7. AMildAmygdala says:

    Business DP: I was rejected for the Biz AA. Called and was told that I need to have a established credit history of 5 years for business approval, and that this was not negotiable. I don’t know if anyone else has experience this, but if this can be confirmed, I think it would be helpful to spread the word so that in the future people don’t end up wasting hard pulls.

  8. Matt says:

    Not mentioned here, but I have had issues applying for Citi cards for a while now. They have told me that I’ve had too many applications in general and use some new formula to determine that. I’ve been a bit spooked about applying with them since this happened last fall (around the time that the new rules went into play). Anyone else had this experience? Or has anyone had success opening new Citi cards while having a lot of newer applications/approvals outside of the Citi ecosystem?

  9. Abey says:

    You can look at it as 3/95 rule
    No more then one business card and two personal cards within 95 days.

  10. Abey says:

    Quick Question:
    Downgrading or product changing a Citi card does it count as opening or closing within 24 months?
    (Last year i product changed citi hilton to doublecash, can i apply now for the citi hilton reserve?).

  11. CARLOS says:

    Applied and still carry 5 citicards.
    All obtained when I started reading this site and within 60 days.

    Wife has 4 with same deal as above.
    Applied and approved online instantly.

  12. Ben says:

    Is 6 total hard pulls in 180 days a hard rule? I was at 6 pulls in 184 days and got denied. I called recon and they said it was an automatic denial that they couldn’t overturn.

  13. sdsearch says:

    The 8/65 rule is NOT JUST for personal cards; it applies to business cards too (in the sense of mixing personal and business card applications).

    The 90-day for multiple business card applications is ON TOP OF that.

    But if you try to apply for 2 personal cards 8 days apart, and then try to apply for a business card less than 60 (65) days after the first personal card, you’ll be denied just as if you’d applied for a personal card.

    The 8/65 rule (as such) also originated on FlyerTalk (long before Reddit even existed!). The 65 was a “padding to be safe” of the “60 days” that was mentioned in Citi rejection letters. The “8” was just a consensus of what “seemed safe” from datapoint experience, in that SOME people were getting denied for same day, some people were getting denied one day apart, some people were getting denied for two days apart, but we weren’t hearing of any people being denied anywhere near 8 days apart.

    Ie, the Citi application process is a bunch of layers. First there’s an 8/65 layer, then if it’s a business card there’s a 90 day layer, then there’s a number of inquiries they see in the past 6 months layer, etc. All of these are independent of each other.

    There are datapoints that prove that the 8/65 rule applies to a mix of personal and business cards somewhere in this FlyerTalk thread:

    http://flyertalk.com/forum/citi-thankyou-rewards/1784306-citi-aa-plat-gold-bus-cards-august-2016-1-personal-1-business-bonus-24-months.html

    And remember, Citi slopped counting days, so a datapoint that someone was approved at 59 days does not disprove the 65-day rule. They may be sloppy (relative to a nominal “60 days” in both directions!) But anyone who wants to me “more sure” that their application won’t be denied would do well to heed the padding built into the 8/65 rule. (Remember, 8/65 counts all Citi applications, whether approved or denied. So applying a few days too early can set you back way more than that, because it resets this clock!)

    • Chuck says:

      I think you mean to confirm what we’ve written in this post. Thanks.

      Do you have any DPs on the rule of Citi only approving those with less than 6 hard pulls within 6 months? I omitted that from the post since I couldn’t find clear data on it, just some vague mentions. If anyone has any DPs, please let us know.

  14. David says:

    Wife keeps on getting declined by Citi. not hitting the 6/65 rule. This was all for personal AA card. Last app was yesterday for AA 60K targeted mailer with no 2yr terms.

    The last deny was prob back in Feb stating too many inquiries etc.

    She’s got mid 700 score and prob 6 new CCs over the last year.

    Also, she just got approved for SPG Biz card on the same day.

    Anyone else getting these kind of declines?

    • Chuck says:

      I’ve seen some people mention lowering your overall credit with Citi, so if she already has, say 10 Citi cards, that might be something to consider. Added this to the post.

  15. Daniel says:

    Got denied for 1/60. No HP, but sucks cause i was 10 days away from being out of the window but I thought I’d be under the 2/65 rule. One CSR told me I’d be good to go 60 days from my last approval and the other said i should wait 60 days from my most recent application “to be on the safe side.”

  16. chaseaholic says:

    DP’s for 6 inq/6 month.

    AA Mailer #1: @ 5 Inq’s EX > instant approval
    AA Mailer #2 (~15 days later): 6 EX inq’s, call recon for credit allocation > approved.

    now just bummed that I have sit out of citi cards for so long. has anyone else seen ignoring of Citi rules altogether? I’ve seen scattered DP’s like those of ^Carlos where people claim to get loads of Citi apps without any regard to rules.

    Thanks a lot for this post Chuck

  17. Peter says:

    My experience with Citi cards in 2017: (Last opened Citi Prestige card March 2016)
    1. Citi double cash opened in January
    2. Applications denied in February and March for AAdvantage card. Letter says “too many applications received”.
    3. May AAdvantage personal card approved.
    4. June AAdvantage business card denied with same letter.
    5. July AAdvantage business card autodenied with online notification “after careful consideration etc.,”

    If published rules are accurate, I should have gotten personal and business AAdvantage cards since I separated the applications by more than 8 days. Because I was denied twice, I am not sure if should wait 90 days to reapply for the business version from the last denial.
    All the Citi rules of 1/60, 2/65/95 seem to be highly variable between several churners!

    P

  18. Nick says:

    FYI, I have a conflicting datapoint with the Business personal combo:

    I was auto-denied for business AA platinum, and attempted to get the personal TYP Premier within 8 days. I was autodenied for this as well. I called in and the rep stated my credit was not pulled for the second app and that it was automatically denied by their system due to too many applications in a short span.

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