Is Citi Getting Tougher With Premier Approvals?

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Citi increased the welcome offer on their Premier card to 80,000 points recently which is the highest bonus they’ve ever offered on the card.

As a result, many people have jumped on the opportunity to earn a stack of ThankYou points. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of those applicants have had their plans foiled because Citi has declined their application which raises the question – is Citi getting tougher with approvals on the Premier card?

Citi Premier credit card

Miles to Memories posited the same question a few days ago as they’d noticed data points suggesting that Citi wasn’t being quite as generous with approvals as you might expect given historical approvals.

We’ve noticed the same thing in the Frequent Miler Insiders group with a reader reporting that she got declined for the following reasons:

  • Your credit report shows a high amount of unused credit compared to your available credit lines.
  • Your credit report shows too many bank or national revolving accounts.

Several other group members subsequently shared on that thread that they too had been declined for the Premier card for similar reasons.

Citi has been pretty easy on new approvals in the past, so have they really gotten more stingy with approvals, or are we just hearing more data points of applications being declined due to a correspondingly higher number of people applying for the card in the first place due to the increased welcome offer?

Even if you are declined for the Citi Premier card, all hope might not be lost. One of the commenters on that Facebook thread shared that they were declined for the Premier card and then called the reconsideration line (1-800-695-5171). The agent he spoke to then approved his application without any further information being required. I suspect that your success when calling the reconsideration line will be highly a case of YMMV, but it’s certainly worth a try if Citi initially declines you for a new Premier card.

Question

Have you applied for the Citi Premier 80,000 ThankYou point offer? If so, were you successful? If not, did they give a different reason to those above? Let us know in the comments below.

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Rahul

Denied because of the same 2 reasons mentioned above. I even have a Citi checking account with a good amount of deposit

Mike

Denied because of Your credit report shows a high amount of unused credit compared to your available credit lines 🙁

Connor

Just declined for having too much available credit. 815 credit score and high income earner. I nearly sh!t my pants when I saw that I was declined. 0/24 over here with 2 biz cards in the past 2 years.

Srinivas

Declined because I have too much credit with not enough usage. 810+ scores across 3 bureaus. The agent suggested that I used more credit, but I do it is just that I pay them off. Like others said I will put Citi on my blocklist and not apply for their cards again. They wasted my time and added a hard pull on my account. Very annoying.

Jess

Denied just now too many revolving accounts with zero balances add I post them off every month. Credit score 827, 2/24, earn 129k, 49,500 available on my other cards. Called recon and they said I had to much credit available. Will call again but that’s a hard pull on my credit.

Ken

Me and my wife Got declined with excellent credit due to We have mutiple credit cards with available credit because we don’t owe money so if you are the same don’t apply or waste inquiry reconsideration dept can’t approve unless credit report shows other credit cards account are closed

Soonho

Also denied for similar reasons as above — and when I spoke with the “reconsideration line” (which is just their acquisition department) the agent told me that she also noticed Citi being much tougher on applicants. I guess Citi is off my list for future credit lines!

NK3

I applied, also got denied for high amount of unused credit & too many accounts, plus they mentioned I opened a new card a couple months ago (was 1/6, 4/12, 6/24). I had lowered the credit limits on a couple Citi cards a couple weeks before applying, but was not optimistic based on these data points. Citi has been great to me in the past–always approved, high credit limits, great retention offers, etc. Guess it is over!

I called recon and they said I could try further reducing credit limits with Citi & with other banks, closing unused accounts, and they could try reprocessing my app in a month, but it would be another hard pull. No thanks. Based on the recent data points, I figured my chances were slim, but given my better than average experience in the past with Citi, I thought I would give it a shot. You win some, you lose some.

I simultaneously hit submit for this card & Barclays Choice Hotels card. Figured Barclays would deny me too since they just gave me a new card less than 2 months ago and I am at 6/24. That one was approved.

Brett

I applied and was not approved due to 2 reasons: 1.”Your credit report shows a high amount of unused credit compared to your available credit lines.” 2. Your credit report shows insufficient history on accounts” (I had just opened an AAdvantage card 1 month before). I called the Reconsideration line and they told me reason #1 was a “system decline” aka automatic, not a “judgmental decline.” My credit report showed 4 open credit cards and 90+k available credit due to the limits increasing over time. I called those cards to lower the limits to about 40k total and will reapply for Citi Premier in one month.
Meanwhile My brother who had only one credit card, was approved.

Chuck

First card I’ve ever not been auto approved except that chase oops which was auto decline >5/24:
“We have received your application and further processing is required. We will contact you in approximately 7-10 days regarding our decision”

Guess I wait and see now.

JamesfromBNA

instant decline, saw reasons in post, 800+ score, 4/24.

Jason

I have not had this card for over 2+ years so I thought I’d apply for it again on 7/9. Despite having a credit score of 800+ I still got an instant rejection. It’s been an entire month and I never received a letter explaining the rejection reason. I’m wondering if calling their reconsideration line is worth it?

Frequenttrvlr

Instant decline.
Reason-
Your credit report shows a high amount of unused credit compared to your available credit lines.

Brian

I applied on 7/19 and was denied for the same two reasons Stephen stated in the post. Based on past experience and ~820 credit scores, I was surprised.

I called reconsideration on 7/21. I was polite and offered that I would be open to closing my two open Citi Preferred cards to help address the reasons for denial if that would help me get approved for the Premier. The agent said she’d escalate my application for higher-level reconsideration and that I should hear back within a week.

Today (7/27), I received one email saying “we’re working on your application” and then, a few minutes later, an email saying that I’ve been approved.

I, too, received a much lower credit line than I would have anticipated, but one can meet minimum spend with almost any credit line…. 🙂

Brett

That’s good they listened to your appeal despite the “high unused credit” reason being a “system decline” that supposedly can’t be negotiated. I might try a second reconsideration call saying I lowered a bunch of other cards limits, which I did

psh

I’ve never seen those reason listed for denial before now. They seem very targeted at churners. Has anybody seen those reasons from Citi or another issuer before just recently?

Ella

I got instant approval but was quite surprised by a 4K credit limit. That looks pretty standard by what other posters are saying. I was hoping to shift some credit from my Double Cash card but another poster says they don’t like to do that. We’ll have to see.

Me – one Citi card, held for 16 years. 6 Chase cards, 1 Barclays, one store card, no new applications since before the pandemic hit.

Why would they promote their card, then give out such a low limit? Do they want us to get the card but not use it???

Roger

Declined – high amount of unused credit compared to available credit lines and too many revolving accounts. This was an automated system generated decline for not scoring enough points on their scoring system. Called for reconsideration and was told that as it was a decline generated by their automated system it could not be reconsidered or overridden. Called again and they said that they could submit the application for re-evaluation and the subsequent response was again to decline.

Credit score 827, my only other Citi card is the Prestige and have never had an application for a credit card declined before. Looks like no more Citi cards for me.

Joe

Yup

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe
Asarious

Anecdotally, it seems like Citi is auto denying anyone with 3 or more hard inquiries within the past 6 months, on whatever bureau they pull from.

I’ve had two denials for the Premier from them within the past year. When I finally read that they’d lowered their hard pull limit from 6 in 6 months to 3 in 6 months (I hadn’t been aware such a restriction was even possibly present with Citi), everything clicked. My next application was approved.

L Swede

Wasn’t approved for same reasons noted in post. Have 800+ credit score, have opened 1 business card & 0 personal cards since start of Covid, no current Citi cards in my name (am additional user on Citi Costco card) & can’t remember the last Citi card I had (maybe 15 years ago). Looks like I won’t be getting another Citi card either.

Euro

Approved, no need to call reconsideration line lower credit line that expected. I don’t mind the lower limit, I’ll be able to hit the spending requirement. First Citi card ever, 800+ credit score, I have never had any of the AA cards, and the last credit card I applied for was in mid-2019.

Brands

Definitely getting tougher. I was just denied for a Citi card for the first time in my life, I am at 3/24 and credit of 820. Currently hold a Citi Premier and Citi Rewards +. I guess i will call recon and see if I can get approved the hard way.

Josh

I applied for a barclays card and was declined but auto-approved for the 80k citi premier offer about a week ago

whocares

approved just before 80k offer, for 60k. no match.

Gwen

I got the 70k offer in branch right before the 80k offer came out. I tried to get a match as well (twice) but I was denied.

sunnybanc

It’s the ‘big banks’ turning on the churning.

Kate

Approved, no idea why, when my husband with similar income, also 800 plus credit score, also only 2 new cards since pandemic, was denied.

PMoeller

Unfortunately I wasted a hard pull trying to get this card. Same rejection reasons as mentioned above. Will leave it to my wife to gather Thank you points going forward, and I’ll stick to Chase and Barclays.

Trent

Applied for P2, and instant approval. She hasn’t applied for any Citi card except the Citi Aadvantage card last year. Note she also applied for Chase Sapphire Preferred last month, so it’s not like she applied for fewer cards. Ditto the other posts, the credit limit was lower, I forgot how many, likely $3-$4K.

Chris Phelan

Got approved for only 4k. Makes getting the bonus a challenge.

Carl WV

Mine was $4.1k. I already made one payment before statement time to avoid high utilization. I have an AA Mile Up card with them with a $10k CL, but I hear they don’t like to move limits around among cards,

Carl WV

I was instantly approved, but agree about it being a lower credit limit than usual. It’s the lowest limit I have.

Sam

Definitely got tougher. You can see many data points of recent approvals in this database https://helpmebuildcredit.com/user-cc-results/. Shows that more then 50% of recent applications got declined even with credit scores of 800 plus!

Robert

Myself and P2 applied and were instantly approved. However, I noticed that they are approving at lower initial credit limits. That fact was not an issue with us. Just a data point.