What’s Citi’s 48-Month rule?

Earning the same signup bonus twice may not be easy.

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If your only reason for getting a credit card is to earn the signup bonus, your options will be slightly limited due to the Citi 48-month rule.

How does the Citi 48-month rule work?

The Citi 48-month rule prevents you from earning a signup bonus of an American Airlines credit card more than once in 48 months. Now, for example, you cannot apply for one of these cards, earn the signup bonus and then close your account just so you can reapply and earn the signup bonus again within 48 months.

Luckily, not all credit cards are affected. But there’s another group of cards that come with a 24-month rule.

Citi’s 24-month rule

The Citi 24-month rule is similar to the 48-month rule, except it’s 24 months shorter and it’s way more restrictive. Here’s how it works:

  • If you earned a signup bonus for a card in the ThankYou rewards group, you are ineligible to earn the signup bonus for any of the other cards in the group within 24 months.
  • If you closed one card of the ThankYou rewards group of cards, you are ineligible to earn the signup bonus for any of the other cards in the group within 24 months.

ThankYou rewards cards:

  • Citi Rewards+℠ Card
  • Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card
  • Citi Premier℠ Card
  • Citi Prestige® Credit Card

There’s another group of cards where the same rules apply, but it only covers the Expedia Rewards Voyager Card and the Expedia® Rewards CARD from Citi.

Cards affected by Citi’s 48-month rule

Card name48-month rule24-month ruleNo restrictions
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
Citi Rewards+℠ Card
Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card
Citi Premier℠ Card
Citi Premier℠ Card or Citi Prestige® Credit Card
Expedia Rewards Voyager Card from Citi
Expedia® Rewards CARD from Citi
Citi® Double Cash Card
AT&T Access Card from Citi
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card

How to find out if your card is affected by the 48-month rule

Citi makes it simple to find this information. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the credit card’s webpage.
  2. Read the fine print under the signup bonus.

Can you get out of Citi’s 48-month rule?

Yes, the Citi 48-month rule workaround is simple — apply for any other American Airlines cobranded card by Citi or apply for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® by Barclaycard. As long as you haven’t applied for the card and earned the signup bonus in the past four years, you’re eligible to earn the card’s signup bonus.

If this doesn’t seem like a good option for you, you can simply wait it out.

Bottom line

If you own an American Airlines cobranded credit card by Citi, you will come across Citi’s 48-month rule where you can’t earn the signup bonus for the same credit card within 48 months.

This isn’t bad, considering there are multiple AA credit cards you can apply for in the meantime and earn their signup bonuses.

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