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If you’re clamoring to get the Citi Premier® Card for its flexible rewards categories, 1:1 point transfers, and annual $100 hotel savings discount, it’s important to determine your approval odds before applying. Knowing what to expect beforehand can you determine if this is the right time to try for this card. Here’s a closer look at the Citi Premier application guidelines.

citi premier card hard to get
Hotel stays earn rewards with the Citi Premier® Card. Embassy Suites by Hilton St Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort Bar. Credit: Embassy Suites by Hilton St Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort

Is the Citi Premier Card Hard to Get? Good or Excellent Credit is Necessary

Your credit score can be one of the best indicators. Like most travel rewards cards, it’s best to apply with a minimum credit score of 700 or higher. Having a credit score of at least 740 places you firmly in the “excellent” credit camp, meaning you’ll have the highest approval odds.

This minimum credit score is similar to other travel credit cards with an annual fee in the $95 range.

Of course, there are several other factors that determine your creditworthiness. For example, applying for this card too soon after your last credit card approval can jeopardize your approval decision even if you have never missed a payment in your life.

Related: What Credit Score Do You Need for Citi Premier?

Citi Credit Card Application Rules

Most banks have guidelines in place to discourage card churning. If you have recently added a tradeline to your credit history, you may need to observe a seasoning period.

It’s vital to know these guidelines as every formal credit card application requires a hard credit check. Even if Citi declines your application, the credit inquiry can stay on your record for the next 24 months.

As a result, it can temporarily hurt your credit score and affect your approval odds for other banks, such as the Chase Bank 5/24 rules.

You won’t necessarily find the following guidelines in the terms and conditions when you apply.

Some of the data points from previous Citi credit card applicants give us an idea of how soon and how frequently you can apply for multiple cards.

Only 1 Application Every 8 Days

You should wait at least 8 days between back-to-back applications for two Citi credit cards. Your second application is likely to be declined if you apply immediately because of this Citi 1/8 rule.

No More Than 2 Applications Per 65 Days

You may also wait to apply if this is going to be your third new credit card in a short period. The Citi 2/65 rule lets you make 2 applications within a 65-day period.

As most cards offer a signup bonus within the initial 90-day spending window, you may decide to wait until you earn the bonus points for the other cards and make several on-time payments.

By following this practice, waiting at least 90 days between applications gives you some extra cushion between applications. If Citi flags your application for manual review, the officer can verify you have made several on-time payments and are not looking for another quick way to run up a balance.

Up to 6 Hard Inquiries in 6 Months

Another guideline to consider is if you have applied for other forms of credit (i.e., personal loan, home mortgage, signing a new cell phone contract, etc.) and have a hard credit inquiry.

Your application may not be approved if you have 6 or more hard inquiries within the past 6 months.

Citi Premier Credit Limit

Is the Citi Premier Card hard to get? Data points indicate the minimum initial credit limit is $2,000 for the Citi Premier® Card. Your spending limit can be higher if you have excellent creditworthiness, a high annual income, and other factors can also apply.

The number of current Citi credit cards you have can also affect your credit limit.

While there isn’t a publicly-known formula, Citi compares your current Citi credit limits to your total available credit to assign you a credit limit for this new card.

If you already have a few Citi-issued credit cards, it’s possible that your youngest cards have a lower limit than your oldest ones.

You might consider closing a card or decreasing a credit limit before applying.

However, you may wish to wait several months to apply for the Premier. Some experts say to wait six months to mimic other banks. The waiting period gives your credit score time to rebound from the adjustment and Citi can get a feel for how you manage your credit going forward.

Citi ThankYou Signup Bonus Requirements

The following guideline is very important if you have another Citi credit card that earns ThankYou points. In fact, it can be more important than your credit score.

You may need to wait 24 months before applying so you can earn the Citi Premier signup bonus.

New Citi Premier® Card cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You won’t qualify for the Citi Premier signup bonus if you have recently earned a signup bonus for or closed one of these Citi ThankYou credit cards in the last 24 months:

  • Citi Rewards+® Card
  • (Discontinued) Citi ThankYou® Preferred
  • Citi Prestige® Credit Card
  • (If you’re a returning user) Citi ThankYou® Preferred or Citi Premier® Card

This restriction is a little different from most credit card bonuses that offer terms and conditions. Here are two examples about when you will need to wait to apply:

  • Example #1: You earned the signup bonus for the Citi Rewards+ last month. You must apply at least 24 months after receiving the new bonus.
  • Example #2: You closed your Citi Prestige account 12 months ago. As a result, you will need to wait another 12 months before applying for this card.

It’s not unusual to have a two-year waiting period. What is unique is how many cards this policy affects if you earn a bonus or close an account.

If you don’t want to wait up to 24 months to get the Citi Premier® Card, you can contact Citi and request an account upgrade or downgrade. While you won’t earn the signup bonus, you can immediately start enjoying the ongoing benefits of this card.

Existing Citi Customers May Have an Advantage

Bank loyalty can have its benefits when you want travel card in high demand. You might have an easier time qualifying if you have an active Citi bank account or credit card.

It’s also possible to receive offers saying you pre-qualify.

Do You Qualify for the Citi Premier?

As there are several guidelines that can impact your approval odds, here are the three main application rules to follow:

  • Apply with a minimum 700 credit score
  • Wait 24 months from the last time you earned a Citi ThankYou signup bonus or closed a credit card that earns Citi ThankYou points (this applies to current/previous Citi customers)
  • Do not apply if you have had six hard inquires in the last 6 months

Related: Citi Premier Card Review

Summary

So, is the Citi Premier Card hard to get? The Citi Premier® Card can be as easy to qualify for as most travel credit cards. Your approval odds can be high if you have good credit and haven’t opened multiple cards in the past few months. If you already have a Citi credit card that earns ThankYou points, make sure you’re eligible for the signup bonus too.

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