About a month ago, when Citi was still offering the 75,000 point bonus for the Prestige card, I decided to finally apply for it. I don’t have any ThankYou points and I knew the card’s 4th night free benefit would be useful, so I went for it. I’m not a heavy card churner – I earn most of my points and miles through manufactured spending – and pretty much only pick up credit cards when I see a good sign-up bonus, and I don’t even cancel that many of my cards. I certainly feel like I’m not the customer Citi needs to be worried about. So imagine my shock and horror when I got rejected for the card.
I’m really not as persistent as I used to be. When my Barclay credit cards got shut down, I didn’t fight it. I haven’t called a bank to get an annual fee waived in years. It’s a hassle and with my spending habits, I don’t really want customer service reps eyeing my accounts too closely. But I did call the reconsideration line about my Citi Prestige rejection. I was told it was because I had “too many credit inquiries.” I asked what constituted “too many” and the rep couldn’t tell me. I called a couple more times, even speaking to a manager, and was told the exact same thing: I had too many inquiries and they were not at liberty to disclose what they considered “too many.”
The one thing the manager did suggest was that I take a look at my credit report for any unauthorized credit inquiries. If there were, I could dispute them and then send a letter to Citi, which they would take into consideration. With the recent Equifax security breach and the issues I’ve had with Citi cards getting hacked in the past, I thought this might be a possibility. So I looked at my credit report. I counted the number of inquiries over the past 24 months…and I only had 9 credit card inquiries. WTH, Citi? How is nine inquiries “too many?”
I actually called them again to sound off about this. Nine inquiries in 24 months wasn’t that much. That doesn’t even come close to the 20+ inquiries some regular credit card churners pull in. But it didn’t work. I pointed out my good credit and the fact that I’d been a great Citi AAdvantage cardholder over the last year, paying the card off every month and just being awesome overall. It didn’t work. They were Charlie Brown and I was the babbling teacher saying nonsense they didn’t care about.
So I gave up. It’s disappointing because Citi is supposed to be easy but now they’re pulling a Chase with the credit inquiry nonsense. And not even being transparent about how many they consider too many. About half of those inquiries will drop off in the next 4-6 months, so I’ll actually be eligible for a Chase card soon (yay!). But I’ll probably hold off on applying for another Citi card until I hit 4/24. And because I’ll settle for no less than the 75,000 point bonus I missed out on because of this nonsense…
Have you guys had issues getting Citi cards approved because of too many credit inquiries? Please share below.