The Citi Prestige card has held a steady online sign-up bonus of 30k, then I was alerted by FrequentMiler to a 60k in-branch offer.
This is a complicated card and many benefits change October 18, 2014, some eliminated immediately, some grandfathered over the course of a year, while some new benefits are added. See articles from MileCards, Dr. Credit Card and Hack My Trip to review the offers, card benefits and why now might be a good time to get the card.
There are reports that the 60k offer is intended for Citigold checking account holders. Last week I went to a branch to apply even though I have no banking relationship with Citi.
I waited it out through a full New Jersey experience, with a middle-aged women droning on and on about credit card late fees the branch could do nothing about, interspersed with her life story and frequent references to her dialysis treatment. Like other branches, the tellers can do nothing with new accounts and there was only one banker.
When I got to the Citi banker, her first question was if I had a Citigold or ‘Blue’ checking account. Nope. She went to the back, talked to the manager and I later learned she called an internal help line who recommend that she process the application as a ‘Global Customer’ rather than as a US person with SSN.
She came out, did the form on her system, I signed off, and she said it would be faxed in. Yes, faxed. Two days later I had heard nothing, Citi had not received any application, and I had to go back to the branch before leaving the country on business for two weeks.
The banker was there and she explain the ‘Global Customer’ approach had produced a request that I provided all kinds of information like an employer verification letter. Since they did not have my SSN, no credit report was pulled.
I asked to see the full offer and application details for US applicants and she printed out a stack of forms and fine print. Studying it over, the application did have two places to enter Citigold account number and one place to enter Citigold debit card account number, but nowhere did it explicitly say it was mandatory to provide an account number or to have an account to get the offer.
I asked the banker just to submit the application without account number. She was nervous that it would waste a credit inquiry, but I won her over and she agreed to send it in.
After the long weekend I called Citi’s public application status number (888-201-4523) and the agent gave me a reference number but could not connect me with someone to immediately process the application. From the website citicards.com I was then able to enter the reference number to check application status and was given a message to call a different number (800-695-5171, or try 800-950-5114) for immediate processing. I did so, the agent put me on hold, and came back a few minutes to approve my card with no questions other than to add a mobile phone number, similar to other recent apps. She confirmed the 60k bonus offer. Yay! (Note: I forgot to confirm with her if I will also get the lower annual fee that Citigold account holders get, we’ll see).
Takeaway: the Citi Prestige in-branch 60k offer is open to all. Find a banker who will play ball, leave the Citigold account number blank, and have them submit the application.