Citi this week announced a major change to their credit card policies. The aim here is to make credit card churning more difficult by limited the bonuses that a person can get in a set period of time.
Last year when I started this hobby, Citi had a policy of no more than one bonus per card per 18 months. Recently that was changed to be more in line with Chase's 24 month policy. Now Citi is further limiting that to one bonus per card type per 24 months. This means that if you get the ThankYou Premier card, you wont be able to earn the bonus if you were to open a ThankYou Prestige card, until 24 months after opening the Premier card. This is a major negative change and follows the industry trend of trying to quash the credit card churners like myself.
Problem for these companies is that there are more and more options all the time. For instance, Barclaycard is soon joining American Airlines as another partner. This gives even more options with Barclaycard which has fewer restrictions on card bonuses. Not only that, but more options gives us more cards to rotate between during the intervening time we aren't allowed to collect bonuses.
Like recent Chase bank changes limiting open cards to 5 per 24 months, we'll just have to adjust with the changes and find a way to continue to earn bonuses. There are many bonuses out there to be had, we just need to properly take advantage of them. My strategy has started to move toward diversifying beyond just many different cards, to many different issuing banks. It's easier to open cards with new banks you don't have cards with or have very few cards with.
Adjust and continue to earn, its the name of the game.