Instantly Denied For Citi Prestige Card? It May Be A Glitch

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Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige is expired. You can find the current offer details here.

The Citi Prestige Card is one of the hottest credit cards on the market, especially since it began offering an increased sign-up bonus this April. It’s great to see Citi really get aggressive with their consumer credit card department, as we’ve also seen increased sign-up bonuses on the Citi Premier℠ Card and Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

What makes the Citi Prestige Card so lucrative isn’t just the very nice sign-up bonus — which can be redeemed for $625+ of travel on American or can be transferred to Singapore KrisFlyer, among other things — but also all the perks which come with the card. In my opinion they more than offset the $450 annual fee.

These perks include:


It’s no surprise that so many people have been applying for the card, though there’s one irregularity I’ve received reports of over and over. Specifically, some people with great credit scores have reported receiving instant denials on the card.

In other words, when they applied for the card they received an immediate message saying they were denied. There’s not even a “pending” message. For example, I just received this message from a reader on Friday:

Odd… I just tried applying for Citi Prestige but was denied immediately. I have had a Citi-based card for 22 years and an 855 credit score. Well over 150K in other credit lines… maybe that is the problem??

And this message as well:

Similar situation. Credit score 825. Applied for Prestige card two weeks ago and was denied. Called for a review and still said no. The card arrived yesterday. Strange. So it might just be some internal error.

The good news is that in many instances this seems to be a glitch. Those same people then report receiving the Citi Prestige Card in the mail several days later.

So if you’re instantly denied for the Citi Prestige Card, it might just be a glitch. That’s not going to be the case across the board, but if you have an excellent credit score and receive an instant denial, it might make sense to just hold tight for a few days and see if the card arrives in the mail, as it probably will. Or it can’t hurt to call and confirm that it was in fact an error.

Have you experienced the glitch whereby you were instantly denied for the Citi Prestige Card, and then it still showed up in the mail a few days later?

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  1. This happened to me. 750 credit score. Great relationship with Citi. Instant rejection. Then about 5 days later when expecting the rejection letter to arrive I get a beautiful welcome package wth my cards. I was pretty happy and spending on it to get that 75k bonus.

  2. Happened to me this week. Applied on Monday (or tuesday?) with an instant denial. Read about other phantom denials so I gave it a few day. On Friday, I received an approval letter via UPS and the welcome package via FedEx.

  3. Same thing happened to me. Rejected then card shows up days later.

    Does anyone else hate the design of the card? I have to tell everyone when the magnetic strip it’s so they can swipe it. Plus the card itself feels as solid as a hotel room key. Within 2 weeks the word “Prestige” had rubbed off mine. I wish they hadn’t tried to be different when they designed it.

  4. This happened to my husband as well. I was pretty surprised with the initial denial since I don’t think he had ever had a denial. About a week or so later, the card showed up.

  5. This happened to me as well. 800+ score. Instantly rejected, but when I called the reconsideration line they pulled up my packet and approved it with no questions asked or any mention of rejection.

  6. @Daniel

    Regarding max scores: From , it states

    “Base FICO® Scores range from 300-850, and industry-specific FICO® Scores range from 250-900…”.

    Scores I have gotten from one of my Citi cards show 900 as the max. Scores I have gotten from a Barclays card shows 850 as the max. Like you, I always thought 850 was the max.

  7. I also thought FICO maxed at 850 but Citi gives you your FICO for free (updated about every 6-8 weeks) and mine is 878. Go figure. I doubt anything over 800 is relevant to the issuing credit company.

  8. My wife got the instant decline message, then received a request for income confirmation in the mail. On my application earlier, I had also received an income confirmation request, completed it and was approved and since we have a joint return that they should have looked at and they had already messed up with the approval/decline and mentioned that they might do another hard pull if we completed it, I tossed the income confirmation. Their systems for the Prestige seem to be seriously fouled up. I just applied for a Citi Hilton card for her and it was instantly approved, less than a month after the Prestige debacle.

  9. @Thomas – agreed. I hate the design. Call Citi and voice your concerns. When I did, the phone representative told me that this card design is a very active discussion topic within Citi. There hasn’t been a restaurant I’ve used the card in where the waiter doesn’t bring back the card and say “sorry, your card doesn’t work”. I have to explain that the stripe is in a different place than what you would expect, but it is a nuisance EVERY DAY to explain to merchants how they’re supposed to process the card. Citi’s take on it is that the stripe on the card was relocated as an experiment for better security, but may be changed back because of customer feedback. It also doesn’t help that the dark background color of the card masks the location of the stripe.

    It’s still a great card to sign up for, put $3000 on it to get your points and your global entry, and then put it away forever unless you’re traveling and want to get AA lounge access. Use the Premier version instead of the card for everyday spend, as merchants recognize the conventional design better and know how to use it without explanation.

  10. I also had the same behavior, was surprised, and when called they said they reviewed it and it’s on its way. Seems very commonplace.

    Regarding the design: everything tim said. I’ve started using my Amex more because I’m tired of dealing with telling people. It’s even worse when you use automated machines, since you have to carefully think and mentally flip the card correctly.

  11. Just got my new Premier card – and it has the same strange design with the stripe on the front. I guess Citi likes being different!

    I got the 60k bonus (30 after 3000 spend and 30 more after 15k). What’s the deal with 75, and has anyone been able to get Citi to match?

  12. I applied for the Citi Prestige yesterday and got denied online. I have a pretty good credit score so it was mystifying. I called their reconsideration line immediately and they informed me that the application was in process. I called again today and was transfered to a credit analyst who approved me for the highest credit line I have ever gotten.

    So probably a glitch!

  13. Just as a data point…I have an 800-ish score with several Citi cards. I applied for the AA Exec and was surprised to see the instant denial. But Citi called me the very next day to verify some info and then the card was immediately sent out. So, seems to be a glitch.

  14. Update: I got my approval letter and card on the same day: 6 days after applying and being declined online.

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