I applied for the Citi Prestige in March and was immediately declined as well. When I attempted to recon, the reason given was I had too much available credit for my income. Since I have seen others with much more available credit than income on this site, I had to believe they only want those with over six figure incomes to have this card, since I was immediately approved for their AAdvantage MC last year with SL of $10k. I then had a sp cli after 6 months to $13k. I also have their PLC. I have been banking with them for 8 years with both personal and business accounts.
Thick file with no negatives. Scores are in signature.
Thanks for the reply,
My three accounts are Discover (6.5K, 2.1YO), Amex (22K, 1.5YO), Barclay (7.5K, 10m).
I was also surprised by the denial and the fact that the 2nd tier "credit analyst" that re-reviewed my application was "unable" to change the decision. Are Discover and Amex typically considered "less satisfactory" than other issuers?
On the Citi website I was prequalified for all the ThankYou cards except for the one I applied (Prestige). The customer service also mentioned something about the Prestige being "different". Older data points show some denials for the Prestige, but usually for credit histories less than 2 years, too many inquiries, or negative factors in the credit report. That's why I am a bit puzzled.
In the meantime Amex is constantly preapproving me for the Platinum and the Gold, but they don't fit my needs at all compared to the Prestige.
So knowing the bolded portion of your comment in advance, why would you still apply for the Prestige card? The reason for your denial is simple; Citi is marketing the Prestige card to a specific segment of credit card users and they don't think your credit profile currently meets what they are looking for whether it be credit history, usage, payment history, income, etc. Lenders look at much more than just a credit score since they are well aware you can have a very thin credit file and yet have a high score.
Not to pile on, but I also believe that Citi considers OP's file to be too thin for this particular product. Experience wise, not so much about the fact OP only has 3 CCs. Plany of people only haev 3. Had you gone with the "suggested" product, or another in the same category. You likeyl would have been approved, which would have been a step towards qualifying for the Prestige later on.
Thanks for the suggestions and possible explanations.
I did not try the Citi prequalify service since I did not know about it before. I understand that my profile can be too "thin" for Citi. The reason why I applied is that I have seen previous successes of people with AAOA>1Y and credit history length >2Y approved for that card in the past, although they are old and I don't know the exact details of the situations (maybe they had other citi products).
During my two recon calls, the representative looked like she did not understand the real underlying reason as well and ended up just reading the same thing of the automated responder (and that will be written on the letter I receive). That's why before applying for something else, I would like to try to have the humiliating recon experience again after the letter, even if I know it will probably be pointless due to the low success rate for denial recons for citi.
But in case I have to eventually accept the waste of time and of the HP, I am a bit worried to what I should apply next if I don't want to wait X years for the citi again. Basically I wanted a card with no FTF, transferrable points, good coverage of hotel, travel, and restaurant expenses, and likely more than 2x rewards. Not many cards offer this. I could try the Citi Premier (which I am prequalified for on the website), which earns the same type of points of the Prestige, same sign-up bonus, and can be converted after one year. However, due to the last experience with citi and another thread of this forum where a person with a similar thin profile was denied even for the Citi Premier for the same exact reasons (since it is also a World Elite Mastercard), I have the feeling I could get another rejection for that as well and have two pointless hard pulls instead of one.
Chase Sapphire Reserve was another candidate of my list of alternative options (althought I would really miss the 5x on restaurants/air, the two free 4th nights, and the 120$ per year of free Lyft credits), but AFAIK Chase is also unlikely to accept me since I don't have other chase products (I know this is important for thin profiles, please correct me if I am wrong). Last chance I had in mind was the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but its rewards are really much less than the Citi cards and its more exclusive brother. However, on another thread on this forum regarding another Citi Prestige denial, the original poster at the end did that as a last resort and he/she was successful. I understand this is not an exact chience and it is a "risk" game. I would just like to balance my needs with the possible odds. Chase website does not prequalify for any card though.
Just make sure you follow the app rules of x in xx days to prevent an auto denial.
I just want to share my data point with you.
Today I have applied online for the "Citi Prestige" card and I was instantly declined.
This is my credit situation:
oldest account: 2years 1month
average age of accounts: 1 year 6 months
number of credit card accounts: 3 (#1 2y1m, 6.5K, #2 1y6m 24K, #3 10m 7.5K)
total utilization: 2.27% (1K of 44K)
number of hard pulls: 1 (18 months old)
Never been a citi customer before.
No other negative (or positive) info on my credit report.
The denial stated that in 7-10 days I will receive a letter with the reason for the denial. On the same day I called the automated line for application status (888-201-4523) that told me that the reason for my denial is "Too few satisfactory credit references were recorded on your credit report."
I tried to have my denial reconsidered by calling 605-331-1698, which is a number that redirects to 800-695-5171. A customer service representative asked for my application number (which is not given during the denial), then for my full SSN. She told me that I will receive the reason for my denial in 7-10 days and that there is nothing she can do to before that. I insisted to know more details for the reason and she told me to wait. I asked if there was anything I could do like getting a small credit line to start or the Citi Premier card instead, or anything else. Nothing can work to overturn such decision.
Then I have read other threads here and on other forums and found out that the automated number for the application status (301-733-5501 and 888-201-4523) if you press 0 multiple times, you can speak with a representative, so I tried again.
The talk with the representative went similar to the previous call. This time she was recommending me to apply for a secured card. Following advice I have found on this forum, I explained to her that I already had cards with relatively high limits, but I would like to move such expenses to a card that works better when I travel, and using a secured card would not have been very efficient. I have also explained that I don't like to open "many cards" to have the "satisfactory references" if I don't need them. Three was enough. She understood and put me on hold, then transferred me to a "credit analyst". Once transferred the conversation with the credit analyst started from the beginning. I had to re-explain everything, why I only have three accounts, why I need the Citi Prestige, etc. She let me talk and when I was done, she told me she see what she can do. I was put on hold a couple of minutes. When she came back she told me that the decision cannot be overturn because I have too few accounts and the system does not let her override that. At the end she recommended me to wait for the denial letter and call the number on the letter to talk with an "Experian representative". After hearing I thanked her for her time and politely ended the conversation.
Probably I have to practive better my "recon talk", but I think she probably tried to approve me, but her "level" was not high enough or maybe my problem is more serious than I think. Does anyone have experience on this or am I just wasting my time since my credit file is simply too thin for the Citi Prestige?
Unfortunately I cannot find recent data points for the Citi Prestige, otherwise I would not have wasted a hard pull. Citi website prequalifies me for the Citi Premier though.
I don't think you have a problem. It's just that that's the kind of account that isn't intended for newer, less experienced, credit consumers.
I think you just need to come back in a year or so.
I don't think it's the "thinness" of the file as much as its newness.
BTW, I'm no travel points maven, but for my money the Premier card is the better value. Here's a great article explaining the ThankYou point universe: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/redeeming-citi-thankyou-points-maximum-value/