Old May 28, 13, 8:56 am
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: CVG
Programs: AAdvantage, Delta Skymiles, CapOne Venture, Citi ThankYou
Posts: 479
Two Citi Cards, One Credit Pull

Data Points

Citi Accounts
2 AADV Platinum opened > 24 months prior to current apps, closed
Multiple ThankYou most recent opened Q3 2011
1 AADV Business opened Q1 2013, not reported to bureau

IdentityMonitor FAKOs
Before: Equifax – 769, Experian – 752, Trans Union – 785
After: Equifax – 759, Experian – 749, Trans Union - 782
Citi pulls Experian on me

Apps this Churn
Citi AADV Platinum Select - Experian
Citi ThankYou Preferred - Experian
Amex personal - Experian
Barclays business - Trans Union
US Bank business - Experian

This churn was Experian heavy.

My objective specific to Citi was to see whether I could get two applications to approval from a single credit pull. This was successful.

I had three theories I wanted to test but only ended up testing the first.

1. Close but Not Same Day Apps
As I outlined in a couple prior posts Citi’s post Feb 1 declines broke down into declines for same product and same day. I questioned whether we could play with the cutoff of the Citi day to have apps far enough apart to count as different days but close enough together to report to the bureau as a single pull.

2. Attempt Multiple Browser User Agents
I was going to attempt this by simply using different browsers to make each of the Citi applications. I forget whether I followed through with this or not but I may have.

3. Attempt Multiple IP Addresses
I was going to do one application from my network and then login to a neighbor’s open wifi to do the second application so the same IP was not registered by Citi. I never did this due to being half asleep at the time of my second application.

I’d no idea when Citi stops one day and begins another for the purpose of applications. I applied at 11:45 PM Eastern for the AADV app and about 3:30 AM Eastern for the ThankYou app. I figured those constitute different days on any of the US continental time zones.

This was, eventually, successful.

Citi’s applications have a reference number which begins with the date. By applying with a specific time gap I forced them into separate days with the objective of avoiding the same day app decline reason.

App 1 20130505……. AADV Platinum Select
App 2 20130506…… ThankYou Preferred

These dates are made up but it was a Sunday evening if that makes a difference in other’s tests.

App 1 – American Advantage
This app did not go to instant approval but did get to step 5 in the application process so I was fairly confident of approval. I tried chat but it dropped so I called and was approved on the phone. I was surprised they were there that late. I never received an approval email but did get a FedEx shipping notification the next day.

Denial for First Time User – avoided with > 18 mths between apps
Denial for Same Product – avoided with a single American Platinum app
Denial for Same Day – avoided by spacing applications close but not on same day

App 2 – ThankYou Preferred
The app only went to step 3 initially so it didn’t look too good. This was the 3:30 AM app so I didn’t chat or call anyone but let it play out. About a week later I received a letter denying the application on the basis of:

Too many recent credit inquiries are recorded on your credit bureau

Unsuccessful? Not quite. I’d avoided several decline reasons:

Denial for First Time User – avoided with > 18 mths between TY Pref apps
Denial for Same Product – avoided with a single TY Preferred app
Denial for Same Day – avoided by spacing applications close but not on same day

I can hear you. Still it’s a denial, right? Yes but not all denials are the same. Some denials can be overcome by following the instructions in the letter to make your case and some cannot. The Executive Offices can also be utilized but I’ve never done this and have only responded to the credit department on the denial letter.

I have only ever had two card apps denied. Both were Citi. Both were for too many inquiries. Both, including this one, were later approved by pulling a free copy of my Experian bureau and writing them back a nice note asking for reconsideration within the 30 days allotted. I didn’t change anything on my bureau. All the inquiries the system saw were still on there. Both resulted in approved applications without additional bureau pulls when reviewed by a credit specialist.

Full Disclosure
In case others experiment with this timing I want to give full disclosure. Beyond my applications I also secure messaged Citi for credit line increases on all my Citi cards. This is something I haven’t done in the past few years but used to do with the objective of all the bureau pulls from the line increases and apps would be merged by the bureaus at the same time. I stopped the past few years as sign up bonus’ were my focus not spend but with the ease of manufactured spend I’ve begun paying more attention to my lines again.

I had multiple Citi bureau pulls doing this. One for the two new apps and one for EACH of the line increase requests. The bureau pulls were distinguishable by their IDs. The applications merged but the line increases did not. This was the source of the initial denial for the second app.

I also did an account conversion into another Citi product at the same time. This did not seem to trigger a bureau pull.

Next Steps
Hopefully others will test and refine this method. Separating the submission date of the application seems solid after this test. Merging the apps into one bureau pull probably relies on when Citi reports inquiries to the credit bureaus. It doesn’t seem to be live or it would be impossible to have two apps from one pull. However there is likely a time that they send over a file and everything up to that time would merge but everything after would not.

So if they sent a file at 6AM, applications in the 24 hours prior that would merge including those in the six hours of the new day. That would be our target for the second application.

I am uncertain if Citi merges or the bureaus do. But they did merge as confirmed on a new 3-bureau IdentityMonitor pull and a separate Experian pull direct from Experian.

Timing the apps close but not same day did effectively and eventually produce two approved applications with one bureau pull. If it proves out with others test it has the potential to restore half the 2BM incentive: two cards with one pull. Unfortunately the days of two of the same 50,000 AADV Platinum cards appear to be gone.
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