Is there any way of avoiding the minimum income requirement for the Citibank Prestige Visa?

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I’m looking for ways to get the Citibank Prestige… I don’t quite meet the minimum income (150k)… I applied for the Select last year but was declined because I’d accepted an offered credit limit increase on my Virgin HF CC 6 months earlier…  (Citi run the virgin card).. I wrote a letter in saying I was happy to close the Virgin HF CC if they would approve me for select but no dice…

Now they’ve replaced the Select with the Prestige and upped the min income I’m looking for ways to get it later this year…  One idea i’ve read is to temporarily deposit 100k into a citibank account and get upgraded to citigold with a relationship manager and get them to help me get the prestige…  I’m happy to reduce the limit on the Virgin HF CC or even cancel it if I have to to get the citi card…

Another option I’ve heard is to get the Signature and once you have a >30k limit apply for a product swap…. 

Anyone got any tips/experience?

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I’m with Citigold and can confirm that a minimum income requirement still applies.  For the Select, it was $90k instead of the usual $120k.  With the Prestige (being a relatively new card), I can’t find the minimum income requirement that applies to Citigold clients but I expect it to be north of $100k. 

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    • 2 years ago

    Thanks for that, with citigold do you actually keep your 100k in there or did you take it out once you got the citigold status? Do you find your RM any good?

  • I still have it in there; Citibank aren't as strict as HSBC Premier but I just maintain my $100k because of the really good interest rate on my home loan plus the investment products they offer are pretty good. I know of a couple of people who have slightly less than $100k but they manage to maintain their status - it does require the RM to override the system though so it depends on how nice your RM is.

    I found mine pretty good - they're proactive enough to offer opinions but they're not pushy. They also have quarterly seminars which can sometimes be useful.

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The only way around is to start with a lower end citibank card, and continue with an excellent credit score, especially with that citibank card, then perhaps Citibank will upgrade you to the prestige. That’s how I got my Diamond and Black cards with CBA and Westpac respectively. They just offered the upgrade, no questions asked, and kept annual fee at the same as the lower end cards. 

To keep a good credit score, the worst thing you can do is cancel your existing card. One of the measure of your credit score, is your credit utilization ratio. That is, within your credit limit, what percentage you spent on borrowed money. It’s suppose to give an idea what your spending habit is like. It is not without it’s problem but unfortunately banks rely on it. 

Eg. If you usually spend $2000/mth, and you have a credit limit of $20000, then your credit utilization is only 10%. But if your credit limit is only $5000, then it makes your credit utilization up to 40%!!! Even though your monthly spending is the same, to the bank, the latter looks like you are someone that lives on borrowed money, thus making you a higher risk candidate!

Given that you had a history of being declined, I suspect your credit score isn’t that wonderful. Before you proceed any further, you should check your credit score with Veda. You should be able to obtain a free report within 90 days of decline, or entitled to a free score once in 12 months. Without a good credit score, the banks simply won’t approve you another credit card, regardless of your income. 

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    • 2 years ago

    Thanks for that... I'm not sure I agree that cancelling a credit card impacts your credit score... where did you get that info from? Card applications impact, but don't believe cancellations do.

    Credit utilization ratio is interesting, hadn't heard that before.. Mine would be very hight, i like to use my limits as much as possible, sometimes reloading and using it again in a month... But never pay a cent of interest :)

    I got declined because I took a credit limit increase from Virgin(citi run) less than 9 months before so that's their rule, nothing to do with my credit score... but I do like to churn and burn... which I know impacts my credit score...

  • You haven't heard of it because it's an American thing, as you said it's applications and your conduct in paying your debts on time which matter here.

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I had a similar situation when I had the old citibusiness gold card. I applied for the virgin card and was conditionally approved; they rang up and said they would approve it if I split my credit limit across the two cards. While this was easy to do over the phone I think it would be difficult to get this across in a letter without sounding like you were in need of credit, which is clearly not the case if you have 100k to deposit with citigold!

The citigold idea sounds promising, although it is a lot of money to transfer given that you may be lumped with a useless relationship manager. Perhaps go into one of few branches and see if you can speak to a relationship manager in person before you commit.

No experience of the citi signature product swap but knowing citibank it would seem unlikely they could seamlessly transfer you to a new product without another application and proof of income.

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