Bye Bye Citi AAdvantage Two Browser Trick?

While updating my Citi AAdvantage links on the Best Travel Credit Cards page, I revisited the FlyerTalk thread and found that starting Sunday January 27, there have been some reports of the two browser trick not working when applying for two Citi AAdvantage cards.

For some time, it's been the case that you could apply for both the Citi AAdvantage Visa and the Citi AAdvantage AMEX in two different browsers, submit them at the same time (or seconds apart) and get both approved. This was especially lucrative before the Citi 75,000 AAdvantage Bonus died back in 2011, but even since then, with 50,000 AAdvantage miles per card, it made it possible to earn 100,000 AAdvantage miles from the two Visa and AMEX AAdvantage cards, and then wait for at least 2 months before applying for the Citi Business AAdvantage card, for a total of 150,000 AAdvantage miles.

But now, here's what FT member bsotak writes (emphasis in bold is mine):

Looks like things might be changing. I tried the two browser method to apply for both [Citi AAdvantage cards] today. Approved instantly on AMEX. Pending decision on Visa. I called the reconsideration number, and was told I was denied…on the Visa. The rep told me AA is making changes, and they are now limiting the number of applications at the same time to limit the number of bonus miles that people can get. Seems like the same news from the Hilton Citi thread. They might have shut the two applications down.”

Several others report a similar experience, either getting one application instantly approved, and the other pending, but denied after calling reconsideration for the other application, or getting both as pending, and only getting one of them approved upon calling reconsideration.

That said, there have been a few who have reported success, either with instant approval for both or with instant approval for one, pending for the other, but ultimately approved for both. Here's someone who reported success on Sunday, January 27:

longleaf writes:

I just got my brother into the app game for the fist time. Just a few minutes ago I had him do the 2 browser method for the AA cards, and he was instantly approved for both the personal AA visa and personal AA amex.”

So where does this leave us? My take: Citi is indeed training its agents to NOT approve dual applications for the same product. That is, if you use the two browser trick to apply for two Citi AAdvantage personal cards or two Citi HHonors personal cards, you won't be able to get approved for both *if* you get a “pending” notice for one or both of them.

That said, the computers haven't wised up yet, so if you manage to get an instant approval for both, you're golden (unless Citi starts voiding an already approved application).


Tips for Dealing with the End of the Citi AAdvantage Two Browser Trick

1. Do What You Can to Improve Your Chances of Instant Approval

Now, I don't know how long Citi's computers may be playing catch up, but at least for the moment it seems possible (if not likely) to get instant approval on both Citi personal applications. If you or your spouse or partner has never had a Citi card, hasn't applied for many credit cards recently and has a strong credit score and income, now would be a good time to try to get two Citi AAdvantage personal cards. 

The following one is ostensibly valid only through January 31 2013: 50,000 AAdvantage miles after $3000 spend within the first 4 months + $150 statement credit + 2 Admirals Club passes The Landing page looks like this:

Bye Bye Citi AAdvantage Two Browser Trick?


And here are the application pages:

2. Apply for 2 Different Citi Card Products

If you can't get instant approval for both Citi AAdvantage personal cards, you'll need to wait just over 2 months before applying again, otherwise you face automatic rejection. 
On your next application, try applying for 2 distinct Citi cards. If you already got approved for a Citi AAdvantage personal card, try applying for a CitiBusiness AAdvantage card and a Citi Hilton HHonors personal card.
3. Does CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card Churning Still Work?
A favorite of the serious card churners has been applying for a new CitiBusiness AAdvantage card every 4-6 months or so. It will be interesting to see if this still works. Or whether the time frame for applying again for applying again increases. The current rule of thumb for getting another Citi AAdvantage personal card is 18-20 months, although there are people who have gotten it again in a shorter time frame.
4. Earn AAdvantage Miles with BankDirect 

As I wrote in BankDirect: Best Way to Earn AAdvantage Miles for Half a Cent Per Mile, this is a good bet for anyone with a good chunk of cash that's currently earning minimal interest. Of course, should interest rates really go up, I wouldn't necessarily suggest this, but right now at least it's a pretty attractive option for many, as long as you can put enough funds to work to ammortize the fixed $12 per month checking account fee. 

If you've tried applying for the Citi AAdvantage Visa and AMEX recently, using the two browser trick, what was your experience?
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Disclosure: I do have a BankDirect Mileage Checking Account and as with all BankDirect account holders receive a 1000 mile bonus for each successful referral, but I have no other connection to BankDirect and have not been compensated to write this post. 
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