Citi Military Benefits on Credit Cards | 2021 MLA Policy Update

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The Platinum Card® from American Express card is annual fee waived for military. Terms apply.

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The Citi credit cards MLA program waives annual fees for military servicemembers. This is a similar policy to the American Express Platinum military benefits and Chase Sapphire Reserve military perks.

Citi credit cards with no annual fee for military include:

Citi Premier Credit Card Military MLA
  • Learn how to apply for the Citi® Premier® Card
  • Earn 60,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 60,000 points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards at
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent at at restaurants and supermarkets
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Gas Stations, Air Travel, and Hotels
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee waived for military with Citi MLA, see details below

Citi MLA Explained

Here is how I got my annual fees waived on my Citi Premier card.

  1. Verify your Military Lending Act eligibility on the MLA database website
  2. Send a quick email to [email protected]

Here is an example of a Citi Military Lending Act request email:

Good morning!
I recently applied for and was accepted for a Citi Premier card. Could I please have Military Lending Act (MLA) protections applied to the account?

Please see my attached MLA certification as evidence of military service.

Thank you!

I attached my MLA certification from the MLA database in the hopes it would speed up the process. I received the following email in return automatically a few minutes later:

Your request has been received. It will be processed in the order it was received.

Thank you,
Citi Military Response Unit

Email received from [email protected]

Some users note that your first statement should close with a balance LESS THAN the annual fee divided by .36 but greater than $0. This is to ensure that the annual fee is 36% of your usable credit and therefore it will trigger an MLA fee waiver. I have not had to do this.

For example, on the Citi Prestige with a $495 annual fee, you take 495 / .36 and get $1375. You need to make sure that your first statement closes greater than $0 but less than a balance of $1375. Then request the MLA fee waiver through the method above.

Citi Prestige Military Fee Waiver

The Citi Prestige is a excellent travel rewards credit card for military servicemembers and their spouses.

The Citi Prestige Travel Rewards Credit Card normally has a $495 annual fee. Military servicemembers and their spouses eligible for Military Lending Act (MLA) benefits can get the annual fee waived down to $0. See an example from a Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course below:

Citi Prestige Military MLA fee waiver

Benefits of the Citi Prestige card include:

  • 50,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4000 with 3 months of account opening
  • $495 annual fee waived for military
  • $250 travel credit every calendar year
  • 4th night free at hotels booked through
  • 5x points on all air travel and restaurants
  • 3x points on hotels and cruise lines
  • 1x points on everything else
  • $100 Global Entry credit every 5 years
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Citi Prestige card benefits easily compares to the better known AMEX Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can compare the AMEX Platinum vs the CSR in this article. I recommend all military servicemembers and spouses pick up an AMEX Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and a Citi Prestige, along with all of my other recommended military credit cards.

Citi ThankYou Points Transfer Partners

You can transfer Citi ThankYou Points (TYP) to:

  • Aeromexico
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • Etihad Guest
  • Eva Air
  • Flying Blue (KLM and Air France)
  • JetBlue
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Air Miles and Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Citi Premier MLA

Here's what my MLA fee waiver looked like when I opened a Citi Premier card:

Citi Military Lending Act: No Annual Fees

As you can see, the annual fee was charged and then credited back to the account once MLA benefits were applied to the account.

Check out all of the credit cards that waive annual fees for military, including Marriott cards, Hilton cards, Delta credit cards, all Chase cards, and all Amex cards, including the Amex Platinum.

Citi Credit Cards MLA FAQ

How long does the Citi MLA fee waiver process take?

Less than 2 weeks. In my experience, I sent my Citi MLA request via email on June 14th. On June 25, the MLA fee credit was posted to my Citi credit card online activity.

What is the email address for Citi MLA fee waivers?

[email protected] is the best way to contact the Citi Military Response Unit for MLA benefits.

Does Citi Prestige waive annual fee for military?

Yes! Citi Prestige waives the $495 annual fee for US military servicemembers and spouses. Citi does this to comply with their Military Lending Act (MLA) program.

28 thoughts on “Citi Military Benefits on Credit Cards | 2021 MLA Policy Update”

  1. Does anyone have any data points on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. There are multiple people saying different things. Does anyone have this card and got the AF waived? Thanks in advanced

  2. omg!! I really confuse greater than $0 but less than $1375 mean Im not supposed to pay off all ? leave a balance then ill get charged late fee? I still don’t get it .

    • No, just have charges on the statement when it closes. No late fees. Just spend money in whatever month you get charged the annual fee. Wait until the statement emails to you before you pay them off. Pay them off as soon you receive the statement, do not get a late fee.

  3. Hi Spencer,
    I have both the Citi Premier and Advantage card opened I. 2019. I sent them an email and they responded with this. We have reviewed your account and it does not qualify for SCRA. I sent the email with the wording for MLA. What are your thoughts?

      • I have been charged annual fees on both my Citibank cards the Premier and the AAdvantage. 2019, 2020, and 2021 all in January and May. I am active duty AF since March 2017.

        • Did you have MLA benefits applied to your account? Did you have a balance on the account when the statement closed in January and May?

          • I payoff my balances by the cutoff, so no, no balances. Is this why they wont apply my MLA ? I requested MLA with the email template you provided so I’m super confused.

            • Yes, I think that’s the issue. You need to have at least something on your statement when it closes in the month you will be charged the annual fee. You don’t need to carry a balance, you just need to have a non $0 statement.

  4. Looks like the account has to be opened after 2017 in order to qualify for MLA benefits. At least that is what they are saying.

  5. Spencer,

    In order for the AF to be waived for my spouse, would I need to have the card first or can she get it before me and still have it waived?


  6. Based on your screen shots, it does look like you had to have a balance above $0 but less than the set amount even though you mentioned that “I have not have to do this.” I am pretty sure if you did not meet that requirement, your annual fee would have have been waived.

  7. How can I tell if my account is receiving MLA benefits or not? I’d rather not deal with Citi customer service representatives as they are notorious for their incompetence. Is there anywhere I can go on to check my benefits?

  8. Spencer, it seems Citi may not be as cut and dry as Chase or Amex and has waffled on their interpretation of MLA against annual fees. Do you have any verification of a data point suggesting that you must maintain more than a zero balance on the statement your annual fee posts on in order to trigger a credit?

  9. Do you know if Citi MLA fee waivers also apply to their CitiPrestige card? In my situation I’d be applying for the card while on active duty, not before. I’m unsure if that affects the MLA benefits or not.

      • Spencer,

        I applied for MLA benefits through the phone, and I received a letter a few weeks later stating I am not eligible since the account was opened after I went on active duty. Would I have better success trying it through the website/email as stated above in order to waive my annual fees?

        • Yes, try the steps above for MLA benefits. Sounds like they declined to extend SCRA benefits to you, which makes sense since you opened the card after going active duty.

          • Any follow up on this? I am still fighting with Citi to get my wife’s annual fee waived for the citi prestige.

            • I followed Spencer’s instructions this past week and had MLA benefits applied to my new AAdvantage MC. It should waive the fees of $99/year, but I won’t know until 10 months from now. I applied when the balance was $0.

        • Some users report that your statement should close with a balance LESS THAN the annual fee divided by .36 but greater than $0. This is to ensure that the annual fee is 36% of your usable credit and therefore it will trigger an MLA fee waiver. Personally, I have not had to do this.

          For example, on the Citi Prestige with a $495 annual fee, you take 495 / .36 and get $1375. You need to make sure that your first statement closes greater than $0 but less than a balance of $1375. Then request the MLA fee waiver through the method above.

          • I just received my Prestige card, and spoke with their military customer service representative. Spencer’s comments matched what the lady said, however, she mentioned the MLA benefit is only for the first year. After one year the fee would not be waived.

            Can anyone verify if the fee was still waived after the first year?

            • Fee is waived after the first year, but you need to make sure you close the statement with a balance greater than $0. I made the mistake on my Citi Premier card with a $0 statement and was charged the $95 annual fee.

          • Spencer, Do you need to keep the balance greater than $0 but less than $1375 every monthly statement in order to avoid the annual fee?

            • No, just on the statement where the annual fee will be charged. I missed this on my Citi Premier this year and had to pay the annual fee.

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