Citi Rewards+ Card Review
The Citi Rewards Plus card is an excellent option for small purchases, thanks to the fact that reward round up to the nearest 10 points on each transaction. Low rewards rates and a lack of point-transfer partners mean this credit card isn't the best for everyone, however.
What we like:
Rewards round up to the nearest 10 points
|Intro Offer||Earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within three months of opening your account|
|Rewards Rate||2x points for purchases at supermarkets|
1x points for general purchases
Points automatically round up to the nearest 10
|Regular APR||0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months|
15.75% to 25.74% variable APR after intro period ends
- No annual fee
- 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months
- 15,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months
- 2x Citi ThankYou points on up to $6,000 in gas and grocery purchases. 1x points for all other purchases
- ThankYou Points automatically round up to the nearest 10 points on each purchase and
- Cardholders get a 10% bonus on the first 100,000 in ThankYou Points redeemed each year
- Flexibility in rewards redemption. Redeem rewards for vacation costs; gift cards and concert tickets — or shop online with points at Amazon.com or BestBuy.com
- The 2x rewards are capped — unlike some credit cards that allow unlimited bonus rewards for specific categories of spending
- You earn 2x rewards only on gas and groceries — there are no bonus rewards for dining or travel purchases
- There’s a balance transfer fee equal to the greater of 3% or $5 — unlike some other cards that charge no balance transfer fee
- 3% foreign purchase transaction fee
Recommended credit score:
Good to excellent
Citi Rewards Plus Card Review: Extra Points for Small Purchases
In many aspects, the Citi Rewards+ card is an average credit card. It doesn’t come with an extraordinary rewards rate, but it doesn’t have an annual fee, either. However, a few unique perks, such as the point-rounding program, make this card ideal for some everyday purchases.
In this review:
Benefits of the Citi Rewards+
Rewards Rates & Point Rounding
At first glance, the Citi Rewards+ Card’s rewards program is underwhelming. You earn just one point per $1 on most spending, and two points per $1 on up to $6,000 in gas and grocery store purchases. There aren’t any other bonus categories, such as dining or travel purchases.
However, the card is ideal if you make a lot of small purchases. That’s because the card structures its rewards program in a way that no other credit cards do — it rounds each purchase up to the nearest 10 points.
The value of this perk diminishes as your purchase amounts grow: a $105 purchase in a general spending category would earn you just 110 ThankYou Points, But a $1 purchases would net you 10 points, giving you a much higher point-per-dollar rewards rate for small items.
Generally, this point-rounding perk loses its value once your purchase total exceeds $5, since there are several cash back credit cards, such as the Citi Double Cash card, that earn you the same 2% rewards rate on all purchases.
Sign-Up Offer & Annual Point Bonus
The Citi Rewards+ also supplements the rewards program with a 10% bonus on the first 100,000 in Citi ThankYou Points redeemed annually. And you get 15,000 rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of opening the account. All these bonuses mean you can quickly rack up the rewards.
0% Intro APR
If you plan to carry a balance, the 0% introductory interest rate is another major perk. Saving on interest for a year can help you to keep costs of credit down considerably. Just make sure you initiate your balance transfer within four months of account opening.
Downsides of the Citi Rewards+
The foreign transaction fee of 3% is a big bummer for frequent travelers — plus, you can’t transfer your points to airline partners unless you also carry Citi card that does allow point transfers, such as the Citi Prestige Card — so you may be limited when you redeem points for trips.
If you’re looking for a card to take on vacation, you should consider travel rewards credit cards with programs tailored specifically for flights and hotel rewards.
Redemption may be another possible downside. You can redeem for gift cards, Amazon.com or BestBuy.com online purchases, concerts, and some travel rewards. But unlike other Citi cards, such as the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, you don’t have the option to transfer points to partner airline rewards programs.
It’s also disappointing to see a cap on the 2x points you earn — especially when many competing credit cards offer more generous bonus rewards with no caps, such as the unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants from the Capital One SavorOne card.
The card’s 0% intro APR is an attractive feature that could save you a significant amount of money during your first year. But unfortunately, unlike some other cards with 0% balance transfer offers, this card does charge a balance transfer fee — the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.
How It Compares to Similar Cards
The Citi Rewards+ card is the only one that offers the automatic roundup to 10 points for every purchase. However, there are other credit cards that offer much more generous bonuses on gas, groceries, and other spending.
The Capital One SavorOne Rewards card, for example, provides 3% cash back on dining and entertainment; 2% back at groceries stores and 1% back on all other purchases — with no caps. This card also has a no annual fee, like the Citi Rewards+, and its 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers lasts for 15 months.
For those who do most of their spending at the supermarket, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is much more generous with its bonus rewards. You can only earn the bonus perks on the first $6,000 in spending. But with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred, you earn 6% cash back on that first $6,000 in supermarket spending.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card offers 3% cash back at US gas stations with no limits, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card does have a $95 annual fee though — unlike the free Citi Rewards+ Card — but the fee is waived for the first year.
Bottom Line: The Citi Rewards+ Card is a Perfect Choice for Small Purchases
If you find yourself regularly charging small purchases under $5, you may be able to maximize the rewards you earn by using the Citi Rewards+ Card. This is especially true if you shop a lot at grocery stores and gas stations. But, be aware that you’ll pay high foreign transaction fees if you travel abroad, which can make this card a more expensive choice than competitor offerings.
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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