Full Review of Citi Rewards+ Credit Card
Good points rewards at supermarkets and gas stations
0% introductory APR on balance transfers and new purchases
Get 10% of the points back on the first 100,000 you redeem
Points automatically rounded up
Foreign transaction fee
Penalty APR applies, perhaps indefinitely
- Good Points Rewards at Supermarkets and Gas Stations: With the Citi Rewards+ card, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 you spend each year. After that, you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent. If you spent $8,000 on groceries per year, then, you’d earn a minimum of 14,000 points, which doesn't include the roundup bonus: 2 points per $1 spent on the first $6,000 in combined spending, then 1 point per $1 spent on the remaining $2,000. Be aware, though, that grocery purchases at superstores like Walmart and Target and wholesale clubs like Sam's Club or Costco will not qualify for the higher supermarket earning rate, and gasoline purchases at these retailers likely won't do so either.
- 0% Introductory APR Offer: If you have high-interest credit card debt, transferring its a balance to another card can be a great way to save money and pay off your debt early. With the Citi Rewards+ card, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from the date of your first transfer, giving you over a year to pay down your debt without worrying about interest fees. (The transfer fee, however, is the higher of $5 or 5%, a bigger percentage than is charged by some other balance-transfer cards.) You’ll also get a 0% APR for 15 months on new purchases. That offer can help you spread out the cost of a major purchase, like new appliances for a kitchen renovation, over the course of many months without paying interest. Once the introductory APR offer ends, your APR on any remaining balance will be a typical rate of 13.49% to 23.49%, depending on your creditworthiness.
- 10% Points Back: You can get 10% of your points back on the first 100,000 points you redeem per year. If you redeem 15,000 points, then, that means 1,500 of those points will be returned to your account. This perk essentially delivers a 10% increase in the rewards rate, turning the 2 points per $1 earned on gas and groceries into more like 2.2 points once the bonus is factored in.
- Points Are Rounded Up: The Citi Rewards+ card is the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. That’s especially useful in helping you to boost your return on small purchases. For example, purchases of $2 or $4 would be rounded up from 2 or 4 points, respectively, to 10 points, which translates into about $0.10 in value when redeemed.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: If you travel internationally or shop online from foreign vendors, pay attention to the foreign transaction fee. This card has a 3% fee on every purchase, which can add to the cost of your purchases—and is higher than for some other cards that levy this fee, at rates such as 2.7%. If you travel often, it may be worth shopping around for another credit card that doesn’t charge at all to process foreign transactions.
- Penalty APR Applies, Perhaps Indefinitely: If you are late with a payment or if a payment is returned, you’ll be subject to a penalty APR, as is the case with many, even most, cards. That rate can be as high as 29.99%. By law, if a penalty APR is imposed on a balance, it must be removed and the normal APR restored after you make on-time payments for six months. But some cards, including the Citi Rewards+, specify that the penalty rate might be imposed indefinitely on new purchases after the penalty APR is removed on an old balance. Consider signing up for automatic payments or setting up reminders for yourself to avoid missing payments so you don’t have to worry about the penalty APR. Or consider a card that has no such punitive APR, such as the Citi Simplicity.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
The Citi Rewards+ is a fine option if you want a card without an annual fee that earns solid points rewards on spending at gas stations and supermarkets. The card is also ideal if you want to take advantage of an introductory APR offer, of 15 months at 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers.
However, earning rewards points, and then figuring out how and where to best redeem them, isn’t for everyone. If you prefer simpler rewards, a cash back card like the Amex Blue Cash Preferred might be a better choice. While it has a $95 annual fee, it offers exceptional 6% cash-back rewards for spending at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in annual spending) and streaming services, a generous 3% rate at U.S. gas stations and transit purchases, and 1% cash back on all other spending.
Citi Rewards+℠ Credit Card Bonus
With this card, you'll get 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening an account. If you use your card for essentials like groceries, gas, and to pay your utility bills, you can easily meet that spending requirement and earn the bonus. While other cards have bigger point bonuses, those usually require a bigger spend as well, and the cards often have annual fees.
Each Citi ThankYou point is worth 1 cent each if redeemed for travel or gift cards, so that 15,000-point bonus could be worth $150. However, the cash back redemption rate is 0.50 cents per ThankYou point, which would reduce the value of the bonus to $100.
Rewards Earning Details
With the Citi Rewards+ card, you'll earn 2 points per $1 spent on the first $6,000 spent at supermarkets and gas stations. If you spend $6,000 in those categories, that means you'd earn 12,000 points—a $120 value. After you hit the $6,000 spending limit on those categories, and for all other purchases, you earn 1 point per $1 spent.
The supermarket spending category does not include purchases made at discount superstores, convenience stores, drugstores, bakeries or wholesale clubs. Not do gas purchases made at any of those outlets qualify for the higher rate.
Rewards Redemption Details
You can redeem your Citi ThankYou points in a variety of ways, including:
- Gift cards
- Travel arrangements
- Shop with Points at select online retailers
- Online bill pay
- Cash rewards
- Statement credits
- Mortgage payments
- Student loan payments
- Charitable donations
Your points are generally worth 1 cent each if redeemed for travel or gift cards. That means if you have 10,000 points, you can redeem them for $100. The cash back redemption rate is only 0.50 cents per ThankYou point, however, so that reduce the value of 10,000 points to $50.
You may be able to get even more value from your points by transferring them to a participating loyalty program if you also carry the Citi Premier or the Citi Prestige card, as either of those cards will unlock the ThankYou Point values and options for the Citi Rewards+ card. However, note that Citi has a more limited number of transfer partners than some other card issuers; there are few domestic airlines, for example, and no hotel chains. In some cases, you can transfer to one partner and use those points to purchase flights on another, as with transferring to Virgin Atlantic, for example, and then buying Delta tickets using Virgin points. But that adds to the hassle and complexity of using points.
If you don't have either the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige cards the Citi Rewards+ card only allows ThankYou Points transfers to JetBlue at a 1:.8 ratio.
Here are Citi's transfer partners along with their points-transfer ratios, which as you see are 1:1 in all cases except JetBlue:
- Asia Miles: 1:1
- Avianca LifeMiles: 1:1
- Etihad Guest: 1:1
- Eva Air: 1:1
- Flying Blue: 1:1
- JetBlue TrueBlue: 1:08
- JetPrivilege: 1:1
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich; 1:1
- Qantas Frequent Flyer: 1:1
- Qatar Privilege Club: 1:1
- Singapore Airlines: 1:1
- Thai Royal Orchid Plus: 1:1
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles: 1:1
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 1:1
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To get the most value from this card, use it for all of your supermarket and gas station purchases, up to $6,000 spent annually. You'll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Over time, those rewards can add up.
If you regularly make small purchases, such as buying coffee on your way to work, use the Citi Rewards+ card for those items, too. The card automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, so a $2 cup of coffee would actually earn you 10 points.
With the Citi Rewards+ card, you'll get access to Citi Entertainment. You can purchase tickets to events, including presale tickets, complimentary movie screenings, and sporting event passes.
According to the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction study, Citi ranked sixth out of 11 card issuers. Its score was 799, just a few points below the national average for credit-card issuers.
As a Citi customer, as with most other card companies, you can get help with your card or account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just call 1-800-347-4934.
The card's security features are fairly standard and are not extensive. They include:
- Ability to lock your card if it's lost or stolen with Citi QuickLock
- Free access to your FICO credit score
A solid 2 points per $1 spent rewards rate on supermarket and gas purchases make the Citi Rewards+ card a useful card for everyday spending. And several bonus features further sweeten your points earnings. Purchases are automatically rounded up to the nearest 10 points, helping you earn more points on small purchases especially. And 10% of your points are returned on every 100,000 you redeem, which essentially boosts earning rates by the same percentage.
If you're looking to finance a major purchase to transfer high-interest debt, the card offers an attractive 15 months at 0% APR, with the same perk applying to new purchases with the card. That gives you over a year to pay off new and old debts without worrying about interest charges.
Because you'll only earn 2 points per $1 spent on the first $6,000 you spend at gas stations and supermarkets, it’s a good idea to combine this card with another one that offers a higher rate of return on all purchases. For example, the American Express Cash Magnet card allows you to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, and it has no annual fee.