The rewards round-up feature makes this card a good option for people with good credit who make many small card purchases here and there. It offers more rewards on low-value everyday purchases (like your morning coffee of tea) than many other cards do. More on this in a minute.
Commuters and frequent grocery shoppers may also find value in this card. However, if you spend more than $500 on gas, groceries, or both each month, look for a different card, as your reward earning potential will be limited with this one. And although you can use this card for travel rewards, you may find better value in a card that earns points for travel and doesn't have a foreign transaction fee. This card isn’t for those seeking uncomplicated, flat-rate cash-back rewards, either.
Automatic earning boost on purchases through points round-up
Get points back after redeeming rewards
Competitive introductory 0% APR offer
No annual fee
Low standard rewards earning rate
Several rewards program rules and limitations
- Automatic point-earning boost on purchases: Citi is the only issuer to offer this feature right now, and it’s a great way to earn extra rewards without spending more. It’s a particularly great deal for small-value purchases that may otherwise only earn a couple points each. For example, buy a $3 coffee with this card and you’ll earn 10 points, which is an approximate (and excellent) 3 point per $1 earning rate.
- Automatic 10% points rebate after redeeming rewards: This makes the rewards earned with this card more valuable (more on this below). Because of a cap, you can only get about $1,000 back this way each year, but it’s still a nice addition to this card.
- Competitive introductory 0% APR offers: The introductory purchase and balance transfer deals give the card flexibility. You can use it to earn rewards, as well as pay down existing balances from other cards or finance a large purchase. The 15-month 0% APR offer is in line with many other low-interest card promotions right now.
- No annual fee: There’s no cost for keeping this card open year after year, which will positively impact your credit score.
- Low standard rewards earning rate: The card doesn't earn as much on gas and groceries as other cards. The extra reward features of this card help make up for the lackluster earnings rate, but it’s still worth noting. If you’re a big spender in these categories, you can get more value from another cash-back card.
- Rewards program rules and earning limits: The fine print complicates some of the cool things about this card. For example, depending on how you typically shop, the purchase category restrictions could hinder your earning potential (more on this below).
Citi Rewards+ Mastercard Sign-up Bonus
Spend $1,000 within three months of opening your account to get 15,000 bonus points. This is sign-up bonus is fairly easy to get. You only have to put $333 on the card each month, which is not much when you consider that the average household spends about $700 on gas and groceries alone each month. This bonus is worth about $150, which is in line with what some similar no-annual-fee cards offer, but not spectacular.
You’re not eligible for this bonus if you already received a new cardholder bonus for opening a Citi Rewards+, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi Premier, or Citi Prestige card—or if you have closed any of those accounts—in the past 24 months.
Earning Points & Rewards
You’ll earn 2 Citi ThankYou points for each dollar spent on gas or groceries, up to $6,000 per year. After that spend requirement is met, you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on gas and groceries. All other purchases will earn 1 point per $1, too.
In addition to the tiered reward structure, this card automatically rounds up earnings to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, subject to no minimum or maximum spend. So, if you spend $32 to fill up your gas tank, you’ll earn 70 points: 32 x 2 = 64 points, and then rounded up to the nearest 10-point increment, which in this case is 70.
If you typically buy gas or groceries at warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club, you won’t earn double points with this card. Per the card terms, stores must be classified as a supermarket or gas stations, which means grocery purchases made at convenience stores, bakeries, discount superstores (like Walmart or Target), and drugstores won’t count either.
Citi ThankYou points earned with this card don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.
The breadth of ways you can redeem Citi ThankYou Points is one of the things that makes this card so powerful. You can redeem for:
- Cash back
- Statement credits
- Gift cards
- Online shopping at retailers like Best Buy or Amazon.com
- Charity donations
- Student loan or mortgage payments
- Paying bills (if you have an enrolled Citibank checking account)
- Share points with a friend
- Travel Rewards, including transfers to 14 partner airlines
Unlike other Citi rewards cards, each year this card will give you 10% of the first 100,000 points you redeem back. So if you redeem 10,000 points for a $100 statement credit, you’ll get 1,000 points back. This bonus applies to all redemption options except points sharing.
For most reward redemption options, points are worth 1 cent each. For example, $50 cash back will cost you 5,000 ThankYou points.
You can book travel rewards (like airline tickets, hotel reservations, rental cars, and cruises) through Citi’s travel center. Keep in mind that this card's 3% foreign transaction fee puts a damper on international use for this card.
Or, you can transfer points to Citi’s partner airlines. Just note that while the ThankYou program has more than a dozen partner airlines, most of them are foreign carriers. The only domestic one is JetBlue.
Unlike other Citi cards, if you transfer points earned with this card to JetBlue’s TruBlue program, you’ll only get 800 miles per 1,000 points transferred. The Balance values JetBlue miles at 1.32 cents each, but when you take the transfer ratio and the 10% points boost into account, you effectively get 1.16 cents per ThankYou point redeemed this way.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Besides meeting the spending requirement to get the sign-up bonus, use this card to pay for gas and groceries at traditional retailers, but also all those little purchases in between, as it’s a valuable rewards card for small charges. Make sure you redeem points each year to take advantage of the 10% points back feature to get a maximum of $1,000 back in points each year.
Also, even though can finance larger purchases interest-free for more than a year with this card, don’t overextend yourself. If you don’t pay off the balance before the promotional interest period ends, the interest you’ll pay will quickly erase any extra value gained by earning rewards.
If you take advantage of the balance transfer deal to pay off high-interest credit card debts, don’t rack up new charges on this card. Be sure to pay down your balance transfer before the regular APR kicks in, or you could find yourself paying even higher interest rates than before. Learn more about the basics of balance transfers before you go with this option.
If you have the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier cards, you can pool your points, which may help you rack up rewards faster.
Citi Rewards+ Mastercard’s Other Features
This card doesn’t offer any of the benefits we consider excellent perks, such as travel accident or lost luggage insurance, but it does offer this feature:
Citi Entertainment: Opportunities to purchase tickets to thousands of events each year, including presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, and more.
While this is a solid card, Citibank doesn’t win any major awards for customer service. In fact, it ranks No. 6 for customer satisfaction among 11 major card-issuing banks, according to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Citi scored 799 points out of 1,000, which is below the industry average score of 806.
However, Citi customer service can be reached 27/4. The issuer also provides a free FICO credit score to cardholders, which you can access online and through the mobile app.
Citi’s Rewards+ Mastercard comes with standard security features, like $0 fraud liability and opt-in alerts for monitoring account activity. Citi’s Fraud Early Warning system will also notify you of suspicious account activity.
Lost or stolen cards can be instantly locked online or in the mobile app to prevent fraud. Citi replaces lost or stolen cards for free. If fraud occurs, Citi Identity Theft Solutions can help you deal with compromised accounts and file police reports.
Citi Rewards+ Mastercard Fees
This card charges standard transaction and penalty fees, most of which can be avoided with smart card use. The only fee worth noting is the 3% foreign transaction fee, which means this card will cost you if used while internationally.