Citizens Bank CashBack and Accelerator Rewards MasterCards Review

Good Cash-back Rewards - And a Great Application Bonus

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Citizens Bank Rewards Card Review. Jetta Productions / Getty Images

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Two cash back options, plus a huge sign-up bonus, if you're eligible - watch your mailbox.

Who the Citizens Bank CashBack and Accelerator Rewards MasterCards are for

 

  • People with fair to good credit who want a generous cash back rewards card.

Credit Rating Required

  • Fair and up (660+).

About the Citizens Bank CashBack and Accelerator Rewards MasterCards

 

Pros

  • No annual fee.
  • Generous, unlimited cash-back rewards.
  • Rewards are clearly spelled out and easy to understand.
  • Generous sign-up bonus (if applicable).

Cons

  • High redemption threshold ($50).

Rewards

  • Accelerator Rewards: Ten percent cash bank on gasoline purchases for first 90 days, then two percent back on gas purchases and one percent back on all other purchases.
  • CashBack Rewards: Two percent cash bank on all purchases for first 90 days, then one percent back on all purchases. Additional cash back on purchases in revolving select categories each quarter.

APRs

  • Purchases: 15.99 to 19.99 percent, depending on your credit rating.
  • Balance transfers: Zero percent for one year, then the purchase APR.
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99 percent.

Fees

  • No annual fee.
  • Balance transfer fee: Three percent of balance on first transfer, then four percent.
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39.
  • Returned payment fee: None.
  • Overlimit fee: None.

Citizens Bank CashBack and Accelerator Rewards MasterCard Review

 

The Citizens Bank CashBack and Accelerator Rewards MasterCards from Citizens Bank are largely identical but give you the option of earning bigger cash-back rewards beyond the regular one-percent rebate. There's nothing new or unique about that, but selected consumers can get a fat bonus for applying for the card.

The CashBack card lets you earn two percent back on all purchases for the first three months, after which you earn one percent. In addition, you can earn additional rebates on purchases in specific categories that change each quarter. The Accelerator card lets you earn ten percent back on all gasoline purchases for the first 90 days, after which you earn two percent back on gas and one percent on everything else.

Both programs are generous and worthwhile. I got really interested when I received a solicitation in the mail: for applying for the card at a local Citizens Bank branch, I get a $100 Restaurant.com gift card. That's the best offer I've ever gotten for merely applying for a credit card.

The offer also includes a zero percent balance transfer offer for one full year, with a low three percent transfer fee. So whether you choose the rewards program or the balance transfer opportunity, either way it's a good deal.

The only drawback is the high $50 minimum redemption. The bank sends you a check automatically when accumulated $50 in rewards.

Recommendation

 

The rewards on these cards are good enough, but the sign-up bonus is the real clincher, if you get one.

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