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Key takeaways

  • The Citi Rewards+® Card is a great card for everyday purchases, thanks to its enhanced rewards at supermarkets and gas stations and its points round-up feature.
  • Be aware, however, that this card only earns basic Citi ThankYou points that can’t be transferred to Citi’s full suite of travel partners.
  • To maximize the value of this card, pair it with the Citi Premier® Card (no longer available) to access higher-value transfer partners.

Ideally, you want to get the most bang for your buck when you give a credit card valuable space in your wallet. Maximizing the value you get from the Citi Rewards+® Card means you’ll have to be strategic about your spending, your point redemptions and the way you pair it with other Citibank credit cards.

For example, although there are other Citi-issued rewards credit cards with better earning and redemption options, adding this card to your mix of existing Citi credit cards could mean more value overall — especially if you have a penchant for travel.

That being said, the path to maximizing this card’s value takes a little savvy and know-how on navigating the Citi Rewards+ Card rewards structure. Here’s what you need to know.

Use your Citi Rewards+ on groceries and gas

Since the Citi Rewards+ Card’s bonus categories are focused on grocery and gas spending (2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points), you’ll want to whip it out when it’s time for these purchases.

If possible, think of creative ways to transition more spending to your Citi Rewards+. For instance, in some cases, you may be able to purchase gift cards, kitchenware, drug store items or other things you’d generally get elsewhere at grocery stores or gas stations.

Use your Citi Rewards+ for smaller transactions

There’s no need to shy away from making small purchases with your credit card if you can pay them off, especially if you have the Citi Rewards+ Card. The card’s round-up feature makes the Citi Rewards+ a good card for everyday purchases — every purchase you make is automatically rounded up to the nearest 10 points.

For instance, a $3 transaction at a convenience store (say, a cup of coffee, netting 1X points) will be rounded up to 10 ThankYou points for a net gain of 7 extra points. Further, if you spend $46 on gas (netting 2X points), your earnings would be rounded up from 92 points to 100 points.

Redeem points for travel and gift cards

You have decent rewards redemption options with the Citi Rewards+ Card — but you can get the most value from your ThankYou points by redeeming your rewards strategically.

The value of standard ThankYou points, according to Bankrate’s latest points valuations, is usually 1.0 cents per point. As noted in our Citi Rewards+ Card review, redeeming points for travel through Citi’s travel portal or for gift cards will get you 1 cent per point. Other options, like cash back and statement credits, bring in 0.5 cents per point, and Citi’s Pay With Points feature brings in 0.8 cents per point on select category purchases.

Finally, don’t forget that you can get up to 10,000 points back when you take advantage of the card’s annual redemption bonus, which gives you 10 percent back on the first 100,000 ThankYou points you redeem each year.

Combine Citi credit cards

One of the biggest disadvantages of owning this card is that you can’t get higher rewards value out of your points via travel partner transfers. This is because the card technically earns “basic” ThankYou points, meaning that you can’t transfer your rewards to the full suite of Citi airline and hotel partners.

However, if you pair this card with one of Citi’s travel credit cards that earn standard ThankYou points — like the Citi Premier® Card — you can pool your points on the Premier and utilize Citi transfer partners. According to Bankrate’s latest points valuations, the right high-value transfer partner can get you up to 1.6 cents per point.

You can also add the Citi Double Cash Card® to the mix to earn up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase outside of groceries and gas, which you can turn into basic ThankYou points. The card earns an unlimited 1 percent cash back on everything you buy, plus an additional 1 percent when you pay for those purchases. Then, you can also pool these rewards with the Citi Premier and utilize transfer partner travel.

Note, however, that the Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee. Make sure you’ll spend and redeem enough rewards across your cards to justify your card pairing strategy.

Understand and use the Mastercard perks

Other Citi Rewards+ card benefits include access to Mastercard perks. Depending on your credit limit, you’ll qualify for a range of benefits. 

  • Standard Mastercard credit cards come with basic perks, like $0 liability protection on unauthorized purchases and identity theft protection services.
  • World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard credit cards offer more premium benefits, like up to $1,000 in yearly cellphone protection (if you pay your cell phone bill with your card), complimentary subscription service deals and exclusive travel privileges.

The bottom line

The Citi Rewards+ Card isn’t among the best cash back credit cards out there, but it does have a few valuable perks that can increase your rewards with little effort. The welcome bonus, annual redemption bonus and round-up feature just mean you can earn more ThankYou points that you can redeem for travel, statement credits and gift cards.

If you plan to pair this card with other Citi travel cards so you can transfer your points to travel partners, you will do even better with maximizing this card’s value.