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If you’re on the hunt for the best rewards credit card that suits your lifestyle and spending habits, Citi has a couple of options that could work for you. The Citi Rewards+® Card offers cash back on your gas and grocery spending, while the Citi® Double Cash Card offers an unlimited flat rate of cash back when you spend on the card and then pay off your purchases.
Essentially, the Citi Rewards+ is for people who want rewards back on gas and grocery spending with the option to rack up a few extra points through bonuses and rounding points up. The Double Cash is good for those who want a simple, set-it-and-forget-it way to earn unlimited cash back on all their spending.
However, it still helps to know a little more about some of the cards’ features and benefits so that you can choose the one that works best for you. Here’s how these Citi cards compare to one another.
|Citi Rewards+ Card||Citi Double Cash Card|
|Welcome bonus||20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening||N/A|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.74% to 27.74% variable APR after)||0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (18.24% to 28.24% variable APR after)|
Citi Rewards+ Card vs. Citi Double Cash Card highlights
Welcome bonus winner: Citi Rewards+
The Citi Double Cash does not offer a welcome bonus. The Citi Rewards+ Card offers a bonus worth $200 in gift cards for the same spending requirement — 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in purchases within three months. The Citi Rewards+ is the clear winner in terms of welcome bonus value.
Rewards rate winner: Citi Double Cash Card
Given the simplicity and unlimited earning potential of the Citi Double Cash, we are inclined to name it the winner in this category. The Citi Rewards+ features spending caps, and when it comes to redeeming your rewards, there’s less flexibility. (And if you’re looking to redeem for cash back or statement credits, your points will be worth less than 1 cent apiece.)
The Citi Rewards+ does have it’s perks, though, that help you maximize its value. There’s an annual redemption bonus which gives you 10 percent points back for the first $100,000 points redeemed each year, as well as a round-up feature, which rounds all your purchases up to the nearest 10 points. A gas station purchase for $1.71, for example, would fetch you 10 ThankYou points instead of 1.71 points.
Introductory APR winner: It depends
If you’ve got any high-interest debt to pay down, the Citi Double Cash Card offers a lengthy, 18-month 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers (18.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable APR thereafter) — though it doesn’t feature a matching offer on new purchases. The Citi Rewards+ offers a 15-month 0 percent intro APR on purchases (with a matching balance transfer offer), making this card the better option if you have a large purchase on the horizon.
Which card earns the most?
Citi Rewards+ vs. Citi Double Cash Card spending example
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household earned $87,432 in 2021 while spending $66,928. They also broke down numbers from discretionary categories like groceries, gas and entertainment. We’ll apply these spending figures to the Citi Rewards+ and Citi Double Cash cards to see what you stand to earn in terms of rewards.
|Annual spending||Amount||Citi Rewards+ Card (points)||Citi Double Cash Card (cash back)|
|Restaurant||$3,030||15,150 (3,030 after first year)||$60.60|
|Gas and groceries over $6,000 cap||$1,407||1,407*||N/A|
|Apparel and services||$1,754||1,754||$35.08|
|Personal care products and services||$771||771||$15.42|
|First-year value (including welcome offers)||–||22,530||$530.60|
*Assuming that of the $7,407 spent each year on gas and groceries, spending is split evenly between the two categories up to the $6,000 cap, after which $1,407 in spending earns the 1X points rate.
In terms of first-year and second-year value, you stand to earn a good bit more with the Citi Double Cash.
Don’t forget, though, the annual redemption bonus would award you an extra 2,253 points. You’ll also earn extra points with the round-up feature.
Why should you get the Citi Rewards+ Card?
The Citi Rewards+ Card is worth it for you if you don’t mind redeeming your rewards on gas and grocery spending in the form of something other than cash, like gift cards or charitable donations. If you spend much more than $6,000 a year on gas and groceries, then you might feel somewhat limited by the card’s rewards structure. In this case, you might opt for the Double Cash Card or other rewards cards that focus on grocery store purchases and gas station spending.
In addition to its welcome bonus, round-up feature, annual redemption bonus and zero-interest offer, Citi Rewards+ Card benefits include standard Mastercard benefits, like $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and identity theft protection services. Plus, you’ll get access to Citi Entertainment, which gives you access to presale tickets, events and more. Events could include music festivals, pro football games or even high-end restaurant experiences.
You can redeem your ThankYou points for a few different things, including:
- Gift cards
- Shop with points (on Amazon.com or PayPal)
- Statement credits (worth less than 1 cent per point)
- Cash (worth less than 1 cent per point)
- Payment toward student loans and mortgage
- Point transfer and sharing
- Online bill pay
Recommended credit score
You’ll need good to excellent credit (670 through 850) to qualify for this card.
Why should you get the Citi Double Cash Card?
The Citi Double Cash Card is worth it for those who want a simple process for earning a flat rate of cash back on all of their spending. There are no gimmicks, caveats or special categories to track.
Essentially, it’s designed to reward people who spend on the card and then pay down their purchases, which lets you easily earn up to 2 percent back in cash and without any limits. For some, the simplicity is just too good to pass up.
In addition to the long intro APR and newer welcome offer, the card offers a few other benefits, like $0 fraud liability, 24-hour fraud protection, identity theft services and access to Citi Entertainment.
Redemption options for your cash back rewards include statement credits, direct deposit, check and ThankYou points. If you choose to redeem your rewards for points, a ThankYou account is automatically created for you. With a ThankYou account, you can redeem your points for gift cards, travel through Citi or Shop with Points on Amazon or PayPal.
Recommended credit score
You’ll need good to excellent credit (670 through 850) to qualify for this card, as well.
The bottom line
Citi is an issuer that has pioneered some great offers in the credit card rewards space. So far, the Citi Double Cash Card has been a hit due to its high rate of unlimited cash back.
The Citi Rewards+ Card has a respectable rewards rate, plus a few quirks that could help cardholders rack up slightly more rewards in the form of ThankYou points. Unfortunately, the Citi Rewards+ ThankYou points are mostly worth half of the cash back you could get with the Double Cash Card if you go for cash or statement credits — a deal-breaker for some.
As always, don’t forget to consider other options from our list of the best rewards credit cards for 2022 in case another card piques your interest.