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With so many rewards credit cards on the market, how do you know if a card deserves a place in your wallet? Below, we’ll take a look at one card, the Citi Rewards+® Card, to see if its rewards, perks and benefits make it worthwhile.
For those who want to earn rewards without paying an annual fee, the Citi Rewards+ Card may be a valuable option. It comes with a welcome bonus, an annual redemption bonus and a rewards round-up feature, all of which can help you to earn even more ThankYou points.
When is the Citi Rewards+ Card worth it?
You don’t want to pay an annual fee
Since the Citi Rewards+ Card is a no-annual-fee card, there’s no carrying cost that you’ll need to justify each year. Sometimes, this carrying cost can cause cardholders to overspend on their credit card. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about spending enough on the card to earn enough in rewards to cover the annual fee.
You want to earn a welcome bonus
With the Citi Rewards+ Card, you can earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within three months of account opening. These points can be redeemed for $200 in gift cards at ThankYou.com, which is one of the most valuable ways to redeem your points.
You want to earn rewards on grocery and gas spending
When you shop at supermarkets and gas stations, you’ll earn 2X points on your spending (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points). You’ll also earn 1X points on all other purchases. If you’re able to max out spending in the supermarket and gas station categories, you could earn 12,000 points (worth $120) on the first $6,000 spent.
You want plenty of ways to redeem rewards
It’s important to note that the Citi Rewards+ card only accrues “basic” ThankYou points, not regular Citi ThankYou points. Basic ThankYou points are not technically an award currency that Citi recognizes, but this is how we differentiate between the two types of ThankYou points. The key difference is that basic ThankYou points can’t be transferred to Citi travel partners (usually a more valuable redemption option). However, you can still use basic ThankYou points to book travel through Citi at a value of 1 cent per point.
You want opportunities to earn more rewards
This card comes with a round-up feature for points, which rounds up the points you earn on purchases to the nearest 10 points. For example, say you spend $36.50 on a gas station purchase. Instead of earning 73 points on that purchase, your points will be rounded up to 80 points. Although this is not a game-changer when it comes to earning points, it’s a neat perk that can help you to maximize your rewards.
Additionally, you’ll receive 10 percent of your points back on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year. Maxing out this benefit would earn you 10,000 points back, which could be worth $100 in gift cards.
When is the Citi Rewards+ Card not worth it?
You want a more travel-focused card
If you’re interested in transferring your points to one of Citi’s airline or hotel partners, you’ll need a premium card like the Citi Premier® Card. Although this card comes with a higher annual fee of $95, you’ll earn better rewards on more spending categories. You’ll earn 3X points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases and 1X points on all other purchases.
The Citi Premier also comes with a welcome offer of 60,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. According to our points valuations, this bonus could be worth up to $1,520 when transferred to a high-value Citi partner. Plus, this card includes an annual $100 discount on a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book your stay through ThankYou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU.
Even with the annual fee, you’ll likely get much more than $95 in value out of the Citi Premier’s better rewards structure and transfer partner options. And that doesn’t even include the significant value of the 60,000-point welcome bonus or the annual $100 hotel discount.
You don’t want to worry about spending limits
This card’s 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations is capped at $6,000 in spending per year, after which you’ll only earn 1X points on these purchases. Depending on how much you spend on groceries each month, this card might not make sense for you. Instead, you might want to consider other rewards cards, many of which earn better rewards on spending at grocery stores and gas stations.
Should you get the Citi Rewards+ Card?
You should get this card if:
- You don’t want to pay an annual fee, but you still want to earn rewards on grocery and gas spending.
- You’re not interested in transferring points to airline or hotel partners for better redemption value.
- You spend exactly or less than $6,000 per year on groceries and gas.
You shouldn’t get this card if:
- You spend a lot more than $6,000 per year on groceries and gas.
- You prefer high-value redemption ratios for your points.
- You’re a travel enthusiast looking to rack up rewards toward travel.
The bottom line
If you don’t have any aspirational travel goals and simply want to earn some grocery and gas rewards on your spending, the Citi Rewards+ Card does the job. For some cardholders, earning $150 to $200 in rewards per year could be all they need to make the card worth it.
However, if you’ve already got this card, pairing it with a premium Citi travel card — so you can transfer ThankYou points to travel partners — will help you maximize this card’s value.