Citi Rewards+℠ Card review
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Citi Rewards+ Card: Details and benefits
If you’re looking to maximize the points to earn on smaller purchases, the Citi Rewards+ Card deserves a spot in your wallet. If you’re a current Citi cardholder, this no annual fee credit card would also make a great complimentary card to boost your ThankYou Points earning potential.
The Citi Rewards+ Card offers 2x ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year, plus 1x ThankYou Points on all other purchases. There’s no annual fee, and you can take advantage of a 15-month introductory APR offer on purchases and balance transfers (13.49% – 23.49% variable thereafter). You can also earn 15,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending a modest $1,000 within the first three months.
While that may not sound like a card to write home about, Citi has thrown in a few unique features that add a lot of value. The Rewards+ Card rounds up all of your rewards to the nearest 10 points, and you can get 10% Points back for the first 100,000 Points you redeem each year.
The Rewards+ Card also comes with access to Citi Entertainment® — where you can purchase presale tickets and VIP experiences for events throughout the year — and Citi Concierge — which is considered one of the best concierge services among top credit card issuers.
Is it worth it for you?
This card offers a simple way to maximize rewards on smaller purchases. The round-up feature is something no other card currently offers, and this perk alone can make the card a valuable addition to your wallet.
Both beginners and Citi loyalists can benefit from the Rewards+, making it a decently versatile card. Credit card newbies can earn a sizeable amount of rewards without paying an annual fee, while experts with top-tier Citi cards can pair the Rewards+ with others to maximize value.
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program got a much-needed upgrade in 2018, adding a lot of flexibility in their cards’ earning potentials and redemption options. You can redeem your ThankYou Points as a statement credit, cash-back, gift cards, travel rewards and more. Plus, you can Shop with Points online at Amazon, Expedia, LiveNation and on other partner sites. However, you’ll still get the most value on travel redemptions.
Something to consider is the stipulations attached to earning 2x points. There is a $6,000 annual cap for the combined categories, and many purchases you might assume qualify as “supermarkets” or “gas stations” don’t because of their merchant codes. Warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs and superstores might not qualify for 2x purchases. This isn’t a Citi-specific issue – many credit cards with bonus categories cause frustrations due to merchant codes, but it is something to keep in mind before applying for the card.
How much are rewards worth?
While Citi has made some significant improvements to ThankYou Rewards, the worth of program really depends on which Citi cards you have in your wallet. The main caveat to the card is that points earned are only considered “basic” Citi ThankYou Points, which hinders some of your redemption flexibility. If you don’t also have the Citi Prestige Card, you are unable to transfer points to travel partners (with the exception of JetBlue). Considering you get the most value from transferring points, this is a major drawback for those who don’t have other Citi cards.
The Citi Rewards+ Card has a modest 15,000-point sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, which is worth $150 when redeemed at thankyou.com. It’s not a spectacular offer, but that’s to be expected with a no annual fee credit card. Remember that Citi only allows cardholders to earn one sign-up bonus every 24 months for select credit cards. If you have recently earned a sign-up bonus for another Citi card, you might not be eligible for this one. Alternatively, if you are planning to sign up for a higher-tier card like the Citi Premier® Card or Prestige, you’ll want to purposefully miss the minimum spend on this card so that you can earn the higher bonus on the other card.
If you’re using the Citi Rewards+ Card by itself, your points don’t hold nearly as much value as other rewards programs or cash back structures. “Basic” ThankYou points are only worth one cent each, and you don’t have the option to transfer points to Citi’s travel partners with the exception of JetBlue (which offers a lackluster transfer offer).
On the other hand, if you are looking to pair this card with your Citi Prestige Card or Citi Premier Card, rewards are worth significantly more. You can then transfer points earned with your Citi Rewards+ Card to your other accounts, where they are worth 1.25 cents per ThankYou Point when redeemed through the Citi Travel Portal until April 10, 2021. Additionally, you’ll be able to utilize Citi’s numerous transfer partners, which can further maximize point values.
Get the most value from Citi Rewards+ Card
The card was built for everyday spending. The ThankYou Points earned with every purchase are rounded up to the nearest 10, which can seriously increase the rewards value of everyday small purchases. Your morning $4 coffee fix on the way into work is worth 10 Points. If you get that same coffee order every day, that’s 3,650 ThankYou Points by the end of the year compared to less than 3,000 points with another card that offers 2x points on dining.
Beginners can certainly utilize the card to earn rewards, but those willing put in a little more time and effort into playing points game will get the most out of the card. If you’re looking to really maximize how much value you get from the Citi Rewards+ Card, you need to use it strategically with other Citi credit cards.
Premier and Prestige cardholders have the most to gain from opening a Rewards+ Card. Keeping in mind that the Prestige isn’t currently accepting new applications, we’ve broken down how to get the most bang for your buck by pairing the Citi Rewards+ and Premier cards.
Use the Citi Premier on travel expenses like gas stations, air travel, and hotels to utilize the 3 points per dollar categories and use the Rewards+ on basically everything else. Use the Prestige on air travel, restaurants, hotels and cruise lines. Then use the Rewards+ for your other purchases. With that unique round-up feature, you can quickly rack up points on small, everyday purchases. Once you’re ready to cash out your ThankYou Points, transfer all of your Rewards+ earnings over to your Citi Premier. Then use your Citi Premier card to book travel.
The two best options for redeeming travel are to book through the Citi Travel Portal or transfer points to a travel partner. You’ll get 1.25 cents per ThankYou point when you book through Citi (the same redemption rate as the Chase Sapphire Preferred when you book through Chase’s portal), but transfer partners like Singapore KrisFlyer, Avianca LifeMiles, Virgin Atlantic and Etihad Guest can offer even more value for your ThankYou Points.
How much are the points worth?
How much your points are worth is determined by how you choose to redeem them. According to valuations by The Points Guy, if you redeem for maximum value, you can get up to 1.7 cents in value per point.
How to redeem rewards
You can redeem ThankYou points for travel purchases (booked through the ThankYou Travel Portal or transferred to partners), gift cards or merchandise.
There is no limit to the number of points you can redeem per year and points don’t expire. You’ll also get 10 percent points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem per year.