Under the radar card to consider: Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus

1
Hinterhaus Productions/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

I often tout the virtues of no annual fee credit cards that give 2 percent cash back on all purchases. While some cards give better rewards in certain categories, getting a 2 percent rebate on everything you buy without putting in much work is a really attractive return.

These cards—such as the Citi® Double Cash Card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card and the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®—are also great foundations if you want to mix and match different products, because they set a higher floor than most offerings. You could potentially get anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent cash back in certain categories with other cards, but their baseline is often just 1 percent, so a 2 percent cash back card could double your rewards on those purchases.

Today, I’m going to tell you about an interesting card that doesn’t get much attention. It gives 1.8 percent cash back on every purchase and its other benefits could actually make it more valuable than many 2 percent cash back cards. I’m talking about the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus™ World Mastercard®.

Notable benefits

  • Extended warranty protection that doubles an original manufacturer’s or store warranty (lasting up to two years) when you buy an eligible item with the card.
  • Cell phone insurance with up to $1,000 in annual coverage (capped at $600 per claim and two claims per year) as long as you pay your monthly phone bills with the card.
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage that covers eligible expenses if you need to cancel a trip or cut one short due to a covered reason.
  • Rental car insurance for collision, loss or damage.
  • An intro 0 percent interest rate on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles (then a variable APR ranging from 15.99 percent to 23.99 percent, depending on your creditworthiness).

Plus, as a World Mastercard, there are a slew of additional perks available courtesy of Mastercard. These include a free ShopRunner membership (enabling free two-day shipping and free returns from more than 100 popular retailers), a free three-month DashPass subscription, $5 off your first two DashPass orders each month, discounts from Lyft and HelloFresh, a free 24/7 concierge service and more.

Compare this to one of my favorite cash back cards, the Citi Double Cash, which gives 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off.  The Double Cash offers a little more cash back than the Cash Plus World Mastercard on every transaction, but its list of additional benefits is a lot shorter than it used to be. In September 2019, Citi dropped several key benefits from this card, including extended warranty coverage, price protection, purchase protection, return protection, rental car insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. The Double Cash is still a good card, but the Cash Plus card’s additional perks could prove better for some customers.

The bottom line

The quantity and quality of these benefits could make the Citizens Bank Cash Plus World Mastercard more valuable than a card that gives a slightly higher cash back payout but incorporates fewer extras. It’s a beneficial reminder that while a handful of large card issuers get most of the attention, smaller financial institutions such as Citizens Bank sometimes offer very compelling cards, too.

Have a question about credit cards? E-mail me at ted.rossman@bankrate.com and I’d be happy to help.

The information about the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus™ World Mastercard® and PayPal Cashback Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.