I got the new Citi Rewards+ Card … and I love it


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.

Citi is an advertising partner.

When the new Citi Rewards+ SM Card launched in January, I almost immediately applied for the card. The unique round-up feature really intrigued me, especially since I buy a $2 iced coffee almost every workday, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to like the card as much as I do.

The Citi Rewards+ Card offers 2x ThankYou Points at gas stations and supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases annually) and 1x Points on everything else. Plus, the benefit that piqued my interest: the cards unique round-up feature that means every time you earn points, it’s rounded to the nearest 10 points. I felt like that was going to be a lot of earning potential for a no annual fee card.

My credit card strategy with the Citi Rewards+ Card

Applying for the card was a no-brainer. I make at least one or two purchases under $5 every day, and I was curious about how great the round-up feature really worked. Doing a little math, I realized that I could easily earn enough rewards to cover a round-trip domestic flight each year.

I fly to my hometown for Christmas each year, and I’d rather save my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for international flights. Using this card on smaller purchases gives me a way to fund that Christmastime trip home without sacrificing my CSP points.

What cards am I pairing it with?

My overall credit card strategy is simple: I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for pretty much everything. Since I got the Citi Rewards+ Card, I’ve started using it for just three “categories” of spending: purchases under $5, gas and groceries. Once I hit the $6,000 cap on 2x rewards for gas and groceries, I’ll switch back to using my CSP for those.

I earn 2x points on dining and travel with my CSP, and those points are worth 1.25 cents a piece when I redeem for travel through Chase. Considering all of the other benefits I get when I book my travel through Chase, those points are worth far more to me than the basic Citi ThankYou Points — which are only worth 1 cent per point when I redeem for travel — I earn with the Citi Rewards+ Card. That being said, the round-up feature my Citi card offers allows me to maximize rewards on smaller purchases in a way that Chase does not.

My spending habits with the card

I don’t spend a lot on this card; my average spend so far is $250 to $300 each month. In February, for example, I spent right at $275 on my Citi Rewards+ Card.

About half of my spending went towards groceries and gas, but the other half was split between those smaller, everyday purchases — mainly my daily coffee fix and in-app purchases from playing Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery on my phone.

Here is how that broke down into how many ThankYou Points I earned:

Citi Monthly Rewards Screenshot

During February, I averaged 2.5 Points per dollar spent, which is higher than any flat-rate card available right now.

Citi ThankYou Points is not the most user-friendly rewards program

It’s no secret that the user experience on the Citi website and mobile app aren’t the best. I’ve not had to deal with Citi customer service, and I will most likely only engage with the redemption process once or twice a year.

For me, the largest disappointment is how Citi reports your points breakdown. This might be because I’m used to how Chase outlines the points you earn per transaction — they do a great job of letting me know which purchases earned 2x points and how many points that equates to.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Breakdown

When I expand a transaction online or in the app, Chase breaks down how many base points, bonus points and the total number of points earned. Citi, on the other hand, makes me play a guessing game at how many points I get per transaction with an underwhelming overview online or in the app.

However, the rate at which I can accumulate points without having an annual fee to worry about outweighs the negatives in my book.

Using the Citi Rewards+ Card to fund family visits

Over the past three months, I’ve already racked up almost two thousand points on top of the 15,000-point sign-up bonus (earned after hitting $1,000 in spend within the first three months), all with minimum effort and spending on the card. If I continue to spend around the same amount each month, that will be $250 by the end of my first year — enough to cover the short plane ride to see my family.

In order to fully fund a plane ticket next year, I’ll have to up my spend on the Citi Rewards+ Card a bit — which will most likely end in more coffee intake and offering to drive more often when I carpool with friends.

I’ll continue to use the Citi Rewards+ Card as a supplement to my Chase Sapphire Preferred, an unlikely card pairing that will help me travel both abroad and back home without breaking my budget.

This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.