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A number of blogs have been writing about the Citi Rewards+ credit card of late and, if I’m being totally honest, this is a card that I haven’t really given all that much thought to since it launched at the beginning of the year….but now I’m giving it a serious look.
The Citi Rewards+ credit card is essentially a replacement for the Citi ThankYou Preferred card which I currently hold and which Citi closed to new applications towards the end of 2018…but its offering is very different.
The Citi Rewards+ Credit Card
- Annual Fee – zero
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 3%
Current sign-up bonus:
15,000 ThankYou Points after you spend $1,000 on the card in the first 3 months of account opening.
Who’s Excluded From Getting The Sign-Up Bonus?
The ThankYou Points sign-up bonus is not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi ThankYou Premier/Citi Premier or Citi Prestige in the past 24 months or if you have closed any of these cards, in the past 24 months.
- 2 points/dollar at supermarkets & gas stations for the fist $6,000 spent in a year (then 1 point/dollar).
- 1 point/dollar on all other purchases
- All points earnings on purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 points
- 10% points rebate on the first 100,000 ThankYou Points redeemed in a year
How The Rounding Up Benefit Works
Cardholders earn points on every purchase they make and then Citi rounds those points up to the nearest 10.
So, for example, if I was to pay a $2.00 parking meter fee with the Citi Rewards+ card it would earn me 10 points (2 points for the spending in a non-bonused category and 8 points from Citi to round it up to 10).
If I spend $11 at Amazon I’ll earn 20 points in total (11 points for the spending in a non-bonused category and 9 points from Citi to round it up to 10)
This also works for purchases at supermarkets and gas stations (the card’s bonus categories) and, to work out how may points I would earn, I just multiply my bill by 2 (as the card earns 2 points/dollar at supermarkets and gas stations) and then round up the point to the next 10 – $31 of spending at a grocery store would see me earn 70 points (for example)
There is no minimum or maximum purchase amount so the points will always be rounded up to the nearest 10 on every purchase.
Why I’m Considering The Citi Rewards+ Credit Card
I currently hold two credit cards which earn me ThankYou points (the Citi Prestige and the Citi ThankYou Preferred) and the Citi ThankYou Preferred is essentially doing nothing for me except for keeping the age of my credit score looking good – I don’t really need the 2x earnings I get at restaurants and on entertainment spending that the card offers.
As a rule I don’t mind holding credit cards that cost me nothing and do little else than help my credit score but, when there’s an opportunity to hold a no annual fee card that may actually be useful, my interest levels definitely pick up.
The Citi Rewards+ card is interesting to me for 4 reasons:
The 10% points rebate that the Citi Rewards+ credit card offers isn’t limited to the ThankYou points earned on this card – it covers all the points pooled into your one ThankYou account.
Holding this card means that, when I redeem the points I earn through my Citi Prestige card, I’ll get a 10% rebate even if not a single one of those points was earned via the Citi Rewards+ card.
As I generally redeem between 50,000 and 100,000 ThankYou Points each year (usually by transferring points to one of Citi’s partner programs) the Citi Rewards+ card will save me between 5,000 and 10,000 points per year.
That’s a saving of between $75 and $150 based on my conservative valuation of Citi ThankYou points….and that’s courtesy of a card that comes with no annual fee.
I like the idea of the rounding up benefit and it could come in very useful on very small purchases (like when I pay a $1.50 parking meter fee) and on purchases in categories where my other credit cards don’t offer a bonus.
For example, my purchases through Amazon only earn me 1 point/dollar regardless of which of my cards I use (I don’t hold the Chase Amazon Rewards card) so the Citi Rewards+ card may be a good way of getting a little more out of my Amazon purchases.
I only hold one credit card that offers me a bonus for spending at supermarkets and that’s the EveryDay Card from American Express.
Just like the Citi Rewards+ card the Amex EveryDay card only offers me a bonus on the first $6,000 of spend at supermarkets so, should I ever hit that limit, the Rewards+ card would be a nice backup to have.
This card probably isn’t for everyone and I can imagine a lot of people preferring to use a good cash back card for spending in categories that don’t offer a bonus rather than a card like the Citi Rewards+ card….but the Citi Rewards+ should be worth holding for the 10% points rebate alone.
Personally, I don’t really want another hard pull on my credit report so I’m considering product-changing my Citi ThankYou Preferred card for the Citi Rewards+.
I’m going to do a bit more thinking before I give Citi a call as I don’t want to give up the Preferred card without being 100% sure that it doesn’t offer me any useful benefits that the Rewards+ doesn’t (there’s no going back once I give the Preferred card up)…but right now the 10% rebate is looking good and I’m sorely tempted to add the Citi Rewards+ to my portfolio.