5 Underrated Reasons Why You Need the Citi Rewards+ Card

This card comes with ways to get more points through rounding-up on small purchases and pooling with other cards.

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A lot of credit cards pay you valuable points for making charges. But the Citi Rewards+® Card is the only card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. And while an extra eight or nine Citi ThankYou points may not seem like a big deal, this is actually an underrated perk of this card.

Here’s a look at the well-known reasons for signing up for this card, followed by the underrated reasons why it could prove very lucrative for you.

The well-known reasons

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com. For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and then 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent thereafter.

  • For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and then 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent thereafter.

  • Points can be redeemed for gift cards at over 100 retailers.

  • 2x points at gas stations and supermarkets up to $6,000 per year.

  • 1x points on all other purchases.

The underrated reasons

If you’re considering this card, don’t just look at its most salient benefits. Consider these underrated strengths, too.

1. Small purchases can add up to lots of points

When you take a closer look at how the points rounding feature works, you can see the potential of this unique card perk.

Imagine that you charge a soda or candy bar costing $1. Using your Citi Rewards+® Card card, which pays 1 point per dollar at most stores, that translates to 1 ThankYou point for the base charge plus 9 bonus points as it rounds up to 10. That’s a 900% increase to your points earning.

An espresso at your local coffee house that costs $2 also gets you 10 Citi ThankYou points when you charge it to your card, a 400% points increase.

The bigger the purchase, the less impressive your bonus. For example, if you spend $52 at the dry cleaners, Citi will also round up to the nearest 10 points, paying you 60 ThankYou points. But the extra 8 points represent just a 15% bonus.

If you make a lot of small purchases, the Citi Rewards+® Card presents a great opportunity to rack up hundreds if not thousands of extra points every month.

Some places where you can make small purchases:

  • The post office (automated machines in many lobbies).

  • Public transit/Metro card reloads.

  • Coffee shops.

  • Parking meters.

  • Grocery store checkout lines.

  • Convenience stores.

  • Farmers markets.

2. There's no annual fee

Credit card annual fees can sneak up on you, costing upwards of hundreds of dollars per year and potentially diminishing the value of the points you earn. This card’s $0 annual fee shouldn't be overlooked.

3. It offers points pooling capabilities

Citi issues a number of credit cards that pay ThankYou points, but the ways you can use them differ from card to card. The Citi Rewards+® Card allows you to redeem points for gift cards and online shopping at Amazon and Best Buy. Plus, you can transfer them to JetBlue’s frequent flyer program, TrueBlue.

Nerdy tip: The more expensive Citi Prestige® Card goes further, letting you transfer points to Choice, Citi's lone hotel partner, and more than a dozen airline partners’ frequent flyer programs.

Citi lets you combine ThankYou points from all your accounts, which unlocks ways to get even more value from your ThankYou points. For example, you can use your Citi Rewards+® Card for small purchases, but use your Citi Prestige® Card card for purchases in a category that pays bonus points (like the card’s 5x points payout on restaurants and travel). Then, you can combine those points into one account.

This makes transferring points to an airline partner like Air France, Emirates or Qantas even more appealing.

4. You'll get 10% back for the first 100,000 points redeemed each year

If you redeem your points directly out of your Citi Rewards+® Card account, you’ll get a nice rebate from Citi. For the first 100,000 points that you redeem every year, Citi will give you back 10%.

5. It has anti-fraud protections

This card comes with a fraud guarantee, meaning you're not liable for purchases made if your card is lost or stolen. You can rest easy knowing you won’t pay out of pocket for any unauthorized use or activity.

The bottom line

The Citi Rewards+® Card has its shortcomings. For example, it doesn’t come with rental car insurance and your points are less versatile than the points you could earn with other cards. But its unique benefits, notably rounding up points to the nearest 10, can offer excellent value to some cardmembers. If you make a lot of small purchases, and especially if you carry another Citi card with more flexible ThankYou points, this $0-annual-fee card could be ideal.

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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