Citi Rewards+ Review: Rounding Up Equals Modest Rewards
This unique card may be a fit for low spenders who make a lot of small purchases. But other cards will offer more long-term value, flexibility and simplicity.
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The Bottom Line: Despite its bonus tiers and "round up" feature, the card underwhelms when compared with others in its category.
- Introducing the New Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
- Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
Pros & Cons
- No annual fee
- Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
Alternate Pick: High cash-back rate on everything
The Citi Rewards+℠ Card showcases a unique feature among rewards cards: a "round up" offer that can make small everyday purchases a little more rewarding.
You'll also get a "Points Back" benefit each year on rewards that you redeem, up to an annual limit, plus some decent introductory offers.
But overall, the Citi Rewards+℠ Card underwhelms when compared with other rewards cards in its class. You can find other no-annual-fee options that offer richer and less complicated rewards on everyday spending.
Citi Rewards+℠ Card: Basics
Card type: Rewards.
Annual fee: $0.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
2 ThankYou points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations (for the first $6,000 spent per year).
1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points redeemed per year.
Rewards are rounded up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. So if you buy a $4 cup of coffee, you get 10 points instead of four. NerdWallet values Citi ThankYou points from 0.3 cents to 1 cent each, depending on redemption choice. With the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, you can redeem for things like travel, gift cards and potentially statement credits (for eligible purchases in select categories). You can also use points to shop online at eligible merchants, via the "Shop With Points" option.
APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Citi Private Pass, which can grant you special access to things like presale tickets, VIP packages to concerts, sporting events and more.
Citi Concierge, which can help you with travel and dining plans, among other things.
Why you might want the Citi Rewards+℠ Card
High rewards for small transactions: Many rewards cards earn a flat rate back on all purchases — even on that tiny pack of gum or random cup of coffee. Using a standard 1.5% flat-rate rewards card on a snack that costs, say, $2 will earn you about 3 cents back. But with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, that same snack purchase gets "rounded up" to 10 points back, for a potential value of 10 cents when redeemed toward a gift card.
Annual 10% Points Back benefit: You’ll get 10% of your points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed per year. That's a total potential benefit of 10,000 points annually — worth $100 at the highest redemption option.
Decent introductory APR: The Citi Rewards+℠ Card offers an intro: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR. That can give you some interest-free breathing room on a large purchase or a transferred balance.
Why you might want a different card
There are more lucrative gas and grocery cards: The Citi Rewards+℠ Card earns 2X back at supermarkets and gas stations up to a combined $6,000 annual spending cap. You can do better. The $0-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on other purchases. Terms apply. There's a cap on U.S. supermarket spending, but it applies only to that one category — and because the base rate is higher, you'll generally come out ahead. Spend $102 at a U.S. supermarket with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, and you'll earn 210 points total: double points on the purchase (204 points), which is then rounded up to the nearest 10 points, for a potential value of $2.10. With the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, the same example nets you $3.06 back. Or consider the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card. It earns 3% cash back in your choice of bonus category (among six, including gas) and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, on up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases. So not only can it offer a better rate on gas, but also your combined yearly bonus-spending cap is $10,000, vs. $6,000. The annual fee is $0.
There are more straightforward options: There's a lot to keep track of with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card: tiered bonus categories, spending caps and rounded-up rewards. Other cards keep it simpler. With the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for instance, you earn a flat 2% cash-back rate on everything: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off. No need to keep track of anything else. Plus, unlike a points-based system with values and redemption options that can vary, cash back is straightforward and can be used on whatever you like. The annual fee is $0.
It's not an ideal travel companion: The Citi Rewards+℠ Card allows you to redeem points for a vacation, but its 3% foreign transaction fee means it'll be costly to use internationally. If you’re looking for a card that earns travel rewards but also travels well itself, consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. It earns 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, and it skips the foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is $0.
Is the Citi Rewards+℠ Card right for you?
The Citi Rewards+℠ Card can work for low spenders who make a lot of small purchases. But many other credit cards can offer more value, flexibility and simplicity.
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