CREDIT CARDSCREDIT CARDSCITI REWARDS+ REVIEW: ROUNDING UP EQUALS MODEST REWARDS

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.
Melissa Lambarena Author Avatar
Oct 26, 2023 5:20 p.m. PDT
Edited by
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3.3

NerdWallet rating
The bottom line:

Despite its bonus tiers and "round up" feature, the card underwhelms when compared with others in its category.

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period
Cons
  • Spending caps on bonus rewards
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Complicated redemptions
Citi Rewards+® Card Image
Citi Rewards+® Card
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

18.74%-28.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening.

Rec. credit score


Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

18.74%-28.74% Variable APR

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1x-5x

  • Bonus offer

    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. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

  • Intro APR

    0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening.

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 18.74%-28.74% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

    Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee 3% of each transfer ($5 min) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, 5% of each transfer ($5 min).

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

More details from Citibank
View Rates and Fees
  • 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
  • Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.74% - 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • No Annual Fee.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
REGULAR APR
18.74%-28.74% Variable APR
Rates & Fees
INTRO APR
0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening.
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
REGULAR APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
Rates & Fees
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$95
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
INTRO APR
N/A
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Detailed review: Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+® Card underwhelms when compared with other rewards credit cards in its class.

Yes, modest spenders may appreciate the card's unique "round up" offer, which can make small purchases a little more rewarding. There's also a "Points Back" benefit each year on rewards that you redeem, up to an annual limit, plus some decent introductory offers.

But overall, 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 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. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

Rewards:

  • 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.

Redemption options:

You can redeem points for things like gift cards, travel 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. But point values vary widely depending on what you choose.

You can also transfer your points to loyalty programs like JetBlue and Wyndham. But unless you can find a good deal on reward redemptions, this might not be the best use of your points. For example, 1,000 ThankYou points earned on this card will net you 800 JetBlue points, a .8 cent value. When you redeem for a statement credit, each point is worth 0.5 cent.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Citi has other travel partners, but you'll need a card like the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card to access them. Plus, both of these cards will snag you a higher redemption value when you transfer to JetBlue or Wyndham.

APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.74%-28.74%, based on your creditworthiness..

Foreign transaction fee: 3%.

Balance transfer fee: There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening (5% ongoing).

Drawbacks and considerations

Low rewards rate and complicated rules

The Citi Rewards+® Card will very likely limit your rewards-earning potential. Many households, especially larger ones, will exceed a $6,000 spending cap on gas and groceries in a year. Plus, the card's roundup feature — while interesting — is ideal only on small, sporadic purchases, and even then you have to do the math to determine the exact value you're getting upfront. The 10% redemption bonus is worth, at the very most, $100 per year. Rather than worrying about tiered bonus categories, spending caps and rounded-up rewards, you're probably better off with a card that earns a flat, simple 1.5% back or higher on everything.

With the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, for instance, you earn 2% cash back on every purchase. 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 card's annual fee is $0.

Varying point values

The Citi Rewards+® Card offers plenty of redemption options, but they're not all created equal. And while it's hard to find a no-annual-fee card that offers any kind of point transfer to travel partners, the selection and value with the Citi Rewards+® Card are limited.

For a more straightforward experience, consider the Discover it® Miles. It earns 1.5 miles per $1 on all purchases. Point values are the same whether you redeem for travel or cash back.

Foreign transaction fee

The card's 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.

Alternate Pick: High cash-back rate on everything
Flexible, no-fuss rewards

You'll get a flat rate of 2% back on all purchases: 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay. No bonus categories, spending caps or rounded-up rewards to keep track of. Annual fee: $0.

How to decide if it's right for you

The Citi Rewards+® Card could work for low spenders who make a lot of small purchases. But many other credit cards can offer more value, flexibility and simplicity. See NerdWallet's list of the best credit cards for more options.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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