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.
Sep 14, 2022

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Our Take

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.

Jump to: Full Review
Citi Rewards+® Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
16.49%-26.49% 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
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated redemptions

Alternate Pick: High cash-back rate on everything
Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 
Citi® Double Cash Card
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.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

16.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.99%-25.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

18.24%-25.24% 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

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

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. For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent thereafter.

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 JetBlue's TrueBlue loyalty program, but not at a 1:1 ratio. With this card, 1,000 ThankYou points will net you 800 JetBlue points.

🤓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.

APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%-26.49% Variable APR.

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).

Why you're better off passing on the Citi Rewards+® Card

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.

Is the Citi Rewards+® Card 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.

on Citibank's application

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.