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The $0 annual fee cash back credit card market continues to increase in competition and creative offerings in an ongoing effort to secure new customers.
Some banks offer impressive introductory bonuses, some offer extended promotional APR periods, and Citi is betting that customers will enjoy a novel ThankYou® point Round-Up bonus on every purchase.
The Citi Rewards+® cash back card is a unique cash back card because it offers an intro bonus, bonus spending categories and rounds up each purchase to the nearest 10 points.
However, before you apply for it, make sure you are comfortable with some interesting point redemption options and caps on bonus earnings. Otherwise, another cash back card may be a better fit for your wallet.
The Citi Rewards+® is a $0 annual fee rewards credit card that enables cardholders to generate rewards at supermarkets, gas stations, and more while offering a unique Round-Up bonus.
The Citi Rewards+® offers 2x ThankYou® points per dollar on purchases at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 and then 1x after that). All other purchases generated unlimited 1x ThankYou® points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
One of the more unique features of the Citi Rewards+® card is the Round-Up to the nearest 10 points feature. Every purchase made with the Citi Rewards+® is rounded up to the nearest 10 points, even if the purchase is below 10 points in value.
For example, if you purchased a coffee for $3, you would still earn 10 points. Since there is no cap on purchases you can round up, this can be an excellent way for modest spenders to generate more points.
The Citi Rewards+® also offers 10% points back on all redemptions redeemed during the year for the first 100,000 ThankYou® points. This is a great incentive to spend your points because you essentially receive a 10% discount on all redemptions.
For example, if you redeem 20,000 points for a hotel gift card, you get 2,000 points back.
Citi makes point redemption easy by providing a variety of options for cardholders. When you decide to redeem through the Citi portal, you have the choice to redeem for gift cards, book travel, or redeem points for a statement credit on your credit card.
Cardholders can also shop directly with points for merchandise through the Citi portal.
It’s important to note that there are a few fees associated with the Citi Rewards+®, namely the foreign transaction fee and balance transfer fee.
The Citi Rewards+® charges 3% of every purchase transaction in US Dollars if you swipe the card abroad.
Additionally, if you choose to transfer a balance to the Citi Rewards+® card, you will pay either 3% of the balance transfer or $5 – whichever is greater.
If the Citi Rewards+® isn’t for you, you may want to check out some of these other cash back and rewards cards to see if they are a better fit for your wallet:
The Citi® Double Cash Cardis another cash back offering from Citi with a $0 annual fee, but this one is one of the oldest and more reliable cards in this category.
With the potential for unlimited 2% cash back, no annual fee, and no rotating categories to manage, the Citi® Double Cash is a simple and powerful credit card. Cardholders earn 1% cash back when they swipe the card and the other 1% when they pay their balance.
While other cards may offer higher rewards categories if you are comfortable tracking them, the beauty of the Citi® Double Cash is in its simplicity.
The Discover it® Cash Back is a powerful cash back card with a $0 annual fee, rotating rewards categories, and a generous sign-on bonus.
Cardholders receive 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories, including grocery stores, online purchases on Amazon, gas stations, restaurants, and more.
Each category has a $1,500 maximum, so it’s crucial to take advantage of the offers. Aside from the bonus categories, cardholders earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
In place of a traditional sign-on bonus based on a spending threshold, the Discover it® Cash Back will double the cash back generated over the first year and pay that as a bonus. So, if you made $200 in cash back your first year, Discover would give you a $200 bonus bringing your total to $400.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred®is the perfect balance between luxury rewards and great everyday earning. With a $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is not as cheap as a card with no annual fee, but it is much more affordable than some of the other premium rewards cards at the top of the market.
The current sign-on bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points worth over $1,000 if redeemed through Chase’s travel portal.
This card earns 2x Ultimate Rewards® Points on dining, eligible delivery services, takeout, and travel. Cardholders earn 1x points on all other purchases.
Another card that sits between luxury and accessible daily use is the American Express® Gold Card. The $250 annual fee is much higher than a $0 annual fee cash back card, but it is still more affordable than the top-tier rewards cards, which often push $500 in yearly fees.
The current introductory offer is 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after charging $4,000 in eligible purchases, which is valued at over $1,200 if redeemed through American Express.
Cardholders generate 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants, 4X Membership Rewards® Points at supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year then it drops to 1x), 3X Membership Rewards® Points on travel booked through American Express, and 1x points on all other purchases.
With over $240 in statement credits available, the card can pay for itself if you are comfortable fronting the annual Fee.
The Citi Rewards+® is a decent cash back card for small and moderate spenders who can capitalize on the point Round-Up feature. However, if you want to maximize your earnings potential or enjoy a more straightforward rewards structure, there are better options out there.
Since this card offers a decent sign-on bonus and cash back potential, Citi requires a higher credit score.
If you are interested in applying for the Citi Rewards+® card, you should have good to excellent credit (690-850).
The points from the Citi Rewards+® are worth different amounts depending on how you redeem them. For instance, if you redeem them as a statement credit, they are worth half a cent. However, if you purchase a gift card, they are worth around a cent, which is double that of a statement credit.
Ensure you check how your points will convert before you spend them to avoid missing out on the best value.
While the Citi Rewards+® offers some unique features such as a 10% bonus on point redemption and rounds all purchases up to the nearest 10 points, there are ultimately better cards in this bracket.
Since redeeming points can be confusing, and the annual spending cap is relatively low for the 2x points category, you may do yourself a favor by finding a card that earns more and is more straightforward.
Other Award-Winning Credit Cards: