The Citi Rewards+ is hard to beat when it comes to cash back on transactions of $10 or less. But is it enough to make it worth applying for?
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The Citi Rewards+® Card is a no-annual fee rewards credit card that earns 2 points per dollar on supermarket and gas station purchases (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1 point) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
While these are not the most impressive rewards rates, the card also offers a feature rounding up rewards from each purchase to the nearest 10 points per dollar. This can prove especially valuable for small purchases under $10.
For some cardholders, the Citi Rewards+ may be worth it if they pair it with other Citi cards or make a habit of using it for running errands. Others, however, may want to look into other card options.
Here’s how to determine whether the Citi Rewards+ is worth it for you.
When is the Citi Rewards+ Card worth it?
The Citi Rewards+ Card’s rewards rates are modest, even with the roundup feature and the annual bonus of 10% back on the first 100,000 points redeemed (worth $100 in gift cards if maximized). It also doesn’t have much to offer in terms of perks and benefits.
Still, there’s a couple of situations where adding the Citi Rewards+ Card to your wallet may be a good idea.
You’re building a Citi card combo
Some cardholders ensure they’re getting value out of their cards by picking the best credit card products from different issuers that fit their spending the most.
Others maximize value by sticking with one issuer – like Citi.
If you’re interested in travel rewards, you can pair the Citi Rewards+ with the Citi Premier® Card, which offers 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.
With this card, you can earn points on travel and transfer them to any of Citi’s travel partners to get the best value, which the Citi Rewards+ on its own doesn’t allow.
You can go even further and create a Citi trifecta by adding another Citi cash back card. For instance, the Citi® Double Cash Card can earn you 2% back (1% at purchase, then another 1% upon payment) on all your general spending, or the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card – 5% back in your top eligible spend category each month (up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter).
With multiple credit cards from one issuer, you can maximize your earnings in one rewards ecosystem and get the most out all it has to offer.
You want to maximize cash back on small purchases
Sometimes, credit card strategies can become quite intricate. Getting as much as you can out of credit card rewards often involves deciding on the best card for each transaction – even the smallest ones.
Speaking of small transactions, that’s where the Citi Rewards+ truly shines.
Say, you’re running an errand. You grab a $4 coffee, then you stop at a gas station and fill up your car for $22. Later, you drop by a convenience store and get a $2 pack of gum (coffee is the juice of life but coffee breath can also happen sometimes).
With the Citi Rewards+, you’ll get 70 points (70 cents) total for these purchases, thanks to the roundup feature.
To compare, say you have another similar card instead. For example, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card earns 2% cash rewards on purchases. That’s quite generous, but in the scenario above, you’d only earn 56 cents on your purchases.
Of course, a 14-cent difference might not seem like much, but cash back earnings overall don’t inspire much awe if you only look at separate transactions. Cash back works when you help it add up. Even an extra 14 cents earned every day adds up to more than $50 in extra cash back over a year.
If you’re the kind of cardholder who gets excited about squeezing as much value as possible out of each dollar spent, the Citi Rewards+ might be a valuable tool in your strategy.
When is the Citi Rewards+ Card not worth it?
Despite its unique features, the Citi Rewards+ isn’t the best choice for everyone, especially in the following scenarios.
You’re looking for a primary rewards credit card
The Citi Rewards+ has an easy-to-understand rewards system which may be attractive to cardholders who’d rather avoid juggling multiple high-maintenance credit card products. But while it does offer simplicity, it’s lacking in rewards potential.
If you’d prefer to get a single credit card that’d earn the same rate on most of your spending, look into other flat-rate cash back credit cards.
The Citi Double Cash and the Wells Fargo Active Cash are the best options in this category. Both offer unlimited 2% cash back/cash rewards on purchases (although with the Double Cash, you need to pay off your purchases first to get the full 2%), while the Citi Rewards+ only earns 2% back in two categories with a $6,000 annual purchase cap.
You’re looking for a card for gas or grocery purchases
The Citi Rewards+ is also not the strongest offer when it comes to its bonus categories – supermarkets and gas stations.
Some of the best credit cards for groceries can earn up to 6% cash back at supermarkets if you’re comfortable with annual fees. If you’re not, there are still better options.
For example, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns 3% cash back on your first $6,000 in annual spending at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), giving you a higher return with the same annual cap.
Gas may not be a major spending category for many, but if it is for you, look into the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. It earns 3% back on a category of choice and gas is one of the eligible categories. You can also get 2% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases. There’s a $2,500 combined purchase limit on these categories each quarter, which sums up to $10,000 per year. As you can see, this card’s earning potential can easily beat that of the Citi Rewards+.
You’re looking for a travel card
As you’ve probably realized by now, the Citi Rewards+ isn’t a travel credit card. Even though it technically earns ThankYou points, they’re “basic” points, meaning you won’t be able to transfer them to Citi’s travel partners.
You can still redeem rewards for travel, but only at a 1-cent-per-point rate.
Additionally, the card has a 3% foreign purchase transaction fee and no travel perks.
Should you get the Citi Rewards+ Card?
The Citi Rewards+ Card can work well if you’re a Citi loyalist or a cash back enthusiast passionate about maximizing the value of each and every dollar you spend.
In most other cases, however, you may find that other cards can offer more value for your spending. Whether you’re looking for a primary rewards credit card, travel card or a card to boost your grocery or gas cash back, the Citi Rewards+ isn’t the best pick.
The roundup feature makes the Citi Rewards+ Card a compelling and unique product that can fit into some cardholders’ spending. Still, for others, this card won’t be worth it.
Analyze your credit card needs and spending patterns and head over to CardMatch to find credit card offers tailored to your credit. Checking your offers won’t impact your credit and you have a good chance of qualifying for your matched cards.
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