Comparing Credit Card Offers from Citi
Citi, one of the nation's largest and oldest banks, offers much more than credit cards. In addition to rewards, business and credit-building cards, Citi serves as a bank for people seeking mortgages, investing services and more.
Here, we delve into what is Citi and what the bank offers:
- Citibank's best cards
- Deeper analysis on best cards
- What is Citi?
- Rewards program and redemptions
- Quick recap
The Best Citi Credit Cards of 2019
Deeper analysis on Citi's best cards
No matter your credit circumstance, there is a Citi card for you. Whether you are new to credit or ready for a superior rewards card, Citi has it all. Here are the best Citi cards we have to offer:
Citi Rewards+SM Card
With this card, you can earn 15,000 bonus points after a $1,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership, then the ongoing rewards include 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 spent each year. It's 1X point after that and on other purchases. That means you can redeem $150 back for the sign-up bonus, then $60 on supermarkets and gas stations with the 2X points earnings, in gift cards at thankyou.com. All this with no annual fee.
- Card rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase
- Get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points you redeem each year
- 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable 15.74%-25.74% after that
Citi Simplicity Card
Have a big purchase coming up? Need to transfer that monster balance? This card can help with both.
The Citi Simplicity's greatest feature is the 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases (then 16.24% - 26.24% variable). Note that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
- 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers (then 16.24% - 26.24% variable)
- No late fees or penalty rate
- No annual fee
Citi Premier Card
As one of the top travel credit cards on the market, this worthy rival to the Chase Sapphire Preferred even offers a travel portal boost equal to the Chase Ultimate Rewards. Here's how it works:
The Premier Card offers 50,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership. But that's not all. Those points translate into $625 in airfare when redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center.
Also, the Premier allows you to earn 3X points on travel – including gas stations. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
- 50,000 point bonus after $4,000 spend in first 3 months
- No expiration or limit to points you can earn
- No airline transfer fee and transfers can start at 1,000 points
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
If your business frequently requires travel and American Airlines is your carrier of choice, consider this CitiBusiness card.
While there is a $99 annual fee—which is waived for the first year–the rewards make sense for business owners as you earn 2X miles per dollar on purchases at telcos, cable and satellite providers, car rentals, and gas stations. Of course, you'll also earn 2X miles per dollar on eligible AA purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. The sign-up bonus is substantial with a reasonable spending requirement: you earn 70,000 miles after $4,000 in purchases within your first 4 months.
- Large miles bonus
- Solid purchase categories that earn 2X miles
- Annual fee is waived the first year
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
The Citi Secured Mastercard is a good option if you're new to credit and need to build it from the ground up.
Since this Citi card is a secured card, that means that you'll have to put down a security deposit to use the card. The minimum here is $200, but it gets you off to a good start to pay your bill on time every month and build your credit back up. With online bill pay and auto pay options, it's easy to keep track of bill payments each month.
- No annual fee
- Monthly reports to credit bureaus
- Auto pay and online bill pay options
Citi Rewards+SM Student Card
This card is a great option for college sudents and contains a few more perks than you might expect from a student credit card.
Most notably, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card earns 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in purchase per year, then reverts to earning 1X point per dollar as it does on all other purchases. There's also a 2,500-point sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months, which can then be redeemed for a $25 gift card.
- 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations
- 10% points back for the first 100,000 points redeemed every year
- No annual fee
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
When Costco switched from American Express to Visa in 2016, that meant the club warehouse also switched which sole network they accepted to Visa.
While you don't have to have this Costco card to shop there, you can max out on gas, restaurants and travel, and Costco spending with some pretty generous rewards with the Costco Anywhere Visa. There's no sign-up bonus with this card, but the ongoing rewards more than make up for it.
To start off, while there's no sign-up bonus, Costco members receive a reward coupon annually which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses.
Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas (worldwide and at Costco) for up to $7,000 for the year, then 1% thereafter; 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel; 2% cash back on all other Costco and Costco.com purchases; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
- No foreign transaction fee
Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi
Designed with small business owners in mind, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card comes with high cash back rates in relevant spending categories.
Like its consumer counterpart, it offers 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year, then 1%. Additionally, you'll get 3% back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases, along with 2% back on all other purchases from Costco (including at Costco.com) and 1% back on all other purchases. That's all for no annual fee.
- Generous cash back program
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
- Benefits like car rental insurance
What is Citi?
Citibank, a division of Citigroup, is a full-service bank that provides mortgages, checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.
Citibank was founded in 1812 as City Bank of New York, with Samuel Osgood as the founding president. One of North America's oldest banks in continuous operation, it is steeped in the United States' banking history.
America's oldest continuous banks...
|Year founded||Rank||Founding name||Current name|
|1||1784||Bank of New York||BNY Mellon|
|2||1792||State Street Deposit & Trust||State Street Corp.|
|3||1799||The Manhattan Company||Now part of JPMorgan Chase|
|4||1812||City Bank of New York||Citibank|
|5||1818||John A. Brown & Co.||Brown Brothers Harriman|
Wikipedia and creditcards.com research
Services Citi offers
Citibank's services vary by location. For example, in New York, you can qualify for a mortgage, card, bank accounts, and more. Here are some Citi services that are available in New York as an example:
- CDs and IRAs
- Low interest
- Cash back & savings
- Balance transfer
- Home equity
- Personal lines
- For retirement
- For college
- For life changes
- Protecting your wealth
- Estate planning
- Small business banking
Overview of their rewards program and best redemption options
Citi ThankYou Rewards
It's actually pretty simple – the more business you do with Citi, the more ThankYou points you receive. Have a mortgage with them? That's up to 175 points a month. Checking, bill pay and direct deposit? Up to 650 a month. Here's how it all breaks down.
Monthly points with Citi direct deposit and bill payment...
|Eligible products & services||Citigold, Citi Priority, or Citi Private Bank Account||The Citibank Account|
|Checking account, bill payment, direct deposit||650||450|
|Home equity loan||175||100|
|Custom credit line||150||75|
When it comes to redemptions, your options are numerous. Rewards start at 1,000 points, which is rock-bottom compared to other programs, and TPG ranks a ThankYou point at 1.7 cents, which is more than competitive. Here are ways your points can be redeemed. Heads up that there can be gift card and shopping deals, and the ThankYou Travel Center portal is competitive with the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Get gift cards from such retailers as Best Buy, Starbucks, Macy's and The Home Depot.
- Choose merchandise from such brands as Apple, Sony and KitchenAid.
- Get tickets to concerts and other events at LiveNation.com. You can link your Live Nation and ThankYou Rewards accounts.
- Online Bill Pay allows you to use ThankYou points you've already earned toward your bill payments.
- If available, you can redeem through the Travel Center.
Cash back and AAdvantage
Citi features multiple cash back cards, such as the Citi Rewards+ Card and the Costco Anywhere Visa cards. Redemptions range from statement credits to gift cards.
With the CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, you earn miles you can redeem with American Airlines or American Eagle to more than 250 destinations worldwide. Miles can also be redeemed for car rentals or hotel stays at more than 10,000 locations.
Citi Easy Deals
- Base tier – Gives you access upon registration to local offers for restaurants, shops and services.
- Enhanced tier – In addition to base tier benefits, spend $100 in purchases on your eligible credit card in one calendar year for access to savings on gift cards and magazines.
- Plus tier – In addition to base and enhanced benefits, spend $500 in purchases on your eligible credit card in one calendar year for access to savings on merchandise, travel and Daily Deals.
This rewards program earns you a 2% rebate when you lease or purchase a new or used car with the Driver's Edge Credit Card.
Recap: The Best Credit Cards from Citibank
|Card||Best For:||CreditCards.com Rating|
|Citi Rewards+SM Card||Daily purchases||3.0 / 5|
|Citi Simplicity® Card||Long 0% intro period for balance transfers||3.7 / 5|
|Citi PremierSM Card||Flexible travel rewards||3.5 / 5|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®||Business travel||3.9 / 5|
|Citi® Secured Mastercard®||Building your credit||3.0 / 5|
|Citi Rewards+SM Student Card||College students||2.4 /5|
|Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi||Gas purchases||2.5 / 5|
|Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi||Small business owners||2.6 / 5|
Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.