Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card review

Published: September 25, 2019

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Published: September 25, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Student Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Introductory Offer 2.6
Interest and Fees 1.0
Rewards Program 3.7
Features 5.0
Customer Experience 3.3

In a Nutshell:

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is a decent card for rewarding everyday spending, but the APR is higher than average.

Learn more about this card

APR
16.24%-26.24% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Penalty APR
Up to 29.99% (Variable)

Introductory Offer
0% APR on new purchases for first 7 months

Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)
$75

Rewards Program

  • 2 ThankYou points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point per dollar)
  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar on other purchases
  • Every purchase rounded up to nearest 10 points ($2 soda earns 10 points, $13 movie ticket earns 20 points)
  • 10% points back on ThankYou points you redeem (up to 100,000 points per year)
  • 2,500 bonus ThankYou points if you spend $500 in first 3 months

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Shop with points on Amazon.com and BestBuy.com, access to presale tickets and VIP events with Citi Private Pass, EMV chip

Designed to reward everyday purchases, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card is a great choice for first-time cardholders wanting to earn points on small purchases. Plus, a bonus category on gas and supermarket purchases makes it easy to rack up points on all your errands.

However, a higher than average APR and steep penalty APR make it expensive to carry a balance on this card. You’ll need to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid racking up interest charges.

Decent rewards rate

At first glance, the Citi Rewards+ Student card doesn’t seem to have the best rewards rate. The card offers 2 ThankYou points per dollar on gas and supermarket purchases (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 ThankYou point per dollar). The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa, for example, offers 3 percent cash back on similar bonus categories.

However, other unique features on the card help boost the overall rewards earning potential.

Unique round up feature

The most lucrative perk on the Citi Rewards+ Student Card is the round up feature, which rounds up ThankYou points earned on every purchase to the nearest 10. That means a $3 cup of coffee will earn you 10 points or a $12 t-shirt will earn 20 points.

This feature drastically increases the rewards value of the card and makes it a great choice for everyday spending. For students who make a lot of small purchases – such as lunch, morning coffee or even school supplies – the Citi Rewards+ Student Card has the potential for great rewards.

Flexible redemption options

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card earns flexible ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise and travel purchases. Cardholders can also use their points to shop online at Amazon.com or BestBuy.com, a big perk for students needing new computer equipment or dorm room supplies.

So-so introductory offer

Unlike many student cards, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card comes with an intro bonus of 2,500 ThankYou points after spending $500 in the first three months. This is redeemable for $25 in gift cards.

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card also comes with a 0 percent introductory APR on new purchases for the first seven months (16.24-26.24 percent variable APR thereafter). This is an appealing offer for new cardholders, who can learn good payment habits without incurring hefty interest fees for the first few months. However, it is not the longest intro APR you’ll find, and it doesn’t cover balance transfers.

Higher than average APR

After the introductory period, the APR on the Citi Rewards+ Student Card is on the high side. Cardholders are offered a 16.24-26.24 percent variable APR, and while the low end is not bad for a student card, the high end could make carrying a balance on this card costly.

In addition, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card charges a penalty APR up to 29.99 percent variable if you make a late payment or your payment is returned.

Access to presale tickets with Citi Private Pass

As an additional perk, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card also comes with Citi Private Pass. This gives cardholders exclusive access to presale tickets to concerts, sporting events and more.

Why get the Citi Rewards+ Student Card?

  • You are looking for a first credit card that rewards your everyday spending.
  • You make a lot of small purchases – such as lunch, coffee or movie tickets – and can take advantage of the round up feature.
  • You don’t want to keep track of rotating bonus categories.

How to use the Citi Rewards+ Student Card:

  • Use the card for all your day-to-day transactions (especially small purchases like your morning coffee) to boost your rewards rate with the round up feature.
  • Redeem your ThankYou points often to receive 10 percent back on up to 100,000 points a year.
  • Use the card on gas and grocery purchases to take advantage of the bonus category.
  • Pay off your balance in full each month to avoid hefty interest charges.

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