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Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard review

Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard review

Published: December 14, 2018
Published: December 14, 2018
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2.1 rating
2.1 rating
2.1 / 5
Introductory Offer: 1.6
Net Value: 3.5
Features: 3.0

In a Nutshell:

The Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World MasterCard offers an outstanding rewards rate on everyday purchases and a lengthy 0 percent balance transfer offer; but its standard APR is on the high side for a balance transfer card.

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0% Introductory Period
15 billing cycles

Transfer Fee
$10 or 4% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR

Regular APR

Annual Fee

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, concierge service, auto rental insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty, price protection, trip cancellation and interruption protection

Cash Back Rating:
2.6 rating
2.6 rating
2.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.9
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 2.6

In a Nutshell:

The Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World MasterCard offers straightforward earnings and above-average cash rewards, making it a good choice for the casual rewards card user.

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Rewards Rate

  • 1.5% cash back on general purchases
  • 1.8% relationship bonuses

Sign-up Bonus

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

16.24-24.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

  • Cash back doesn’t expire
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn
  • Minimum redemption amount is low ($25)
  • No rotating categories or enrollment required
  • Redeem cash back as a bank deposit or statement credit


  • Must submit a request online to redeem your cash back
  • No automatic redemption options
  • Can’t transfer rewards or combine them from other cards

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, concierge service, auto rental insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty, price protection, trip cancellation and interruption protection

Unless you’re willing to put in the time, it can be tough to earn a high rewards rate on most rewards credit cards. The Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard makes it easy by offering up to 1.8 percent cash back on every purchase. With this straightforward rewards card, you won’t have to bother keeping track of rotating bonus categories or specific rewards-funded purchases. But you may miss out on higher rewards earnings, since more complicated cards tend to come with higher rewards rates. 

To be eligible for the card’s maximum rate, you must also live near a Citizens Bank. So, if you don’t live on the East Coast or near the Mid-Atlantic region, you’re better off looking for another card.

Above-average cash back

Most cash-back credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee offer just 1 percent back on general purchases. The Citizens Bank Cash Plus World Mastercard nearly doubles that by rewarding up to 1.8 percent cash back. All cardholders receive an above-average base rate of 1.5 percent cash back on general purchases. Then, Citizens Bank ups the ante by awarding loyalty and purchase bonuses to routine spenders. Cardholders who make at least one purchase every month receive an extra 10 percent back on all their earnings, while cardholders with a Citizens bank account get another 10 percent back.

No limits on earnings

Cardholders also aren’t limited by how much they can earn, making the Cash Plus World Mastercard an especially good deal for a card that also doesn’t charge an annual fee. According to our calculations, cardholders who spend at least $1,325 a month could earn up to $286 or more in cash back by the end of the card’s first year. Citizens Bank doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, though, so cardholders may have to wait awhile before they can redeem a significant amount back

Only some cardholders qualify for the best rate

To qualify for the Cash Plus World Mastercard’s maximum 1.8 percent cash-back rate, you need to live near a Citizens Bank retail branch. Cardholders who live outside Citizens’ banking region aren’t eligible for a deposit account. Citizens only operates in 13 states located on the East Coast and in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, so the audience for this card is limited. If you don’t live in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan or Ohio, you can probably find a better deal with a different issuer.

Restrictions on redemption

Redeeming cash back on the Cash Plus World Mastercard is relatively simple, since all you need to do is put in a request online or call your local bank branch. However, Citizens Bank only allows you to redeem your cash in increments of $25, which can be annoying to cardholders who want to spend their cash at any time. For example, if you have $180 worth of cash rewards saved up, you’ll have to wait until you reach $200 before you can redeem the full amount.

No promotional APR

In addition to not offering a sign-up bonus, Citizens Bank also skimps on offering online applicants a zero-percent purchase promotion, which is a routine feature of many similar cash-back credit cards. However, cardholders are offered an interest-free balance transfer for up to 15 months, which is above average for a balance transfer promotion.

Why get the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard?

  • You prefer to earn cash back instead of points or miles.
  • You have a checking or savings account with Citizens Bank.
  • You want a low-maintenance rewards card.
  • You regularly use your credit card for purchases and want more value from your spending.

How to use the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard:

  • Use your card regularly so you can earn a 10 percent purchase bonus on all of your rewards.
  • Consider signing up for a Citizens Bank deposit account if you don’t already have one so you can get an additional 10 percent relationship bonus.
  • If you carry other credit cards that offer more lucrative bonus points on certain types of purchases, use this card to pay for any expenses not covered by the cards’ rewards programs.

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All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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