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HomeCredit CardsCiti Rewards+ Card Review: Purchase Round-Ups and 10% Back on Redemptions

Citi Rewards+ Card Review: Purchase Round-Ups and 10% Back on Redemptions

For frequent small purchases, the Citi Rewards+® Card is a standout choice. It's the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, with no cap.

Advertiser Disclosure: Most products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation. However, opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

Citi Rewards+® Card, from our partner Citi, is a no annual fee cash-back rewards credit card. The card includes unique features, including:

  • A round-up to the next 10 points on any purchase. Purchases are rounded to the nearest 10 points. So if you purchase a $3 snack, you’ll earn 10 points instead of four.
  • 10% points-back benefit on redemptions. Cardholder receive 10% points back on their first 100,000 ThanYou Points redeemed each year.

These can supercharge your earnings on low-cost purchases and reward you for taking advantage of your Citi ThankYou® Points. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at the Citi Rewards+ Card and how you can maximize your value when signing up. 

Offer Details
Citi rewards+ card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 14.99% – 24.99% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. Afterwards, any balances will carry a variable APR based on creditworthiness. Note that there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR between 14.99% – 24.99% will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months (and then the point-to-dollar ratio becomes 1:1 thereafter). Additionally, earn 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year (after that, the point-to-dollar ratio is 1:1). Otherwise, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all eligible spending.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who make lots of small purchases.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+ Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. It rounds up all purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou Points. As an example, if you bought a cup of coffee for $2, you’d earn 10 ThankYou Points. Similarly, if a burger and fries cost $15, you’d earn 20 ThankYou Points. Awesome, right?

If you make a lot of small purchases, like a morning cup of coffee, this could be the card for you. The Citi Rewards+ Card also earns 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations up to the first $6,000 each year. Plus, for a limited time earn 5X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first year. The card offers introductory 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

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Summary

Those who find value in redeeming points for gift cards or who can take advantage of Citi’s travel transfer partners may find the Citi Rewards+ Card appealing. Additionally, if you use your credit card sparingly or make frequent small purchases, this card’s unique rounding-up feature might also be a benefit.

Yet, for households looking for a no-annual-fee card that earns high rates of actual cash back, the market may offer more worthwhile products.

Pros

  • No annual fee: For a card with no annual fee, this credit card packs a lot of value.
  • Sign-up bonus: With an offer of $200 in gift cards or around $360 in travel, this card is likely to give you a lot more back than it costs, as long as you pay off the card in full every month and avoid charges like late payment fees.
  • Reward Travel: Once you earn the 20,000-point bonus, you could have enough points to book your first reward flight. It’s a big world out there, and points from Citi Rewards+ Card can help you get just about anywhere.

Cons

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards: The card only earns 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at gas stations and supermarkets on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year. This cap is relatively low.
  • Credit requirements: Like most credit card issuers, Citi doesn’t generally publish credit scores needed to qualify. Still, you’ll likely need good to exceptional credit to be approved for this card.
  • Confusing redemptions: While the card offers a lineup of redemption options — including point transfers to Citi travel partners — those looking for maximum value may need to redeem for gift cards to squeeze the most value from their points. Redeeming for cash reduces the value substantially.

Sign-Up Bonus

Before getting into the details of earning and redeeming points, let’s look at the initial sign-up bonus you can earn after a new account opening. With no annual fee, the new cardmember sign-up bonus is like free money for getting and using the Citi Rewards+ Card.

New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in the first three months of the account opening date for a limited time. That’s about $500 per month in spending, or about $125 per week. For many households, gas and groceries alone could earn you the sign-up bonus.

According to our analysis, Citi points are worth 1.8 cents each, which makes the 20,000 point bonus worth about $360.

You can also redeem for gift cards, statement credits or use them to shop online at Amazon or Best Buy. However, you’ll get about $200 in value from your points, much less than redeeming for travel, when redeeming with one of these methods.

More on Citi Rewards+ Card redemption options are below.

Rewards Rate

2X Points per Dollar at Supermarkets and Gas Stations

When shopping with the Citi Rewards+ Card, you’ll earn 2x points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations up to $6,000 in annual purchases. That means you can earn up to 12,000 points per year from these bonus category purchases. Any other purchases beyond $6,000 earn the card’s regular rewards rate of 1x point per dollar.

While the 2x rewards rate for gas and grocery store purchases is not extremely exciting, mainly due to the $6,000 annual limit, other features help you earn more points faster, even outside the two main bonus categories.

The Citi Rewards+ Card Round-up Feature

Perhaps the best benefit of this card is a round-up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. If you run into a convenience store and spend a dollar, you’ll get 10 points. If you buy a $2 coffee, you’ll earn 10 points. If you spend $11.99 on lunch, you’ll earn 20 points. If you spend $87, you would earn 90 points. And so on.

The round-up benefit is most valuable on small purchases where you would have only earned a small number of points. For example, earning 10 points for a $2 purchase is the same as 5x rewards. The math doesn’t work quite as favorably on larger purchases, but those round-up points will add up regardless if you use the card regularly.

10% of Points Back on Redemption

You’ll also get 10% of your points back on redemptions up to 100,000 points per year. If you were to redeem the full 100,000 points per year, you’d get an extra 10,000 bonus points annually. It’s in your best interest to avoid redeeming more than 100,000 points per year if you want to maximize your value from this benefit.

Because of the 10% back, you effectively earn 2.2x rewards on eligible supermarket and gas station purchases and 1.1x everywhere else. That’s a nice little bump up that can help you earn extra reward flights, hotels and other rewards.

5X ThankYou Points on Air Travel and Hotels

As a limited-time offer new cardholders can earn 5x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months (after that, the points-per-dollar ratio becomes 1:1).

Annual Fee

Citi Rewards+ Card doesn’t require an annual fee. Many comparable travel rewards cards require annual fees of up to around $100 per year, which could make the Citi Rewards+ Card an excellent deal for your spending needs.

In fact, you can use the credit card almost completely for free (with the exception of balance transfer fees), without paying any fees or interest charges, as long as you pay off the card balance in full every month and avoid certain fee-bearing activities.

For example, there’s a foreign transaction fee when you use the credit card outside of the United States. You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee if you only use the card at home and traveling around the U.S.

It’s best to avoid those fees where you can, but most people won’t encounter them frequently, if ever, with typical spending activity and responsible credit card use.

Intro 0% APR

In addition to a bonus for new credit card users, there’s another bonus valuable for those looking to consolidate and pay off other credit card balances.

The Citi Rewards+ Card includes 15 months at 0% APR starting on the account opening date. Note that there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5% of each transfer, (again, minimum $5). Despite this, as long as you pay off the balance before interest resumes, you’ll likely come out ahead.

After the introductory 0% period ends, the credit card’s regular APR interest rate kicks in. This is a variable APR that can change at any time without notice. Your rate will vary based on your credit score and market interest rates. Check the current Citi application for updated rates.

Redeeming Rewards

The best way to redeem rewards for maximum value is for travel, though that’s not your only option.

Here’s a detailed look at getting the best results from your ThankYou rewards points and a complete look at all potential redemptions.

  • Transfer to travel partners: In many cases, the best deal for Citi ThankYou points is transferring to a partner airline rewards program. In most cases, one Citi point is worth one frequent flyer point. Check the table below for a full list of airline partners. This method can get you more than one cent per point if you book well.
  • Travel: Citi cardholders can book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and travel experiences with a value of one cent per point.
  • Gift cards: Citi lists a large number of gift cards for major chains across the United States. You can redeem points for gift cards at a value of one cent per point.
  • Statement credit: If you redeem for a statement credit, your points will lower your current credit card account balance. However, you get just 0.5 cents per point, so you’re better of with other redemptions. With other cards that require an annual fee, points are worth one cent each for this type of redemption.
  • Point sharing: If you have a friend or family member who also uses a Citi ThankYou credit card, you can transfer points between accounts. This lets you share or pool your points together for better redemptions.
  • Charitable contributions: If you’re feeling charitable, you can donate points to one of Citi’s eight nonprofit partners, including the American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen Foundation and UNICEF.
  • Mortgage or loan payment: If you have a mortgage or student loan, you can redeem points for a payment of up to $1,000 toward your payoff. This redemption requires a phone call to the Citi ThankYou Service Center. This redemption works for loans held by Citi and other lenders.
  • Shop with partners: Points are redeemable with a list of shopping partners, including Amazon.com, PayPal, Best Buy, 1-800 Flowers, BP, Amoco, and Shell. Amazon and PayPal redeem a 0.8 cents per point, making shopping a lower-value redemption that most people are better off skipping.

Citi Airline Transfer Partners

The best way to redeem points for anyone who enjoys travel is likely a transfer to a partner airline. Transferring to airlines can easily get you more than one cent per point.

The airline transfer partner options help inform our value of 1.8 cents per point for Citi ThankYou points.

Airline PartnerRewards+ Transfer Rate
American Airlines AAdvantage1,000 points = 500 miles
Aeromexico1,000 points = 1,000 points
Asia Miles1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Avianca LifeMiles1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Emirates Skywards1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Etihad Guest1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Eva Air1,000 points = 1,000 miles
AirFrance / KLM Flying Blue1,000 points = 1,000 miles
InterMiles1,000 points = 1,000 miles
JetBlue TrueBlue1,000 points = 800 points
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Qantas Frequent Flyer1,000 points = 1,000 points
Qatar Airways1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Thai Royal Orchid Plus1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1,000 points = 1,000 miles
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,000 points = 1,000 points

Source: ThankYou.com

You can get a better deal with some airlines if you have one of the higher-level ThankYou credit cards, such as the Citi Chairman® or Prestige® cards. However, these require an annual fee.

Also, remember that these airlines may be a part of one of the major airline alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. For example, Avianca LifeMiles are good for booking flights on United Airlines and Lufthansa, thanks to their membership in the Star Alliance. Savvy miles and points enthusiasts keep track of partners and deals, so they get the best value for every point.

Other Citi ThankYou Rewards Cards to Consider

friends laughing outside at sunset
Credit: Unsplash

Citi Rewards+ Card isn’t the only credit card that earns Citi ThankYou rewards. Consider these alternatives if you’re into the ThankYou program but don’t want the Rewards+ card.

Citi Premier Credit Card

The premium Citi Premier Credit Card, from our partner Citi, is an upgrade from the Rewards+ card. With Citi Premier, you can earn 3x points per dollar at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, airlines and hotels with no limit and 1x everywhere else. The card currently offers a limited-time 80,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months. The card charges a $95 annual fee.

Citi Custom Cash Card

Citi Custom CashSM Card is another no annual fee credit card. This card features cash back rewards in the form of ThankYou points. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar in the eligible category where you spend most each month up to $500 per statement cycle and 1x point per dollar on all other purchases. While the name includes the word “cash,” you can still redeem for travel and other ThankYou rewards options.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does Citi’s roundup feature work?

The Citi Rewards+ Card rounds up every purchase to the nearest 10 points. So if you buy a cup of coffee for $3, you’ll get 10 points instead of three. This roundup feature allows cardholders who make frequent small purchases to maximize rewards for their daily spending.

Who is the Citi Rewards+® Card best for?

The Citi Rewards+®  Card may be ideal for people who want to earn cash-back rewards for everyday spending, but do not want to pay an annual fee. It’s also a strong option for people who make frequent small purchases, since this credit card rounds each purchase to the nearest 10 points — even buying a $0.75 candy bar will earn you 10 points.

How many Citi Cards can you get?

While Citi does not not place restrictions on how many credit cards you can carry, it does limit the number of cards you can apply for in a given time. According to Citi’s terms and conditions, you may only apply for one Citi card in an 8-day period with no more than two applications every 65 days.

What’s the best way to spend ThankYou Points?

While Citi allows you to redeem ThankYou Points for statement credits, cash rewards or with its Shop with Points program, the best way to spend ThankYou Points is generally to transfer them to one of Citi’s several travel partner programs. Redeeming points for travel is the best way to maximize the value of your ThankYou Points.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full-time. He has in depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing, business, and other financial topics. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world and spending time with his wife and little girls. You can connect with him at Personal Profitability or EricRosenberg.com.