Citi Rewards+ card review: Great if you have another ThankYou points-earning card

28 March 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. Citi is a TPG advertising partner.

Citi Rewards+® Card overview

The Citi Rewards+® Card is a no-annual-fee card that offers 2 points per dollar at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $6,000 per year (and 1 point per dollar thereafter), as well as two relatively unique features. First, it rounds the earnings on all purchases up to the nearest 10 points. Second, it gives you 10% back on the first 100,000 points you redeem yearly. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

* Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Citi Rewards+ Card is unique in that earnings on all purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 points. But there are also other aspects to the card that can be useful to select cardholders — and it also just added a new piece to its welcome bonus.

The Citi Rewards+ Card is great if you make many small purchases because each purchase will be rounded to the nearest 10 points. Even a 50-cent pack of gum will earn 10 points.

Most cardholders will get the most value from their points by redeeming them for gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point. But your rewards can become even more valuable if you also have the Citi Prestige® Card (not available to new applicants) or Citi Premier® Card.

You can combine the ThankYou Rewards points earned on your Citi Rewards+ account with those from the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige and then transfer them to the ThankYou Rewards program’s 16 airline and two hotel partners.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

This card has no annual fee.

Let’s take a closer look at this card so you can decide whether it could be a valuable addition to your wallet.

Citi Rewards+ welcome offer

The Citi Rewards+ Card is offering a 20,000-point bonus after spending $1,500 in the first three months of account opening.

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

However, the sign-up bonus isn’t available if you’ve received a new cardmember bonus for any of the following cards — or if you’ve closed any of these accounts — in the past 24 months:

Citi Rewards+.
Citi ThankYou Preferred (not available to new applicants).
Citi Premier Card.
Citi Prestige Card (not available to new applicants).

You can redeem these 20,000 points for $200 in gift cards. But if you also have the Citi Prestige or the Citi Premier, you can move points from your Rewards+ account to your Prestige or Premier account. Doing so allows you to transfer your points to airline partners, in which case the bonus is worth $360, based on TPG’s valuations.

Related: Not traveling for now? How to maximize your reward points on other redemptions

Earning points with the Citi Rewards+

The Citi Rewards+ Card generally earns 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 per year and 1 point per dollar thereafter. You’ll also earn 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Also, to coincide with the launch of Citi Travel with Booking.com, Citi Rewards+ cardholders can earn up to 5 points per dollar on bookings in the portal through June 30, 2024.

Merchants must classify themselves as a supermarket or gas station for you to earn 2 points per dollar. So, online supermarkets, warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs, superstores, discount stores, department stores and convenience stores may not provide this earning rate. The card’s terms and conditions also explicitly exclude “fuel purchased for commercial purposes or used for non-automobile purposes” from earning bonus points, as well as the following types of merchants:

“General merchandise/discount superstores, freezer/meat locker provisioners, dairy product stores, miscellaneous food/convenience stores, markets, drugstores, warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs, specialty vendors, bakeries, candy stores, nut stores, confectionery stores, and meal kit delivery services.”

However, beyond these standard accrual rates, one of the Citi Rewards+ Card‘s selling points is that all earning is rounded to the nearest 10 points. For instance, you could purchase a $3 coffee at a restaurant and earn 10 points. If you use your card at a supermarket and make $42 in purchases, your earning would be 84 points (since it’s a 2-point-per-dollar category), then rounded up to the nearest 10, which is 90 points total.

Obviously, this rounding could be exploited. As a result, the card’s terms and conditions explicitly prohibit “fraud, misuse, abuse, or suspicious activity” that includes “Using your Card Accounts or Citibank Checking Account in an abusive manner for the primary purpose of acquiring Points.”

That said, the Citi Rewards+ Card is perfectly designed for all of your expenses that happen to be small. Indeed, all supermarket and gas station purchases of $5 and under and all other purchases of $10 and under will earn 10 points. To maximize your earning while spending normally, consider your threshold for using the Citi Rewards+ Card in each spending category. This will be based on the other credit cards you have.

For example, let’s see how your earning would stack up for some sample purchases if you have the Citi Premier and the Citi Rewards+ (note that this is based on standard earning rates and doesn’t factor in limited-time bonuses).

Purchase
Using the Citi Premier
Using the Citi Rewards+

$2 coffee at a gas station.
6 points (3 points per dollar).
10 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).

$16 of gas at a gas station.
48 points (3 points per dollar).
40 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).

$2 coffee at a cafe.
6 points (3 points per dollar).
10 points (1 point per dollar, rounded up).

$6 burrito at a cafe.
18 points (3 points per dollar).
10 points (1 point per dollar, rounded up).

50-cent pack of gum at a grocery store.
1.5 points (3 points per dollar).
10 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).

$16 grocery store purchase.
48 points (3 points per dollar).
40 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).

50-cent public transit ticket.
0.5 points (3 points per dollar).
10 points (1 point per dollar, rounded up).

$4 public transit ticket.
4 points (1 point per dollar).
10 points (1 point per dollar, rounded up).

So, if you only have the Citi Premier and the Citi Rewards+, you’ll always want to use the Premier for grocery and most restaurant purchases. For all other categories, you’ll want to use the Rewards+ for small purchases and the Premier for larger purchases — you just need to find the break-even point for each spending category.

Related: The best cash-back credit cards for each bonus category

Redeeming points with the Citi Rewards+

The points earned by the Citi Rewards+ Card are considered “basic” Citi ThankYou points that you can redeem at Amazon or Best Buy for purchases at less than 1 cent each. Alternatively, redeeming gift cards at 1 cent each is a better option.

In addition, when you redeem your points, you’ll receive 10% points back for the first 100,000 points redeemed per calendar year. This means that if you redeem 10,000 points in a year, you’ll receive 1,000 of those points back.

But if you also have the Citi Prestige or the Citi Premier, you can move points from your Citi Rewards+ account to your Prestige or Premier account and transfer them to partners such as Avianca LifeMiles and Etihad Guest. This increases the value of the points you earn with the Citi Rewards+ from 1 cent each to approximately 1.8 cents each.

Related: How to redeem Citi ThankYou Points for maximum value

Citi Rewards+ benefits

Being a no-annual-fee card, the Citi Rewards+ Card doesn’t offer many perks. Its main appeal is how it accrues points (which we’ll cover in a second).

However, the card is set up for contactless payment so that you can tap and go. You’ll also get access to Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment, both of which can provide useful assistance.

You won’t want to use the Citi Rewards+ Card when traveling abroad since the card levies a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Related: The best no-annual-fee credit cards

Which cards compete with the Citi Rewards+?

No other cards round up your earnings to the nearest 10 points or give you a blanket rebate on the points you redeem, so there’s no direct competitor. But, the Citi Rewards+ Card should be compared against other no-annual-fee credit cards.

If you want an Amex card: The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express is perhaps the most similar to the Citi Rewards+ Card because it accrues 2 points per dollar on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 point). Plus, the card rewards making at least 20 transactions in a month with a 20% points bonus, so you’ll probably be making lots of small purchases with either card. For more information, read our full review of the Amex EveryDay. The information for the Amex EveryDay card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
If you have a Chase Sapphire card: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid card that earns 1.5% cash back on most purchases if you don’t have a full-fledged Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. But if you have one of these Ultimate Rewards cards, using the card is like earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on most eligible purchases, since you can combine your points with those from your other card. It also features several bonus categories, including 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, drastically improving your potential return. For more information, read our full review of the Freedom Unlimited.
If you want simplicity: The Citi Double Cash Card provides 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay off your statement. Cardholders can also convert cash back to ThankYou points via a linked ThankYou account. However, if you can maximize your bonus category spending and the 10-point round-up with the Citi Rewards+, though, it might still be a better card for your needs. For more information, read our full review of the Citi Double Cash.

For additional options, check out our full list of no-annual-fee cards.

Read more: Why you should double down with the Citi Premier and Citi Rewards+

Is the Citi Rewards+ worth it?

The Citi Rewards+ Card can be a good choice if you make small purchases frequently or benefit from a 10% return on redeemed points, especially if you have a Citi Prestige or Citi Premier that can boost the value of the ThankYou points earned by the Rewards+ Card. I wouldn’t recommend it as your sole credit card, though.

Bottom line

While the Citi Rewards+ offers some things, other cards with no annual fee provide that uncapped bonus earning in the supermarket or gas categories (or both) or better earning on everyday spending.

Apply here for the Citi Rewards+ Card with a 20,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $1,500 on purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Joseph Hostetler.

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