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What credit score do you need to get the Citi Rewards+ Card?

May 12, 2020
10 min read
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The Citi Rewards+® Card offers bonus earning at supermarkets and gas stations. And, the points earned on each purchase are rounded up to the nearest 10 points. But, for most cardholders, the real reason to have this no-annual-fee credit card is that it provides 10% points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem each year.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

If you want to sign up for the Citi Rewards+ Card, you may be wondering whether you have a high enough credit score to be approved. But, your credit score is just one of many factors Citi will consider when deciding whether to approve you for a card. So, let's take a look at what it takes to get approved for this rewards credit card.

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Credit score required for the Citi Rewards+ Card

Citi doesn’t publish specific credit scores needed to be accepted for its cards. But, you'll usually need an excellent credit score of around 760* to be approved for a rewards credit card such as the Citi Rewards+.

Of course, other factors besides your credit score may be evaluated. For example, Citi may consider your income, the age of your accounts and your behavior with past Citi credit cards when deciding whether to approve your application. So, it's possible to be approved with a lower score if other aspects of your credit portfolio look appealing to Citi.

Related reading: How to recession-proof your credit score

Is the Citi Rewards+ Card a good card?

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Citi Rewards+ Card is a good card if you make a lot of small purchases. The Citi Rewards+ Card earns 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year (then 1x point) and 1x points on everything else. So, all purchases under $5 at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 per year) and under $10 everywhere else will earn 10 points with the rounding up.

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Related reading: Citi Rewards+ credit card review

The Citi Rewards+ Card earns what we call “basic” ThankYou points. These points are worth a flat 1 cent each when redeemed toward gift cards and other rewards on the website. But, these points can’t be transferred to most of the Citi ThankYou transfer partners unless you also hold a premium ThankYou Rewards card such as the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card.

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.

So, you should also consider getting the Citi Rewards+ Card if you already have a premium ThankYou Rewards card in your wallet. Especially since the Citi Rewards+ Card provides 10% points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem each year, it is a popular no-annual-fee companion for many Citi Prestige and Citi Premier cardholders.

However, if you don't make many small purchases and aren't interested in the 10% redemption rebate, the Citi® Double Cash Card may be a better choice. Plus, cash rewards earned by the Citi Double Cash Card can be converted to “basic” ThankYou points via a linked ThankYou account.

Related reading: What credit score do you need to get the Citi Double Cash Card?

Can I earn a sign-up bonus on the Citi Rewards+ Card?

The Citi Rewards+ Card currently offers a bonus of 20,000 bonus Citi ThankYou points after spending $1,500 in purchases within three months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months; then 1 point per dollar spent thereafter. But, the application page notes that:

Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+®, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier℠ or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts in the past 24 months.

So, if you're also looking to add another Citi ThankYou card to your wallet -- especially one that has a larger sign-up bonus such as the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige Card -- you may want to time your applications correctly to earn the higher sign-up bonus. Or, you may want to get one Citi ThankYou card now and then another Citi ThankYou card once 24 months have elapsed.

Related reading: Cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more

How many card accounts can I have open?

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Citi doesn't state how many card accounts you can have open. But, we can come to some conclusions based on our own experiences as well as reader experiences. Citi seemingly doesn’t limit the overall number of credit cards you can have open. But, there is apparently a maximum credit line that Citi is willing to extend across all of your Citi cards.

So, if you don't get approved when you apply for the Citi Rewards+ Card and you have at least one other Citi credit card, it may be worth calling Citi’s reconsideration line. During the call, you can inquire whether you can get approved for the Citi Rewards+ Card by shifting some credit from one of your current cards to open the new card.

Related reading: Don’t be surprised if banks start cutting credit limits in the coming months

How to check your credit score

You may want to check your credit score before applying for a new card. Luckily, there are now many ways to check your credit score for free. For example, some credit cards let you check your FICO score for no charge.

It's generally a good idea to track your score’s progress over time, especially if you're actively working to improve your credit score. But, it's important to realize that you don't have just one credit score at any given time. This is because there are multiple ways to calculate credit scores, such as FICO Score and VantageScore. And, there are multiple credit reporting agencies such as TransUnion and Experian. So, your TransUnion VantageScore will likely be different than your Experian FICO score at any given time.

Related reading: What is a good credit score?

Factors that affect your credit score

(Photo by cnythzl/Getty Images)

Whether you're looking to apply for a new credit card or simply want to improve your finances, it’s important to understand the factors that influence your credit score. There are multiple methods that are commonly used for calculating credit scores, but none of these methods are transparent regarding exactly how your credit score is calculated.

But, FICO is at least transparent about the factors it considers as well as how much weight each is given to each:

  • Payment history (35%): Whether you’ve paid past credit accounts on time.
  • Amounts owed (30%): The relative size of your current debt and the ratio of your current debt to your available credit.
  • Length of credit history (15%): How long your credit accounts have been established (including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account and an average age of all your accounts), how long certain credit accounts have been established and how long it has been since you used certain accounts.
  • New credit (10%): How many new accounts have you opened recently.
  • Credit mix (10%): How many different types of credit accounts you have, such credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.

So, if you're looking to improve your credit score, these are the factors to work on improving.

Related reading: 5 personal finance strategies that will help you to travel more this year

What to do if you get rejected

If your application is rejected, Citi will send you a letter that states why your application wasn't approved. Depending on the reasons given for the rejection, you may want to use this information to improve your credit score and overall financial situation before applying again.

But, if you believe you can provide additional information that might encourage Citi to accept your application, you can call Citi's reconsideration line. You'll have the best chances of success if you've been able to address Citi's stated reason for rejection.

Related reading: How bad is it to get denied for a credit card?

How long to wait before applying again

It's best to avoid applying again for a Citi card until you’ve addressed the reasons Citi gave for rejecting you. But, if you want to apply again, know that you can only apply for one Citi card (personal or business) every eight days and no more than two cards in a 65-day window. Any additional applications will usually be automatically rejected.

Related reading: The ultimate guide to credit card application restrictions

Bottom line

The Citi Rewards+ Card is now one of many credit cards that requires excellent credit. The Citi Rewards+ Card isn't high on the list for many consumers, but it can be a valuable addition to your wallet if you make a lot of small purchases that would benefit from rounding up to the nearest 10 points. Likewise, the Citi Rewards+ Card may also be useful if you would benefit from getting 10% back on the first 100,000 Citi ThankYou points you redeem each year.

Apply here for the Citi Rewards+ Card

*The Points Guy credit ranges are derived from FICO® Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. If you apply for a credit card, the lender may use a different credit score when considering your application for credit.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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