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Citi Rewards+ credit card review: Boost earning rates on all your Citi ThankYou points-earning cards

July 14, 2022
14 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information. 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 each year. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

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

A reader recently emailed us describing why he believes the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is the most underappreciated and misunderstood program out there. One critical component of his strategy for maximizing the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is the no-annual-fee Citi Rewards+ Card, which Citi introduced in 2019.

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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.

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

Related: The best Citi credit cards of 2021

Who is this card for?

The Citi Rewards+ Card is great if you make lots of small purchases because each purchase will be rounded up 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 (currently offering an 80,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening).

That’s because 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.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

In addition, if you’re looking to move a balance from another card or need to finance a purchase, the Citi Rewards+ Card offers a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months from account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49% based on your creditworthiness, so be sure to pay off your balance completely within the introductory APR period. The card has an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater, and transfers must be completed in the first four months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Related: Everything you need to know about balance transfer credit cards

Sign-up bonus

The Citi Rewards+ Card is offering a 20,000-point bonus after spending $1,500 in the first three months of account opening. In addition, for a limited time, new cardholders will earn 5 points per dollar spent at restaurants for the first 12 months, on up to $6,000 in combined spending (then 1 point per dollar).

If you can max out this limited-time bonus category, you can take home an additional 30,000 points, worth $540 based on TPG’s most recent valuations.

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:

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

Main benefits and perks

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

Note that 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

How to earn points

The Citi Rewards+ Card 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.

And, as noted above, new applicants can enjoy 5 points per dollar spent on up to $6,000 at restaurants for the first 12 months (1 point per dollar thereafter).

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 points 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. If you want 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).

PurchaseUsing the Citi PremierUsing the Citi Rewards+
$2 coffee at a gas station6 points (3 points per dollar).10 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).
$16 of gas at a gas station48 points (3 points per dollar).40 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).
$2 coffee at a cafe6 points (3 points per dollar).10 points (1 point per dollar, rounded up).
$6 burrito at a cafe18 points (3 points per dollar).10 points (1 point per dollar, rounded up).
50-cent pack of gum at a grocery store1.5 points (3 points per dollar).10 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).
$16 grocery store purchase48 points (3 points per dollar).40 points (2 points per dollar, rounded up).
50-cent public transit ticket0.5 points (3 points per dollar).10 points (1x earning, rounded up).
$4 public transit ticket4 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.

However, this calculus changes with the current offer on the Citi Rewards+, as you can earn 5 points per dollar spent at restaurants in the first 12 months (on up to $6,000 in purchases). This automatically makes it a better option for dining purchases than the Citi Premier for your first year of cardmembership.

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

How to redeem points

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 a value of less than 1 cent each. Alternatively, a better option would be to redeem for gift cards at a value of 1 cent each.

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

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 such as The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Citi® Double Cash 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.

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.

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. 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.

Meanwhile, if it's simplicity you're after, 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 convert cash back to ThankYou points via a linked ThankYou account, as well. 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.

Bottom line

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. After all, there are other cards with no annual fee that provide 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, plus 5 points per dollar at restaurants for the first 12 months on up to $6,000 in purchases.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Joseph Hostetler.

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.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases