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The lineup of Citi ThankYou credit cards open for applications has dwindled recently; the premium Citi Prestige hasn’t been available for some time (but will relaunch this January with new features), and in late 2018 the no-fee Citi ThankYou Preferred disappeared from the issuer’s website. However, there’s a new no-fee card to take the Preferred’s place: the Citi Rewards+ Card, which is launching on Jan. 10.
The Citi Rewards+ will offer the unique feature of rounding up your earnings on all purchases to the nearest 10 points. So if you spend $2 on a coffee or water bottle, you’ll earn 10 points for the transaction. The card will offer 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations, though this is capped at $6,000 per year (then 1x). The $6,000 cap is for combined purchases across those two categories, not per category. On the positive side, purchases that earn 2x points will also round up to the nearest 10. You’ll also get 10% of your points back on the first 100,000 you redeem per year, so up to 10,000 points back per year.
When it launches on Jan. 10, the card will offer a sign-up bonus of 15,000 ThankYou points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. That’s worth $255 based on TPG’s valuations — not impressive in light of the many higher offers out there, but not a shocker given that this is a no-fee card.
As with the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card that’s no longer accepting applications, the points earned on the Rewards+ Card are considered “basic” Citi ThankYou points. This means that with just this card, you won’t be able to transfer them to travel partners; you’ll be limited to redeeming them for travel through the Citi portal, or for gift cards or statement credits, at a rate of 1 cent per point. The one exception is with JetBlue; if you have the Rewards+, you can transfer points directly to the airline’s TrueBlue program at a 5:4 ratio. But if you also have the Citi Prestige and/or the Citi Premier Card, you can move points over from your Rewards+ account and then transfer them to other partners such as Avianca, Etihad and Virgin Atlantic.
Speaking of the ThankYou Preferred, the Citi Rewards+ Card is effectively replacing that card in Citi’s lineup of cards available for new sign-ups. So the ThankYou Preferred, which earns 2x points on dining and entertainment, won’t be coming back. If you currently have the Preferred, though, you won’t be automatically converted to the new Rewards+, so if you prefer that card’s bonus categories you can stick with it.
Rounding up to the nearest 10 points on all purchases is a neat feature, but the trade-off is that your 2x earnings at supermarkets and gas stations are capped at $6,000 per year (then 1x). Even before you hit that cap, this card isn’t the most rewarding option for grocery spending, though its 3.4% return on gas purchases before hitting the annual cap is decent. If you already have the Citi ThankYou Preferred, you’ll have to consider that cap, as well as the different bonus categories, when deciding whether you should convert to the Rewards+. For everyone else, this card could be a good way to boost your Citi points earnings, though it’s not a particularly lucrative option compared to the Premier, Prestige and other non-Citi cards.
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