Citi Rewards+® Review: Great for On-the-Go Travelers

Updated: June 11, 2024

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Why We Geek Out: Travelers eager to accumulate points for their next journey may find value in the Citi Rewards+® card. It has a unique round up feature that pushes the rewards you earn to the nearest 10, making it perfect for small purchases. It also provides a special offer of 5X ThankYou points for travel bookings through Citi (until December 31, 2025) and 2X ThankYou points for supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 per year).

MoneyGeek’s Take

The Citi Rewards+® Card stands out for rounding up all the points you earn to the nearest 10, which is useful if you frequently make small purchases. You can potentially earn 5X ThankYou points from travel and 2X ThankYou points from supermarkets and gas stations, but there are various limitations. Additionally, the card has an intro offer of 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 18.74% - 28.74% (Variable) APR after that.

This card is best for:

  • As a special offer: Travelers who can take advantage of the 5X ThankYou points offer on hotels, rental cars and attractions through Citi Travel until December 31, 2025
  • People who often make small purchases

This card can also work for:

  • Cardholders looking to finance a large purchase or pay off debt with a 15-month interest-free period, then a 18.74% - 28.74% (Variable) APR after that

This card is not ideal for:

  • Frequent travelers who want to maximize the rewards they earn from their card
Citi Rewards+® Card

Rewards RateSpecial offer: earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spen...
APR18.74% - 28.74% variable
Annual Fee$0
Recommended Credit670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Citi Rewards+® Card Overview

The Citi Rewards+® provides solid rewards for travel and everyday expenses. You can earn 5X ThankYou points on hotels, rental cars and attractions booked through the Citi Travel portal and 2X ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations. However, the 5X ThankYou points special offer are only available until December 31, 2025, and there’s a $6,000 per year spending cap on the 2X points. It also provides 10% points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem every year.

Its stand-out feature is rounding up all the points you earn to the nearest 10, which can add up if you often make small expenses. For instance, with the average credit card transaction in 2021 being $96, a typical user would earn an extra 4 points per transaction, effectively increasing their rewards by about 4%. This results in an effective rewards rate of 1.04X. If you make a transaction that’s less than $5, you effectively earn at least 2X points.

Despite its bells and whistles, the Citi Rewards+® has a low regular rewards rate of 1X for every dollar spent. Unless sporadic, small purchases take up a huge chunk of your budget, you may find more value from flat-rate rewards cards that usually provide at least 1.5X ThankYou points on all purchases.

MORE>> MoneyGeek's Best Travel Credit Cards

Citi Rewards+® Card Details

Feature
Details

Card Type

Travel Balance Transfer

Annual Fee

$0

Introductory Offer

Earn 20,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first three months.

Introductory APRs

Enjoy 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases, then a 18.74% - 28.74% variable APR after that.

Rewards

As a special offer, through December 31, 2025, earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar on hotel reservations, car rentals and attractions (excluding flights) booked using the CitiTravel.com Earn 2X ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations for up to $6,000 per year Earn 1X ThankYou points for all other purchases

Benefits (Why You Might Want to Get This Card)

The Citi Rewards+® card is great for earning extra rewards on your small purchases. It also offers high rewards for hotels, rental cars and attractions via Citi Travel and modest rewards at supermarkets and gas stations.

Round Up Feature. All the points you earn with the Citi Rewards+® card are rounded up to the nearest 10. For example, a $3 cup of coffee will earn you 10 points. You effectively earn at least 2X points if you use the card for anything less than $5. If you often make small purchases, those extra points can add up.

5X on Travel and 2X on Groceries and Gas. Earn 5X ThankYou points on hotels, rental cars and attractions via Citi Travel until December 31, 2025. Meanwhile, purchases at supermarkets and gas stations earn 2X ThankYou points for up to $6,000 per year.

20,000 Point Bonus. You earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 points (worth $200 if redeemed for travel or gift cards) after spending $1,500 in the first three months.

No Interest on Purchases and Balance Transfers. Enjoy a 15-month window of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers, then a 18.74% - 28.74% (Variable) APR after that. This is helpful if you want to spread out the payment for your upcoming trip or eliminate your existing credit card balance without worrying about interest.

Drawbacks and Considerations (Why You Might Want a Different Card)

The Citi Rewards+® card has unique features but underwhelms compared to cards in its category.

Spending Cap. The 2X ThankYou points are limited to the first $6,000 you spend at supermarkets and gas stations. If you spend over $500 per month on groceries and gas, this cap limits the rewards you can earn. To maximize your purchases, consider a flat-rate cash back card like the Citi Double Cash® card that lets you earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.

Only Good For Travel Redemptions. Points lose 50% of their value when redeemed for cash or statement credits. You’re limited to redeeming for travel expenses if you want to maximize the points you earn with the Citi Rewards+® and earn $0.01 per point. A cash back card may be a better option for users who want more flexibility with their rewards.

Low Base Rewards Rate. Compared to other no-annual-fee travel cards, the Citi Rewards+® falls short. It only offers a base rewards rate of 1X, which is below the usual 1.5 points or 1.5% cash back that similar flat-cash cards offer. Although its round-up feature is unique, consistently earning 50% more points is usually a better and simpler option.

Temporary 5X Points. The 5X points on hotels, rental cars and attractions through Citi Travel is a short-lived perk, expiring after June 30, 2024.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Citi Rewards+® Card

Make the most of your Citi Rewards+® Card with these tips:

1
Book your trip before December 31, 2025

If you have an upcoming trip, make sure to book your hotel, rental car and attractions via Citi Travel before December 31, 2025. That way, you can earn 5X points for every dollar you spend.

2
Pair with other cards

Because of its unique round up feature, the Citi Rewards+® is great for small purchases, ideally those under $5. It also works for groceries and gas, with its 2X rewards rate. But for other purchases, you can use another card with a higher rewards rate than Citi’s 1X.

Moreover, you can pair the Citi Rewards+® with other Citi cards and combine the ThankYou points you earn. You can then redeem using the Citi Rewards+® and earn 10% points back for up to 100,000 per year.

3
Set a reminder when the 0% intro APR period ends

Make sure to clear your balance before the introductory period ends. If possible, give yourself a three-month buffer so you’ll have time to catch up if you’re unable to commit to your initial payment plan.

How Citi Rewards+® Compares

To help you find the best cards for your needs, we’ve compared the Citi Rewards+® card with similar no-annual-fee rewards cards.

Citi Rewards+® vs. Citi Double Cash®

The Double Cash® provides unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. This is higher and much simpler compared to the Citi Rewards+® base rewards rate. Plus, the Double Cash® earns 5% cash back on hotels, rental cars and attractions booked using Citi Travel until the end of 2025. If you prefer a more straightforward way to earn rewards, the Citi Double Cash® is a solid alternative.

Citi Rewards+® vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

With SavorOne Cash Rewards, you earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming and groceries. Moreover, hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel earn 5% cash back. The SavorOne is a more lucrative option if your spending habits align with its bonus categories.

How We Evaluated the Citi Rewards+® Card

Our evaluation of the Citi Rewards+® card involved comparing it with 22 other rewards cards. We analyzed the length of 0% APR offers, subsequent variable APRs, balance transfer and other fees and the value of the rewards program, if any.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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