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Citi Rewards+ Card: Earn Rewards for Essential Spending

The Citi Rewards+ earns rewards at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, but there's a limit to how much you can earn.

Citi is an advertising partner.

The Citi Rewards+® Card* woos cardholders with a handful of upfront perks, but they run out of steam after your first year or so with the card. While the welcome bonus, introductory APR and rewards promotion on restaurants are fleeting benefits, they can help the right cardholder pad their budget and manage credit card debt.

Currently, new cardholders will earn 5x points back on restaurants for their first 12 months on up to $6,000 in spending (then 1x) -- one of the highest rewards rates for restaurants available. There are still rewards on other common spending categories, though an annual spending cap may hinder their usefulness for some cardholders. But the Citi Rewards+ Card does offer a few other novel ways to earn extra points.

In this article

Citi Rewards+® Card

6/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
APR16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR0% intro for 15 months on Purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent thereafter.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter.
  • Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro for 15 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer APR16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.
Late Payment Fee Up to $41
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% (Variable)
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent thereafter.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter.
  • Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.

Rewards and redemption

The rewards structure is very straightforward. You can use the Citi Rewards+ for all of your gas station and supermarket spending to earn 2x ThankYou points per dollar (on the first $6,000 spent per calendar year, then 1x) and 1x point for everything else. New cardholders can also earn 5x points at restaurants for the first 12 months with the card on up to $6,000 in spending (then 1x).

While the spending caps make this card more restrictive than a flat-rate cash-back credit card, it does partially make up for its restrictive nature through two unique features. First, the rewards cardholders earn will be rounded up to the nearest 10. That means if you make a $2 purchase, $13 purchase, $24, etc. the points you earn will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points. So a $12 purchase at a sporting goods store would earn you 20 points as opposed to 12.

The other unique feature is that you'll have 10% of the first 100,000 points you redeem each year refunded back to you.  That means if you redeem 10,000 points for gift cards, statement credits, travel, or any of the other redemption options available, you'll get 1,000 points back.

Once you've done your weekly grocery spending and filled up the tank, you can redeem rewards for:

  • Statement credits
  • Travel (airfare, hotel stays, rental cars)
  • Gift cards
  • Shop with Points online at Best Buy and Amazon
  • Pay with Points (redeem in certain categories to cover recent purchases)

Points are worth 1 cent when redeeming for gift cards, but point values may vary depending on if you choose to redeem another way.

Introductory purchase and balance transfer offer

The Citi Rewards+ features a 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 16.49% to 26.49% variable). An introductory APR is a good way to bolster your finances by avoiding interest charges and reducing credit card debt.

If you have a large purchase planned, such as a trip or maybe a new appliance, you could charge it to the card and pay it down while the balance accrues no interest. Similarly, if you have a balance on another credit card accruing interest from a high APR, you could transfer it to the Citi Rewards+ card and pay it down more quickly. It lets you pay the balance down faster by allowing your full payments to go toward the principle.

Take note, you'll need to complete any balance transfers within the first four months of account opening in order to qualify for the intro offer. There's also a balance transfer fee to be aware of. You'll need to pay 3% of the transfer ($5 minimum) in order to move it over. For balance transfers made after the first four months, the balance transfer fee increases to 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum), which is high among balance transfer cards.

Paying a balance transfer fee is usually much better than suffering from continuous interest charges on a balance on another card.

Welcome bonus

The Citi Rewards+ card offers new cardholders 20,000 bonus points for spending $1,500 within the first 3 months with the card. If you choose to redeem for gift cards, that would equate to a $200 value.

This welcome bonus is competitive with other no annual fee credit cards, and if you're using the card for all of your gas and grocery spending, it'll probably be relatively easy to reach depending on your monthly spending habits.

Other card perks

Cardholders can check their FICO score for free, and the card comes with standard fraud protections, but there are no additional shopping or travel protections.

Comparable cards

The Citi Rewards+ offers strong rewards for restaurant lovers, but it might not be the best choice for everyone. Here are two more credit cards to consider.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

The Active Cash is one of the best flat-rate cash rewards credit cards to choose and improves on a lot of what the Citi Rewards+ card has to offer. 

Active Cash cardholders earn 2% cash rewards for their purchases, with no limit to the amount of rewards they can earn, making it a more flexible option. Like the Citi Rewards+, it has no annual fee and features a similar introductory offer for purchases and qualifying balance transfers.

Its welcome bonus is easier to reach yet equally as rewarding – you can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first three months.  You'll miss out on the strong restaurant rewards with the Citi card, but those rewards are finite – you might find lasting value with the Active Cash Card instead.

Read more about it in our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Another rewards card offered by Citi, the Double Cash Card earns 2% cash back for every purchase with no annual fee. Cardholders get 1% cash back when the purchase is made, and the other 1% when it's paid off.

Additionally, the Double Cash Card provides greater flexibility and a longer introductory offer for balance transfers. Cardholders get 18 months to pay off a transferred balance at 0% introductory interest (then 16.99% to 26.99% variable). Just be aware you'll need to complete any balance transfers within the first four months of account opening. It also has a similar welcome bonus (for a limited time, earn $200 for spending $1,500 in the first six months with the card) but it provides a longer timeframe to obtain it.

You won't earn as much at restaurants for the first year, but you'll be able to earn the same rate no matter where you shop. It doesn't feature the Citi Rewards+ unique round-up and redemption refund, but it does provide a longer opportunity to earn a welcome bonus and transfer a balance and has no limit to the amount of rewards you're able to earn.

It comes down to what you're looking for in a credit card: Do you want a strong return on dining out, or do you want flexible rewards and need to get rid of some credit card debt? 

You can learn more in our Citi Double Cash Card review.

FAQs

What's the difference between earning rewards as cash back or points?

The main difference is that 1% cash back will always equate to rewards worth 1 cent, whereas the value for points can change depending on how they are redeemed. Cards that earn rewards as points may also have more options when it comes time to redeem them.

What's the difference between a flat-rate credit card and a credit card with multiple bonus categories?

A flat-rate credit card earns the same rewards rate no matter what you're buying. A rewards card with multiple bonus categories will usually earn more rewards, but only for specific purchases, while earning 1x point or 1% back for any purchases outside of its bonus categories.

Should I choose a rewards card with an annual fee instead of a no annual fee rewards card?

A credit card with an annual fee might have higher rewards rates and better perks when compared to a card without an annual fee. If you're looking for a more advanced credit card, consider one with a fee.

However, a flat-rate credit card with no annual fee could be a good way to cover the gaps left by credit cards with multiple bonus categories. They also typically provide a less complicated experience, with some exceptions. In the end, it comes down to what you need for your individual spending habits and how the card will fit into your budget.

*All information about the Citi Rewards+ Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.