Travel on Points

Review: Citi Rewards+

ToP reviews the Citi Rewards+, a quirky but straightforward card that any fan of Citi ThankYou Points should consider.
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Review: Citi Rewards+

ToP reviews the Citi Rewards+, a quirky but straightforward card that any fan of Citi ThankYou Points should consider.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

The Citi Rewards+ card is an unusual but very helpful card for anyone who is a fan of Citi ThankYou Points. This no-annual fee card offers a simple proposition: an interesting earning structure and a 10% points rebate on the first 100,000 points redeemed per year. Read on to learn why we think this card is a keeper for anyone who enjoys earning and burning ThankYou Points.

Current Offer

Currently, the Rewards+ card offers 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Also, for a limited time, you can earn 5x per $1 spent at restaurants on up to $6,000 for the first 12 months. The card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% – 24.99% based on your creditworthiness. The Rewards+ card does not have an annual fee.

Citi has a few application rules to keep in mind. Citi will not approve you for more than one card every eight days, and two cards every 65 days. Also, Citi treats the Rewards+ card as part of the ThankYou Points family of cards. So if you have earned a sign-up bonus from a Citi Premier or another Rewards+ within the last 24 months, you will not be eligible for a new sign-up bonus from opening a new Rewards+ card. Remember that closing a card from the ThankYou Points card family also resets the 24-month clock for bonus eligibility.

Earn Rate

The Rewards+ card's earning structure is quite interesting. The card earns 2x per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 per year (and then 1x thereafter). The Rewards+ also earns 1x on all other purchases. On top of that, the Rewards+ automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase! This means that a pack of gum costing $1.50 earns you 10 ThankYou Points from this rounding up. The rounding up also applies to the bonus categories. For example, a $37 purchase at a gas station would earn 80 TYPs (37 x 2 = 74, which rounds up to 80).

Although the Rewards+ earns Citi ThankYou Points, your use of these points is limited if you do not also have a Citi Premier (review) or Citi Prestige card. TYPs earned through the Rewards+ can only be transferred to JetBlue. You cannot transfer to Citi's many other transfer partners if you do not also have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card. If you do also hold the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier, you can combine your TYPs from your Rewards+ with those from your Citi Premier or Citi Prestige account. This enables you to transfer your points to any of Citi's valuable travel partners.

Benefits

The Rewards+ card offers only one benefit: 10% points back when you redeem your TYPs, up to the first 100,000 points redeemed per year. This applies to all redemption options, such as gift cards, travel rewards, and shop with points. This is an excellent benefit that any fan of ThankYou Points would enjoy having.

Our Analysis

It's easy to understand why the Rewards+ card is a helpful card to keep. Rounding purchases to the nearest 10 points can be great for those with small daily purchases, such as a coffee or a newspaper on the way into work. Also, the 10,000-point rebate per year on redemptions is great, especially for a card without an annual fee. The fact that the rebate applies to all redemption options is nice, but redeeming points for gift cards or cash back rarely every makes sense.

On the other hand, 2x at supermarkets and gas stations is disappointing. The Citi Premier earns 3x uncapped on both categories. Since many folks who open a Rewards+ card will already have a Citi Premier, these bonus categories make little sense for the Rewards+. It would be nice to see these categories replaced with something less common, like entertainment, which was a bonus category for the Citi Premier until a few years ago.

Lastly, the limited time offer of 5x on restaurants on up to $6,000 for the first 12 months makes this card the best card for restaurant spend. No other card offers 5x on restaurants other than the Citi Prestige, which is no longer available for new applicants. If you can max out the 5x for $6,000 spend at restaurants, you'll receive another 30,000 TYPs on top of the 20,000 sign-up bonus. If you would otherwise be using your American Express Gold Card (review) for restaurant purchases to earn 4x per dollar, you would net an extra 6,000 points with the Rewards+ card.

The Rewards+ is a nice complement to the Citi Premier (review), Citi Double Cash (review), and Citi Custom Cash (review) cards since the 10% points rebate is something none of these other cards offer. Having no annual fee makes this card an absolute keeper for any TYP enthusiast.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who is a fan of Citi ThankYou Points should consider adding the Rewards+ card to their wallet. Receiving 10,000 TYPs back every year on redemptions without paying an annual fee is terrific. The quirky rounding up for purchases only sweetens the deal. While it would be nice to see this card have different bonus categories than restaurants and gas stations, the 10,000-point rebate alone makes this card a long-term keeper.

What role does the Rewards+ card play among your ThankYou Points cards? Join the discussion in our Facebook group!

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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