Posted by Chuck on January 10, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on January 10th, 2019 | by Chuck

106

Citi Launches Rewards+ Credit Card: Minimum 10 Points/trx, 15,000 Signup Bonus, 10,000 Redemption Points, No Annual Fee

Today Citi launched a new credit card called the Citi Rewards+.

Card Details

Direct link to offer

The most unique part of the card is the round up feature which rounds up the amount of points earned to the nearest 10. This means two things: (1) every transaction will earn at least 10  points, even a $1 charge at the vending machine, and (2) all transactions will be rounded up, so a $101 charge will earn 110 points.

Other key details:

  • No annual fee
  • Card earns ThankYou points
  • Earn 2x points on grocery and gas, up to $6,000 per year, then 1x
  • Earn 1x points on everything else
  • 15,000 points signup bonus for spending $1,000 within 3 months
  • Standard Citi credit card protections: Trip Cancellation/Interruption Protection, Car Rental Insurance, Travel Accident Insurance, Damage & Theft Protection, Extended Warranty, 90 Day Return Protection
  • Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+℠, Citi ThankYou®Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier℠ or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these cards, in the past 24 months.
  • Low intro rate on purchases and balance transfers
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Points Redemption

Another significant benefit of the card is that cardholders  receive a 10% rebate on all redeemed points each year, on up to the first 100,000 redeemed points. Maxed out this will amount to a rebate of 10,000 points per year. This puts a floor of 1.1 ThankYou points per dollar earned or 2.2 on gas and groceries.

Points can be redeemed for gift cards or through the Citi travel portal at 1 cent per point value. Importantly, the card will be a ‘basic’ Citi card which does not support points transfers; the one exception to this will be for JetBlue transfers. However, if you have a Citi card that does support airline transfers like Prestige or Premier, you’ll be able to move the points over  and then you can transfer as usual.

I assume that if you transfer points to Prestige or Premier you won’t get the 10% redemption bonus. The bonus will probably be limited to points redeemed directly with the Rewards+ card. Conversely, if you have points on another card which you transfer over to the Rewards+ card, you may get the 10% redemption bonus when redeeming from the Rewards+ card. (May not be relevant for many readers, just mentioning for science.)

Update: If you combine your Rewards+ ThankYou account with another ThankYou account, you’ll get the 10% bonus while still having the ability to do full points transfers.

Our Verdict

The minimum 10 points per transaction is interesting. It’s similar to something Chase used to have with their Freedom card which was discontinued. There were said to be people who wrote scripts to charge themselves $.01 and made thousands on the Chase Freedom thing. I don’t recommend this, and – in today’s day and age – Citi will probably be on the lookout for this immediately.

Citi is obviously looking to come up with innovative ideas to stay relevant in the competitive credit card market. The only ThankYou card currently available for signup is the Premier, though the Prestige is slated to come back soon. This card is a no-fee card and seems to be instead of the Preferred card, so that one may not be coming back. This is supposed to be a more exciting version of the no-fee card, and I’ll grant them that – this does seem more interesting and exciting than the Preferred.

A lot of people don’t signup for cards with lower signup bonuses like this one, plus, many of us won’t be eligible for the bonus due to Citi’s 24-month family rule – the rule clearly bunches the Rewards+ along with Prestige and Premier cards.

It’s already possible to product change or downgrade to the Rewards+ card, and that’s probably the  best use of this card given the fact that the signup bonus is much lower than what we’ve seen on Prestige and Premier.

Citi also launched a student version of the Rewards+ card as well. 



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Daniel
Daniel

So the headline is “minimum of 10 points per purchase”? That and the weak 15,000 point sign-up bonus don’t make it that interesting.

K-Man
K-Man

The ultimate cash-back card for people who mostly purchase bus fare? Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Snorlax
Snorlax

I guess if you go to a vending machine or buy a coffee every day this would be interesting.

K-Man
K-Man

Yeah. It’s going to be the guy at the grocery store buying one green bean at a time who gets this shutdown right away.

Zalmy

I actually think this is the most interesting card since the Sapphire Reserve

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

That’s a very high sign up bonus for a no AF card

Sevillada
Sevillada

Amazon 0.50 reaload…..boom!

jonflow

“I get 20% cash back on Amazon” heh

tolikfox
tolikfox

How Sway?

Russ
Russ

“I used to get 20% cash back on Amazon, before citi shut me down” – jonflow

FTFY.

docbjg
docbjg

Good morning, Mr. Supermarket Cashier. Would you be so kind as to ring up each of my items as a separate transaction? Thank you.

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

yup spend 30minutes at the self checkout to earn 500 points, no thanks.

K-Man
K-Man

It’s going to happen. You know it will.

G
G

Citi could put a $1 minimum for earning points, as the old Discover debit card did. The trick like $0.50 amazon reloads should not work in modern days. But who knows? It’s shiti bank IT team.

John
John

Okay then $1 Amazon reloads. Makes it a 11% back on Amazon card so still a long-term keep and would put Discover and Chase Freedom in the sock drawer for Q4.

az
az

Let’s say you spend 2 seconds to load $1, so you earn $3.3 per hour.

Jeff
Jeff

But if you can automate it you earn $3.3 per hour in the background while you do other things with your life.

grejotyx
grejotyx

Your math isn’t right. If you spend 2 seconds to load $1 and therefore get $0.11, you would earn $3.3 per MINUTE which would be $198 per hour. (But I doubt you could actually reload 30*60 times in an hour.)

Russ
Russ

Amazon won’t let you do that many loads that fast. I have had many RCA debit cards in there and have it automated. You have to leave 60+ seconds between each load or they freeze your account and remove all your cards. It’s a pain.

Pahill
Pahill

What does RCA stand for again?

sloebrake
sloebrake

Reward checking account. possibly..

talent
talent

who is your math teacher

G
G

for $6.6 per hour in cash back if Amazon takes about 60s to process, or you can automate it to earn and get both citi and Amazon shut your account down.

Sarah D
Sarah D

In reality ruining your relationship with amazon for less than $20 return. And possibly alienating you from citi (even if that’s doubtful given their IT). As churners we don’t ultimately care about the goodwill of lenders and businesses, but in this case it’s literally pennies per insult, just an easy hard pass.

Gary Leff

Seems like Chase already learned this lesson, hence no more Extras program…

Gareth
Gareth

I see lots of programmers getting ready for this…

Joe Camel
Joe Camel

Anybody can create a simple “bot” watching youtube I wouldnt call them “programmers” ..If nothing else just go on fiverr and pay a monkey 20 bananas to create one.

Jeff
Jeff

And if you buy those bananas individually at the grocery store it helps with your cause for points earning!

tolikfox
tolikfox

yup lol hence i give them 3 months before they shut this down

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

Citi could just make an automated system to flag anyone with like 20 or more <$1 puchases per month. issue a warning, then ban them if they continue.

Not sure who makes that many legitimate small purchases per month

Andrew
Andrew

That would be less then one visit a day to the vending machine. Instead I think it would be better for Citi to internally decide what their max bonus per customer limit would be and then put a time clock on it. For example, no more then ten $1 or less charges in an hour, etc. Then look at the top percentage of bonus earners and warn/adjust the limit from there

Snorlax
Snorlax

For a loose definition of “programmer,” it doesn’t take any skill to write a for loop.

blah blah
blah blah

There is a better word for this… “botter”.

blah blah
blah blah

We don’t call them “programmer”. We call them “botter”. Just like how they farm in-game “Gold” in World of Warcraft with a script running 24/7

Aby
Aby

Points can be redeemed for gift cards or through the Citi travel portal at 1 cent per point value

no Statement credit??

atexit8
atexit8

My Citi ThankYou Preferred never had statement credits.
It used to have Walmart as one one of the gift cards offered. Used to is the operative word.
I only use it when they have the special offers of 5% rewards which are automatically applied to the statement and also earns the points.

I don’t use it much and have been using points to get the Amazon deals.

Brandon
Brandon

Back when ThankYou points could be redeemed for cash or credit, it was .5 cents per point. I don’t see this card worth it. The new Bank of America choose your 3% reward is interesting.

Chris
Chris

My Preferred used to be a Forward card before they nerfed it and forced a product change on everyone. It’s pretty hidden on the TYP site, but you can call up Citi to redeem points for a “mortgage” or “tuition” payment check in the mail at a 1CPP value which is way better than the statement credit option. It’s literally just a check written out directly to the bank that you tell them to. I did it a few days ago.

Gene K
Gene K

Does this card reset the 2 year TYP card limit?

Emily
Emily

The question I have is whether this falls under the ThankYou “family” of cards, and thus is subjected to the 24-month rule. For people like myself who have been churning for 10 years, new cards are welcome, even if the bonus is mediocre–but only if we can get approved.

Rocky
Rocky

i need to downgrade my AT&T more, its useless after Plastiq category was changed.
I think this is a good option to downgrade.
I am thinking foreign tx would be 3% , i wish its zero.

G
G

this falls under the ThankYou “family” of cards under the 24-month rule.

sdsearch
sdsearch

Most no-annual-fee cards that earn airline miles, hotel points, or points transferable to airlines, have a Foreign Transaction Fee.

Unless someone can name some exceptions, the only way I can think of to have zero Foreign Transaction Fees and yet earn one of those is to use a card with a “net negative” annual fee, ie where you do \pay an annual but where you get a tangible benefit in exchange for that annual fee that’s worth more to you than the annual fee (for example, an annual free hotel night certificate).

There are some no-actual-annual fee cards out there with zero Foreign Transaction Fees, but they generally don’t earn the things I mentioned above.

AllwaysLearning22
AllwaysLearning22

There are many cards which do not have foreign transaction fees and have no annual fee. Most (if not all) of Capital One cards, Amazon Prime, CIti Costco (albeit the Costco membership is almost like a CC annual fee), HSBC Cash Rewards, Wells Fargo Propel …

Here is a link from the first hit in Google – https://www.comparecards.com/no-foreign-transaction-fee-credit-cards

Brandon
Brandon

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/master-list-no-annual-fee-no-foreign-transaction-fee-cards/

A little outdated, but basically the same cards, plus a few extras.

Abey

Its a good card to pay the NYC meters 25c

Ashton
Ashton

Lots of penny transactions will obsolete this product within 3 years or transaction limits imposed.

Dylan
Dylan

Max 30-50 transactions a month rounxed up seems like a safe way for citi to cap this.

Sarah D
Sarah D

If you are abusing it to the point of profit, they will easily catch and ban you (not worth the reputation cost) if you are doing it on the margin (say, <100 charges/month), it's not worth the effort/card slot.

As a loophole exploiter it initially piqued my interest but I honestly don't think there's anything here

Hari
Hari

Throw in some penny transaction ideas!

Mike

With the old Chase Freedom program, I believe you needed a Chase checking account to qualify. Here the roundup is being touted as a feature of the card and no checking account needed. This will be heavily abused out of the gate and will be shutdown or nurfed very quickly.

Pauline the Bean
Pauline the Bean

That’s not my memory. I’ve had a Chase Freedom card since before 1999 and never had a Chase checking account. They are totally separate.

Mike

I was referring to the program Chuck mentioned in the post. I think it was 10 UR bonus on every purchase with the Freedom card if you had a Chase checking account. That program was discontinued several years ago. I wasn’t suggesting that you needed a checking account to get the Freedom card.

Brad Alvarez
Brad Alvarez

I actually don’t think you can even transfer to JetBlue with the basic TY cards. I couldn’t do it with my Preferred card

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