From the unexpectedly popular UOB KrisFlyer card to the newly introduced GrabPay credit card, there have been quite a few branded credit cards launched in the market. Here’s one more to add to the list: the Citi Lazada card.
As you can probably guess, this card targets those who shop on Lazada. That’s a lot of people: according to a report by Statista, Lazada is second to Shopee as the top e-commerce site in Singapore with more than seven million monthly web visits in the first quarter of 2021.
In a nutshell, the Citi Lazada card offers a whopping 10X rewards ($1 = four miles) on Lazada purchases, and 5X ($1 = two miles) rewards for other key spending categories like dining, travel, entertainment and transport.
Is the Citi Lazada card really a godsend for Laz-addicts, or did they literally “play it up”? Here’s our take on the card.
Citi Lazada credit card overview
First, let’s look at the card benefits like bonus reward points (or air miles):
|Spending category||Citi Lazada card benefits|
|Lazada (excludes RedMart)||10X rewards||4 mpd|
|Dining (fast food, restaurants, bars and clubs, caterers)||5X rewards||2 mpd|
|Entertainment (movie tickets, Netflix, Spotify)||5X rewards||2 mpd|
|Transport (bus, MRT, taxi, Grab, Gojek)||5X rewards||2 mpd|
|Travel (flights, hotels, cruises, car rental, travel agencies, tour operators)||5X rewards||2 mpd|
|Everything else||1X rewards||0.4mpd|
Citi Lazada credit card promotions
Those who sign up for the card get $250 welcome gift of Lazada and RedMart vouchers. This is provided you meet the minimum spend of $250 on Lazada.
You also get to benefit from the “Refer-a-friend” programme to get $120 cash for every successful credit card application.
Citi Lazada card review — for Lazada shopping
- Up to 10X rewards / 4 mpd on Lazada shopping
- Shipping rebate of $1.99 cash back when you spend at least $50 per transaction on Lazada, capped at 4 rebates per month
- Bonus earn rate excludes RedMart orders (1X rewards / 0.4 mpd)
If you are planning to make big-ticket Lazada purchases, you could really benefit from the 10X rewards. Say you’re renovating and intend to shop for furniture and electronics online, you can consider this card to shop for what you need via Lazada.
Another huge caveat is that this 10X earn rate does not apply to RedMart orders. This is quite disappointing, and I’d imagine it to be a deal breaker for many.
In fact, RedMart orders don’t even earn the second tier of 5X rewards. It falls under “everything else” and only earns 1X rewards, which is very low.
Do note, however, that your earnings are capped at 9,000 bonus reward points per month.
Citi Lazada card review — for general spending
- 5X rewards / 2 mpd for public transport expenses incurred via SimplyGo
- 5X rewards / 2 mpd for travel
- 5X rewards / 2 mpd for dining includes bars and clubs too
- Free travel insurance (must charge flight tickets to the card)
- Mediocre earn rate of 5X rewards / 2 mpd on key spending categories
- Shared rewards cap of 10,000 points
The Lazada perks may sound impressive, but those don’t mean much unless you shop heavily on that one platform.
For non-Lazada benefits, it’s a mediocre 5X rewards (or 2 mpd) earn rate for dining, travel, entertainment and transport (commute) and 1X rewards (0.4 mpd) for everything else.
If you can accept the earn rate, there are some noteworthy features of the card:
First of all, public transport fares incurred via SimplyGo are eligible for 5X rewards / 4 mpd under the “commute” category (MCC 4111 — local/suburban commuter passenger transportation — railroads, ferries, local water transportation).
Next, the “dining” spending category actually refers to what some other banks call “wine and dine”. That’s because it includes not just the usual eateries, restaurants and caterers, but drinking places like bars, lounges and night clubs as well.
Lastly, it’s (sort of) not bad for travel bookings as well (5X rewards / 4 mpd). If you charge your flight tickets to your card, you will also receive complimentary (albeit very basic) travel insurance coverage.
Citi Lazada card review — as an air miles card
If you’re a miles chaser, then 12X rewards / 4.8 mpd for Lazada used to be pretty impressive. Sadly, it was for a limited, promotional period only, and the usual 10X rewards (or 4 mpd) is very “meh”.
There are many other cards that offer the same 10X on broader spending categories (like online shopping in general), making it much easier to chock up points/miles.
Another note: like all Citibank cards, the rewards earned from the Citi Lazada card must be redeemed on their own, and cannot be pooled together with other cards.
For those accumulating miles from multiple Citibank cards, this could mean paying more conversion fees.
Here’s an example: If you have points under both your Citi Rewards card and your Citi Lazada card accounts, you can’t pool them together and convert them to miles at one shot.
You’ll have to do the conversion and pay twice. Also, you must earn at least 25,000 on each card because that’s the minimum block conversion.
Although separating the redemptions is not unheard of, quite a few other banks like DBS and UOB actually do point pooling.
Citi Lazada credit card for food delivery orders
The fact that this is a Citibank card means that it gets quite a lot of discount promo codes on any of the major food delivery platforms like GrabFood, foodpanda, Deliveroo and WhyQ. Still, by that virtue, there are other, better Citibank cards to apply for, like the Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard.
Conclusion — who should use the Citi Lazada credit card?
In my opinion, the Citi Lazada card is quite average. It’s not terrible, but for most of the key spending categories, there are better cards out there.
Alternatives to the Citi Lazada credit card
Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard
Straight up cashback is just better than rewards or points these days, which is why the Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard is excellent for your shopping and utilitarian habits. You get 1.6 per cent unlimited cashback for nearly all spends, and this includes grocery shopping as well.
Citi Rewards card
The most common comparison is with the Citi Rewards card, which offers 10X rewards / 4 mpd on all online spend (excluding travel). This means you can use it for not just Lazada, but RedMart and every other e-commerce site there is too. The rewards cap is the same, at 10,000 points per month.
Apply for the Citi Rewards Card here:
DBS Woman’s World card
The DBS Woman’s World card is another alternative to consider. This one offers 10X rewards for online purchases too, but in blocks of $5 spent only. If you travel often, the DBS Woman’s World card also gives you 3X rewards on overseas purchases.
The only thing is that the minimum income requirement for this card is $80,000 (instead of the entry-level $30,000).
Apply for the DBS Woman’s World Card here:
HSBC Revolution card
The HSBC Revolution card has similar earn rate of 5X rewards on dining, online and entertainment, but its key appeal lies in that there’s no rewards cap. If you intend to make really big-ticket online purchases — like order a $7,000 TV or something — then this one is better.
Apply for the HSBC Revolution Card here:
This article was first published in MoneySmart.