Citibank Rewards Card review: Is this the best card for shopaholics?

Citibank Rewards Card review: Is this the best card for shopaholics?
PHOTO: Reuters

The Citibank Rewards Card is one of the more attractive credit cards in Singapore for shopaholics, offering 10x rewards points (or $1 = four miles) when you shop online (excluding travel-related transactions). You can use it for certain offline purchases as well.

If you're a serious digital native who regularly takes Grab rides, orders food from online delivery services and shops online, this arrangement should sound heavenly to you because the points you get from online shopping can be converted into frequent flyer miles or… even more shopping vouchers!

Let's see how attractive this card really is.

1. Citibank Rewards Card: Summary

The Citibank Rewards Card has been around for quite a few years, and is one of the banks main cards for those who wish to rack up points in the Citi Rewards Programme.

The card lets you earn Citi Rewards points (which can also be exchanged for miles) when you shop online and offline, take Grab or Gojek rides or spend on online food or grocery delivery.

2. Citibank Rewards Card annual fee, minimum income

Just so you know what you're getting into, here are the main terms and conditions of the Citibank Rewards Card:

  Citibank Rewards Card
Annual fee $192.60
Annual fee waiver First-year
Supplementary card annual fee $96.30 (waived for the first year)
Interest free period 25 days
Annual interest rate 26.9 per cent
Late payment fee $100
Minimum monthly repayment 1 per cent or $50, whichever is greater
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25 per cent
Cash advance transaction fee 6 per cent or $15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee $40
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean/PR) / $42,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association Mastercard
Contactless payment MasterCard PayPass, Samsung Pay, Citi Pay

3. Citibank Rewards Card minimum spend

As is common with reward credit cards, the Citibank Rewards Card has no minimum spending requirement, so you can use the card as little as you wish.

4. Citibank Rewards Card benefits

The Citibank Rewards Card offers rewards points when you spend. The base earn rate is 1x point per $1 spent.

The card's main advantage is that it offers an accelerated earn rate of 10x points (equivalent to four miles) per $1 on certain types of spending. In other words, you can earn 10 times the base rate.

Here's what can spend on to get that sweet, sweet 10x point earn rate:

1. Clothes, shoes and bags purchases including merchants (online and offline) classified as:

  • Department stores - men's and boy's clothing and accessories stores
  • Women's ready-to-wear stores - women's accessory and speciality stores
  • Children and infants wear stores
  • Family clothing stores
  • Sports and riding apparel stores
  • Shoe stores
  • Men's and women's clothing stores
  • Miscellaneous apparel and accessory shops
  • Luggage and leather goods stores

2. Travel-related transactions, including:

  • Airlines, air carriers
  • Car rental agencies
  • Lodging - hotels, motels, resorts
  • Passenger railways
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies and tour operators
  • Direct marketing
  • Travel-related arrangement services

3. Grab or Gojek rides

4. Online food delivery

5. Online grocery shopping

When you receive the 10x reward points, you are essentially earning 1x base points and 9x bonus points. You are entitled to up to 9,000 bonus points per statement month. In other words, every statement month, you can enjoy extra 10x rewards points on a maximum of $1,000 worth of spending.

Another key benefit is that you get free travel insurance when you charge your airfare to the Citi Rewards Card.

5. Citibank Rewards Card terms and conditions (exclusions)

For any spending that does not qualify for the 10X rewards points, you receive the base earn rate of 1x reward point for every $1 spent.

Most types of spending should be eligible for at least the 1x point earn rate, but there are some Citibank Rewards card exclusions which earn nothing, according to the terms and conditions:

  • Funds transfer
  • Bills
  • Educational institutions
  • Insurance
  • Financial institutions
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Betting or gambling
  • Top-ups to payment service providers, prepaid cards or prepaid accounts
  • Transit-related transactions

6. How do I maximise my Citibank Rewards Card?

To make the most of your card, concentrate most of your spending on categories that net you the 10x points earn rate.

But limit your expenditure to $1,000 in a statement month, as you won't receive the 9x bonus points on more than that.

7. Should I get the Citibank Rewards Card?

If you're someone who buys lots of clothes, whether because you're a fashionista or because you've got an entire family and children to clothe, the Citibank Rewards Card can be a good card to use due to its attractive earning rate on shopping.

The card is also good for those who order food and groceries online often, or who are heavy Grab/Gojek users.

If you're mainly using it for travel spending or as an air miles card, the 10x points (equivalent to four miles) for travel-related transactions is also fairly attractive compared to some of the air miles cards on the market, but it's not the best earn rate you can get.

You don't get any bonus points for general overseas spending, so if you're using it mainly for travel, it might be more worthwhile to just get a solid air miles card.

8. Citibank Rewards Card promotions

Thanks to an ongoing Citibank Rewards sign-up promotion, you receive a welcome gift of 40,000 bonus rewards points when you spend $800 in the first two months.

Rewards Credit Card Sign-up promotion Earn rate
Citibank Rewards Card 40,000 welcome bonus Thankyou points when you spend $800 in the first two months 10x points  (four miles) = $1 on shopping (online and offline), travel-related transactions, Grab and Gojek rides, online food delivery, online groceries

1x points on other spending

OCBC Titanium Rewards Card (Pink) 10x points (four miles) = $1 on eligible online and retail purchases like Apple, Shopee, H&M and more

1x rewards = $1 on other eligible purchases

2 per cent cashback at Best Denki

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card $150 cash credit for new sign-ups when you spend at least $1,500 within 30 days UNI$10 = $5 on mobile contactless spending, online shopping and entertainment

UNI$1 = $5 on all other spending

HSBC Revolution Credit Card $50 cashback for new sign-ups 10x rewards points (four miles or 2.5 per cent cashback) on online purchases and contactless payments

1x reward point on other spend

The Citi Rewards Card's 40,000 rewards points offer is pretty sweet, but it's perhaps not as good as the straight-up $150 cash credit that the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa is offering.

That said, the UOB card's spending requirement is also much more onerous, so go for it only before you're expecting a big purchase or high spending month

9. Alternative rewards credit cards

Not convinced by the Citibank Rewards Card? Here are some alternatives to consider.

OCBC Titanium Rewards Card (Pink): 10x points (four miles) = $1 on eligible online and retail purchases like Apple, Shopee, H&M and more, 2 per cent cashback at Best Denki

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card: UNI$10 = $5 on mobile contactless spending, online shopping and entertainment

HSBC Revolution Credit Card: 10x rewards points (four miles or 2.5 per cent cashback) on online purchases and contactless payments

ALSO READ: Best rewards credit cards in Singapore (2022): Citibank, OCBC and DBS

This article was first published in MoneySmart.

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