Citi Rewards+ Credit Card Review (2019.7 Update: 15k Offer)

Citi Rewards+ Card Review

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Benefits

  1. 15k offer: earn 15,000 ThankYou Points after spending $1,000 in first 3 months.  The recent best offer is 20k.
  2. We estimate that ThankYou Points (TYP) are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 20k highest sign-up bonus could be worth about $320.
  3. Earn 2x ThankYou Points per $1 spent on dining and gas (for the first $6,000 spending on bonus categories), 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  4. Rounding up: your earnings on all purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 points. For example, if you earn 4 TYP for a purchase, you will actually earn 10 TYP. With no cap!
  5. 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year. Note that you can not use this card to transfer TYP to airline miles though, so I bet this benefit is not useful for most people. The 10% points back benefit works when you redeem TYP (including transferring to airline miles) from other credit cards as well! As long as you combine the TYP accounts from all your TYP related credit cards (you may need to call for this).
  6. No annual fee.

Disadvantages

  1. It has foreign transaction fee, so it's not a good choice outside the US.
  2. Because of Citi’s 1/24 rule, if you apply for this card, you will lose the chance to get the sign-up bonus for Citi Prestige or Citi Premier in the next 24 months!

Introduction to TYP

  • You can earn TYP with Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Rewards+, Citi ATT Access More, etc.
  • You can add all these cards into the same thankyou.com account, and points that are about to expire will be redeemed first in the order in which they expire automatically.
  • In most cases, TYP never expire. But closing account, product change, or receiving points from other people may cause TYP on that account to expire.
  • If you have Citi Prestige or Citi Premier, TYP can be transferred to some airline miles. The best way to use TYP is to 1:1 transfer them to Asia Miles (Oneworld) or Avianca (AV) miles (Star Alliance). Other good options are: Singapore Airlines (SQ) (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use TYP in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
  • If you have Citi Prestige or Citi Premier, you can redeem your TYP at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards air tickets on thankyou.com; if you have Citi Premier, you can redeem your TYP at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards hotels on thankyou.com. This is one of the most common way to use TYP. Points+cash is available when redeeming for air tickets, so no need to worry if you do not have enough TYP.
  • If you have Citi Prestige, or you use the "Student Loan Rebate" trick, then you can redeem your TYP at a fixed rate 1 cents/point towards cash.
  • In summary, we estimate that TYP are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
  • For more information about TYP, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to TYP: How to Earn & Introduction to TYP: How to Use (very detailed).

Recommended Application Time

  1. [1/24 Rule] Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, or if you have closed any of these cards, in the past 24 months. Product change is treated as account closure if the account number is changed.
  2. [8/65 Rule] You can apply for at most 1 Citi cards every 8 days, and at most 2 Citi cards every 65 days, no matter approved or not.
  3. Citi values the number of recent hard pulls a lot, we recommend you apply when there’s less than 6 hard pulls in the past 6 months.
  4. This is one of the most easiest Citi card to get, but we still recommend you apply for this card after you have a credit history of at least half a year.

Summary

The rounding up is unlimited, which is quite surprising. If too many people abuse it, I believe Citi will revamp this card soon.

Also, this card has a 10% Points Back benefit: for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year. Data points show that, the 10% points back benefit works when you redeem TYP (including transferring to airline miles) from other credit cards as well! As long as you combine the TYP accounts from all your TYP related credit cards (you may need to call for this). This makes this card more valuable: if you already have plans to redeem TYP, then simply keeping this card means Citi will give you extra TYP for free, up to 10k TYP per year.

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