Citi Rewards+℠ Card review: Will the “Round Up” feature round out your wallet?

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In a Nutshell

The Citi Rewards+℠ Card offers interesting rewards-earning opportunities with no annual fee, and a cool feature that rounds up points earned from qualified purchases to the nearest multiple of 10. But the opportunities to earn rewards in bonus categories are limited, and you won’t find a standout method of redeeming your points for maximum value.

Louis DeNicola is a personal finance writer and has written for American Express and Discover. Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s posted.
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Pros Cons
$0 annual fee The sign-up bonus offer is mediocre
Rewards points rounded up for every qualifying purchase Spending cap on earnings for grocery store and gas station purchases
Flexible redemption options, including statement credit and travel Charges a foreign transaction fee
Limited travel transfer partners compared with other Citi rewards credit cards

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Citi Rewards+℠ Card

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What to know about the Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Bonus categories don’t offer great earning potential

With the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, you’ll earn ThankYou® Points whenever you use the card to make purchases at certain stores, but you may find the base-level earnings limited.

  • Earn two points per $1 spent on qualifying purchases at supermarkets and gas stations up to $6,000 each year — and then one point per $1 spent after that
  • Earn one point per $1 on all other purchases

But be aware: You won’t always earn that rate of two points per $1 spent — depending on where you make your grocery and gas purchases. For example, discount superstores, convenience stores, markets, drugstores and wholesale clubs don’t count as supermarkets.

You also won’t earn the bonus rate at certain gas stations, since it depends on how the gas station classifies itself. This means you might not earn bonus points at gas stations that are part of another store, like a wholesale club.

Instead, you’ll earn just one point per $1 spent at locations that don’t fall within those merchant categories. With all these exclusions, you might end up earning fewer points than you expect on many purchases, unless you do your homework before you spend. 

“Round Up” feature could make smaller purchases more rewarding

The most interesting aspect of the Citi Rewards+℠ Card’s rewards program is its “Round Up” feature. With this perk, your points for every purchase are rounded up to the nearest multiple of 10 points. So, for example, if you buy a cup of coffee for $3, you’ll earn 10 points instead of three points. If you buy lunch for $11, you’ll earn 20 points instead of 11. With this feature, you’ll earn the equivalent of 10% back on $1 purchases and 2% back on $5 purchases, making small purchases particularly rewarding.

If your supermarket or gas purchase earns you the two points per $1 rate, your points are multiplied and then rounded up. For example, an $11 qualifying supermarket purchase results in 22 points that are then rounded up to 30 points.

It might be hard to maximize your points-earning potential when the cost of your purchases can vary so much, and an extra few points on a purchase of $100 or more might not seem like a big boost. But anything above a rewards rate of one point per $1 spent can be nice, especially when you’re not paying an annual fee.

Many redemption options and a redemption bonus

You can use the points you earn with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card in several ways, which makes this card a good option if you’re looking for a general rewards card.

With the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, you can choose from multiple redemption options, including …

  • Redeem points for gift cards
  • Shop with points on Amazon.com or BestBuy.com
  • Redeem points for travel rewards, like flights, hotels or cruises
  • Use points for statement credits to offset eligible purchases
  • Transfer points to the JetBlue TrueBlue loyalty program

You’ll also receive 10% of the first 100,000 points you redeem each year back into your account.

The value of the points earned with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card depends on how they’re redeemed, but having these flexible redemption options can be valuable for many cardholders.

A few more details to keep in mind

A mediocre sign-up bonus

New cardholders can earn 15,000 bonus points if they spend $1,000 on qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening their accounts. This may be appealing, but there are other rewards cards that offer bigger sign-up bonuses.

Promotional APR

The Citi Rewards+℠ Card is offering an introductory 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers. For purchases, you get an intro 15 months from account opening. But to take advantage of the intro balance transfer offer (also for 15 months), you must complete any transfers within four months of opening your account.

After the promotional periods, you’ll get a 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR on both purchases and balance transfers, depending on your creditworthiness.

The balance transfers won’t earn you any points, and there’s a 3% (minimum $5) balance transfer fee, too. 

Watch out: Foreign transaction fees

Be aware that you may have to pay a little extra — 3% — when making purchases abroad. Given this fee, it might be worth carrying another card if you plan to travel to another country.

What is a foreign transaction fee?

Understanding your points and redemption options

We’ve covered four basic things to understand when it comes to earning and redeeming points with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card.

1. Earn two points per $1 at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000, then one point per $1)

2. The points from every purchase will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points

3. Choose from several options for how you want to redeem your points

4. Get 10% of your redeemed points back — on the first 100,000 points redeemed each year

Your points are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for travel, cash back or gift cards through the Citi Thank You Service Center, but we estimate the true point value at 1.11 each thanks to that 10% bonus (as of March 2019).

If you’d prefer to transfer your points to a travel partner, though, then your options are limited. With the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, you can only transfer points to the JetBlue TrueBlue program. Other Citi cards feature many more transfer partners, so this limitation is more about this card than the ThankYou program as a whole.

Read more: How to maximize your Citi ThankYou Rewards points

Who this card is good for

The Citi Rewards+℠ Card could be a good option for someone who uses a credit card frequently; wants a card that doesn’t have an annual fee; and prefers to pick a rewards redemption option based on their needs at any particular time — not whatever offers the best value in general.

The Round Up feature could make small purchases especially rewarding compared to other cards, too. Unfortunately, the bonus points categories of supermarkets and gas stations aren’t tied to stores where people frequently make small purchases throughout the week.

On its own, the Citi Rewards+℠ Card may not be the best pick for someone who frequently travels, because you won’t earn points on travel purchases and there’s a foreign transaction fee.

But the Citi Rewards+℠ Card could be a great pick when combined with a more travel-focused rewards card.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.