Despite the huge variety of cashback cards in the market, this new contender decided to join the fray in 2020. The Citi Cash Back+ card claims to provide users with a competitive cashback rate across all categories, regardless of what you are spending on.
How true is this claim? Are there any hidden terms and conditions?
Today, we’ll be reviewing the Citi Cash Back+ Card and giving our verdict based on:
- Annual fees and charges
- Cashback, discounts, and other perks
- Whom this card is best for
|Age||21 and above|
|Income||S$30,000 and above for Singapore Citizens and PRs; S$42,000 and above for foreigners with a valid visa|
Nothing special to note here: these are entry-level card requirements that you’ll qualify for as long as you earn a salary of at least S$2,500.
Fees and Charges
|Effective Interest Rate||26.9% (min. charge of S$3)|
|Interest Free Period||25 days|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||1% of current balance + 1% of any outstanding amounts, or S$50, whichever is higher|
|Cash Advance Fee||S$15 or 6% of the amount drawn, whichever higher.|
|Cash Advance Interest Rate|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee||3.25%|
The fees and charges for this card are standard as well.
Past the first year, you’ll have to get in touch with customer support for a fee waiver.
Cashback, Discounts, and Other Perks
Convenient and Usable With a Large Merchant Base
The fact that the Citi Cash Back+ Card is a Mastercard scores high in this aspect. Unlike with American Express, you won’t have to worry about whether the store accepts Mastercard – provided it accepts credit cards at all, that is.
You also won’t need to worry about hitting a certain minimum spend or track monthly spending across various categories. You’ll get a flat 1.6% cashback regardless of how much you spend.
You’ll even earn cashback even on purchases made overseas, compared to the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card (which only grants users cashback on local transactions).
Many users have commented on a good overall app experience with Citibank. The mobile app allows you to access all essential banking functions, including:
- seeing at a glance how much cashback you’ve accumulated
- paying your bills
- enabling or disabling overseas card transactions
- locking or unlocking your card for security purposes
- converting your ThankYou points to rewards
Cashback Category Exclusions
Notably, the unlimited cashback doesn’t apply to transactions like:
- Topping up your EZ-Link card
- Paying taxes, court fines, or other government services
- Payments to educational or financial institutions
- Paying your utility bill or insurance premiums
- Stored value card purchases or loading
- GrabPay top-ups
That means that compared with cards like the UOB Absolute Cashback or American Express True Cashback Card, the Citi Cash Back+ Card isn’t as flexible.
Break Big Payments Into Smaller Amounts
Sometimes, don’t you just wish that paying for something you love isn’t as harsh on your wallet?
Citi PayLite gives users this flexibility by allowing you to turn your credit card purchases into 12 more affordable instalments. You can convert big ticket items into instalments through the Citi app in just a few taps.
However, this also comes at the cost of a 2% service fee on your conversion amount. (Sadly, nothing is free in this world…)
Cons of the Citi Cash Back+ Card
1. Not-so-Friendly Customer Service
Citibank seems to prefer that you use their automated systems rather than going directly to customer support. Many users report, for example, that Citibank’s customer service hotlines involve a long, tedious process of going through a confusing menu to get in touch with a human agent. The same goes for their branches.
And even when you do get through to a human agent, it’s hit-or-miss whether the agent will be able to resolve your problem efficiently.
2. Unavoidable Annual Fee
The Citibank Cash Back+ Card only guarantees a fee waiver for the first year, unlike cards that grant automatic fee waivers after you’ve spent above a certain sum (like the Maybank FC Barcelona Visa Signature Card).
After that, you’ll have to call in, drop Citibank an email, or head down to a physical branch to submit an annual fee waiver request. You’ll be lucky to get the waiver.
3. Outdated Cashback Redemption Process
Most cashback cards automatically offset your next month’s bill with the rebates you’ve earned. That’s not the case with the Citi Cash Back+ Card, which requires you to send an SMS to request the cash rebate. Also, you can only redeem cashback in fixed denominations of S$10, S$20, or S$50.
Understandably, this process is a hassle for many cardmembers, who’d prefer a fuss-free system. Some users have also complained about the slow redemption process and error messages when attempting to redeem their cashback.
Although your cashback doesn’t expire and you can track how much you’ve accumulated through the Citi Mobile app, this definitely makes the Citi Cash Back+ Card lose brownie points in terms of being “fuss-free.”
Whom This Card is Best For
You’re most likely to benefit from the Citi Cash Back+ Card if:
- You already have a Citi Cash Back Card and want another unlimited cashback card to pair it with. The Citi Cash Back Card offers 6 – 8% cashback on dining, groceries, and petrol worldwide and up to $80 cashback per month. Past that cap, you can use the Citi Cash Back+ Card for your expenses.
- You’re expecting a moderately large purchase in the next few months (up to $3,000). The Citi Cash Back+ Card currently has a promotion offering 10% cashback for the first S$3,000 in qualifying spend for two months after card approval.
On the other hand, the Citi Cash Back+ is NOT a good option for you if:
- You want an unlimited cashback card to use for transitlink/GrabPay top-ups, insurance premiums, taxes and other payments to government, bill payments, and school fees
- You spend above $800 but below $1,000 – $1,300 every month. With this expenditure level, a regular cashback card would benefit you more.
- You’re hoping to hold this card for at least a few years. Beyond the promotional 10% cashback rate, the Citi Cash Back+ Card doesn’t have the best unlimited cashback rate in the market – especially given its spending exclusions.