Citi Cash Back+ Card Review: Best No-Frills Unlimited Cashback Card?

Shania Wong
Updated:
PROMO: Receive a Dyson V8 Slim™ Fluffy (worth S$549) or a Morning Coffee Machine (worth S$510) or a Popsical Remix II with 1 month free subscription (worth S$599) or S$350 cash
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on Citi's website

Citi Cash Back+ Card

Apply Now
on Citi's website
The Citi Cash Back+ Card sits in the middle of the pack with its unlimited cashback rate and exclusions. Combined with its excellent welcome promotions, this is a card worth considering if you’re new to Citibank.

Pros

  • No minimum spend requirement
  • Access to Citi World Privileges
  • Cashback does not expire
  • Break big ticket purchases into affordable instalments with Citi PayLite

Cons

  • Customer service can be hit-or-miss
  • Cashback redemption via SMS reported to be slow and sometimes buggy
  • Cashback can only be redeemed in fixed denominations
  • No automatic annual fee waivers

Current Promotion

Receive a Dyson V8 Slim™ Fluffy (worth S$549) or a Morning Coffee Machine (worth S$510) or a Popsical Remix II with 1 month free subscription (worth S$599) or S$350 cash with a minimum spend of S$500 on eligible goods and services within 30 days of card approval. (Valid until 18 December 2022) Click to apply.

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:

Eligibility Requirements

Age21 and above
IncomeS$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

Annual Fees
  • Principal Card: S$192.60 inclusive of GST (waived for the first year)
  • Supplementary Card: First year free. S$96.30 for subsequent years
Effective Interest Rate26.9% (min. charge of S$3)
Interest Free Period25 days
Late Payment ChargesS$100
Minimum Monthly Payment1% of current balance + 1% of any outstanding amounts, or S$50, whichever is higher
Overlimit FeeS$40
Cash Advance FeeS$15 or 6% of the amount drawn, whichever higher.
Cash Advance Interest Rate
  • 20.9% based on good conduct
  • 26.9% prevailing rate
  • 29.9% if account is past due in the current month
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee3.25%

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

Cashback
  • Unlimited 1.6% cashback
  • No minimum spending
Other Benefits
  • Access to Citi World Privileges where users can enjoy exclusive deals and discounts worldwide
  • Break down big purchases into smaller payments with Citi PayLite
Ongoing Promotions
  • New applicants get a Dyson V8 Slim™ Fluffy (worth S$549) or a Morning Coffee Machine (worth S$510) or a Popsical Remix II with 1 month free subscription (worth S$599) or S$350 cash upon spending at least S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Click to apply.

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).

User-Friendly App

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.

Read also: 7 Best Unlimited Cashback Credit Cards for Singapore

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.