Fashion, online shopping, food/grocery delivery, and ride hailing services – all categories that the average Singaporean is likely to spend on.
Maybe that’s why the Citi Rewards Card holds such an appeal for many.
Who wouldn’t want even more discounts on Shopee and Lazada purchases, right?
But is that all there is to the card? What else does it offer – and what limitations does it have?
Let’s take a closer look at the Citi Rewards Card to find out more about:
|Age||21 and above|
Stock standard as far as eligibility requirements go. You can apply via Citibank’s website using Singpass MyInfo if you’re a Singaporean or PR. Foreigners must manually submit their applications online.
Fees and Charges
|Annual Fees||S$194.40 (inclusive of GST) for a principal card with a first-year fee waiver. S$97.20 for each supplementary card.|
|Effective Interest Rate||26.90% per annum|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||1% of outstanding balance plus 1% of outstanding unbilled instalment amounts plus interest OR S$50, whichever is higher|
|Branch Service Fee||S$10.70 (inclusive of GST) for each payment made over the counter|
|Points Transfer Fee||S$26.75 (inclusive of GST) for each conversion|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee||Up to 3.25%|
|Cash Advance Interest and Fees||6% of the amount withdrawn or S$15, whichever is higher|
|Citiphone Redemption Fee||600 Points chargeable for each item redeemed|
The card seems to slap on extra charges in areas that most would usually ignore.
For example, it’ll cost you an extra 600 Points to redeem an item through Citiphone. There’s even a S$10.70 fee if you pay your credit card bill over the counter at a Citibank branch.
These charges are easy enough to avoid (just use the Citi Mobile App and pay off your bills via GIRO/AXS instead), but it seems they don’t want you taking up their support staff’s time unless absolutely necessary.
Features and Benefits
|Reward Caps||No cap for Base Points. Bonus Points capped at 9,000 monthly (first S$1,000 in eligible spending)|
|Points Expiry||5 years|
|Other||Complimentary travel insurance when you charge your airfare to the card|
Excellent Rewards-to-Spending Ratio
Whether you’re looking at it for the Reward Points or miles, the Citi Rewards Card offers some of the best rates in the market.
Compare it with the miles-focused Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card for example: Maybank offers 3.2MPD for select local categories, while Citibank offers 4MPD.
The HSBC Revolution Credit Card is its equal in this, since it also offers 10X Reward Points / 4 MPD for the first S$1,000 in eligible spending.
The only difference is that HSBC rewards mainly online and mobile contactless payments (with no travel-related exclusions), while the Citi Rewards Card specifically excludes mobile wallets and travel expenses.
Redeem A Variety of Rewards
Rewards cards differ from straight up cashback or miles cards in that you can use the points however you want. Here are a few examples of what you can do with your Citi Rewards Card points:
- Pay for transactions at 440 Points / 165 miles per S$1
- Get cash rebates at 4,440 points / 1,650 miles per S$10
- Redeem Apple products and selected merchandise, gift vouchers, hotel stays and more
We’ll get into how Citibank’s rewards catalogue compares with those from other banks in the next section.
How Does the Citi Rewards Catalogue Compare With Others?
|Bank||Rewards Catalogue (Categories)||What’s Unique|
Citi’s catalogue certainly beats UOB and Maybank’s in the travel department. Its collaboration with Apple is also a highlight: cardholders can purchase any Apple product using a combination of points, miles, or their credit cards.
What’s lacking in Citi’s catalogue is dining and a good mix of retail options, though you always have the option of offsetting your retail/dining bills with Citi Points.
UOB wins in the dining and retail category. It has a comprehensive range of dining/food voucher redemptions even at lower denominations, so even those who don’t charge a lot to the card can still redeem something at the end of the year.
Also, a thumbs up for UOB’s retail rewards catalogue: it has everything from fashion to furnishing, which beats Citibank and Maybank hands down.
Maybank has the smallest catalogue of the three. Even the retail category narrows down to only home appliances and nothing else.
Downsides of the Citi Rewards Card
This card has a lot of perks for an average spender, but there are a few flaws that you need to note:
1. Reward Points Expiration
Most of the time, credit card reward points expire X years from the time you get them – usually two or three. Not so in Citi’s case. Rather, your points expire at the end of the 60-month “Validity Period,” which starts from when you joined the rewards program.
That means if you get the card in August 2022 and hold it for the next five years, your points will expire in August 2027 whether you earned them in July 2022 or July 2027.
That said, it’s easy enough to track when your points are expiring via Citibank’s app, so this may not be a huge issue.
2. Monthly Cap on 10X Reward Points
If you’re a big spender, the low points cap may be a letdown. Only the first S$1,000 in eligible spending qualifies you for 10X Reward Points – afterwards, your spending will only earn the base rate of 1X Reward Point per dollar.
3. Complimentary Travel Insurance…Which You’ll Likely Never Get
Citi offers complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$1,000,000 when you charge your airfare to the card. Sounds generous enough, yes?
But given that travel transactions are not eligible for 10X Rewards, you probably don’t want to be charging any plane tickets to the card. You’re better off with an alternative card for such instances, like the DBS Altitude Card – you’ll get up to 10 MPD on travel-related bookings.
Who Would Benefit Most From This Card?
- Young working professionals who want a basic credit card to collect points/miles from their daily expenses
- Those who spend around S$1,000 a month on retail fashion, online shopping, ride-hailing services, online grocery delivery, and food delivery services
- Prudent spenders who may take a few years to accumulate miles for travel