Citi Rewards Card Review 2022: The Best for Average Spenders?

Priscilla Lee
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 Rewards Card

Apply Now
on Citi's website
The Citi Rewards Card is an easy go-to card for everyday expenses like groceries, online shopping, and food delivery. Couples and young families will find the bonus rates and points cap are just about right for their needs.

Pros

  • Earn 10X Rewards Points (4 MPD) for a broad range of categories
  • Attractive rewards catalogue for Apple fans
  • Excellent sign-up promotions
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons

  • Bonus rate doesn’t apply to travel-related transactions
  • Low points cap for bonus points
  • Mobile contactless payments only earn 1 Point / 0.4 MPD
  • 10X points for ride-hailing, but not transit-related transactions

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 when you spend a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. (Valid until 18 December 2022) Click to apply.

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:

Eligibility Requirements

Age21 and above
Income
  • At least S$30,000 per annum for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents
  • At least S$42,000 per annum for Foreigners

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 FeesS$192.60 (inclusive of GST) for a principal card with a first-year fee waiver. S$96.30 for each supplementary card.
Effective Interest Rate26.90% per annum
Late Payment ChargesS$100
Minimum Monthly Payment1% of outstanding balance plus 1% of outstanding unbilled instalment amounts plus interest OR S$50, whichever is higher
Branch Service FeeS$10.70 (inclusive of GST) for each payment made over the counter
Overlimit FeeS$40
Points Transfer FeeS$26.75 (inclusive of GST) for each conversion
Foreign Currency Transaction FeeUp to 3.25%
Cash Advance Interest and Fees6% of the amount withdrawn or S$15, whichever is higher
Citiphone Redemption Fee600 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 Points
  • 10X Reward Points (4MPD) for fashion and online shopping
  • 10X Reward Points (4MPD) for Grab, Gojek, and other ride-hailing services
  • 10X Reward Points (4MPD) for online food and grocery deliveries
Reward CapsNo cap for Base Points. Bonus Points capped at 9,000 monthly (first S$1,000 in eligible spending)
Points Expiry5 years 
Notable Exclusions
  • Mobile contactless payments
  • Travel-related transactions such as hotel and flight bookings, car rentals, and payments to travel agencies
  • Bill payments
  • Transit-related transactions
  • Institutional payments, such as to government, schools, financial institutions, or insurance companies
OtherComplimentary 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?

BankRewards Catalogue (Categories)What’s Unique
Citi 
  • Apple products
  • Hotel and airlines
  • Electronics (49)
  • Home and garden (59)
  • Bags and luggage (159)
  • Watches (36)
  • Redeem full range of Apple products with points
  • Book any of the 300,000 hotels and 900 airlines with points
  • Shop with points at Amazon
UOB
  • Travel (4)
  • Leisure and services (15)
  • Dining (42)
  • Retail (51)
  • Extensive dining and retail options to redeem from
Maybank
  • Shop and dine (23)
  • Retail (24)
  • Travel and leisure (12)
  • Charity (10)
  • Retail category focused on household appliances

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