The Citi Clear Card shows up a lot when you search for entry-level credit cards.
At first glance, it seems pretty decent — no minimum income requirement, discounts at popular retail and F&B outlets, and an easy-to-use app.
But are the benefits as good as Citibank claims they are? And how does the Citi Clear Card compare to other entry-level cards?
Today, we’ll review the Citi Clear Student Card and assess how whether it’s a good option for students and first-time credit card applicants:
Who’s Eligible for the Citi Clear Student Card?
|Residential Status||Singaporean / Permanent Resident|
|Age||18 and above|
|Additional Eligibility Criteria||Must be accepted/enrolled into any of these institutions:|
Not an existing primary / basic Citi cardholder, though supplementary Cardmembers are eligibleIf below 21, you’ll need a parent/guardian’s consent and guarantee for the payment of outstanding balances
If you’re below 21, you’ll need these too:
Unfortunately, only matriculated students can apply since you’ll need to produce a copy of your student matriculation card during the application process.
For the NSFs who’ve already been accepted into a tertiary institution, you’ll have to wait a bit longer before you’re eligible!
Working adults are not eligible — you may want to check out the CIMB AWSM or Standard Chartered Manhattan $500 card instead.
Annual Fees, Credit Limit, and Other Charges
|Annual Fees||S$30.24 (waived for first year)|
|Credit Limit||$500 monthly credit limit|
|Effective Interest Rate||28%|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||1% of current balance + 1% outstanding unbilled instalment amounts + interest charges + late payment charges|
S$25, whichever is greater + any overdue amounts
|Cash Advance Fee||6% of the amount drawn or S$15, whichever is higher|
|Cash Advance Interest||2.34% per month (minimum charge of S$3.00 per month)|
|Late Payment Charges||Daily interest rates of S$3 per month of 2.34% per month, whichever is greater.|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee|
No Annual Fee Waiver
Sadly, this card isn’t as low maintenance as the Maybank eVibes Card. You’ll only get an annual fee waiver for the first year — afterwards, it’s S$30.24 per year.
Card Benefits, Rewards, and Other Perks
Benefits-wise, the Citi Clear Student card seems comparable to the Maybank eVibes Card due to the variety of benefits cardholders are entitled to.
But let’s take a closer look at Citi Clear’s benefits:
Pay with Points — But You Won’t Get Much
The Citi Clear card gives you the option of offsetting purchases with your reward points. Sadly, you won’t accrue enough points to redeem much of anything.
The current conversion rate is 440 points for S$1, so point-conscious shoppers will get a little over a dollar in discounts every month.
That’s a lot less than the 1% cashback on all retail spending from the Maybank eVibes card or the 1% cashback from all things dining/entertainment/online shopping/telco from the CIMB AWSM card.
Low Point to Mile Conversion
Hard truth: this card won’t make you a travel hacker anytime soon. Since you only get 0.4 Citi miles per point (and 1 point for every S$1 spent), you’d need to spend a lot to even make a dent in the price of a plane ticket.
Say you want to take a weekend trip to Bangkok, for example. It costs roughly 25,000 miles to book a ticket — which means you’d need to spend $62,500. Assuming you max out your $500 credit limit every month, it will take 125 months to get there.
Realistically, you could probably get about $45 off one plane ticket every year with this card.
Citi World Privileges
Citibank’s deals are probably the main draw of the card. The offers change all the time, but if you’re lucky, you could get discounts like S$8 off Deliveroo with a minimum spend of S$40 or S$6 off Shopee with a minimum spend of S$70.
If they happen to have partner discounts at merchants you regularly shop with, you could save significantly more than the flat 1% cashback rate from other cards.
How Easy Is It to Use the Citi Clear Student Card?
Compatible With Apple Wallet And Samsung Pay
All Citibank cards are compatible with native wallet applications (e.g. Apple Wallet) and payment service providers (e.g. Samsung Pay). This makes it very convenient for students who always lose their wallet or prefer not to carry too many cards around.
Accepted In Many Establishments Islandwide And Globally
The Citi Clear card is a Mastercard. That means on top of the usual Mastercard benefits, students also enjoy exclusive dining deals at over 1,000 eateries in Singapore.
Centralised Citi Mobile App for Easy Monitoring and Redemption
The revamped Citi mobile app allows you to track everything on a single platform. Gone are the days of having to download multiple apps or log in from a desktop!
It also has a clean and simple-looking user interface, making it very intuitive to navigate. The best part is the added security functions that allow users to lock/unlock their card and secure transactions.
Caveats Of The Citi Clear Student Card
Several Key Expense Categories are Excluded from Earning Rewards
If you’re looking for a card that gives cashback for your commutes or bills, the DBS Live Fresh Student Card or CIMB AWSM Card may be better options. Other categories excluded include paying for non-durable goods such as parking, topping up prepaid cards, and so on.
S$25 Fee for Each Conversion of Citi Reward Points To Air Miles
On top of the low point-to-mile conversion, you’ll also have to pay $25 when you convert your points into air miles. If you still want to convert those points, consider accumulating them and then converting a larger amount of points just before they expire.
All Unused Citi Reward Points are Forfeited Upon Account Termination
Like all other student credit cards, the Citi Clear Card terminates rewards when you cancel the card.
It all boils down to what you want to achieve with a credit card. The Citi Clear card doesn’t give much in the way of cashback or discounts, but as a global establishment, Citibank offers seasonal dining and shopping deals that other cards may not be able to match.
If you’re looking to accumulate miles for when travel is a feasible option again, a specialised miles card is a better option.
If you’re more interested in getting some cash value out of your everyday expenses, then a cashback card would work better for you.
The Citi Clear Card is a middle ground for those unsure of what they prefer. You get a little bit of everything — partner merchant offers, discounts, cashback (in the form of points), or air miles to offset your next trip.