Citi Clear Card for Students [In-Depth Review]

Shania Wong
Updated:
PROMO: S$20 cashback welcome gift
Apply Now
on Citi's website

Citi Clear Card

Apply Now
on Citi's website
The Citi Clear card doesn’t give much in the way of cashback or discounts — the Reward Points aren’t enough to do anything. As a global establishment though, Citibank offers seasonal dining and shopping deals that other cards may not be able to match.

Pros

  • Point system with a variety of rewards
  • Compatible with payment platforms
  • Great dining and shopping deals with global partners
  • Option of converting points into miles

Cons

  • No annual fee waiver past first year
  • NSFs and low-income working adults are ineligible
  • Low point-to-mile conversion
  • Several key expense categories are excluded from earning rewards

Current Promotion

  • S$20 cashback welcome gift

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 StatusSingaporean / Permanent Resident
Age18 and above
Income RequiredNone
Additional Eligibility CriteriaMust be accepted/enrolled into any of these institutions:
  • NTU, NUS, SMU, SIM, SUTD, SIT, SUSS, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, DigiPen, ESSEC, GIST-TUM Asia, INSEAD, S P Jain, Tisch, UNLV, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, LASALLE-SIA, NAFA, EDHEC-Risk Institute, and Sorbonne-Assas International Law School.

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
Documents Required
  • Front and back copy of NRIC
  • Copy of Matriculation card


If you’re below 21, you’ll need these too:
  • Front and back copy of Parent or Guardian’s NRIC
  • Signature of Parent or Guardian on application form

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 FeesS$29.96 (waived for first year)
Credit Limit$500 monthly credit limit
Effective Interest Rate28%
Minimum Monthly Payment1% of current balance + 1% outstanding unbilled instalment amounts + interest charges + late payment charges
OR
S$25, whichever is greater + any overdue amounts
Overlimit FeeS$40
Cash Advance Fee6% of the amount drawn or S$15, whichever is higher
Cash Advance Interest2.34% per month (minimum charge of S$3.00 per month)
Late Payment ChargesDaily interest rates of S$3 per month of 2.34% per month, whichever is greater.
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee
  • Admin fees of up to 3.25% on converted amount
  • Extra 1% admin fee for Dynamic Currency Conversion

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$29.96 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: 

Rewards
  • Earn 1 point for every S$1 spent
  • 0.4 miles per Citi ThankYou point
  • Not applicable on spending for:
    • Bank and government payments
    • Fund transfers
    • Payments to insurance, financial, non-profit organisations, etc.
    • Transit-related transactions or top-ups to any payment service providers
    • Payments to educational institutions
Ongoing Promotions
  • Welcome gift of S$20 cashback with a minimum spend of S$50 during the Qualifying Spend Period
  • Cardholders can enjoy:
    • Up to SG10 off with min spend of SGD50 at Grab valid till 30 Jun 2022
    • 3% off with min SGD15 spend on regular-priced items valid till 31 Dec 2022 at Pet Lovers Centre
    • 10% off with a minimum spend of SGD50, capped at SGD20 off Valid till 31 Dec 2022 for Klook users(e.g. Beauty In The Pot)
Other Benefits
  • Redeem and manage points flexibly with Citi’s ThankYou® Rewards
  • Use your points to pay for purchases
  • Gain access to Citi’s World Privileges and get deals and discounts locally & in 90 other countries

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.

In Summary…

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.