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Bank, Card Review, Citibank

Citibank Rewards Credit Card Review

Citibank Rewards Credit Card

Citibank Rewards Credit Card is an entry-level credit card from Citibank designed for frequent shoppers.  This credit card comes with a low annual fee with easy to achieve the target for the fee waiver. Since Citibank Rewards credit card targets frequent shoppers it offers accelerated reward points on spends at apparel and department stores. So, does this credit card checks all the boxes and should be the one in your wallet? Read to find out.

About Citibank Rewards Credit Card

Citibank Rewards Credit Card

Fees and Eligibility:

  • Zero joining fee. Annual fees of INR1000 + GST; waived off on annual spends of INR30,000.

Rewards and Benefit:

  • Joining Benefit:
    • 1500 reward points on the first spend within 30 days of card issuance
    • 1000 reward points on the first spend of 1000 or more within 60 days of card issuance
  • Recurring Benefit:
    • 300 reward points on spending 30,000 or more in a month
  • Reward Points:
    • 1 Reward point on every INR125 spent. 1 Reward point = 0.35 paisa (0.28% reward rate)
    • Accelerated Reward Points:
      • 10X Reward points (2.8% reward rate) on every 125 spent at apparel and department stores.
    • 1% fuel surcharge waiver

Citibank Rewards Card snapshot

 Verdict

While at first Citibank Rewards credit card appears to be a good credit card, but the details and fine print take away a lot of sheen from this card. Infact there are lots of limitations with this card hidden in the fine print.  I have listed them below:

10x Reward Points:

The 10x reward points are capped at a monthly spend of INR7,000. Anything spent above this limit will only earn a standard reward rate of 1 point for every 125 spent. Thus, this limits the reward rate on the card severely. While, one has to agree that 10x reward points apparel and department stores cover most of our popular outlets such as Big Bazaar, Dmart, Reliance Fresh, Shoppers Stop Central etc. However, the cap on reward points is a big dampener.

No reward points at all on many transactions:

Citibank in October 2019 revised its reward policies (Read the detailed post). Thus spends on Uber, Ola, utility bill payments, mobile bill payments, insurance premiums and many more categories will not earn any reward points.

Nonetheless, since Citibank still allows reward points on wallet load one can circumvent these restrictions to earn reward points. However, it just increases the hassles for the card user.

No one on one Paytm movie ticket offer:

Last year, Citibank had launched a one-on-one free movie ticket offer in partnership with Paytm. When the offer was launched, all Citibank credit cards were eligible for the offer. However, sometime later they silently excluded Citibank Rewards credit card, Citibank IndianOil credit card and Citibank Cashback credit card from the offer.

That’s not all! Even under the best-case scenario, where one maximizes the reward points in all categories, the best-case reward rate on Citibank Rewards credit card comes at just 1.22%. 🙁

Citibank Rewards Credit Card Reward Working

Conclusion:

While Citibank has some very good credit cards in its portfolio, for eg. Prestige and PremierMiles, with Premiermiles being my primary credit card even today. In fact, Premiermiles credit card helped me save more than 100,000 just last year.

However, everything said and done, Citibank Rewards credit card is a very basic credit card and apart from looks, it doesn’t offer anything exciting. The one positive thing is multiple redemption options as listed below.

Redemption Option

As discussed earlier, the best-case reward rate of 1.22% is on the lower side when compared to many other credit cards in the same segment/category. One can read about other credit cards in the same segment here, here and here. Thus, I would go for this card, only if it is offered as a free-for-life credit card.

 

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