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Citi Cash Back Card – MoneySmart Review 2018

citi cash back card

Clara Lim

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Although there are plenty of cashback credit cards in Singapore, looking at the rebates can sometimes leave you feeling a tad underwhelmed. I mean, 3% rebate on groceries? Please leh, that’s hardly going to make a dent especially if you have a quinoa habit like Malaysian PM Najib Razak. With 8% rebates (huat ah!) on everyday spending categories, the Citi Cash Back Card sounds a lot less pathetic than your average cashback card. So let’s see if it’s really as good as it sounds.

 

Pros and cons of the Citi Cash Back Card

Pros Cons
8% cashback on dining, groceries, petrol, Grab rides (until 6 Apr 2018). Bonus cashback is capped at $25 for each category.
Up to 20.88% savings at Esso and Shell (including 8% petrol cashback). Bonus cashback is capped at $25.
20% cashback on Foodpanda until 30 Apr 2018. Bonus cashback is capped at $25.
Minimum spend $888 a month. Otherwise, cashback drops to 0.25%
Sign-up bonus of $150 NTUC FairPrice or Takashimaya voucher until 15 Apr 2018. For new-to-Citibank applicants signing up through MoneySmart.
Sign-up bonus of up to $120 cashback until 30 Jun 2018. Minimum spend $200 to get $20 cashback each month. Repeat for 6 months.
Entry-level minimum income requirement of $30,000 a year.
Annual fee waived for one year. Annual fee of $192.60.

 

Who is the Citi Cash Back Card really for?

On the face of it, the Citi Cash Back Card looks like an everyday cashback card for the average Singaporean, covering most of our daily spending categories (food and transport).

But because of the minimum spend and very specific cashback caps, the Citi Cash Back Card is really only ideal for about $200 to $300 expenditure in each category. What does that look like in real life?

For a start, $300 isn’t enough to cover a month’s petrol expenses if you drive to work everyday. You could drive to work half the time and take Grab rides the other half. But who does that? It’s more likely that you’ll use the Citi Cash Back Card until you hit the cap, then switch to another petrol credit card.

On to food. Who spends $300 a month on groceries? Probably no one who does any serious cooking at home, unless your partner takes care of the grocery bill while you buy only snacks and drinks. So we’re looking at someone who mostly dines out.

Yet, a $300 dining expense limit is only good for eating at restaurants a couple of times a week. So either you’re happy eating hawker meals most of the time, or you would pair it with a dedicated dining credit card.

 

How it stacks up against the competition

Let’s see how the Citi Cash Back Card stacks up against some other all-purpose cashback cards in Singapore:

OCBC 365 Credit Card – With a lower minimum spend of $600, the OCBC 365 is more accessible than the Citi Cash Back Card, but it loses out as the rebates are much lower and more dining-focused: 6% on weekend dining, 3% on weekday dining, online shopping, groceries and telco bills, plus up to 23.8% savings at Caltex.

BOC Family Card – Low minimum spend of $500, but still pretty competitive rebates across a whole bunch of categories: 7% on dining and 5% on groceries, online shopping, hospital bills and NETS FlashPay, with a $100 cap. You will have to use a separate petrol credit card if you drive though.

POSB Everyday Card – If you find the Citi Cash Back Card’s minimum spend rather annoying, the POSB Everyday Card is a no-hassle alternative for 5% cashback at Sheng Siong (capped at $50, which gives you a $1,000 budget to play with) and 3% at Watsons, plus up to 20.1% savings at SPC.

Which card is best? It depends on which of the cashback categories is important to you. If you have a car and spend more than $300, the OCBC 365 and POSB Everyday are good options. If you’re OK spending around $300, stick to the Citi Cash Back Card.

For groceries, the Citi Cash Back’s 8% rebate is still the best in the market. But if you need to spend more than $300 a month, supplement or replace it with the BOC Family or POSB Everyday card.

For (many) more cashback credit card reviews, see the all-purpose and grocery cashback cards sections of our cashback cards roundup here.

 

Citi Cash Back Card minimum income

Singaporeans & PRs: $30,000

Foreigners: $42,000

 

Citi Cash Back Card annual fee

$192.60 (waived for first year)

 

Related articles:

Best Citibank Credit Cards in Singapore – Credit Card Reviews 2018

The Best Cashback Credit Cards in Singapore 2018

Cashback vs Air Miles vs Rewards – Which credit card is best for you?

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.