Credit Cards

Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card – MoneySmart Review (2020)

I have a soft spot for cash back credit cards. There’s none of that beating around the bush, trying to predict when your rewards points expire or getting slapped with fees for converting air miles. One of the newest cash back cards to be introduced recently is the Citi Cash Back+ Card.

It features a familiar blue-and-white card face, but it’s not to be confused with the plain old Citi Cash Back Card, which is a very popular all-round cashback card in Singapore, but operates very differently.

In a nutshell, the Citi Cash Back+ Card falls under the “unlimited cashback card” category, offering 1.6% cashback on all purchases, with no minimum spending and no cashback cap. Let’s see how it stacks up.

 

Citi Cash Back+ Card terms & conditions

Citi Cash Back+ Card
Annual fee & waiver $192.60, first year waived
Supplementary annual fee $96.30
Interest free period 25 days from date of statement of account
Annual interest rate 26.9%
Late payment fee $100
Minimum monthly payment 1% of current balance (+ 1% of any outstanding unbilled installment amounts and interest charges + late payment charge + any overdue amounts)
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25%
Cash advance transaction fee $15 or 6%, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee $40
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean / PR), $42,000 (foreigner)
Card association Mastercard (from 30 Mar 2020, previously Visa)
Wireless payment Yes

 

How the Citi Cash Back+ Card works

The card’s main benefits are the following:

  • 1.6% cashback on everything.
  • No minimum spending requirement
  • No cashback cap
  • Typical exclusions apply: you can’t get cashback when you pay your income tax, late payment fees, etc

The Citi Cash Back+ Card’s strongest selling point is that it’s very straightforward. You don’t have to worry about meeting minimum spending requirements or rack your brains trying to remember what it offers cashback for.

This is typical of all unlimited cash back cards: They’re easy to use because they reward you for all kinds of spending, but the catch is that the cash rebate is relatively low. For such cards, 1.6% is already the market-high.

If you’re looking exclusively in that bag of cards, then the Citi Cash Back+ Card is a good contender. However, if you’re comparing cashback cards in general, then you’ll find that 1.6% is pretty low.

Other cash back cards that offer rebates for selected spending categories typically give a much better earn rate of 5% to 10%. Let’s take the Citi Cash Back (without a +) card for example — that one offers 8% cash back for dining, petrol and groceries.

 

Who should use the Citi Cash Back+ Card?

First of all, if you’ve already found a cashback card that suits your daily spending habits, you probably shouldn’t cancel it for the Citi Cash Back+ Card. You can continue using that — your usual card — for your typical expenses like dining out, grocery shopping and transport.

However, due to the lack of a minimum spending requirement, the Citi Cash Back+ Card is a good card to have on hand as a backup card to pay for things you just don’t have a better card for. Think super niche purchases, like repairs at the car workshop, dental appointments or music lessons, to name a few.

Additionally, once you hit your cashback cap for the month, you can switch over to the Citi Cash Back+ Card to continue earning rebates since 1.6% cash back is better than none.

If all that was mind-boggling and you don’t want to think about having multiple cards for different purposes, then this card could be great for you too. The Citi Cash Back+ Card is as straightforward and fuss-free as it gets: just swipe, earn some rebates, and that’s it.

 

Citi Cash Back+ Card promotions

If you sign up now, you can get a bonus rate of 4.5% cashback on up to $5,000 worth of spending in your first 3 months of card membership. The promotion is valid until 31 May 2020.

 

Alternatives to the Citi Cash Back+ Card

Here are the Citi Cash Back+ Card’s closest competitors.

Maybank FC Barcelona These 2 are almost the same. They work the exact same way, and offer the same 1.6% cashback on everything, no minimum spending requirement, no cashback cap. There’s an annual fee of $120.

SCB Unlimited Cashback Card This card offers 1.5% cashback on everything instead, which is a very slightly less. As usual, there’s no minimum spending requirement, no cashback cap. The annual fee of $192.60 is waived for the first 2 years.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to S$250 worth of Cashback, Instant Cash or Grab Credits! Applies to New-to-Bank cardholders. Valid till 13 Apr 2020.

Amex True Cashback Card Like the SCB Unlimited Cashback card, this card gives you 1.5% cashback on everything. However, there’s an additional +1% cashback on foreign currency purchases, which could be useful. Again, no minimum spending requirement, no cashback cap. Annual fee of $171.20 waived for 1 year.

American Express logo
Online Promo: Receive S$60 CapitaVouchers when you apply and spend! Valid till 30 Jun 2020.

The Maybank FC Barcelona Card offers the same cashback amount, while the Amex True Cashback Card offers a more attractive 2.5% cashback on foreign currency purchases.

So, if you shop online or travel often, you would probably be better off going for the Amex card.

And as for the Maybank FC Barcelona Card, you can eventually switch to it if your request for an annual fee waiver for the Citi Cash Back+ Card gets rejected and vice versa—it’s always good to have options!

Are you planning to sign up for the Citi Cash Back+ Card? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

 

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