New Citi+ Rewards Student Credit Card

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Update: This offer for Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


Earlier I wrote about the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, which is a fantastic no annual fee card with some cool features.

My favorite feature of the card is that they round up your purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou points, so if you make a one dollar purchase, for example, you’d earn 10 ThankYou points. That’s a cool feature that we haven’t seen before on another card, and it nicely complements the Citi Premier℠ Card and/or Citi Prestige® Card, since you can pool points across those cards.

Anyway, Citi has also released a student version of the card — the Citi Rewards+ Student Card — which I think many student readers may be interested in.

The basics of the Citi Rewards+ Student Card

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is actually very similar to the Citi Rewards+℠ Card. The cards have the following in common:

  • No annual fee
  • Purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 ThankYou points
  • Earn 2x ThankYou points on supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year
  • 10% of your points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem per year

The only real difference I can spot between the cards is the welcome bonuses.

The student version of the card has a smaller welcome bonus — you earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 within three months, rather than 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within three months.

Who should get a student credit card?

Using your credit responsibly to maximize your credit card rewards is one of the best ways to earn points.

The catch is that it’s often tough to establish good credit, especially when you’re young. This is what I went through about a decade ago, when I first got into credit cards.

As much as it’s tempting to apply for a premium card right away, the reality is that without a significant credit history or high income, you’re typically best off starting small. That’s where a student credit card helps, since it can help you build your credit long term.

Generally speaking student credit cards are less rewarding than other cards, though in this case I’d actually consider this to be a solid student card, given the “rounding up” feature.

To build your credit score you’ll also want to keep some cards long term, so getting this student card with no annual fee and a unique perk is a great way to do so.

For more on applying for credit cards as a college student, see this post.

Bottom line

All else being equal I’d of course get the Citi Rewards+℠ Card over the Citi Rewards+ Student Card, since the card has a better welcome bonus.

However, for a student just getting started with credit cards, I think picking up the student version of the card to help build your credit history is a great option. I think the “rounding up” feature will especially resonate with college students, given how many small transactions many college students make, where the rounding up will make a material difference in points earning potential.

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Comments

  1. Can someone help clarify the rounding feature I’ve never seen it before. So say your purchase earns 56 points straight up, so that mean you actually earn 60 points for thag purchase. But say you earn 54 points, does that round down to 50, round up to 60, or stay right where it’s at? Seems a bit weird that they’d be giving extra point every single time.

  2. If I’m an authorized user on the Citi Prestige and I get the Student Rewards+, does that qualify me to transfer my Citi Points?

  3. @Neil – You don’t specify from and to which card you would want to transfer. I’ll assume you’re asking about Prestige – Student Rewards +.

    If you’re an authorized user on someone else’s Citi Prestige, then the points go to the main cardholder and are “owned” by him/her (well, Citi really “owns” the points, but they’re credited to the main cardholder).

    I can’t think of any way you could transfer the Citi points to your own “new” personal Student Rewards + account, or even to an airline partner. You would need to start building your own points base.

  4. Terrible card. I’m a freshman student in college on a small income but have excellent credit and 3 regular cards with great bonuses. I was approved for the BOFA student card ($200 for $500 spend), Hilton No Annual Fee Amex (100k for $1k spend) and Delta Gold Amex (60k for $1k spend). This was all within the span of 6 months.

    The key for college students is to start by being an authorized user on one of their parents’ cards. I was able to get a 700 credit score by doing that alone.

    This card is a waste of time. 2500 points for $500 spend?! What a joke. Don’t waste your time with student cards except the BOFA one which offers a 40% return sign up bonus.

    I love you Lucky and have learned a lot from you, but we both know this isn’t worth it for anyone.

  5. Interesting. I would like to get my daughter as an authorized user to build up her credit before starting college. Would doing that cause her to not be able open that same card in her name at some point. I have Hilton am ex, IHG, delta gold am ex , Marriot business and personal. Any suggestion is appreciated. Do I just call and add an authorized user? Will she begin to earn credit history? Do they ask for her social security number? Thanks

  6. While the card does look pretty lame, it’s worth noting that Citi is among the few banks willing to open a checking account and credit card for customers without a SSN.

    So if you’re a international student fresh off of the plane (as I was a year ago), this card might be a good place to start with your US credit history (it certainly beats the ThankYou Preferred card that I was given)

  7. Will getting this card prevents you from earning bonus points with the ThankYou Premier/Citi Prestige in the future??

  8. For a 15 yr old , I would like to add as an authorized user on my accounts so she can build credit history. Do I call and add her, how can this be so SHE can build her credit history? Suggestions on which card I should do this for (IHG, Marriot, Delts, Hilton, Saphire Reserve,)

    second question: Also,there are certain cards I have that will give “bonus points” to getting a friend to sign up….once she is old enough can my own daughter be my “friend” to sign up once she turns 18? So both of us can benefit from more points?

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