The Citi Rewards+® Card (review) is a fantastic no annual fee card, particularly for those involved in the Citi ThankYou ecosystem.
There are credit cards with all kinds of different bonus categories on spending, from dining, to groceries, to gas. In terms of bonuses on spending, the Citi Rewards+ has a unique feature whereby the points for each of your purchases will be “rounded up,” so I wanted to take a closer look at how that works in this post.
Basics of the Citi Rewards+ Card
The Citi Rewards+ is a pretty awesome no annual fee card. Among other things, the card offers:
- A welcome bonus of 20,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,500 within the first three months
- The card earns 2x ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations, on the first $6,000 spent every year (earn 1x points thereafter)
- Purchases on the card are rounded up to the nearest 10 ThankYou points, allowing you to maximize your points even further
- Receive 10% of your points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points you redeem per year
This is an excellent no annual fee card that’s a great complement to the Citi Premier® Card (review). Personally I think the card is worth having for the 10% refund on redeemed points alone, since that’s a huge perk for a no annual fee card. However, in this post I wanted to focus on the unique “rounding up” feature of this card.
Round up Citi Rewards+ Card purchases to nearest 10 points
One of the coolest aspects of the Citi Rewards+ is the “rounding up” feature, whereby every purchase with the card will be rounded up to the nearest 10 ThankYou points. Make a $1 purchase? You’ll earn 10 ThankYou points. Make an $11 purchase? You’ll earn 20 ThankYou points.
That stacks even further, as the card offers 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations. Spend $6 at a supermarket or gas station? You’ll earn 12 ThankYou points, and that will then be rounded up to 20 ThankYou points.
I love this perk largely because of how creative it is. We’ve seen a never-ending race between card issuers to offer bigger and better bonus categories, and there’s only so far they can go. It’s cool to see a card that takes a different direction with that, offering a bonus not based on what kind of purchase you make, but rather based on how much you spend.
Now, of course I think it’s important to mention that I’d recommend acting within the spirit of this benefit. In other words, if you find a way to run your credit card 100 times per day for $0.01, I’m guessing Citi may shut down your account. 😉
Doing the math on Citi Rewards+ Card rounding up feature
I really like the creativity of the Citi Rewards+, and that it offers a different kind of bonus category than you’ll find on most cards. For those who enjoy maximizing rewards, this is a fun addition to your wallet, since it’ll make you crunch numbers with each transaction.
For those thinking that it makes sense to now do all your supermarket shopping via self check-out so that you can split up every transaction, I think it’s important to do some number crunching here, so that we can maintain perspective.
Let’s say you’re making a $1 purchase (though what even costs a dollar anymore nowadays?). At the absolute most, you’re looking at earning an incremental 8x points, since the best cards for everyday spending offer 2x transferable points per dollar spent. This would include cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card (review) and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review).
If you’re like me and value transferable points at 1.7 cents each, those incremental 8x ThankYou points are worth 13.6 cents per transaction.
That’s the best case scenario, since it assumes you’re making a purchase not otherwise eligible for a bonus category. Buying a cup of coffee? You could otherwise earn up to 5x points on that purchase, so even a $2 purchase could potentially earn the same number of points on another card? You can also earn up to 5x points on that purchase with other cards.
My point is simply to say that this is an awesome feature and when used strategically it can help you build up points over time. However, I don’t think this perk is lucrative enough to try to split up transactions, etc.
The Citi Rewards+ is a solid no annual fee credit card. My two favorite features are the 10% back on redeemed points, plus the ability to round up purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou points. This can help you rack up lots of points on small purchases, especially in conjunction with the card’s 2x points for groceries and gas.
If you have the Citi Rewards+, how does the “rounding up” feature factor into your credit card strategy, if at all?
I like using it at the drycleaners or a small residual doctor bill (after insurance). Say a $2.83 shirt rounds to 10 points. Those 10 points can be transferred to Choice as 20 points x .006 point value = .12. Turn around and redeem at a Preferred Hotel where Choice point redemptions are already anywhere from .01 - .02 (Hotel Emma example at 55k points for a $600+ room). No better strategy for high-end hotel redemptions.
I pay about $3 for parking when I go to the gym. 10 points each time works very well!
Nearby town charges $1/hr at the meters.
Thanks for the information. Just one question--where are you getting 1.7 cents per point?
@ E C -- Here's my post about how I come up with my valuation of points:
There's no science to my valuation, but that post talks about the approach I take when it comes to determining a value for points currencies.