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Citi Rewards Card Review: The Best For Online & Overseas Spending

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The Citi Rewards card is a credit card I’ve been using for slightly more than a year.

My experience with it has been pretty great so far, and I think it’s one of the best cards around for miles chasers.

Today, I’ll tell you my 3 favourite and least favourite things about the Citi Rewards card.

What Is The Citi Rewards Card?

The Citi Rewards card is a specialised miles card that is popular due to its ability to earn 4 miles per dollar (mpd) on a wide range of transaction categories.

It earns 4 mpd on offline shopping transactions and almost all online transactions, with travel-related transactions like flight and hotel bookings being the major exclusion.

For such excluded transactions, the Citi Rewards card earns only 0.4 mpd.

While its utility is limited for offline transactions, it is one of the most versatile cards for earning 4 mpd on online transactions.

Pretty much anything goes for online transactions, which almost mimics the mobile contactless payment utility of the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) card.

Check out my review of the UOB PPV card here!

The Citi Rewards card is an entry-level credit card with an annual income requirement of S$30,000, so it is easily accessible to most working adults.

While it is commonly referred to as a miles card, the Citi Rewards card actually earns points called ThankYou Points, which can be converted to miles.

10 ThankYou Points are awarded for every S$1 of eligible spending, which can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 25,000 points = 10,000 miles.

Here is an overview of the details of the Citi Rewards card.

Eligibility RequirementS$30,000 annual income
21 years old
Annual FeeS$194.40 (1st year waiver)
Earn Rate4 mpd (shopping, online transactions excluding travel)
0.4 mpd (other spend)
Monthly Spend CapS$1,000 for 4 mpd
No cap for 0.4 mpd
Miles ValidityUp to 5 years
Miles Transfer Blocks25,000 ThankYou Points = 10,000 miles
Transfer PartnersBritish Airways
Cathay Pacific
Etihad Airways
Flying Blue
Qantas Airways
Qatar Airways
Singapore Airlines
Thai Airways
Turkish Airlines
IHG Rewards Club
Transfer FeeS$27 / transfer

Citi Rewards Card’s Strongest Buff: amaze Card

I mentioned that the Citi Rewards card is one of the best miles cards around, but it’s mostly useful for online transactions only.

This might seem to restrict the card’s usability, but this is where the amaze card comes into play.

I wrote an entire post about the amaze card a while back, explaining what it is and why it’s a great card to use especially with the Citi Rewards card.

So if you want to know the details about the amaze card, you can check out this guide – I’ll only be summarising the points here.

The amaze card is a multi-currency debit card that can use a MasterCard card as its source of funds, like the Citi Rewards card.

In doing so, any payment that you make with the amaze card is ultimately charged to the linked MasterCard.

But by choosing to route your payment through the amaze card, the following things happen:

  1. Foreign currency (FX) transactions are first converted to SGD by the amaze card before being charged (~2% – 3% FX fee)
  2. 1% cashback is awarded by the amaze card (InstaPoints) for FX transactions with equivalent value of S$10 or more
  3. SGD value of transaction is charged to your linked MasterCard
  4. Transactions charged to your linked MasterCard are treated as online transactions
  5. Credit card rewards still apply on amaze transactions unless otherwise stated

From the last 2 points, you might be able to guess why the amaze card works wonders with the Citi Rewards card.

The amaze card is capable of converting offline transactions to online transactions, allowing your Citi Rewards card to earn 4 mpd.

For example, if you eat out at a restaurant and pay with your Citi Rewards card, you’ll only earn 0.4 mpd.

But if you pay with your amaze card that is linked to your Citi Rewards card, you’ll earn 4 mpd.

This vastly extends the utility of the Citi Rewards card from online transactions to offline transactions as well, which is what makes it so great.

What I Like About The Citi Rewards Card

1: Best Card To Earn 4 Mpd On Foreign Currency Transactions

Many credit cards are capable of earning 4 mpd on FX transactions, but Citi Rewards is probably the best option around.

The reason for this is the Citi Rewards card’s ability to earn 4 mpd on amaze card transactions.

Banks typically charge an FX fee of 2.8% – 3.25% for FX transactions.

So, if you were to use a regular credit card for FX transactions, you might be able to earn 4 mpd, but you’d be paying ~3% in fees for doing so.

When it comes to the amaze card, its FX rates also imply a fee of 2 – 3%, but the difference is that it earns 1% cashback.

This helps to offset the cost of its poorer FX rate, making the effective cost closer to 1 – 2% instead.

Citi Rewards is one of the only specialised miles cards left that is still compatible with the amaze card to earn bonus miles.

Among the other MasterCard-issued specialised miles cards, the UOB Lady’s card and UOB Lady’s Solitaire card are the only ones to consider.

While they boast a superior earn rate of 6 mpd compared to Citi Rewards‘ 4 mpd, it is limited to only 1 and 2 bonus categories for the Lady’s and Lady’s Solitaire cards respectively.

Meanwhile, the Citi Rewards card will earn 4 mpd on almost all transactions.

On top of that, the UOB Lady’s cards are only available to females, so the Citi Rewards card is generally more accessible.

Personally, the Citi Rewards card linked to amaze has been my go-to spending card whenever I travel overseas.

2: 4 Mpd On Almost All Transactions

Again, this is due to the Citi Rewards card being compatible with the amaze card to earn bonus miles.

As I explained earlier, the amaze card converts offline transactions into online transactions, which allows the Citi Rewards card to earn 4 mpd almost everywhere.

This means that if you’re ever in doubt about which card you should use to earn miles, using the amaze card linked to Citi Rewards is quite a safe bet.

This makes it even more widely useable to earn 4 mpd as compared to the UOB PPV card, which is already considered to be one of the most versatile cards for earning 4 mpd.

The transactions you need to look out for when using the Citi Rewards card linked to amaze are travel-related transactions as well as general credit card exclusion transactions.

3: Generous Miles Calculation

Finally, the Citi Rewards card uses a fairly generous calculation to award miles.

Each transaction is rounded down to the nearest $1, then multiplied by 1 to award the base points and multiplied by 9 to award the bonus points.

Bonus points are awarded only for the eligible transactions, ie offline shopping and online transactions excluding travel.

In other words, points are awarded in blocks of $1, which is far more generous as compared to UOB which only awards points in blocks of $5.

What I Don’t Like About The Citi Rewards Card

1: Heavy Reliance On amaze Card

I’ve talked a fair bit about how the Citi Rewards card is being severely buffed by the amaze card.

This is great while it lasts, but there’s no telling how much longer Citibank will be willing to award 4 mpd on amaze transactions.

As it is, several banks have stopped awarding points for amaze transactions – Citibank is one of the last few standing.

If and when Citibank decides to end things with amaze, the utility of the Citi Rewards card will be severely hampered.

Don’t get me wrong, it will still be a great card to use for online transactions.

But losing its access to cheaper FX rates and the ability to convert offline transactions to online ones will definitely take away its unique selling points.

Also, there is already another card in DBS Woman’s World that is often used to earn 4 mpd online transactions.

It boasts the advantage of having a S$2,000 monthly cap and points pooling with the DBS Altitude card, which makes it superior to the Citi Rewards card in some cases.

And, unlike the UOB Lady’s cards, the DBS Woman’s World card is available to both men and women.

2: No Miles Pooling Across Other Citibank Cards

Citibank offers several miles-earning cards, but none of them pools their miles together.

For every Citibank card you use, you’ll have to convert your points into miles separately, paying a transfer fee each time you do.

This is true even for cards that seemingly use the same currency of points – the Citi Rewards card and the Citi Prestige card – both of which earn Thank You points.

Objectively speaking, this isn’t a huge issue as far as the utility of the Citi Rewards card goes.

But when competitors like UOB and DBS allow for points pooling across their popular miles cards, it’d be nice if Citibank does the same to remain competitive.

3: No Transaction History For Miles Crediting

Tracking your miles crediting with the Citi Rewards card can be challenging because they don’t post a detailed breakdown of miles earned per transaction.

On the Citi mobile app, you’re able to view the total miles credited in your statement month.

On the Internet rewards portal, you can view the daily crediting of miles by posting date.

While these should be sufficient to track your miles in most cases, if we compare it to UOB’s transaction-level breakdown, it’s simply not up to standard.

You’ll still need to spend time reconciling your card expenditure by day to figure out which transaction(s) didn’t earn any miles, if any.

How To Maximise 4 mpd With Citi Rewards

Here is a cheat sheet on how to maximise earning 4 mpd with the Citi Rewards card:

  1. Offline spending: amaze card only
  2. Online spending: amaze card or Citi Rewards card
  3. Avoid travel-related transactions

For offline usage, pairing the Citi Rewards card with the amaze card and spending with the amaze card is the way to go.

Without the amaze card, 4 mpd can only be earned for offline shopping transactions.

The amaze card makes the Citi Rewards card much more useable offline.

For online spending, using the Citi Rewards card itself is fine to earn 4 mpd, though there’s not much harm to use the amaze card as well.

Remember to avoid any travel-related transactions like flight/hotel bookings, car rentals, or tour agencies like Klook.

Other Things To Note

1: Annual Fee

By default, the Citi Rewards card charges an annual fee of S$194.40 with a 1st-year waiver.

However, it’s easy to request an annual fee waiver in subsequent years via the chat function on the Citi mobile app.

In my experience, Citibank has waived my annual fee, and I’d expect that they’ll waive it as long as you request it.

2: Bonus Points Cap Period

The Citi Rewards card earns 4 mpd on the first S$1,000 of eligible card spending each month, where eligible card spending includes offline shopping and online transactions excluding travel.

The monthly basis for the Citi Rewards card is the statement month, not the calendar month.

1 calendar month will likely span across 2 statement months, allowing you to earn 4 mpd on up to S$2,000 of spending in that month.

For example, my Citi Rewards card’s statement month is on the 15th.

I can spend S$1,000 before the 15th and S$1,000 after the 15th of the same month to earn 4 mpd on S$2,000 of spending in the same month.

But note that this will only work if I have no spending on the card prior to this month and don’t put any spending on the card in the next month.

3: Sign Up Rewards

Citibank is known to offer attractive sign-up rewards for their credit cards for new customers, often awarded through 3rd parties like SingSaver.

Historically, rewards like Nintendo Switch OLED, Apple iPad/AirPods Pro/Watch, Dyson hairdryer/vacuum/fan, and cash of up to $300 have been offered.

Personally, I redeemed a Dyson hairdryer with my Citi Rewards card application last year.

To be eligible for rewards offered by SingSaver, you need to sign up for the credit card via a SingSaver link such as this.

Here is the current signup offer for the Citi Rewards card.

Citibank Offer: Dyson Supersonic*, Dyson V8 Slim Fluffy, or S$300 Cash

*: Citi PremierMiles only

Promotion Period: 26 Jan – 31 Jan 2024

Eligible Cards:

How To Get Reward:

  1. Be a new Citibank credit card customer
  2. Sign up for your preferred card via the promotion link above
  3. Fill in the rewards redemption form within 14 days of card application
  4. Receive approval for your card by 29 Feb 2024
  5. Make a qualifying spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval
  6. Do not cancel the card for the first 12 months (the gift may be retracted otherwise)

Link To SingSaver Signup Rewards Guide:

4: Terms & Conditions

If you’d like to familiarise yourself with the Citi Rewards card, you can check out the terms & conditions here.

Final Thoughts

After using the Citi Rewards card for more than 1 year, my verdict is that it’s one of the best miles cards to own.

It should be noted that this is based on the Citi Rewards card’s compatibility with the amaze card to earn 4 mpd on amaze transactions.

As long as this partnership remains, there are many good things going for the Citi Rewards card and little to complain about.

Being able to earn 4 mpd on almost any transaction regardless of whether it is offline or online makes it extremely useful.

On top of that, it is also able to earn 4 mpd on FX transactions at a generally lower cost than other cards.

It earns miles on transactions as little as S$1, and its miles can be transferred to a wide variety of airline programs.

And don’t forget the attractive sign-up rewards that are frequently offered in partnership with SingSaver!

Citi Rewards + amaze has been my go-to option for overseas spending whenever I travel, and also for online FX transactions.

As a card that covers such niches and is still useful for daily spending, it’s easily one of the best miles cards available, and I’d even go so far as to say it’s a must-have.

While the verdict might not hold as strongly if Citibank ever stops awarding 4 mpd for amaze transactions, on its own, the Citi Rewards card is still decent.

It will continue to be one of the best cards to use for online transactions, though it loses its niche of being useful for FX transactions.

All in all, I really don’t have many complaints about the card, and it’s best to take advantage of the partnership with amaze now while it lasts.

What are your thoughts on the Citi Rewards card? Let me know in the comments below!

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