2017 Credit Card Review Part 1: CITIBANK


In this series of credit card review, we will discuss and assess your credit card options with each bank depending on your preference.

In this first part, we see how the Citibank cards stack up.

A quick browse through Citibank’s website shows 7 credit cards (excluding student and business card). Are they all useful? It depends on whether you’re into chasing the miles or cashback.

TL:DR – Citibank Rewards for miles and Cash Back Card for rebates

Here’s a quick break down for you:

Miles chaser

Citibank Rewards card

Citi Rewards

By far the best rewards card Citibank has to offer. At 4 miles /S$ spend on online retail transaction, it holds its own against other credit cards in the market. On Amazon purchases, it goes up to 8 miles/S$ spend; this is the best in the market. The best UOB credit card earns 6 miles /S$ spend for transactions through their travel agent, while DBS World Woman Master credit card also earns 4 miles/S$ for online spend.

Cool thing is that there are two versions, Visa and Mastercard, and each card has its own rewards cap. So getting both will double the cap.

Pros: i) High rewards earn rate ii) Long reward points expiry (5 years) iii) Two cards, effective doubling the earning cap.
Cons: i) More restrictive spend, specially stores selling shoes, clothes and bags (according to their website).

Get your cards here.

Citibank Premier Miles Visa/AMEX

CIti PremierMiles cards

Frankly, this is an average card. At 2 miles /S$ spend for foreign currency and 1.2 miles /S$ spend (1.3 miles for AMEX version) for local currency, we can do better with the UOB PRVI cards (2.4 miles/S$ and 1.4 miles/ S$ respectively). That said, a (very very) key difference is its ongoing promotion. If you’re a new Citibank credit card user, and you’re going to spend S$10,000 within the first three months of getting the card, go for it. You’ll be handsomely rewarded with at least 42k miles.

Pros: i) Attractive promotion ongoing (if you qualify for it) ii) Wider range of participating frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programmes
Cons: i) There are clearly better cards in the market

Get your card here.

Citibank Prestige Card

Another average earn rate similar to the Citibank Premier Miles AMEX (2 miles /S$ spend for foreign currency and 1.3 miles /S$ spend for local currency).

Key differences lie in its Prestige Card privileges such as limousine transfers / concierge service and the option to receive Citi$ (miles) after payment of annual fee. Is this exchange of annual fee for Citi$ value-for-money? That depends on how you value it. Other cards that offer a better deal in fee-for-miles exchange are ANZ and DBS Altitude cards.

Check out our consolidation of such fee-for-miles card

Pros: i) Prestige card privileges ii) Fee-for-miles possibility
Cons: i) Average earn rate ii) Average fee-for-miles value iii) Relatively high annual income requirement

Get your card here.

Cashback chasers

Cash Back Card

As the name suggest, this card gives you cashback on spend. Used to be known as ‘dividend card’, the requirements have been tightened, and it now takes a lot more monthly spend (S$888 to be precise) to qualify for the top tier of cashback. The difference between the top tier and base rebate is 7.5%, a huge difference if you ask us.

That said, if you’re consolidating all your family spend on the card, it works pretty fine for petrol (Esso and Shell) and many supermarket chains.

Pros: i) High cashback amount, capped at $75 for the categories of petrol, groceries and dining.
Cons: i) High spend required

Get your card here.

Citibank SMRT Platinum

Although this credit card is branded with SMRT, its rebates on EZ-reload auto top up is only average at maximum 2%. The categories of groceries and entertainment (coffee/movies/fast food) are better at a maximum of 5%. The spend criteria is a lot more lax than the cash back card for groceries spend.

Pros: i) Good rebate card for groceries and coffee

Get your card here.

Look out for part 2, where we will discuss about UOB cards!

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