Citibank Cash Back Card Review 2021

Citibank Cash Back Card Review 2021: Best for Retail Spend

The Citi Cash Back Card is a great choice for Singaporeans who make regular retail purchases – offering an 8% cash rebate rate on dining groceries and petrol transactions. Customers also get to enjoy huge fuel savings discounts at Esso and Shell and a 0.25% cashback rate on all other retail spend. That said, this card offers next to no rewards on entertainment transactions and might not be the best fit for lower-budget cardholders, either.

Key Features of the Citi Cash Back Card

  • Receive cashback at an 8% cash rebate rate on selected dining groceries and petrol transactions
  • Enjoy earning cashback at a 6% rate when eating out at fast-food restaurants and on other eligible food-related spend
  • Get mega fuel savings of up to 20.88% at Esso and Shell, and an 8% cashback rate at other petrol stations
  • Claim an annual fee waiver for the first year, worth nearly $200
  • Earn 0.25% on any other purchases with this Citi Cashback Card

 

What is the Citi Cash Back Card?

The Citi Cash Back Card is one of the most popular credit cards on the market right now, offering an excellent cashback rate on all kinds of food and grocery stores transactions, from food delivery to fast food restaurant spending. Anyone who makes regular petrol transactions will also benefit from major fuel savings in the form of a Citi Cash Back Card discount of more than 20% at Shell and Esso, while other petrol stations will still qualify for 8% cash back earned.

Cardholders can earn 8% cashback when spending at grocery stores, and 6% for any eligible retail purchases made at restaurants and cafes. All other retail spend made with your Cash Back credit card will earn you 0.25%. That said, all this earning isn’t entirely unrestricted – Citi imposes an $80 rewards cap on all monthly spending. As with any credit card, whether the Citi Cash Back Card is right for you will depend on your unique circumstances and everyday spending habits, too.

How Does the Citi Cash Back Card Work?

The Citibank Cash Back Card is aimed squarely at regular Singaporeans with a high average retail spend. As such, the highest cashback rates are available predominantly on very typical and everyday purchases, such as dining groceries and petrol transactions.

There are two different kinds of Citibank cashback rates – basic rates (of 0.25%) and bonus rates (of between 5.75-7.75%, depending on the transaction type). Whenever you use your Cashback Card on eligible purchases, you will get to enjoy bonus cashback rates, which will be calculated as per the table below:

Grocery Stores Dining Out Petrol Transactions Other Retail Purchases
Cash Rebate Rate 7.75% Bonus Rate + 0.25% 5.75% Bonus Rate + 0.25% 7.75% Bonus Rate + 0.25% 0.25% Basic Rate Only
Total Rate Per Month 8% 6% 8%  -na-

Credit card payment

 

Perks and Limitations of the Card Citi Cash Back is Offering

All credit cards have their pros and cons, and the Citibank Cash Back Card is no different. Here are the key perks and limitations of the Card Citi Cash Back:

Card Citi Cash Back Perks 

  • Annual Fee Waiver for First Year:

Every financial institution offering a credit card will charge customers an annual fee for using it. The good news is that with Citibank’s Cash Back Card, your standard $192.60 annual fee will be waived for the first year.

  • Reasonable Income Requirement: 

The Citi Cash Back Card is only available to Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents earning $30,000 or more annually, or S$42,000 for foreigners – which is quite a bit lower than income restrictions we’ve seen on competitor credit cards elsewhere.

  • Broad Bonus Cash Back Rate Coverage: 

While other credit cards may restrict users to only earning the highest cashback rates on very specific purchases, such as travel tickets, Citibank allows Citi Cashback Cardholders to earn between 6 and 8% when spending on dining groceries and petrol – as well as several other everyday categories.

Card Citi Cash Back Limitations

  • Customers Don’t Get any Entertainment or Shopping Rewards

it’s very common for credit cards to reward customers for making big purchases, shopping at fashion retailers, or taking regular trips to the cinema or theatre – but this is not the case with the Citi Cash Back Card. As you’ll see in this review and the information on Citi’s specific product’s site here about this card, everything is geared more toward typical, everyday spending with this card.

  • There’s a $800 Minimum Spend Requirement

Citi Cash Back Card customers will need to hit a minimum spend limit of $800 per month in order to best benefit from their Cash Back Card’s rebates. Spend too little, and you risk falling back onto that basic 0.25% rate – so be careful!

  • Monthly Rewards are Capped at $80

It’s also worth noting that the Citi Cash Back Card comes with a monthly reward cap of $80. When combined with that $800 minimum spend requirement, this is bad news – as it means you’ll need to ensure your monthly spend always falls within a specific range of not too much, but not too little. The table below compares typical low, medium, and high monthly spending so you can see how this works. As you can see, missing that all-important $800 by even $1 can potentially cost you dear.

Grocery Stores

Dining Out

Petrol Transactions

Total Cash Rebate Amount

Low Monthly Spend ($799)

 

$250

$300

$249

$0.15

Medium Monthly Spend ($1,100)

 

$300

$450

$350

$80

High Monthly Spend ($2,000)

 

$500

$1,000

$500

$80

 

Citi Cash Back Card vs Competitors – Which Cash Back Card is Best? 

The table below illustrates how the Citibank Cash Back card compares to some of its top competitors in terms of cash back rates, spend category eligibility, annual fee costs, minimum spend, and more:

 

Basic Cash Back Rate

Bonus Rebate Rate

Spend Category Eligible for Bonus Rates

Annual Fee Costs

Minimum Spend Requirement

Citi Cash Back Card

0.25%

6 – 8%

Dining

Groceries

Petrol

First year waived

$192.60 thereafter

$800 minimum spend per month

OCBC 365 Card

0.3%

6%

Dining

Groceries

Transport

Recurring Bills

Online Travel

First year waived (with $10,000 annual spend)

$192.60 thereafter

$800 minimum spend per month

Citi SMRT Card

0.3%

5%

Groceries

Online Spend

Taxis and Private Hire

(Specific merchants

only for
most categories)

First two years waived

$192.60 thereafter

$500 minimum spend per month

POSB Everyday Card

0.3%

3 – 10%

Food delivery

Groceries

Online Shopping

Personal Care

First year waived

$192.60 thereafter

$800 minimum spend per month

Maybank Family and Friends Card

0.3%

8%

Available on five categories of your choice

First three years waived

$180 thereafter

$800 minimum spend (to access the 8% rate)

UOB One Card

3.33 – 5% (dependent on spending per quarter)

3.33 – 5%

General Spend (dependent on spending per quarter)

First year waived

$192.60 thereafter

$500 – $2,000

As you can see from the above, while the Citi Cash Back Card offers some competitive cash rebate rates on everyday spending categories, other financial products out there sometimes offer broader savings opportunities, higher rates and repeat annual fee waivers. That said, you might need to hit a higher minimum spend limit to best benefit, while the spending categories eligible for top rewards won’t always suit your unique tastes. Let’s briefly review the key pros and cons of the competitor credit cards featured in the table:

OCBC 365 Card

Pros 

  • Maximum cash back rates available on more spend category options
  • Travel transactions, transport, and recurring bills all included
  • Probably a better fit for frequent travellers

Cons

  • Only customers who hit a minimum spend per year of $10,000 will get the annual fee waiver
  • Cashback is again capped at $80 per month
  • Citi Cash Back Card will probably be a better option for anyone who spends big on petrol or food

Citi SMRT Card

Pros

  • High cash back rates on daily purchases
  • Customers also get EZ-Reload auto top ups with 2% savings
  • Two year annual fee waiver available to new customers, offering extra savings opportunities

Cons

  • Maximum cash back rates are limited to specific merchants only
  • Not quite as flexible as the Citi Cash Back Card
  • Only those with a monthly spend above $800 will be free of restrictions

POSB Everyday Card

Pros

  • Rebates available across a broad range of spend categories
  • An excellent choice for mothers and families
  • Earn rewards quickly when spending on daily essentials

Cons

  • The best 10% rates are restricted to highly specific categories
  • Citi Cash Back Card offers higher cashback rates on most everyday purchase types
  • $800 minimum spend won’t suit everyone

Maybank Family and Friends Card

Pros

  • Big discounts locally for those who spend frequently in Singapore and Malaysia
  • Up to 8% cash back available on fast food restaurants and food delivery
  • Three year annual fee waiver

Cons

  • Regular travellers will miss out on the best rates
  • Merchant restrictions and five category limit can prove frustrating
  • Eligible spending categories are broader elsewhere, when you don’t have to make difficult choices

UOB One Card

Pros

  • Excellent perks available to those who spend more than $2,000 per month
  • Great for customers whose average expenditures span multiple categories
  • Annual fee waiver available for the first year

Cons

  • Lower spenders might not get to enjoy the best cash back rates
  • Customers must spend big to take best advantage of this credit card
  • Citi Cash Back Card might be better for frequent food and petrol buyers

Citi Cash Back Card Fees, Charges and Application Process Explained

Let’s look at the fees and charges imposed by Citibank on the Card Citi Cash Back, as well as what you need to know about the general application process. All information is taken from the specific product’s site here.

Who Can Apply for the Citi Cash Back Card?

Just as when applying for any other credit card, you’ll need to fulfil a number of basic requirements and prepare some essential documents to get your hands on a Citi Cash Back Card. In our view, this credit card is an excellent option for most middle class Singaporeans, but you will need to make sure that you meet the below requirements before you can apply:

  • Minimum Income Requirement – $30,000 for Singapore Citizens/PRs, $42,000 for foreigners
  • Age Limit – Age 21 or older

You’ll also need to provide evidence of the following:

  • Your passport or NRIC
  • Your latest computerized payslip
  • Your Income Tax Notice of Assessment (or last 12 months’ CPF Statements)

In addition to the above, if you are self employed, you might also be asked for:

  • Your last 2 years’ Income Tax Notice of Assessment
  • Your last 3 months’ bank statements

Other Things You Need to Know About the Citi Cash Back Card

It’s also important to be aware of the Citi Cash Back Card fee structure, which is as follows:

  • Annual Fee – $192.60 (the first year waived)
  • Supplementary Card Fee – $96.30
  • Annual Interest Rate – 26.90%
  • Interest Free Period – 25 days
  • Late Payment Fee – $100
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee – 3.25%
  • Cash Advance Fee – $15 or 6%, whichever is higher
  • Minimum Monthly Repayment – $50 or 1%, whichever is higher

More information can be found on the Citibank website here if you need it.

Final Thoughts– Is the Citi Cash Back Card Right for You?

So, the Citi Cash Back Card offers Singaporeans some excellent cashback rates on all kinds of everyday spending, from dining groceries and petrol to other retail purchases – but is it the right credit card for you? For our money, we’d say the Citi Cashback Card is perfect for pretty much anyone who makes regular retail purchases in the categories that attract the best cash back rates.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering the Citi Cashback Card:

  • The best cash back rates are available on selected spending categories only
  • You’ll need to hit a minimum spend of $800 every month to take full advantage
  • Your total retail spend mustn’t be too high or too low to reap the card’s benefits
  • It’s important to make sure you are 100% happy with the credit cards fee structure before you submit an application to sign up
  • Other cashback cards might offer more flexibility, broader spend categories or ongoing promotions that better suit your spending habits

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