When it comes to major credit card issuers, Citi often gets less attention than issuers like Chase or American Express. However, the company is working to change that by offering powerful rewards credit cards with high cashback rates and signup bonuses.
If you’re looking for a cashback card to earn rewards on every purchase you make, there are several different Citi credit card options.
How to earn cash back with Citibank cards
|Citi Double Cash Card||Costco Anywhere Visa Card||Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card|
|Reward rate||up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay||4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else||4% back on gas, 3% back on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on Coscto purchases, and 1% on everything else|
|Best for...||People who want to earn a flat rate of return on their purchases||Costco members who spend big on gas||Small business owners who frequently shop at Costco|
1. Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash card offers one of the highest cashback rates available for a $0 annual fee card. You’ll up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. As long as you make the minimum monthly payment, you’ll earn the maximum cash back on those payments.
You can find other credit cards that offer cashback rates as high as 5%. However, they usually have narrower bonus categories, spending limits, and require manual activation. With the Citi Double Cash card, there are no special categories to remember or activate, so it’s a great option for someone looking for a simple card to earn valuable cashback rewards.
The card has other valuable perks, including:
- Introductory APR: If you have high-interest credit card debt, the Citi Double Cash card offers an introductory 0% APR for an impressive 18 months on balance transfers, giving you over a year to pay down your credit card debt without worrying about interest charges.
- Citi Entertainment: Use your Citi credit card to get special access to purchase tickets for major events, including concerts and sporting events.
Redeeming your rewards
For the Citi Double Cash card, you can redeem your rewards once your balance reaches $25 or more. You can redeem your cash back for a:
- Statement credit
- Credit to a linked Citi savings or checking account
As of September 2019, you can also transfer your Citi Double Cash rewards to Citi’s ThankYou points program. You’ll receive 100 ThankYou points for every dollar your transfer. This offers added flexibility to your rewards and can be particularly valuable to book travel.
How to qualify
You’ll need to have good to excellent credit to qualify for the Citi Double Cash card. That typically translates to a FICO credit score of 670 or higher.
2. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
If you’re a fan of Costco wholesale clubs, consider the Costco Anywhere Visa. This card requires you to have a Costco membership, but there’s no additional fee. The Costco Anywhere Visa card allows you to earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else.
If you spend a lot of money on gas, this card can be a valuable addition to your wallet. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average household spends $1,977 on gasoline per year. If you used the Costco Anywhere Visa to purchase gas and qualified for the 4% cashback rate, you’d earn $79 annually in rewards.
The card also offers additional perks, including:
- Extended warranty protection: The warranty on eligible purchases is automatically extended, giving you more protection.
- Damage and theft purchase protection: You may be covered for repairs or a refund if a purchase you make with your Citi card is damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for residents of New York).
- No foreign transaction fees: There are no foreign transaction fees on transactions completed outside of the United States. Since many cards charge up to 3% of every international transaction, this is a significant perk.
Redeeming your rewards
With most cash back cards, you can use your rewards once you’ve accrued a certain amount or upon your statement closing date. The Costco Anywhere Visa is quite different.
With this card, you’ll receive your rewards once a year after your February billing statement closes in the form of a reward certificate. Your rewards certificate is redeemable through December 31 of that same year and must be used in a single transaction at a U.S. Costco warehouse for merchandise or cash back. If you only use a portion of it on merchandise, you’ll receive the remaining balance at the Costco register upon checkout.
You must keep your Costco membership current to redeem your reward certificate.
How to qualify
To qualify for the Costco Anywhere Visa, you’ll need to have excellent credit. According to Experian, that means your credit score should be between 750 and 850.
3. Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi
If you own a small business, buying in bulk at Costco can help you save money. And, if you sign up for the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card by Citi, you can earn:
- 4% cash back on gas, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 spent per year. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back.
- 3% cash back on restaurants and travel
- 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
The card also has useful perks like no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection, making it a smart financing option for business owners.
Redeeming your rewards
Your cash back will be awarded to you as an annual credit card reward certificate once your February billing statement closes. You can redeem it for cash or merchandise at Costco warehouses.
How to qualify
Like the Costco Anywhere Visa, you’ll need to have excellent personal credit to qualify for the business card version.
Redeeming Citi ThankYou points and miles for cash
In some cases, it may make more sense to sign up for another Citi credit card that offers points and miles versus cash back.
For example, the Citi Premier Card comes with a $95 annual fee and allows you to earn 3X points on travel, including gas; 2X points on restaurants and entertainment; and 1X points on all other purchases. You can redeem your points for travel arrangements, statement credits, cash, gift cards, or even student loan or mortgage payments.
Each point you earn is generally worth about 1 cent each. However, there are ways to get even more value for your points. If you redeem your points for airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, your points are worth 25% more with this card. If you had 60,000 points, they’d be worth $750 in airfare, versus just $600 as a statement credit or gift card.
These types of rewards cards can be particularly useful for those interested in trading points for travel or high-value redemption options. But if your main focus is earning cash back, you may find a better deal with a card designed for that purpose.
Application rules for Citi credit cards
With Citi, reports indicate that you can only apply for one personal credit card every eight days and no more than two cards within a 65-day period. If you’re applying for a business credit card, you can only apply for one every 90 days or so.
You can open several different Citi cards and qualify for a sign-up bonus with each, but there are some limitations.
Cards that are in the same family — such as the ThankYou rewards cards — make you ineligible for the bonus on other cards for a time. For example, if you opened a Citi Premier account, you’d be ineligible for the sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige Card for at least 24 months.
The bottom line on cashback cards from Citibank
If you’re looking for a cashback card that offers valuable rewards, Citi credit cards offer plenty of benefits. You can earn a high rate of return on normal purchases, such as gas or eating out and redeem them for cash, statement credits, and more.
By signing up for a Citi credit card, you can start earning cash back on every purchase you make, stretching your dollars further.