Citi Rewards+ Student Card Review: Build A+ Credit While Earning Rewards

Students can earn extra rewards through Citi’s unique points rounding program.
Last updated Jan 7, 2020 | By Kevin Payne

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College is the perfect time to start building your credit, and one of the best ways to do this is to get a student credit card. The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is a great option for college students to consider. This card offers some unique perks other credit cards don’t, though some student cards do offer a higher rewards rate.

A+ Cash Back for Students

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Benefits

  • 2,500 ThankYou Point welcome offer
  • 2X ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations
  • 10% ThankYou Points back for the first 100,000 redeemed per year
  • Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on each purchase
  • No annual fee


Who should get this card?

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is great for college students who make smaller purchases, especially on gas or groceries. The card features a unique “round up” feature that allows cardholders to earn extra rewards points, no matter how small the purchase.

Students who want to earn consistent rewards can do so with the Citi Rewards+ Student Card, which offers 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations for first $6,000 in purchases each year, and 1X points on all other purchases. It’s not the highest earning student credit card, but many don’t offer rewards at all. Every year, students will get back 10% of points on the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed.

Citi Rewards+ Student Card is not the best option for students studying abroad. It comes with a foreign transaction fee of 3%. If you plan to study abroad, there are other student cards better suited for your needs.

Card basics

Welcome offer Earn 2,500 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
Intro APR 0% introductory APR for 7 months
Recommended Credit Score Good
Annual fee $0
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%

Top card benefits

  • Generous welcome offer: New cardholders can earn 2,500 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Points round up: With Citi Rewards+, points earned from purchases are rounded up to the nearest 10 points. Spending $5 at the student union will earn you 10 points, and you’ll earn 20 points on an $11 lunch.
  • 10% points back: Citi Rewards+ users get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed annually. So if you redeem 20,000 ThankYou points, you’ll get back 2,000 points at the end of the year.
  • No annual fee: The Citi Rewards+ Student Card comes with a $0 annual fee.
  • Introductory APR: New cardholders get a 0% introductory APR for 7 months. After that, a higher APR will kick in.

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

Students can capitalize on Citi’s ThankYou rewards program by spending in certain categories. Cardholders can earn 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations for first $6,000 in purchases each year, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Unfortunately, not all grocery stores and gas stations purchases are eligible for extra rewards earnings. Purchases at wholesale clubs, discount superstores, drugstores, convenience stores, bakeries, meal delivery services, and various other stores won’t earn you double points. Purchases at gas stations attached to other stores, like grocery stores and wholesale clubs don’t qualify for double points either.

While other student credit cards may earn higher rewards, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card is a solid option for students.

Categories Rewards rate
Supermarkets 2X points per dollar spent (up to $6,000)
Gas stations 2X points per dollar spent (up to $6,000)
Other purchases 1X points per dollar spent

Maximizing your redemptions

Redemptions for points earned with your Citi Rewards+ Student Card are made through the ThankYou website. Popular ThankYou redemptions include:

  • Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Online shopping at retailers like Amazon, BestBuy, Live Nation, and more
  • Statement credits
  • Cash back
  • Charity

Booking travel is the best way to redeem your ThankYou points. Points are worth one cent each on travel booked through the ThankYou rewards program. One ThankYou point is also worth one cent on gift cards at retailers like, Nike, Old Navy, and American Eagle.

ThankYou points don’t hold as much value when used for other redemptions. For instance, cash rewards start at $50 and cost 10,000 points. Statement credits start at $10 and cost 2,000 points. That’s a value of .5 cents per point. Students are better off using their rewards for travel or gift cards.

Common questions

Do I need to be a student to get the Citi Rewards+ Student Card?

Yes, you must be at least 18 years of age and currently enrolled in college to qualify for this card.

Is the Citi Rewards+ Student Card a good choice?

Yes, it’s a great option for building credit. Like any credit card, establishing good spending habits and paying off your balance in full each month will help improve your credit.

What is a student credit card?

Student credit cards are just like any other credit card, except they are marketed to students. You must be a college student to qualify for them, and they’re designed with college students in mind. Some student cards will allow you to get approved with limited credit or a fair credit score.

Can I get a student credit card without a job?

While you don’t necessarily need to have a job, whether or not you qualify for the Citi Rewards+ Student Card is based on creditworthiness. To determine creditworthiness, the card issuer will look at your annual salary and wages, and review your debt.

Other cards to consider

Another popular student credit card is the Chase Freedom Student, which also has a $0 annual fee. With this card, students can earn 1% cash back. You'll also be eligible for a credit limit increase after making five on-time payments.

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is another credit cards for students to consider. Cardholders get 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment, and this card also has a $0 annual fee. The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One also comes with access to tools for checking your credit score and monitoring your account.

A+ Cash Back for Students

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Special Offer

Earn 2,500 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Student
Chase Freedom Student
  • $50 cash back sign-up offer
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Eligible for a credit limit increase after 5 on-time payments in first 10 months
  • Receive $20 in Good Standing Rewards for up to 5 years
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Boost cash back to 1.25% with on-time payments
  • No annual fee
  • CreditWise from Capital One for credit monitoring