Citi Rewards+ Student Card Review

(Citi is a FinanceBuzz partner.)
Updated July 17, 2024
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Editor's note:
 This card is no longer available for new applications. For college students looking to build credit and earn rewards, check our recommendations for the best credit cards for students.

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. While no longer offered, the Citi Rewards+ Student Card was a great option for college students to consider. This card offered some unique perks other credit cards don’t, though some student cards do offer a higher rewards rate.

In this Citi Rewards+ Student Card review

Who got the Citi Rewards+ Student Card?

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

Students who wanted to earn consistent rewards could do so with the Citi Rewards+ Student Card. It wasn't the highest earning student credit card, but many don’t offer rewards at all. Every year, students could get back 10% of points on the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed.

Citi Rewards+ Student Card was not among the best options for students studying abroad. If you are planning to spend time abroad, there are other student cards better suited for your needs.

Citi Rewards+ Student Card benefits

  • Points round up: With Citi Rewards+, points earned from purchases were rounded up to the nearest 10 points. Spending $5 at the student union would have earned you 10 points, and you could have earned 20 points on an $11 lunch.
  • 10% points back: Citi Rewards+ users got 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou points redeemed annually. So if you redeemed 20,000 ThankYou points, you would have gotten back 2,000 points at the end of the year.

Earning & redeeming ThankYou Points

Best ways to earn

One of the best ways for students to earn was to can capitalize Citi’s ThankYou rewards program by spending in certain categories.

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

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

Maximizing your redemptions

Redemptions for points earned with the Citi Rewards+ Student Card were made through the ThankYou website. Popular ThankYou redemptions included:

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

Booking travel was 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 was also worth one cent on gift cards at retailers like Nike, Old Navy, and American Eagle.

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

Citi Rewards+ Student Card FAQs

Was the Citi Rewards+ Student Card a good choice?

Yes, it was a great option for students looking to build 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 s student credit card is based on creditworthiness. To determine creditworthiness, the card issuer will review your annual salary, wages, and your debt.

Other cards to consider

Another popular student credit card is the Chase Freedom Rise℠, which also has a $0 annual fee. With this card, students can earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, as well as $25 statement credit for enrolling in automatic payments within the first three months of account opening.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is another credit card for students to consider. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically. This card has a $0 annual fee. Also, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

To see other student credit card options, check our recommendations for the best credit cards for students.

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.