Citi has extended the sign-up bonus window for its popular Citi Rewards card, with 10,800 miles on offer subject to a retail spend of at least S$3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Apply by 31st January 2020.
When the offer was first launched in January 2019, it was a rare bonus for the card which had previously not offered sign-up incentives. This third extension to the deal means it will have been running continuously for at least 13 months.
Given that the offer excludes those who have held a Citi credit card in the last 12 months, those initially ineligible having only recently cancelled their cards may now find that they can take advantage of the offer between now and the end of January 2020, once their 12-month wait is up.
10,800 miles sign-up bonus
The sign-up bonus for the Citi Rewards cards for those not currently holding a Citi credit card and having not held one in the last 12 months prior to application, is worth 10,800 miles, provided you have S$3,000 of spending to do in the next three full calendar months from the end of the calendar month of card approval.
For example, if you are approved for the card on 18th November 2019, the qualifying spend period is from that date until 28th February 2020 (three full calendar months from the end of November 2019).
This card also features full fee waiver for the first year of membership as standard.
As usual with these promotions, your S$3,000 qualifying spend must fall outside the following excluded categories:
- Equal Payment Plan (EPP) purchases.
- Refunded / disputed / unauthorised or fraudulent retail purchases.
- Quick Cash / Ready Credit PayLite and other instalment loans.
- Paywise / cash advance / quasi-cash transactions, balance transfers, annual card membership fees, interest or goods and services taxes.
- Bill payments made using the card as a source of funds.
- Late payment fees.
- Any other form of service / miscellaneous fees.
The bonus points will be credited within two months from the eligible minimum spend being satisfied. Full terms and conditions relating to this offer for new Citi credit card customers can be found here.
What about existing or former Citi customers?
If you are an existing Citi credit card holder, or had a Citi credit card account which was terminated in the last 12 months prior to application, you unfortunately won’t be eligible for this sign-up bonus.
Unlike the Citi PremierMiles Visa, which does offer a smaller welcome bonus for existing Citi customers, there is no alternative incentive offered for the Citi Rewards cards.
However if you are a supplementary cardholder with Citi in Singapore, but not the main cardholder on any such account, you will be eligible for the sign-up bonus.
How it works
Provided you are eligible, and you apply for a Citi Rewards card on or before 31st January 2020, which is subsequently approved within 30 days, you will be awarded 27,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points once you’ve spent at least S$3,000 on the card in the qualifying spend period as defined above.
These are true bonus points, as you’ll also accrue Citi ThankYou Points at a rate of 1 per S$1 (or 10 per S$1 in eligible categories) for your first S$3,000 spending on the card as usual on top of that.
Remember that Citi ThankYou Points transfer to airline miles at a 2.5:1 ratio, which is why the bonus is actually only 10,800 miles.
This offer is shown alongside others currently on the market at our top sign-up bonuses page for Singapore credit cards, so you can easily see which products will currently offer you the most generous miles boost.
The Citi Rewards cards earn a measly 0.4 miles (1 Citi ThankYou Point) for every S$1 spent both locally and overseas (i.e. transacted in foreign currency), though the real key to these cards as you’ll see from our full review is the 4.0 miles (10 Citi ThankYou Points) per S$1 spent on shoes, bags and clothes at online or retail stores, or department stores, both locally and overseas.
Since March this year, Citi added online retail transactions (excluding mobile wallet top-ups and travel-related transactions) to the list earning at the 4mpd rate. That’s a very useful category as it includes things like online food delivery, Amazon purchases, Grab and Go Jek rides, etc.
For all the eligible MCC (merchant category codes) and exclusions, see our detailed review of these cards.
Unfortunately in October last year Citi amended the S$12,000 annual cap for bonus miles earning at the 4mpd rate with these cards with a S$1,000 monthly cap instead, meaning they no longer work very well for large one-off purchases.
This also makes it difficult to channel all your S$3,000 minimum spend for the sign-up bonus in the 4 mpd category, without sacrificing some points here and there, as you’ll want to meet the minimum amount in the first three months to be eligible for the bonus.
Citi has one of the widest range of frequent flyer programs for you to transfer your points into, including British Airways, Etihad Guest, Turkish Airlines and Qantas, making these very flexible points to accrue.
Given the card is fee-free, the bonus miles are effectively free too, though try to stick to the 4mpd categories for as much of the qualifying spend as possible and revert to better cards for general spending, like the BOC Elite Miles card which earns 1.5mpd locally.
See our full review of the Citi Rewards cards for more details, including a full list of transfer partners.
Successful sign-ups for Citi cards pay MainlyMiles an affiliate commission.
|Citi Rewards Visa / Mastercard|
|Sign-up Bonus:||10,800 miles|
|Annual Fee:||Free in Year 1|
|Cost per mile:||Zero|
|Min Spend:||S$3,000 in 3 months|
|Citi ThankYou Points credit to the following programs:|
Our most recent Qatar Airways Qsuite redemption last month on the A350-1000 to and from Singapore was achieved using points transferred from Citi to Asia Miles, a great value way to try this fantastic product.
We didn’t need to review this one as we already covered the Qsuite experience in depth last year, but it’s an example of a great use of Citi’s flexible range of frequent flyer programme partners.
Take another example, the excellent Oman Air Boeing 787 Business Class Apex Suite (see our full review here). We paid cash for that flight earlier in 2019 with a great fare from Muscat to Jakarta, but you can redeem Etihad Guest miles at very competitive rates for Oman Air flights.
Bangkok to Paris for example is just 76,000 miles, or 190,000 Citi ThankYou Points, with a free stopover in Muscat if you book a round-trip award.
Do Citi ThankYou Points expire?
Yes, unlike Citi Miles (accrued with the Citi PremierMiles card), Citi ThankYou Points accrued using the Citi Rewards cards “are valid for a period of 60 months”. That’s five years, which sounds very generous, but it’s not as simple as they make out.
In fact you have to accrue and redeem your points in fixed five-year periods, which to us is not really the same thing. For example, if you open your card account on 1st November 2019 your first 60-month reward period ends on 30th September 2024. Any points accrued will expire on that date no matter whether you earned them five years ago or in the final week of the 60-month period!
Citi then give you 3 months to use any unredeemed points from that 60-month period before wiping them from your account. It’s easy to get caught out here so beware, especially considering the minimum number of Citi ThankYou Points you can transfer to KrisFlyer (and most frequent flyer programmes) is 25,000.
Once you have an account you can view how many of your points are expiring in the next 60 days on the Citi Thank You Rewards page.
What about the Citi Rewards Mastercard?
One way to partially circumvent the S$1,000 limit on 4 mpd transactions with the Citi Rewards card is the hold both a Visa and Mastercard version, allowing you to double your monthly cap for these transactions to S$2,000 (S$1,000 per card).
Unfortunately Citi is making it more difficult to apply for the Mastercard version, which it doesn’t proactively advertise. We applied though the online banking portal for the ‘other’ card once we had an account, but this is no longer possible.
Instead you’ll have to apply for the Visa card first, then call Citi to apply for the Mastercard later.
As far as current card sign-up bonuses go in Singapore, this certainly isn’t the best on the market, despite the bonus miles being ‘free’ if you have S$3,000 to spend in the next three months.
The Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Amex Blue will net you 12,500 bonus miles for a slightly higher spend of S$5,000 in the first three months of card membership, with their current offer. This card also comes with no annual fee in the first year.
Remember though that the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer co-brand cards only allow you to credit into KrisFlyer miles, while Citi has a much wider range of airline partners globally, something to consider.
The Citi PremierMiles sign-up bonus of 26,500 miles may be better if you have at least S$9,000 to spend in the first three months, though it’s also subject to paying the annual fee of S$192.60.
Also worth considering is the DBS Altitude sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles, fee-free in the first year and with a minimum spend of S$6,000 in three months.
Remember to be eligible for the Citi Rewards offer you have to be new to Citi credit cards in Singapore (or at least new in the last 12 months). Existing customers, even those holding other Citi credit cards, won’t get the bonus.
Successful sign-ups for Citi cards pay MainlyMiles an affiliate commission.