Here’s our review of the Citi Rewards credit card issued in Singapore. It forms part of our series of credit card reviews, which are all summarised on our dedicated Credit Cards page.
Dollar amounts refer to SGD, and ‘miles’ refer to KrisFlyer Miles, except where stated. This review was updated on 3rd May 2023.
|Citi Rewards Card|
|Citi Rewards Credit Card|
Mainly Miles Says
A $1,000 monthly cap for 4 miles per dollar on most online spend, plus offline shopping, is the primary benefit of the Citi Rewards card, allowing you to accrue 48,000 miles per year and also tap into the bank’s extensive range of transfer partners.
Throw in $1 earning blocks and “up to five years” of points validity, plus regular Citi bonus miles offers, and it’s definitely one worth considering.
The Citi Rewards card previously came in two varieties – a Visa and a Mastercard.
It was therefore possible to apply for and hold both cards (as I currently do) and enjoy double the monthly spend cap ($2,000 instead of $1,000) in the 4 mpd category.
Unfortunately the Visa card has now been discontinued, and it is only possible to apply for a new Citi Rewards Mastercard.
If you’re holding the Citi Rewards Visa card, or both cards, you’ll still be able to use the Visa card at least until it expires.
- Minimum Age: 21
- Minimum Income (Singaporean / PR): $30,000/yr
- Minimum Income (Non-Singaporean / PR): $42,000/yr
The Citi Rewards card has an annual income requirement of $30,000 for most applicants, an accessible entry-level threshold for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, making it widely accessible.
Annual Fees & Interest Rates
- Annual Fee (principal): $194.40 (first year free)
- Annual Fee (supplementary): $97.20 (first year free, up to 2 cards)
The Citi Rewards card has an annual fee of $194.40, waived for the first year. The supplementary card fee of $97.20 per card for up to two additional cards is also waived for the first year.
A third supplementary card and any further ones issued attract the $97.20 fee, even in the first year.
Most people have reported having the annual fee waived after the first year of card membership on request, though this is at Citi’s discretion and may also depend on your spending habits. Others have reported a $100 credit offered instead of the fee waiver.Pro Tip: Since there is no specific additional benefit like extra miles or points for paying the annual fee each year (after the first year), you should always call and ask Citi, since the worst they can say is no.
Other fees and interest rates for the Citi Rewards card include:
- EIR: 26.9%
- Interest-free period: 21 days
- Minimum payment: 1% (or current balance if < $50)
- Late payment fee: $100
- Cash advance fee: 6% (minimum $15)
- Overlimit fee: $40
The current sign-up bonus for the Citi Rewards card is 16,800 miles, awarded as 40,000 ThankYou Points and subject to a minimum spend of only $800 in the first two full months from card approval.
The offer is valid for applications made by 30th June 2023.
All the details are available in our full article covering the deal here.
Regular earn rates
The Citi Rewards card earns:
- 0.4 miles for every $1 of general local and overseas spend
That’s clearly not an attractive earn rate, since you should be earning at least 1.2 mpd for general spend locally (outside bonus categories) and 2 mpd overseas, however the big draw for this card is of course the bonus earn rate, outlined below.
You should not be using the Citi Rewards card for general spending outside the bonus categories (see entry-level general spend cards like the Citi PremierMiles, or DBS Altitude or UOB PRVI Miles for good general spend earn rates).
Bonus earn rates
The Citi Rewards card earns:
- 4 miles for every $1 spent online in eligible categories (local or overseas)
- 4 miles for every $1 spent when you shop for shoes, bags and clothes online or in-store at retail merchants, or department stores (locally or overseas).
This excellent rate is capped at the first $1,000 spent in this category per statement cycle, so you’re limited to earning a maximum of 4,000 miles per statement month at the 4 mpd rate.
After that, further spend in the same statement month will earn the (very low) 0.4 miles per $1, though this is then unlimited.Pro Tip: Remember it’s Statement Month not Calendar Month that counts for the S$1,000 bonus spend threshold with this card. Be careful to ensure that the transactions you want to make at the enhanced rate will be charged to your account within the same statement cycle.
Eligible transactions (general spend)
Citi maintains a list of merchants and / or MCC codes which will not earn Citi ThankYou Points here.
Some of the most important exclusion categories, which apply to this card whether you’re making transactions at the 0.4 mpd or what you think should be the 4 mpd rates, are:
- Education Institutions (MCC 8211 – 8299)
- Government Services, including tax payments (MCC 9000 – 9999)
- Insurance (MCC 6300)
- Real Estate Agents and Managers – Rentals (MCC 6513)
- Utilities (MCC 4900)
Note that education, insurance and tax payments are specifically excluded from miles earning.
Eligible transactions (bonus spend)
Here’s the full list of MCC codes which qualify for 4 miles (10 Citi ThankYou points) per $1 spent both locally and overseas, including online transactions, according to the terms and conditions document:
- MCC 5311: Department Stores
- MCC 5611: Men’s and Boy’s Clothing and Accessories Stores
- MCC 5621: Women’s Ready to Wear Stores
- MCC 5631: Women’s Accessory and Specialty Stores
- MCC 5641: Children’s and Infant’s Wear Stores
- MCC 5651: Family Clothing Stores
- MCC 5655: Sports and Riding Apparel Stores
- MCC 5661: Shoe Stores
- MCC 5691: Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores
- MCC 5699: Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessory Shops
- MCC 5948: Luggage and Leather Goods Stores
For online retail transactions outside of the above MCCs, which also qualify for 4 miles (10 Citi ThankYou points) per $1 spent both locally and overseas, there are exclusions to be aware of.
These are in-app mobile wallet transactions (e.g. using Apple Pay or Google Pay), plus the following travel-related transactions:
- MCC 3000 to 3350: Airlines, Air Carriers
- MCC 3351 to 3500: Car Rental Agencies
- MCC 3501 to 3999: Lodging – Hotels, Motels, Resorts
- MCC 4112: Passenger Railways
- MCC 4411: Cruise Lines
- MCC 4511: Airlines, Air Carriers (Not Elsewhere Classified)
- MCC 4722: Travel Agencies and Tour Operators
- MCC 5962: Direct Marketing – Travel-Related Arrangement Services
- MCC 7011: Lodging – Hotels, Motels, Resorts (Not Elsewhere Classified)
- MCC 7512: Car Rental Agencies (Not Elsewhere Classified)
These exclusions mean you should not be using the Citi Rewards Card for hotel bookings or to buy flights either directly with airlines or via online travel agents, including the likes of Marriott, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar and Expedia.
You would only earn 0.4 mpd in these cases, which is clearly very poor.
Also remember that tapping the card at a merchant (contactless payment) is not an online transaction.
Despite the exclusion of travel-related spend, 4 mpd in the online category is the most useful feature of the Citi Rewards card, which includes things like Grab and Gojek rides, online grocery shopping, StarHub or Singtel bills (but not for recurring), and food delivery services like Foodpanda and Deliveroo.
Be careful with in-app payments
With the Citi Rewards card it’s very important to remember that while most online spend earns you 4 mpd, in-app mobile wallet transactions (e.g. using Apple Pay or Google Pay) are specifically excluded.
- If you use your Citi Rewards Card via Apple Pay in the Foodpanda app when placing an order, you’ll earn only 0.4 mpd for the transaction.
- If you use your Citi Rewards card directly via the Foodpanda app when placing an order, you’ll earn 4 mpd for the transaction (provided you’re still within your first $1,000 of bonus spend in the statement cycle).
The exclusion also applies to Kris+, which since August 2021 moved exclusively to to in-app payments via Apple Pay or Google Pay. That means it’s no longer possible to tap into the Citi Rewards Card’s 4 mpd rate at any Kris+ merchant when paying via the app, since the offline payment method was removed.
Pair with Amaze for 4 mpd in-store
Another option with the Citi Rewards card is to pair it with a free Amaze card by Instarem.
You can only link a Mastercard to Amaze, so it’s the Citi Rewards Mastercard this will work with, not the Visa version.
Any spend made on the Amaze card comes with the same MCC as it would using your credit card directly, but codes as an online transaction, even for in-store spend.
That means you can use it for things like dining and shopping in Singapore or overseas and still tap into the card’s 4 mpd bonus category for online spend, provided you avoid travel-related transactions.
For example, you can earn 4 mpd at the likes of Cold Storage, 7-Eleven and Subway on your Citi Rewards card when paired with Amaze in this way.
This may be useful if you don’t maximise the $1,000 monthly cap in the regular online spend category directly with the card.
Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?
No, rather than being credited miles directly you’ll accrue ‘Citi ThankYou Points’ for your spending on this card.
These transfer to KrisFlyer miles at a 2.5:1 ratio (so the standard accrual rate is 1 Citi ThankYou Point per $1 spent, which translates to 0.4 miles per $1, and the bonus rate is 10 Citi ThankYou Points per $1 spent, which is 4 miles per $1).
For example, with a $1,000 eligible online spend (10x rewards points) per month over five months ($5,000 total spend), you’ll accrue 50,000 Citi ThankYou Points with this card, which can be converted to 20,000 KrisFlyer miles (4 mpd).
Which loyalty schemes can I transfer into?
One of the best things about Citi ThankYou Points in Singapore is the wide range of transfer partners compared with other bank loyalty points.
You can transfer your points into 10 different frequent flyer programmes (FFPs), plus into IHG points on the hotel loyalty side.
Here’s how Citi compares to other banks in Singapore.
Singapore credit card to FFP transfers
Citi Miles transfer at the same 1:1 ratio into all these programmes, giving you a wide range of flight redemption options including Oneworld and SkyTeam carriers.
Since Citi ThankYou Points transfer to most FFPs relatively quickly, there’s no rush to commit to a specific programme until you have a redemption in mind.
Simply transfer when you need to travel, into the scheme that works best for your preferred redemption.
↥ Is there a minimum transfer amount?
Yes, since March 2017 the minimum amount of Citi ThankYou Points you can transfer into airline miles is 25,000, and they must then be in blocks of 25,000. Previously, much more flexible 1,250-point block transfers were possible.
So if you have 99,999 Citi ThankYou Points, and you don’t have time to tick it over by making a small purchase (miles from purchases tend to reflect in your account within a few days), you’ll only be able to transfer 75,000 Citi ThankYou Points across to KrisFlyer (and will be left with 24,999 in your Citi ThankYou Points account).
When do points credit?
Citi ThankYou Points should reflect in your account once the transaction posts, which typically takes anywhere between one and three days.
This includes the bonus points for eligible 4 mpd transactions.
You won’t have to wait until your monthly statement for the Citi ThankYou Points to be added, so if you’re making a purchase to achieve a short-term top-up they should be available to you within a few days.
Checking your Citi TYPs
You can check the crediting of Citi ThankYou Points for your transactions on the Citi Rewards card on the Rewards portal via the Citi site using a desktop computer.
Go to Rewards & Offers, select your Citi Rewards card from the list and click Citi ThankYou Rewards, then navigate to My Points Summary.
Here’s an example of four 10x rewards (4 mpd) transactions on my Citi Rewards Visa card.
Here’s how those look on the Points Summary page.
I can see from the rewards portal that the $18.00 charge on 20th November was awarded 180 points (18 + 162) two days later on 22nd November, and the $29.83 charge on 23rd November was awarded 290 points (29 + 261) two days later on 25th November.
The two charges on 24th November of $36.90 and $35.71 were awarded in combination two days later on 26th November (36 + 35 = 71, plus the 639 bonus points, bringing it to 710 in total).
Note that sometimes transactions on two different dates are awarded points in combination on a single future date, so it can be a little tricky to reconcile since the rewards portal does not list which transactions it is including in the earning row.
Ultimately though provided you are using this card wholly for 4 mpd spend (as you should be), each daily crediting of points should have a 9x rewards points bonus attached, so it’s easy to see if there’s a missing bonus.
If a transaction you expected to be in the bonus category does not have the 9x TYPs bonus when posted to your statement, and you haven’t reached $1,000 in bonus spend during that statement cycle, you’ll need to contact Citi to find out why.
Do Citi ThankYou Points expire?
Yes, Citi ThankYou points accrued using the Citi Rewards card points “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 is not really the same thing. For example, if you open your card account on 1st July 2023 your first 60-month reward period ends on 30th June 2028. All remaining points accrued on that date will then expire 3 months later, no matter whether you earned them five years ago or in the last week of June 2028!
We have a full article outlining how the policy works and how you also need to be careful when approaching your five-year expiry date to ensure you won’t be left with wasted ‘orphan’ expiring miles, which takes a little planning on your part!
Citi ThankYou Points don’t pool between cards
Not all credit card points are perfect, and our main bugbear with Citi is that it does not pool points across your cards and allow you to transfer them to your preferred FFP as a single (accumulated) transfer.
For example, if you have 30,000 Citi Miles on your Citi PremierMiles card and 75,000 Citi ThankYou Points on your Citi Rewards card (worth 30,000 miles), you won’t have the option to transfer those two amounts into 60,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Instead, you will have to pay the transfer fee for each card (i.e. twice in this example).
It also means you have to transfer all your points into miles before cancelling any Citi cards you hold, since you generally won’t be allowed to combine them with those accumulated on other Citi cards.
What is the transfer cost to KrisFlyer miles?
It’s the same for all 11 transfer partners which are part of the programme, $27.00 each time you transfer Citi ThankYou Points to airline miles (like KrisFlyer miles).
This is the annoying fee you are being hit with for any transfer from each of your Citi cards, as explained above.
How long do miles take to credit to KrisFlyer?
The official line is “up to 5 working days”. In reality the last few times we converted, it took 24-48 hours on each occasion. Here are our recent data points for transfer times from Citi:
- KrisFlyer: 24 hours (48 hours for transfers initiated on a Sunday)
- Asia Miles: 2 days
- BA Avios: 2 days
- Qatar Avios: 4 days
That’s not a bad turnaround, especially if you are looking to jump on a flight redemption that’s currently available.Pro Tip: Since Avios transfer instantly and fee-free between BA Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club, provided you have an account with each programme and have linked them, it’s always better to transfer from Citi to BA Avios, even if you will then transfer and use them in the Qatar programme, because the conversion from Citi to BA is faster.
Instant free transfer to KrisFlyer miles via Kris+
The transfer ratio is 10,000:3,400 (e.g. 10,000 Citi TYPs = 3,400 KrisPay miles).
You won’t want to be using the converted KrisPay miles against Kris+ merchant purchases, due to the awful value of 0.67 cents per mile, but you can immediately transfer them 1:1 into your KrisFlyer account as KrisFlyer miles.
As you’ll notice the ratio means taking a 15% ‘hit’ on the usual 25,000:10,000 Citi TYPs to KrisFlyer miles transfer ratio, so it’s only of interest if you need a small amount to meet a specific redemption threshold, or have a small balance ‘stuck’ in Citi ThankYou Points (more than 10,000 but less than 25,000), which you aren’t going to be adding to in future.
You shouldn’t be using this as your regular Citi TYPs to KrisFlyer transfer method, as it effectively devalues your bonus miles earning rate from 4 mpd to 3.4 mpd.
There are important factors to be aware of, firstly you’ll have to move any points transferred from Citi to KrisPay into KrisFlyer miles within seven days, otherwise they are stuck in KrisPay (where you definitely don’t want them).
The second is just as important, you cannot use any of the KrisPay miles you have earned from your Citi TYPs transfer for any Kris+ purchase, no matter how small, as that automatically renders the entire transfer stuck in Kris+ until expiry, six months later.
The golden rule therefore is to transfer in to KrisPay miles via Kris+, then transfer straight out to KrisFlyer. Even with that seven-day window available, our advice is don’t wait.
Every eligible transaction you make using the Citi Rewards card is rounded down to the next whole Singapore dollar (after conversion from foreign currency, if applicable), before Citi ThankYou Points are then assessed.
- $25.49 rounds down to $25
- $25.99 rounds down to $25
The appropriate multiplier of Citi ThankYou Points is then applied to the transaction, depending on its nature.
Example (regular 0.4 mpd earn rate):
- $25 x 1 TYP = 25 TYPs (10 Miles)
Example (4 mpd earn rate):
- $25 x 10 TYP = 250 TYPs (100 Miles)
↥ Minimum spend to earn points
Since every amount you spend is rounded down to the nearest dollar before Citi ThankYou Points are accounted for, $1.00 is the minimum transaction amount in order to earn points, or its equivalent in foreign currency for overseas spend.
This is a nice perk for Citi cards, with UOB, OCBC and now Maybank using the annoying $5 rounding method, where even a $4.99 transaction earns no rewards or miles at all!
No such worries with the Citi Rewards card.
FCY fee / cpm overseas
The Citi Rewards card has a 3.25% foreign currency transaction fee, which is among the highest on the market in Singapore.
You won’t be wanting to make transactions in foreign currency at the basic 0.4 mpd earn rate with this card, which would be equivalent to ‘buying’ miles at an unbelievable 8.6 cents each, an insanely poor proposition.
At the 4 mpd bonus rate though, which would apply for example to an online payment charged in US Dollars or a department store transaction in Sydney, it’s a different matter altogether.
Here’s how that cost per mile compares to other credit cards in Singapore offering 4 mpd for at least some form of eligible transactions in foreign currency.
Cost per mile on overseas credit card transactions (4 mpd cards)
(Best to worst, February 2023)
Cost per mile also accounts for an additional 0.3% ‘spread’ over money changer currency rates, though this doesn’t apply to all banks and all foreign currencies, so is a worst-case scenario.
As you can see the Citi Rewards card comes in at a very competitive cost of 0.86 cents per mile, so you should definitely be using this card for online transactions in FCY (non-travel spend), subject to the monthly cap.
The Amaze card paired to your Citi Rewards Mastercard also comes into play here, allowing you to avoid the 3.25% fee when making overseas spend, instead being subject only to the Amaze FCY rate, which tends to be only around 0.5% higher than the spot rate.
What else can Citi ThankYou Points be used for?
Under Citi’s ‘Pay with Points’ programme, you can use your available points to offset for a statement credit instead of converting them into frequent flyer miles, transaction-by-transaction.
This values your ThankYou Points at only 0.227 cents each, whereas you’ll get upwards of to 0.76 cents if you convert them to airline miles, like KrisFlyer miles, assuming a valuation of 1.9 cents per mile.
Even if you only value KrisFlyer miles at 1.5 cents each, your ThankYou Points are worth 0.60 cents each, so conversion into airline miles is by far the best deal.
There are a few other perks with the Citi Rewards cards, the key benefits which will be of most interest to our readers are:
- Complimentary travel insurance when you pay for your round-trip air ticket, or pay the taxes and fees on an award redemption ticket, using your Citi Rewards card.
The complimentary travel insurance is underwritten by AIG (full details here).
- Citi World Privileges, available to all Citi cardholders. These include restaurant, shopping and lifestyle benefits plus up to 10% cashback at Booking.com (Visa cards only).
- Up to 14% fuel savings at Shell.
The Citi Rewards card participates in the bank’s ‘PayAll’ programme, a facility allowing you to pay a fee to use your card and still earn miles on a range of payment types that would otherwise be excluded from miles earning, or not usually possible with a credit card.
At the time of writing, PayAll supports:
- Tax payments to IRAS
- Rent payments to your landlord in Singapore
- Education payments to a school or tuition centre in Singapore
- Condo Management Fees
- Electricity payments in Singapore
- Renovation fees
- Wedding expenses
- Childcare services
- Domestic helper service fees
- Donations or charitable payments
- Utility bills
Citi charges a 2% service fee for PayAll transactions, so the bad news for Citi Rewards cardholders is that with an earn rate of only 0.4 mpd you are ‘buying’ miles for an outrageous 5 cents each when using your Rewards card at the local earn rate for these payments.
Example, for a $1,000 education payment:
- Total Spend: $1,000
- PayAll Fee (2%): $20
- Total Spent: $1,020
- TYPs Earned: 1,000
- Miles Earned: 400 (1,000 / 2.5)
- Cost per Mile: 5.00 cents ($20 / 400)
What’s the point of this option then?
Citi regularly runs promotions for its PayAll service, typically by hiking the earn rate on all its eligible cards (including the Rewards cards) to a higher level, allowing you to buy miles at a far more competitive rate for these expenses.
Here’s an example of the cost per mile available during two recent promotions.
|Card||Earn rate||Cost per mile
|Citi Rewards||0.4 mpd||5.00¢|
|Offer: Apr-Jul 2022|
|Offer: Oct 2022 – Jan 2023|
During these promotions it goes from being a terrible deal to use your Citi Rewards card for PayAll payments to a great or even excellent deal, with the opportunity to buy miles at very competitive rates, so watch out for the next offer.
Citi also offers a zero-fee option for PayAll payments, which does not earn any card rewards.
This may be a useful way for you to defer your payment to the next statement cycle and hang on to the cash in your bank account for a little longer.
Terms and conditions
Here are links to the full terms and conditions applicable to the Citi PremierMiles card.
The Citi Rewards Card doesn’t enjoy the $2,000 monthly cap you’ll get with the DBS WWMC alternative, at least now that it’s not possible for new cardholders to pick up both the Visa and Mastercard version, so the $1,000 monthly cap on bonus spend is a bit limiting.
Furthermore, online travel spend is unfortunately not awarded the bonus rate.
However, on the plus side you have Citi’s wide range of transfer partners to tap into and points can last up to five years (but sadly for or as little as three months towards the end of your first five-year card validity period).
There’s also the occasional opportunity to participate in bonus miles promotions, including competitive rates to buy miles through Citi PayAll, plus the option to pair the card with Amaze for 4 mpd on in-store spend too like restaurant dining.
| 3.5 / 5
among 4 mpd bonus cards
Citi Rewards Card
Links on Mainly Miles may pay us an affiliate commission.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)