The Best Citi Rewards Credit Cards: A Complete Guide

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Citi Bank offers quite a few rewards credit cards worth knowing about, several of which earn Citi ThankYou points. Among these is the popular Citi Double Cash card, which offers one of the highest cashback rates across all credit card companies. But not all Citi cards are created equal.

We're going to give you a helpful overview of each Citi Rewards credit card listed below, so you can decide which is best for you. We selected these cards for review because they offered the most rewards among all Citi credit cards.

Here are all five Citi Rewards credit cards to consider:

  1. Citi Rewards+ card
  2. Citi Premier card
  3. Citi Rewards+ Student card
  4. Citi Prestige card
  5. Citi Double Cash card

Strengths

Citi Rewards credit cards are strong because of the bonus points they offer on travel, dining out and entertainment.

The Citi Rewards cards are especially worthwhile for those who spend a large portion of their discretionary money on eating out at restaurants, travel and entertainment, as opposed to cards like the American Blue Cash Preferred card, which rewards shoppers for grocery and gas purchases. The Citi Preferred card offers double points on dining and entertainment, categories that often aren’t often as highly rewarded. The Citi Thank You Premier card offers extra ThankYou points on travel and gas purchases. Another perk of Citi Rewards cards is Price Rewind, a complimentary benefit that searches online merchants for a lower price on items you pay for with your Citi Rewards card. If the same item is found online at a lower price within 60 calendar days of your purchase, you can receive a credit.

Weaknesses

The Citi Rewards credit cards' weaknesses lie in the diminished value of the ThankYou points.

Credit card experts tend to assign a lower value to Citi ThankYou points than they do to AMEX or Chase Ultimate Reward points. Redeeming Citi points for cash or a statement credit only gets you a minimal amount per point. Across the board, you'll maximize the value of your credit card reward points by redeeming them for travel. In the case of the Citi ThankYou points, when you redeem ThankYou points for travel, you can get more per point. If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, however, you get a bonus when redeeming travel through the Chase Ultimate Reward Center—making those points worth even more than its major competitors.

Who It's Made For

You should get a Citi Rewards card if you spend a lot of money on travel and dining out.

To determine whether one of the top Citi rewards cards currently available is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I travel often on different airlines, and rarely fly American Airlines?
  • Do I usually pay extra to use an airport lounge?
  • Do I spend a lot of money on dining out and entertainment?
  • Do I often stay at the same hotel for four or more nights in a row?
  • Do I bank at Citi and want the convenience of seeing all of my accounts (checking, savings, and credit cards) in one place?

If you answered yes to the questions above, the Citi Prestige card is likely a good fit for your personal spending patterns and lifestyle. If you answered "no" to many of the questions above, then the Citi Double Cash card may work better for you. Sit tight as we detail the pros and cons of each of these Citi Rewards credit cards to help you find the best Citi Rewards credit card that meets your needs and spending style.

Competition

Citi's Prestige card competes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

As far as premium credit cards go, the Citi Prestige card offers strong competition to Chase's Rewards cards, the most notable comparison is with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. With similar annual costs (the Citi Prestige slightly higher as of January 2019), Citi Prestige offers better travel rewards. The Citi Prestige card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card both have similar fee structures—but the Citi Prestige comes out ahead when you factor in the 4th Night Free hotel stay perk that you can redeem twice a year. Also, adding more card holders costs less on the Citi Prestige than on the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Citi Prestige is being revamped as of January 2019 to include even more value in the form of greater point bonuses and a more easily accessible travel credit.

Card Overviews

The overall pros and cons of Citi Rewards cards, so you know best

Here are the pros and cons of each of these Citi Rewards credit cards, listed in order of our preference, with the Citi Prestige earning the distinction of our favorite Citi travel rewards card.

Citi Prestige card

The Citi Prestige card is one of Citi's higher end rewards cards. Those who travel often and tend to charge a lot on their credit card will gravitate toward this card. Citi is currently offering one of its best bonus offers too. The Citi Prestige card offers travel perks that are among the best in the industry—you'll get an annual travel credit that can be used on any travel purchases. You'll also get a complimentary 4th Night Free at hotels twice a year, a perk that can save you several hundred dollars, if you vacation for four nights or longer. Citi Prestige card holders earn more ThankYou points on air travel, hotels and travel agencies. These things help to offset the high annual fee.

Citi Double Cash card

The Citi Double Cash card offers one of the highest cashback rates available. You'll earn on all purchases, and that doubles when you pay your bill—no restrictions or limitations on these cash rewards. If you are transferring a credit card balance, the Citi Double Cash card is ideal because it offers a generous intro balance transfer rate.

Like many other Citi cards, the Citi Double Cash card offers the Citi Price Rewind feature, which tracks the price of items you buy and refunds you the difference if the price decreases within 60 days. If you pay your bill on time or are looking for a balance transfer rate, the Citi Double Cash card is worth considering.

Citi Premier card

The Citi Premier card offers a hefty signup bonus of ThankYou points. You'll also receive more ThankYou points on travel expenses, including gas. The card does have an annual fee, however, but it's nominal when compared to the Citi premium offerings. This is a great everyday rewards card.

Citi Rewards+ card

If you spend a lot on groceries and gas, the Citi Rewards+ card is a no fee card that offers double points for every dollar spent in those categories. It also offers an OK (but not great) signup bonus that's easy to access. On the bright side, Citi Rewards+ keeps it simple with no rotating categories to track. For a no fee card, it's a good deal—but if you're looking to really rack up the reward points on groceries, you may want to go for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred, which offers unmatched incentives.

Citi Rewards+ Student card

One of the best cards out there for college students looking to build their credit, the Citi Rewards+ Student card offers the easiest to access signup bonus, which fits a student's shoestring budget. Students earn the most ThankYou points for every dollar spent on groceries and gas, and an everyday rewards rate of ThankYou point for all other purchases.

The Verdict

Go with the Citi Prestige card to cash in on travel rewards.

Most of the Citi Rewards cards tend to give you extra points for dining and entertainment purchases. For frequent travelers, there is, indeed, one Citi Rewards card that rises above the pack—the Citi Prestige card, which is one of the most generous and flexible Citi Rewards credit cards currently available. With a very generous signup bonus, The Citi Premier card offers the next best value for Citi Rewards shoppers. You can redeem points for cash or book travel. With flexible Thank You points, consumers win when they partner with Citi.