Citi Cash Back Card Review: Great Stuff or Just Fluff?

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Image of the Citi Cash Back Card

The Citi Cash Back Card as the name suggests, offers cashback on all your daily essentials such as groceries, dining, Grab rides and petrol purchases. It stands among some of the best cashback credit cards in Singapore.

Citibank calls this credit card the “best cash back card in town”, but is it just savvy marketing or does it truly deserve our attention and an instant application? Let’s find out.

How much cashback can you cash in on this credit card?

Plain and simple, here is what you will earn on the Citi Cash Back Card:

  • Cashback on dining – Get 8% cashback across worldwide cafes, restaurants and bars. Also get 8% cashback on delivery from Foodpanda.
  • Cashback on Grab rides – Get 8% cashback on all your Grab rides starting from July 7, 2017.
  • Cashback on groceries – Get 8% cashback across worldwide supermarkets and groceries. Also get 8% cashback on delivery from RedMart and Honestbee.
  • Cashback and savings on petrol – Get fuel savings up to 20.88% at Shell and Esso. Get 8% cashback across other petrol stations worldwide.
  • Cashback on everything else – Earn 0.25% cashback on all other purchases with no cap to how much you can earn.

When you compare the cashback to other credit cards, 8% cashback and that too across all applicable categories almost looks unreal, right?

Most credit cards offer varying cashback percentages on different categories and not many as high as 8%. So, it’s safe to say that so far, the Citi Cash Back Card does look good.

The fine print on the cashback

The cashback offer on this card is not without conditions:

  • To earn 8% cashback across categories, you need to spend a minimum amount of S$888 per statement month.
  • The cashback per month is capped at S$25 per category, i.e. total cashback of S$100 (4 categories – dining, Grab rides, groceries and petrol).

Picture this

Here’s a little preview of what your cashback will look like according to your monthly spends on the Citi Cash Back Card:

Spend Category Monthly Spends Cashback earning potential Cashback earned
Dining S$500 S$40 S$25
Grab Rides S$100 S$8 S$8
Groceries S$350 S$28 S$25
Petrol S$250 S$20 S$20
Everything else S$300 S$0.75 S$0.75
Total S$1,500 S$96.75 S$78.75

 

Due to the cashback cap of S$25 on every category, you have made a loss of S$18 on your monthly spends of S$1,500. S$18 can get you 3 Big Mac’s and a couple of apple pies at McDonald’s!

But wait, how does it fare when we compare it to some of the best and brightest in the world of cashback?

Citi Cash Back Card – is it really the “best cash back card in town”?

Here’s what similar cashback credit cards have to offer in Singapore:

Credit Card/ Spend Categories Citi Cash Back Card OCBC 365 Credit Card HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card Maybank Friends & Family Card
Dining 8% cashback Up to 6% cashback Up to 2% cash rebate 8% cash rebate at fast food outlets
Groceries 8% cashback 3% cashback Up to 5% cash rebate 8% cash rebate
Petrol 8% cashback Up to 6% cashback Up to 5% cash rebate 8% cash rebate
Other categories
  • Grab rides – 8% cashback
  • Everything else – 0.25% cashback
  • Online shopping – 3% cashback
  • Telecommunication – 3% cashback
  • Everything else – 0.3% cashback
  • Recurring bills – 5% cash rebate
  • 8% cash rebate on select transport, health & wellness, learning & retail and leisure & attraction categories
  • Everything else – 0.3% cash rebate
Minimum Spend Requirement S$888 S$600 S$800 for all three months in a quarter (to earn full cashback offered) S$1,000 (to earn full cashback offered)
Monthly cashback Cap S$100 (S$25 per category) S$80 S$40 (S$120 per quarter) S$50 (S$600 per year)

 

Our learnings from the comparison:

  • Citi Cash Back Card – Requires one of the highest spends but offers the highest cashback. Cashback will be earned throughout the world and not just restricted to local spending.
  • OCBC 365 Credit Card – Offers varying cashbacks on several categories but none of the cashbacks offered are as high as the Citi Cash Back Card. The minimum spend requirement is lower, but so is the cashback earnings offered. Cashback is mostly earned on local spends.
  • HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card – Offers the lowest cashback/rebate per month and requires one of the highest minimum spend requirement. Cashback will be earned on local spends.
  • Maybank Friends & Family Card – Offers the same cashback percentage across categories as the Citi Cash Back Card but just half the cashback earnings and has the highest minimum spend requirement. Cashback will be earned in Singapore and Malaysia.

If you’re looking for a credit card that offers the highest cashback on your everyday spend categories, the Citi Cash Back Card seems to be the best in town. However, if you’re looking for a credit card that offers cashback across more categories locally, the OCBC 365 Credit Card is a good contender.

Related: [Infographic] Ultimate Guide to Choosing A Credit Card

Our final thoughts

The only visible drawbacks of the Citi Cash Back Card is the minimum spend requirement and the cashback cap. But if you look at it objectively, most cashback credit cards in Singapore have both these conditions.

Credit cards that don’t have either of these conditions don’t offer such high cashback; for example, the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card and the American Express True Cashback Card neither require a minimum spend nor do they have a cashback cap, but you will only earn a flat cashback rate of 1.5% on all categories. That is 6.5% lesser cashback offered on the Citi Cash Back Card.

What we’re trying to say here is that no credit card “has it all”, but the Citi Cash Back Card certainly seems to cut it closer than most other credit cards within the cashback genre.

Related: Best Cashback Credit Cards in Singapore

Do you agree with our thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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