Inside the Strange World of Citi’s Expiring Points and Cashback

When it comes to credit card points, most cards either give you points that never expire, or expire X years after earning them. Some examples of cards that give non-expiring points are Citi’s own Citi PremierMiles and Citi Prestige cards. Those with expiring points include DBS Woman’s World Master card whose points expire a year after accrual, and HSBC Revolution whose points expire after an odd 37-month period from earning them.

Citi Rewards

Citi Rewards card follows the beat of its own drum, having points expire every 5 years instead, with a 3-month grace period. This means that if you receive your Citi Rewards Card in August 2022, all the points you earn will expire on November 2027 (5 years and 3 months later).

That seems like a generous validity period, until August 2027 rolls around and points earned that month only have 3 months of validity. This rather unintuitive system can also lead to utterly tragic stories like this one shared in the group chat.

Those who got a Citi Rewards card from late 2017 to 2018 better start planning for a points transfer soon as your 5-year period is coming to an end over the next few months. You can check your points expiry at citirewards.com.

Citi Rewards

🔥 👍🏼

New to bank*
Choose:

  1. Apple iPad 9th Gen (worth S$499) or
  2. ErgoTune Supreme V3 (worth S$850) or
  3. Apple Watch SE 2nd Gen (worth S$379) or
  4. S$350 Cash

Until 2nd October 2022

*Minimum spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Terms and conditions apply

Sign-up Process

  1. Apply with the link
  2. Important: find SingSaver email and fill in redemption form after application
  3. Fulfil requirements as stated in terms and conditions

Credit card terms and conditions
Banking account terms and conditions
Priority banking terms and conditions

Get 10X ThankYou Points (4 mpd or 2.27% cashback) on online and shopping transactions. Read the review here

Citi SMRT

Citi’s “block expiry” does not just affect their points-earning Citi Rewards card, but also their pretty excellent Citi SMRT Card. Instead of crediting cashback to one’s statement automatically like virtually every other cashback card does, Citi SMRT (and Citi Cash Back+) requires the cardholder to make use of their unlimited (and unused) SMS quota to send a text message to Citi to make a redemption of cashback manually.

It’s a minor annoyance, but if this task isn’t done, Citi SMRT’s cashback can actually expire. The validity period is also far less generous than that of Citi Rewards – you have 15 months from the start of each period to redeem your cashback or they will expire worthless.

For instance, if your card is approved on February 2022, all cashback earned from February 2022 to January 2023 will expire on May 2023 (15 months from February 2022). This again leads to sob stories (not just one), and one starts to think perhaps that’s the intention of such a weird system.

Unfortunately, there is also no way to check your Citi SMRT points on citirewards.com, or at least I can’t find it. The best practice would be to redeem your cashback as soon as you earn them.

Citi SMRT

👍🏼

Citi SMRT has no current promo. If you are new to Citi cards, you should apply for one of the other Citi Cards first before applying for this as your second card.

One of the only high-earn cashback cards with no monthly cap! Gives 5% cashback on online transactions. Read the review here.

Other Citi Cards are spared

To be clear, rewards earned from the following popular Citi cards do not expire:

  • Citi PremierMiles
  • Citi Prestige
  • Citi Cash Back
  • Citi Cash Back+

Conclusion

Citi has some great miles and cashback cards, and as long as you take note of these oddities, you’ll do fine with them. They also have great sign-up offers, so do check them out.

Do due your own diligence as terms and conditions may change, and/or I have misunderstood the terms and conditions. Either way, do let me know so I can correct any wrong info that is here.


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1 thought on “Inside the Strange World of Citi’s Expiring Points and Cashback

  1. The Citi SMRT$ earned can be easily checked on Citibank SG app or Citibank SG Internet Banking Website. When I logged into my Citibank SG app, it is on the homepage. For the Citibank SG Internet Banking Website, you have to click the Citibank SMRT Card account to see you earned reward point aka Citi SMRT$.

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