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 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.
Please note there are two different promos and select carefully:
- Citi PremierMiles: 30,000 miles
- Citi Prestige: 120,000 points and more
- Citi Rewards: 40,000 points
- Citi Cash Back: S$300 cashback
- Citi SMRT: S$300 cashback
- Tap here to see Citi promos
Until 30th June 2023
- Hinomi H1 Pro Ergonomic Office Chair (worth S$599) or
- Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) or
- S$400 CapitaVoucher or
- S$300 cash via PayNow
Until 15th June 2023.
Terms and Conditions. Click here
Get 10X ThankYou Points (4 mpd or 2.27% cashback) on online and shopping transactions. Read the review here
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.
New to bank
Citi promo: get S$300 in cashback with Citi SMRT Card
Existing Citi cardholders
One of the only high-earn cashback cards with no monthly cap! Gives 5% cashback on online transactions. Read the review here.
Other Citi Cards are spared
To be clear, rewards earned from the following popular Citi cards do not expire:
- Citi PremierMiles
- Citi Prestige
- Citi Cash Back
- Citi Cash Back+
Citi has some great miles and cashback cards, and as long as you take note of these oddities, you’ll do fine with them. They also have great sign-up offers, so do check them out.
Do due your own diligence as terms and conditions may change, and/or I have misunderstood the terms and conditions. Either way, do let me know so I can correct any wrong info that is here.
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1 thought on “Inside the Strange World of Citi’s Expiring Points and Cashback”
The Citi SMRT$ 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$.