Review: New and Improved Citi Cash Back Card Now Actually Gives 8%

I haven’t reviewed the Citi Cash Back Card, and for good reason – it simply wasn’t a compelling card before. This changes from 9th December onwards when Citi significantly buffs this card.

Features

ProviderCitibank
TypeConditional cashback
Earn Rate6% on dining
8% on groceries and petrol
0.25% on other stuff
Conditions$800 monthly minimum spend
Limits$80 monthly cashback

Citi has always marketed the Citi Cash Back card as an 8% cashback card on dining, groceries, and petrol, but sublimits made it a rather cumbersome affair. Want to get 8% cashback? You need to spend around $300 on dining, $300 on groceries, and $300 on petrol to get the maximum advertised cashback yield.

The old Citi Cash Back Card was perfect… as long as you spend perfectly in each category.

After the change, there would be no annoying sublimits to worry about. Instead, the combined cashback limit is $80 across all the categories. This means that you can spend $800 to 1,000 on a single category in a month and get 8% cashback without having to spend a cent on the other two categories. This makes the card far easier to use, not to mention the slight drop in minimum spending from $888 to $800.

Dining does take a hit, dropping from 8% to 6% cashback. To be fair, it’s not too bad a drop since it was difficult to get the full 8% cashback rate anyway. up until this change, $1,000 spent on solely dining on this card got you 2.75% cashback due to the sublimit. Post change, such a spend amount would generate a respectable 6% cashback.

Citi has a peculiar way of crediting cashback, and it is credited in blocks of $10 with a minimum of $50 each time.

How does it compare against other cashback cards?

The Citi Cash Back’s closest competitors are now the Maybank Family and Friends card and OCBC FRANK. This attests to how good this improvement is; Citi Cash Back card is now comparable with top tier cashback cards.

Maybank FnF gives the same 8% on very similar categories. If you spend on groceries or petrol, Maybank FnF also gives 8% on $800 spend, with the added flexibility of giving 5% if your spend is only $500. On top of that, FnF adds a whole host of other categories including telco bills, public transportation, and food delivery.

Citi Cash Back is superior to FnF in perhaps only one but really major way – dining. FnF previously awarded high cashback for restaurants, but has since changed it to only fast food restaurants. Citi Cash Back gives 6% for dining, whether it’s at fast food outlets, restaurants, or even caterers.

OCBC FRANK has stepped up to take over dining for me, giving the same 6% cashback on everything contactless (which includes virtually everywhere that accepts credit cards now). That is capped at $417 a month, which may or may not be a good amount for you depending on your dining habits, and you will have to spend another $183 online in order to reach a 6% cashback yield.

Depending on your spending habits, dining may be a significant area of spend that will tilt you towards Citi’s offering over Maybank or OCBC’s cards. You could drop anywhere between $800 to $1,333 on dining alone in a month and get the full 6% cashback other cards cannot offer on that spend amount…

Citi
Cash Back

New to bank

$250 via PayNow or AirPods Pro!

Existing customers
$30 via PayNow

Conclusion

I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it again: sublimits are annoying. The removal of them thus greatly boosts the Citi Cash Back card, even as Citi continues its strange way of crediting cashback.

People who spend substantially on dining each month may find this card much better than anything available right now, and for that it gets a decent score from me.

The good:

  • High 8% cashback on groceries and petrol, 6% on dining
  • Relatively high cap of $1,000 for a cashback card
  • No more sublimits

The bad:

  • Relatively high minimum spend of $800
  • Cashback is credited in blocks of $10 with a minimum of $50 each time

The ugly:

  • Being someone who consistently spends $300 on each category only for Citi to change this card… Although, does someone like this even exist? 🤔

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
8 Stars of Sethisfaction

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3 thoughts on “Review: New and Improved Citi Cash Back Card Now Actually Gives 8%

  1. Hi,

    May i know what you meant when you mention that the cash back has to be redeemed “manually”? I have been using the Citibank Cash Back credit card for some time and the rebate is credited whenever it accumulates above $50, and every subsequent $10.

    I have never redeemed it “manually”.

    Cheers,
    Naro

    1. I see. I dont have the Citbank Cash Back Plus card.

      Anyway, I’m one of those who can almost spend $300 on the three categories every month. But this upcoming change is still good because i tend to exceed cap for the Grocery category and slightly below for Petrol category.

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