Citibank Rewards Credit Card (India) Review

By | May 18, 2016
Citibank Rewards Credit Card - India

Citibank Rewards Credit Card – India

Citibank Rewards Credit Card is one of the beginner credit card in the space usually issued for free to most salaried individuals where the company is banking with Citibank. Citibank is the leading credit card issuer across the world, though in India, HDFC is the market leader and Citi is emerging good.

Citi could compete equally with the rival only if it opens more branches in India and with more card offerings. Though they have limited cards, it addresses fairly well to both the beginners and the high spenders.

Earning & Redeeming Points in Citibank Rewards Card:

  • 1 Reward Point for every Rs.125 on all purchases
  • Accelerated Reward Points: 10 Reward Points for every Rs.125 spent at apparel and department stores and select partners.
  • 1 Reward Point = 0.35 Ps for cash against card statement

Reward points aren’t that attractive and the only nice way to earn good amount of reward points is by using your card in apparel, department stores and select partners.

For ex, If you spend 1 Lakh on “apparel, department stores and select partners”, you’ll get Rs.2,800 (2.8% value back) worth of reward points whereas spending elsewhere gives only Rs.280 (0.28% Value back) which is near to nothing.

However, you can still maximize the value of the reward points if you transfer them to Airmiles as you can strategically get Rs.1/mile value or more for your points as long as you know what you’re doing. Points and miles game is like an ocean.

Features of Citibank Rewards Credit Card:

  • CardExpert Rating: 5/10
  • Reward rate: 0.28% – 2.8% (Accelerated Reward Points)
  • Complementary Airport lounge access: Nil
  • Foreign Exchange Markup fee: 3.5% + Service Tax
  • Renewal Fee Waiver: Your annual fee of Rs. 1000 is waived on making spends of Rs. 30,000 in a membership year.
  • Special Features: Get 1,000 bonus points on card spends of Rs. 1,00,000 or more in a calender quarter.

That being said, its a very basic card and it doesn’t come with any good reward structure for high spenders. One of the major advantage with Citi cards is that they have lots of redemption options out there including cash credit on statement. I would go for this card only if i’m not eligible for any other card as i don’t spend much on the accelerated rewards category.

Do you hold Citibank Rewards Credit Card? Do let me know in comments below.

56 thoughts on “Citibank Rewards Credit Card (India) Review

  1. Avishek Dey

    It gives 1000 bonus point as anniversary benefit and 500 points in birthday month.
    So total 1500 points each year.

    1. Amandeep singh


      Do you suggest to change my rewards card to cash back card. I end up paying 15_20k every month.

      Mostly I spend on dining,shopping.

        1. Nitesh tak

          1 Reward Point for every Rs.125 on all purchases

          is wrong please update it 🙂

  2. Sunny

    Thanks for making me realize Citibank Rewards could be used for Jet miles. I was completely oblivious to this, infact couple years ago, I went for a cashback with my points.

    Which begs the question – do you remember if this JP miles conversion facility came recently? Or was it available all along?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Sunny, no idea about it. Am yet to explore Citi cards in hands.

  3. Sanjaykulkarni

    Hi this sanjay kulkarni I have applied for citi bank rewards cerdit card but i have indian oil credit card what should i do now, somebody says indian oil card is good and somebody says that rewards credit card is good so iam little bit of confusion on this would please help me out on this which is correct .because of Iam employee.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      It depends on where you’re going to spend. If you fuel a lot, yes, Indian oil card will be useful.

  4. Ankit

    Hi Siddarth,
    My billing would be around 2 to 3 thousand across stores like More, Star bazaar, etc. and handful times I make a purchase from Amazon or Flipkart in a year. Is the Citi bank Rewards credit card good for me OR should I go for any other card.

  5. Abhirup G

    Just had a look in Citi’s official page, it seems the 10X reward points are capped till Rs 7000. Any spending beyond that gets you only 1 RP per 125, so i guess theres simply no benefit at all

  6. Muthu Krishnan

    Last month i got a citi bank credit bank and got 2500 rewards points(1000 points for first purchase and 1500 points for first rs.1000 purchase).

    siddharth, I am also owning both hdfc money back card and citi rewards card , want to know which one is better?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      All are basic cards, doesnt matter much. Just check the respective reviews to find the reward rate of each 🙂

  7. Sumeet gupta

    Should I go for amex gold card? Also, which card is better HDFC regalia or HDFC diners club premium?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Diners has 10X rewards, Regalia has Priority pass. Its your personal choice. Amex Gold good too.

  8. Akul Bhutani

    Does this card give 10x points on departmental stores like supermarket and groceries or only for apparel stores?

  9. Chirag

    i have this citibank rewards card since 3 years and recently got hdfc regalia.. citibank cc says they dont have a upgrade, but i can ask for another card which would be chargeable. How can i upgrade the citibank creditt card for loung access without paying the annual fees as right now i ma getting renewal waiver through my spends on the card.

  10. Jason

    Our usage of IOC for fueling is very less. Do you think i should switch to Citi Rewards Card. As i want to earn more rewards and use it for online purchase. My usage is Amazon, Flipkart and few online sites other than that i don’t do much shopping

  11. Prashant Gupta

    Jason apply for SBI simply click card dor online usage.

  12. Ram

    Do not use citi bank credit cards at all. They will change payment due date every month so that to get more penalty amount . It is worst credit card

    1. Prashant Gupta

      I dont think so Ram. I am using citi card for last 13 years and no issues whatsoever.


        Hey Prashant,

        I’ve recently get my first credit card ( CITI rewards). Is there any other use of this card than using it on clothes or movies?

  13. kunal

    Hi Siddharth

    This card gives travel protection for international air ticket ??

  14. Balpreet Singh


    I got to know from Cust. care that international usage for online transactions, citi doesn’t block even if I wish to block that. Is that what anyone else has also experienced?

    As I dont travel abroad / dont use international websites for shopping, I wish to block in order to save hassle of geting any fraudalant transaction. But Surpirsed to hear Citi credit card’s process, that they wont block even if I ask them.

    Isnt’ this wrong?


    1. K Ghosh

      Some banks do not have the facility to selectively block international/domestic transactions. For example standard chartered also doesn’t allow to block international transaction. Though most banks these days provide this facility.

    2. Mickey

      Balpreet –

      Citibank had now started deactivation for foreign currency transactions I’d you want.

  15. Rishabh Shreyas

    Hi Sidharth,
    Could you suggest me some good credit cards which provide complimentary airport lounge access and other benefits. I was looking to get this card( Citi rewards card) but i am having second thoughts after reading your review.

  16. Sriram

    Hi Sid,
    I hold this LTF card since 2012 and I have 4.99L credit limit in this card. Now I have got other premium cards with higher reward rate and Lounge benefits. Is it a good to close this card? (I have a total of 5 credit cards including this) Or should I keep it along with me considering that it will give a higher CIBIL score. I would really appreciate your reply and thanks in advance

  17. Ram

    Sriram, If you had got your other CCs right after CITI then you can close this else its better to keep this one since credit age is one of the criterias in your CIBIL report.

    1. Sriram

      Hi Ram, Thanks for your reply.. I got only my Citi card in 2012. Rest all other cards were issued to me in 2017. So I will keep the Citi card considering the CIBIL impact. 🙂

  18. k bhaskar

    Dear sir,
    I’m new to hold a credit card I.e beginner and I have a confusing in choosing a card between ICICI PLATINUM and CiTi rewards ,where my usage monthly would be 4000 ,so would you suggest me which one is best and I also concern about the annual fee .

  19. Vin

    Does using citi rewards cards in Dmart and Bigbazaar gives accelerated reward points ? or just 1 point for 125 spend?
    Can anyone confirm whether Dmart and BB comes under Department category?

    1. AS

      Better to buy BB Gift vouchers or use wallet offers which give min 5% discount or cashback.

    2. K Ghosh

      As far as I know they comes under “groceries” category. Because I am on home plan on my indusind aura card and I am getting 4 reward points whenever I am using my card at bigbazaar. If it would have been categorized as departmental store then I would have earned 0.50 points. So yes, they are under “grocery” merchant category.

  20. Kunal

    The reason to keep a Citi card is not for reward points but exclusive offers that Citi comes up from time to time with MakeMyTrip, Amazon etc. I have been a big beneficiary to this when I booked my US ticket and got Rs.10,000 cash back on my Card (only Citi cards were eligible). Duty Free purchase gives 15% cash back. Several such schemes run from time to time making it one of the must-have cards.

  21. Bhavin Patadia

    I use my hdfc business money back card for all utility bill payments, online purchase and fuel
    I’m planning to have another cc that gives best cashback, annual fee waiver etc… so citi rewards wil be goo for me? I spend nearly 2,000 fir utilities, 5,000 for dmart, BigBazar(inlude apparel) etc and 3000 for fuel monthly

  22. Krishna

    Hi sid
    Right now I am using citi reward hdfc dinner
    Icici also
    But let me know
    I want to opt another cc
    Which one suits better for airport loungues domestic and international also

  23. Aiyush Bedi

    Hi Sid,
    I have been reading your reviews and the comments on your posts for quite some time now. I have the Citi Rewards card since last 6-7 months and I have been reaching my credit limit of around 60k almost every month and the spends are spread across Dining, Apparel, Travel(High Value). I quite like this card as it offers decent discounts and offers time to time. I was looking forward to upgrading this card but reading your reviews on Cashback and Premier Miles variant I feel that it won’t make much difference. I also have an SBI YATRA Travelcard which I am sure of discontinuing or upgrading. Which cards should I compare considering the spending trends?

    P.S. I am quite hesitant in holding multiple cards to avoid overspending.

  24. Mickey

    What is the next natural upgrade from Citi Rewards card (within Citi cards i.e)?

    Anyone upgraded recently and how to go about it?

    1. Sharathkumar Anbu

      Citibank doesn’t have concept of upgrade except for upgrading to Prestige card.

      You can SWAP the existing card variant for any other card variant like Premier Miles, Cashback, Indian Oil card, First Citizen card etc.. There is no eligibility criteria for SWAPPING the card, any one can do so at any time.

  25. Mickey

    What is the process for LE with Citi? I called up CC and they said there is no way to increase limit unless offered by Citi themselves! I find this odd to believe..

  26. Mickey

    If you buy groceries on Paytm with Citi cards you get extra reward points. Direct payment thru Citi card and NOT thru Paytm wallet balance.

    But when u pay utilities there is no extra rewards.

    How does Citi know whether you’re buying groceries or paying bills. Because both times payment is directly made from card and not thru wallet balance.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Its very simple to detect what’s in the cart and route the payment through respective payment gateways. They must have registered themselves with multiple MCC’s which helps banks to know for what you’re paying for.

      Anyway, interesting to know about this with groceries on Paytm. Might help some. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Sahil Sharma

    worst experience I have the first time I Applied for Citi bank Shoppers Stop Credit Card and I received also the same.
    After a few days, my credit card all details are leaked and I got a call from unknown no and Telling me my all confidential details about the card and all.
    10000 Rupees Fraud they have done on my card or before that they did 100 rupees Transaction and same time I raised a Request to Citi bank credit card care and Raised an FIR Also but citi bANK accept the request and forward to the dispute team.
    after some days they told me you have done this transaction and you have to pay on the next bill.
    They are Saying we are sorry you have to pay we cannot help you.
    It means Citi bank imposing necessary money to the customer.
    @Police officer told me nowadays there are a lot of complaints are coming for Citi bank credit and debit cards
    According to the police they told me mostly these kind of credentials are leaked by the bank employees who worked for the short time period so dont use citi bank credit card

    1. Raghu

      I have experienced a similar issue with my Rewards card, in fact, two fraud-related transactions in a gap of 8 months. However, in my case, transactions are carried out without 3D verification (without OTP or pin), so Citi had deposited the equivalent fraud amount in my card (very relieved).

      However, I had to go through the pain of FIR and so on and have received similar feedback from police that most such fraud cases happen with Citi cards.

      Now, I ensure that international usage is disabled on all my credit cards and would enable it on a need only basis.

  28. Chandan Roy

    Having a Citi Bank Reward Card — Worst Service ever received — having following grievances:

    1. Card issued with inappropriate information

    2. Card not discontinued after having instruction

    3. Card Annual Charge deducted of a surrendered card

    4. Head of Customer Care don’t respond when you point out their fault

  29. Mouli

    I have Citi credit card renewal coming up next month and the existing one is visa variant but Citi informed the card after renewal would be Master and not Visa

  30. Rishabh

    Any idea if we get reward points on paying renewal fees for this card?

  31. Mugunthan

    Citibank now sends email for rewards points redemption for donation:
    (for all citi bank cards)

    Extend a helping hand towards those in need by using your reward points to make a difference. Fill someone’s life with hope and happiness by donating your Citi Credit Card Reward Points to Points for People and Akshaya Patra Foundation.

    About Points for People
    Points for People has tied up with various NGOs to ensure the provision of oxygen cylinders, Covid meals, medicines, etc. in this need of the hour.

    About Akshaya Patra Foundation
    Akshaya Patra is donating cooked meals and grocery kits to marginalised and low income segments of the society during Covid.


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