Citibank Rewards Credit Card: Best Low-Fee Retail Shopping Card

Citibank Rewards Credit Card: Best Low-Fee Retail Shopping Card

Best Low-Fee Retail Shopping Card

Good for

  • Consumers looking to avoid fees
  • Frequent shoppers

Bad for

  • Individuals that will not spend Rs. 30,000 annually
  • Consumers looking for a card to use on multiple spending categories

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

If you are interested in acquiring a shopping card without a costly annual fee, then the Citi Rewards Card is for you. The Citi Rewards Card has no joining fee and its annual fee is easily waivable. In terms of rewards, the card earns cardholders 2.8% (10 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) on all retail spending, making this one of the best retail shopping cards available. Despite this, the card provides a lower 0.28% (1 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) on general spending. Therefore, this is a good card for any individual looking for a low-fee option to use on shopping exclusively.

ProsCons
  • Rs. 1,000 fee waived by only spending Rs. 30,000
  • 2.80% rewards on retail spending
  • 0.28% rewards on general spending
Promotions:
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 1,500 reward points (worth ₹ 525) on first spend within 30 days of card issuance
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 1,000 reward points (worth ₹ 350) on first spend of Rs. 1,000 within 60 days of card issuance
  • Monthly Bonus: 300 points (worth ₹ 105) on spends of Rs. 30,000 or more per month
Card Overview
Pros:
  • Rs. 1,000 fee waived by only spending Rs. 30,000
  • 2.80% rewards on retail spending
  • Promotions:
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 1,000 reward points (worth ₹ 350) on first spend of Rs. 1,000 within 60 days of card issuance
  • Monthly Bonus: 300 points (worth ₹ 105) on spends of Rs. 30,000 or more per month
Cons:
  • 0.28% rewards on general spending

What Makes Citi Rewards Card Stand Out

The Citibank rewards card is the best option for individuals looking for a low-fee, shopping specific card. The combination of its high shopping rewards rate and low annual fee is what really makes this card attractive. For instance, the card earns cardholders 2.8% (10 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) on all retail spending, which ranks the card among the top tier for the specific category across the market. The card is also effectively a "no-fee" card, as it has no joining fee and its Rs. 1,000 annual fee is easily waived, with Rs. 30,000 of spending in the previous year.

Furthermore, the card provides cardholders with a great sign-up bonus and a promotion for high spenders. Reward points are redeemable for cashback, air miles (Air India miles or InterMiles) or IndianOil fuel vouchers at slightly different redemption rates and redeemable minimums. We would recommend redeeming in cashback as it is the most versatile option for consumers. A downside for this card is that it only offers cardholders 0.28% (1 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) on general spending. As a result, this card is best for consumers that are seeking a card for shopping purchases without a high annual fee.

CategoryRedemption Rate (1 Point)Minimum Points to Redeem
CashbackRs. 0.3510,000
Air miles (Air India miles or InterMiles)Rs. 0.75100
IndianOil fuel vouchersRs. 0.251,000

How Does the Citi Rewards Credit Card Rewards Programme Work?

The Citi Rewards Card reward programme offers cardholders with rewards that can be redeemed in cashback, Air India miles or IndianOil fuel vouchers. Cardholders earn 10 points per Rs. 125 spent on retail and 1 point per Rs. 125 spent on all other spending categories. The redemption for both rates is 1 point = Rs. 0.35. The reward points on the card never expire.

  • 10 points per Rs. 125 spent on shopping
  • 1 points per Rs. 125 spent on general spending
  • Reward redemption rate: 1 point = Rs. 0.35
  • Points can be redeemed in cashback, Air India miles or IndianOil fuel vouchers
  • Reward points never expire

Citi Rewards Credit Card's Features and Benefits:

Card Overview
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000 waived after annual spends of Rs. 30,000
  • Income Requirement: None listed by issuer
  • Age Requirement: None listed by issuer
Rewards Rate Details
  • 10 points per Rs. 125 spent on shopping
  • 1 points per Rs. 125 spent on general spending
  • Reward redemption rate: 1 point = Rs. 0.35
Benefits & Perks
  • Up to 15% off on partnered dining restaurants across India
  • 50% discount and 2x rewards on EazyDiner Prime Annual Subscription
Promotions:
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 1,500 reward points (worth ₹ 525) on first spend within 30 days of card issuance
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 1,000 reward points (worth ₹ 350) on first spend of Rs. 1,000 within 60 days of card issuance
  • Monthly Bonus: 300 points (worth ₹ 105) on spends of Rs. 30,000 or more per month

How Does Citi Rewards Credit Card Compare Against Other Cards?

Read our comparisons of the Citi Rewards Credit Card:

Citi Rewards Card vs. Citi Cashback Card

Consider this if you are looking for a card for utility and movie spending

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Citibank Cashback Card offers great cashback rates for utilities, phone bills and movie tickets (5% cashback for all). On the other hand, the Citi Rewards Card does not offer elevated rates for utilities or movie spending, but does offer an elevated 2.80% rewards rate (10 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) on retail spending, beating out the Rewards Card in this category. Both cards offer relatively low cashback on overall spending, although the Citi Cashback Card offers a higher rate (0.50%) than the Citi Rewards Card (0.28%).

In terms of fees, the Citi Cashback Card charges a low-fee of Rs. 500 with no waiver option, whereas the Citi Rewards Card charges a higher fee of Rs. 1,000, which can be waived through annual spending of Rs. 30,000. Still, we would recommend the Citi Cashback Card for those interested in utilities, phone bills and movie tickets—if you are more interested in shopping and want to avoid fees then we would recommend the Citi Reward Card.

Citi Rewards Card vs. Standard Chartered Ultimate Card

Consider this if you are looking for an excellent cashback card to use across all spending categories

Age Requirement 21-65
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is the best cashback option on the market. For instance, the Ultimate Card offers cardholders a rewards rate of 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150, 1 point = Rs. 1) on general spending, which is a much higher rate even when compared to the elevated rewards rate of 2.8% offered by the Citi Rewards Card (10 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) on retail spending. Furthermore, the Ultimate Card also offers lounge access through a Priority Pass Membership and charges a low fee ($27) at more lounges. Other than dining discounts the Citi Rewards Card does not include many perks.

However, the card is practically a no-fee card as long the cardholder surpasses annual spends of Rs. 30,000, whereas the Ultimate Card charges an annual fee of Rs. 5,000. Due to this, the Ultimate Card would be a better choice if you are looking for a card to use on multiple spending categories and can afford the large annual fee, whereas the Citi Rewards card is more valuable to consumers trying to avoid fees, without compromising a great shopping specific rewards rate.

Citi Rewards Card vs. Kotak Essentia Platinum Card

Consider this if you are interested in a cashback card exclusively for shopping and groceries

Age Requirement 21-65
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Kotak Essentia Platinum Card is a great shopping and grocery card, which offers the highest cashback rate (10%) for those categories. This rate is higher than the elevated shopping-specific rewards rate offered by the Citi Rewards Card (2.80%). The Kotak Essentia also has a relatively low cashback rate of 0.40% (1 point per Rs. 250, 1 savings point = Rs. 1) on general spending, yet it is still higher than the 0.28% (1 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35) offered by the Citi Rewards Card. In terms of annual fees, the Kotak Essentia charges Rs. 1,499 as a joining fee and Rs. 749 thereafter, whereas the Citi Card charges an annual fee of Rs. 1,000 from the first year that can be easily waived by surpassing a spending threshold (annual spends of Rs. 3,000). Still, we would recommend the Kotak Essentia for those who can afford the fees and are looking to acquire a card specifically for shopping and groceries.

Citi Rewards Card vs. Standard Chartered Priority Visa Infinite Card

Consider this if you are looking for a no-fee card with overseas spending and travel perks

Age Requirement 21-65
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card and the Citi Rewards Card are two solid low-fee options. The SC Visa Infinite Card charges no fees and the Citi Rewards Card charges an annual fee of Rs. 1,000, which can be waived easily. Further, the SC Visa Infinite Card offers cardholders an elevated rewards for retail and overseas spending at 1.19% (5 points per Rs. 100), which is great for frequent travellers who spend abroad. Just from retail; however, the Citi Rewards Card offers a higher rewards rate of 2.80% (10 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35). On the other hand, both cards offer a relatively low general spending rewards rate (SC Priority Visa Card 0.48%, Citi Rewards Card 0.28%). Therefore, we would recommend the SC Priority Visa Card for general and overseas spending; however, if you are looking for a card only for shopping, we would recommend the Citi Rewards Card.

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a Junior Research Analyst specialising in credit cards and insurance in India. He previously worked in the financial services sector at Brown Brothers Harriman and True Capital Management.