Why the Citi Rewards+ is great for college students

Posted bywp_12122045 Posted onMay 26, 2023 Comments0

The Citi Rewards+® Card launched in 2019 with some notable features. While perhaps not as luxurious as other cards, these perks make it a great option for college students looking for their first credit card.

Let’s examine why the Citi Rewards+ Card may be the right card for you.

Achievable welcome bonus

With the Citi Rewards+, you can earn 25,000 ThankYou bonus points after you spend $1,500 on purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening.

That’s a very achievable welcome bonus, wherein you only have to spend $500 a month for three months. And 25,000 ThankYou points are worth $450, per TPG valuations, making it more than worth your while for this no-annual-fee card.

Good for lower budgets

The Citi Rewards+ earns 2 ThankYou points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year (1 point per dollar after). While the $6,000 annual cap might not work for those with high monthly budgets or large families, a typical college student isn’t going to spend more than $500 on those bonus categories each month.


On top of its bonus categories, the card offers a unique round-up feature. Your rewards automatically round up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. That means your $2 library vending machine raid during a study break will actually earn 10 points.

This feature also works on bonus category purchases. That $31 supermarket run to restock on ramen noodles and bagel bites will earn 40 points. This feature makes maximizing rewards on smaller purchases easy, so you don’t have to spend a ton to earn points.

No annual fee

All of those benefits I just walked through? You’ll get those without having to pay an annual fee.

In college, you may not have the budget for annual fees, even if you’re theoretically earning enough to offset the cost by the end of the year. The Citi Rewards+ Card is a no-annual-fee card you can keep in your wallet throughout and beyond undergrad.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

If you keep the Citi Rewards+ in your wallet past your college days, you can always pair it with other Citi ThankYou cards to gain full access to the Citi ThankYou program, including Citi’s transfer partners.

Easier approval

Students may not have multiple years of established credit or a 750+ credit score, so many have to settle for starter cards to build credit before they can start earning rewards.

The Citi Rewards+ Card‘s approval criteria are catered to those with minimal credit history, so you could still be approved even if you’re just getting started.


If you’re a student with a few years of credit history and a solid credit score, you may be better off choosing a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This is a solid option if you are a true beginner just starting out.

Bottom line

The Citi Rewards+ Card is an option for students just starting to dip their toes in the water with travel rewards. You can start to build up your credit in college without sacrificing your ability to earn solid rewards.

Of course, if you have an established credit history, there are more valuable credit cards to consider, even if you’re still a beginner.

Apply here for the Citi Rewards+ Card with an offer of 25,000 ThankYou bonus points after you spend $1,500 on purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening.

For rates and fees on the Citi Rewards+ Card, click here.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox.


Leave a Comment