Citi Cash Back vs. Citi Rewards Credit Card Comparison 2020

If you're thinking of getting a Citibank credit card, you may be interested in Citi Cash Back Card or Citi Rewards Card. While both of these options are well-known and quite competitive, they're also quite different–the first offers rebates for food and petrol spend, while the second offers points rewards (which can be converted into air miles) for fashion retail and online shopping. We've explored the similarities and differences between these cards in great detail in the review below.

  • Details of rebate system & structure
  • General & boosted cashback rates
  • Minimum spend requirements & monthly rewards caps
  • Maximum potential annual earnings
Comparison of Perks & Privileges
  • Travel insurance offerings
  • Current petrol promotions & savings
  • SimplyGo & mobile pay compatibility
  • Extra rebate programmes & card-specific privileges
Comparison of Fees & Requirements
  • Minimum age & minimum income requirements
  • Annual fees, spend-based waivers & sign-on bonuses
  • Foreign transaction fees

Comparison of Competitive Credit Cards in Singapore by Dollar Value

Based on an average monthly spend of S$2,000, we analysed some of the most competitive credit cards on the market to estimate returned value-to-consumer after 2 years, accounting for rebates and netting out annual fees. As a note, dollar value is heavily dependent on spending habits; intangible benefits (like free travel insurance and airport lounge access) are valuable but difficult to quantify.

A graph displaying how competitive credit cards compare to one another in terms of their rewards
Comparison of Competitive Credit Cards in Singapore by Estimated 2-Year Dollar Value

Comparison of Competitive Credit Cards in Singapore by Dollar Value

Based on an average monthly spend of S$2,000, we analysed some of the most competitive credit cards on the market to estimate returned value-to-consumer after 2 years, accounting for rebates and netting out annual fees. As a note, dollar value is heavily dependent on spending habits; intangible benefits (like free travel insurance and airport lounge access) are valuable but difficult to quantify.

A graph displaying how competitive credit cards compare to one another in terms of their rewards
Comparison of Competitive Credit Cards in Singapore by Estimated 2-Year Dollar Value

Overview: Citi Cash Back Card vs. Citi Rewards Card

While both Citi Cash Back Card and Citi Rewards Card offer consumers a competitive way to earn rewards for their spend, each caters to different consumers with remarkably divergent spending profiles. While Citi Cash Back offers rebates on core expenses like food and fuel, Citi Rewards Card provides points–which can be converted to miles–for frequent shoppers. While these cards share many of the same perks, given they're both issued by Citibank, it's worth exploring the key features that set them apart as well. We've analysed the similarities and differences between them in the review below.

Summary Comparison Table: Citi Cash Back vs. Citi Rewards

CategoryFeatureCiti Cash BackCiti Rewards
RatesRewards TypeCashbackPoints
Min. Spend Req.S$888/moN/A
Rewards Rate8% on global dining, groceries, petrol10 Pts (4 mi) per S$1 fashion & online spend
Earnings Cap
  • S$75/mo
  • (S$25/category)
  • 10k Pts (4k mi)
  • (Worth approx. S$40)
PerksPetrol SavingsUp to 20.88% fuel savings at Esso & ShellUp to 14% fuel savings at Esso & Shell
CompatibilitySimplyGo & Mobile Pay CompatibleSimplyGo & Mobile Pay Compatible
Card Privileges
  • Citi World Privileges & Citi Gourmet Pleasures
  • Citi Quick Cash (convert credit limit to cash loan)
  • Citi PayLite & Citi FlexiBill (instalment plans)
FeesAnnual FeeS$192.6S$192.6
WaiverWaived for 1 yearWaived for 1 year
Additional details apply. See sections below or card websites for a further breakdown of information

Rewards Rates: Citi Cash Back vs. Citi Rewards Card

As mentioned, Citi Cash Back and Citi Rewards Card are quite different from each other in terms of rewards. Not only do they vary in type of rewards earned, they also reward spending in different categories.

To begin with, Citi Cash Back Card provides consumers with rebates for their spend. For every transaction, a set percentage is credited back to the account, and the summation of earnings then offsets the monthly card statement. Cardholders who spend S$888 within a month earn 8% rebate on global dining, groceries, and petrol (at any station). General spend–and all purchases for those who fail to meet the minimum requirement–earns 0.25% rebate, which is almost negligible. Monthly cashback at the 8% rate is capped at S$25/category, which can be reached with just S$312.5 spend. This adds up to a potential S$75/month total, achieved with as little as S$937.5 total spend.

Comparison Table: Cashback Rewards

FeatureCiti Cash BackCiti Rewards
Rebate TypeCashbackPoints (Miles)
Rate StructureCategory BoostsCategory Boosts
Base Rate0.25%1 Pt (0.4 mi)
Min. Spend Req.S$888/monthN/A
Boosts8% dining, groceries & petrol10 Pts (4 mi) per S$1 fashion & online
Mo. Rewards Cap
  • S$75/month
  • (S$25/category)
  • 10k Pts (4k mi)
  • (Worth about S$40)
Max EarningsS$900/year
  • 120k Pts (48k mi)/year
  • (Worth about S$480)
Additional details apply. See card websites for a further breakdown of information

While Citi Cash Back is a great option for people with substantial food and fuel budgets, Citi Rewards Card is a better fit for frequent shoppers. Cardholders don't need to worry about minimum spend requirements, and can begin earning points for their purchases right away. Every S$1 general transaction earns 1 point (which can be redeemed for the equivalent of 0.4 air miles), boosted to 10 points (4 miles) for fashion retail and online spend. Online food delivery, grocery delivery and even Grab bookings count within the online category, making it even easier to earn at higher rates. Unfortunately, Citi Rewards Card's cap is quite low–cardholders can earn up to 10k points/month (4,000 miles), which has a redemption value of about S$40. As cardholders can max this cap out with as little as S$1k spend, consumers with moderate budgets may want to consider this as a secondary card to complement an everyday card.

Perks & Privileges: Citi Cash Back vs. Citi Rewards Card

In terms of perks, Citi Cash Back and Citi Rewards Card are nearly identical. Both cards offer one of the most comprehensive free travel insurance plans on the market, with up to S$1 million in personal accident coverage and additional coverage for medical assistance and even travel inconveniences (like missed flights and baggage delays). Both also provide the convenience of SimplyGo and mobile pay compatibility, making most payments quick and easy. Finally, cardholders with either of these options can take advantage of dining, travel and lifestyle discounts through Citi World Privileges & Citi Gourmet Pleasures, break down larger transactions into instalments with Citi PayLite & Citi FlexiBill, and even convert their credit limit into a cash loan through Citi Quick Cash.

Comparison Table: Card Perks & Privileges

FeatureCiti Cash BackCiti Rewards
Travel InsuranceUp to S$1M Personal Accident; Medical Assistance; Travel Inconvenience
Petrol SavingsUp to 20.88% fuel savings at Esso & ShellUp to 14% fuel savings at Esso & Shell
Transit PerksSimplyGo Compatible
Mobile PayGoogle Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
Card Privileges
  • Citi World Privileges & Citi Gourmet Pleasures
  • Citi Quick Cash (convert credit limit to cash loan)
  • Citi PayLite & Citi FlexiBill (instalment plans)
Additional details apply. See card websites for a further breakdown of information

Citi Cash Back and Citi Rewards Card do differ in terms of petrol savings. While nearly all Citi cardholders can enjoy discounts with Esso and Shell, Citi Cash Back cardholders enjoy a 8% boost due to its rewards structure. While this 8% applies to all service stations, both locally and abroad, it stacks on top of existing deals to make fueling up with Esso & Shell even more attractive. (As a note, rebates and savings are not applied simultaneously, which influences the final percentage discount applied.)

Fees & Requirements: Citi Cash Back vs. Citi Rewards Card

Again, Citi Cash Back and Citi Rewards Card have nearly identical fees, requirements and even sign-on bonuses. As with most Citi cards, both have a S$192.6 annual fee that's waived the 1st year. Cardholders whose accounts are in good standing may be able to call in and ask for a waiver extension, but there are no guarantees. Consumers who want to definitively avoid extra costs may prefer cards from issuers like OCBC or Maybank that grant spend-based waivers.

Comparison Table: Requirements, Promos & Fees

FeatureCiti Cash BackCiti Rewards
Minimum Age21 yo21 yo
Minimum Income
  • SG & PR: S$30,000
  • Foreigners: S$42,000
  • SG & PR: S$30,000
  • Foreigners: S$42,000
Annual FeeS$192.6S$192.6
WaiverWaived for 1 yearWaived for 1 year
Sign-on Bonus
  • New cardholders get a set of Airpods Pro (worth S$379) or S$300 upon activating and spending within 60 days of approval
  • S$30 cash via PayNow (existing customers)
  • New cardholders get a set of Airpods Pro (worth S$379) or S$300 upon activating and spending within 60 days of approval
  • S$30 cash via PayNow (existing customers)
FX Fee3.25%3.25%
Additional details apply. See card websites for a further breakdown of information

Comparison to Similar Credit Cards

If you're interested in options beyond Citi Cash Back or Citi Rewards, you may want to consider the competitive alternatives below.

OCBC 365: Rebates on Essentials, With Fee-Waiver

  • Up to 6% rebate on dining, groceries, transport & more
  • Promotions: Free S$100 Grab Food Voucher (new customers) via our partnership with SGSaver
  • Free S$50 cash w/ S$300 min. spend in 1st mo (existing customers)
  • Boost to 6% cashback on groceries & at convenience stores
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2-year waiver, subsequently with S$10,000 annual spend
  • 6% rebate on dining & online food delivery
  • 3% rebate on groceries, land transport, recurring bills & online travel
  • Free travel insurance, Visa Signature Privileges
If you're interested in a rebate card that will reward your daily spend, you may want to consider OCBC 365 Card. Cardholders earn a competitive 6% cashback on dining & online food delivery and 3% on groceries, land transport, online travel bookings and recurring bills. While these rates are lower than those offered by Citi Cash Back for dining and groceries, OCBC 365 rewards more categories and also has a lower minimum spend requirement (S$800 vs. S$888). OCBC 365 Card's monthly rewards cap is also slightly higher at S$80 and isn't divided by category, so cardholders can distribute spending however they'd like.


Another way in which OCBC 365 Card stands apart from Citi Cash Back is that its S$192.6 annual fee is waived 2 years, then with S$10k annual spend. This averages out to about S$833/month, which is quite reasonable for the average consumer. Overall, while Citi Cash Back may have merit for those who primarily spend on food and petrol, OCBC 365 Card may be a better option for everyday spenders looking to avoid extra fees.

  • Stand-Out: Up to 6% rebate on dining, groceries, transport & more
  • Promotions: Free S$100 Grab Food Voucher (new customers) via our partnership with SGSaver
  • Free S$50 cash w/ S$300 min. spend in 1st mo (existing customers)
  • Boost to 6% cashback on groceries & at convenience stores
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2-year waiver, subsequently with S$10,000 annual spend
  • 6% rebate on dining & online food delivery
  • 3% rebate on groceries, land transport, recurring bills & online travel
  • Free travel insurance, Visa Signature Privileges
If you're interested in a rebate card that will reward your daily spend, you may want to consider OCBC 365 Card. Cardholders earn a competitive 6% cashback on dining & online food delivery and 3% on groceries, land transport, online travel bookings and recurring bills. While these rates are lower than those offered by Citi Cash Back for dining and groceries, OCBC 365 rewards more categories and also has a lower minimum spend requirement (S$800 vs. S$888). OCBC 365 Card's monthly rewards cap is also slightly higher at S$80 and isn't divided by category, so cardholders can distribute spending however they'd like.


Another way in which OCBC 365 Card stands apart from Citi Cash Back is that its S$192.6 annual fee is waived 2 years, then with S$10k annual spend. This averages out to about S$833/month, which is quite reasonable for the average consumer. Overall, while Citi Cash Back may have merit for those who primarily spend on food and petrol, OCBC 365 Card may be a better option for everyday spenders looking to avoid extra fees.

UOB One Card: Quarterly Rebate for Consistent Spenders

  • Up to 5% rebate on all spend, S$300/quarter
  • Promotions: New cardholders will receive S$80 cash via Paynow upon approval
  • Existing cardholders will receive S$20 worth of GrabFood voucher
  • Bonus +5% rebate (up to 10%) on Grab & UOB Travel Planner
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver
  • 5% rebate on general spend, up to S$300/quarter (S$2,000 min spend)
  • Up to 10% on Grab & select UOB travel, 6% on utilities bills
  • 3.33% rebate, up to S$100/quarter (S$1,000 min spend)
  • 3.33% rebate, up to S$50/quarter (S$500 min spend)
  • UOB SMART$ Rebate Programme
UOB One Card is a great match for consumers who can consistently spend S$2k/month–at this spend level, cardholders earn a 5% flat rebate on all of their spend (up to S$100/month). UOB One Card has a quarterly rebate system however, so consumers who dip below S$2k at any point within the 3 month period will earn just 3.33% cashback, with much lower earnings caps (dictated by corresponding spend level). As a result, UOB One Card is more convenient and competitive for stable spenders with S$2k/month budgets, while Citi Cash Back is better for focused spenders who may vary their spend level from month to month.
  • Stand-Out: Up to 5% rebate on all spend, S$300/quarter
  • Promotions: New cardholders will receive S$80 cash via Paynow upon approval
  • Existing cardholders will receive S$20 worth of GrabFood voucher
  • Bonus +5% rebate (up to 10%) on Grab & UOB Travel Planner
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver
  • 5% rebate on general spend, up to S$300/quarter (S$2,000 min spend)
  • Up to 10% on Grab & select UOB travel, 6% on utilities bills
  • 3.33% rebate, up to S$100/quarter (S$1,000 min spend)
  • 3.33% rebate, up to S$50/quarter (S$500 min spend)
  • UOB SMART$ Rebate Programme
UOB One Card is a great match for consumers who can consistently spend S$2k/month–at this spend level, cardholders earn a 5% flat rebate on all of their spend (up to S$100/month). UOB One Card has a quarterly rebate system however, so consumers who dip below S$2k at any point within the 3 month period will earn just 3.33% cashback, with much lower earnings caps (dictated by corresponding spend level). As a result, UOB One Card is more convenient and competitive for stable spenders with S$2k/month budgets, while Citi Cash Back is better for focused spenders who may vary their spend level from month to month.

OCBC Titanium: No-Fee Miles for Shoppers

  • 4 mi/S$1 on fashion & merchants like Amazon, Lazada
  • Promotions: Free S$100 Grab Food Voucher (new customers) via our partnership with SGSaver
  • Free S$50 Grabfood vouchers w/ S$300 min. spend in 1st mo (existing customers)
  • 2% cash rebate at BEST Denki
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2-year waiver, subsequently w/ S$10k annual spend
  • 10 Pts (4 miles) per S$1 spend on fashion retail & select merchants
  • Discounted airport lounge & JetQuay Quayside access
Like Citi Rewards Card, OCBC Titanium Card is a great option for frequent shoppers. Cardholders earn 10 points (also equal to 4 miles) for every S$1 spend on fashion retail, both locally and overseas. Consumers also earn at this rate for spend with some of the most popular merchants in Singapore, including Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Amazon and more. This makes it easy for cardholders to earn rewards for shopping beyond fashion, which therefore makes OCBC Titanium Card a bit more flexible.


Citi Rewards Card is arguably more flexible, however, as all online purchases–with no merchant restrictions–earn at an elevated rate. However, both cards share the same rewards cap and have similar perks. OCBC Titanium's biggest differentiator is that cardholders can avoid paying its S$192.6 annual fee with just S$10k annual spend.

  • Stand-Out: 4 mi/S$1 on fashion & merchants like Amazon, Lazada
  • Promotions: Free S$100 Grab Food Voucher (new customers) via our partnership with SGSaver
  • Free S$50 Grabfood vouchers w/ S$300 min. spend in 1st mo (existing customers)
  • 2% cash rebate at BEST Denki
  • Read Our Full Review
  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2-year waiver, subsequently w/ S$10k annual spend
  • 10 Pts (4 miles) per S$1 spend on fashion retail & select merchants
  • Discounted airport lounge & JetQuay Quayside access
Like Citi Rewards Card, OCBC Titanium Card is a great option for frequent shoppers. Cardholders earn 10 points (also equal to 4 miles) for every S$1 spend on fashion retail, both locally and overseas. Consumers also earn at this rate for spend with some of the most popular merchants in Singapore, including Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Amazon and more. This makes it easy for cardholders to earn rewards for shopping beyond fashion, which therefore makes OCBC Titanium Card a bit more flexible.


Citi Rewards Card is arguably more flexible, however, as all online purchases–with no merchant restrictions–earn at an elevated rate. However, both cards share the same rewards cap and have similar perks. OCBC Titanium's biggest differentiator is that cardholders can avoid paying its S$192.6 annual fee with just S$10k annual spend.

Learn More About Finding the Best Credit Card for You

Carrie Arndt

Carrie is a Senior Analyst at ValueChampion, specialising in credit cards in Singapore. She previously led consumer studies worldwide as a Senior Research Executive at MMR Research.

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