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Savvy credit card users should be aware that Citibank has a CITI rebate programme which provides rebate $ at participating merchants on top of the existing perks of the individual Citibank cards that you are using. All citibank credit card users are entitled to the above rebates except for those holding Citibank Staff Business Gold Cards and Corporate Cards.

One of my favourite places to accrue the CITI rebate $ is at Starbucks where I enjoy 5% rebate in terms of SMRT$ when I topup my Starbucks card, and an additional 10% rebate in CITI rebate $. Do not be confused by these 2 types of rebates as they belong to different programmes and you cannot combine these 2 rebates. SMRT$ is shown on your monthly credit card, and a minimum of $10 is needed before you can exchange for various vouchers like SMRT vouchers to topup your EZ-link card. CITI rebate $ on the other hand, is never reflected on your statements, but rather on your charge slip (refer to the figure below)

Because there is no way of tracking the CITI rebate $ except on these charge slips, there is a need to keep these as records.

citirebates1

Looking at the list compiled above –  there are various categories, the participating merchants fall under various categories – Groceries, Health & Beauty, Dining, Fuel & Motoring and Retail. As such, one may be using the Citibank SMRT card for grocery and coffee, and Citibank Dividend for dining and petrol. And please note that CITI rebate $ earned on one card cannot be combined with another card!

As such, one needs to strategise to make the most of these rebates.

1. Earn high & spend low

Sounds simple enough, but personally I have fallen for this trap when I first used the SMRT card at Starbucks. The friendly barrister asked if I wanted to use the CITI rebate $ after he swiped my card. Without thinking, I said “Yes” only to realise that I have lost to chance to accrue 10% rebate on the spending this round.

10% is the best earn rate, so never spend your CITI rebate $ at these merchants. Instead, save them for use during grocery shopping (2% rebate) or at the merchants with 1% rebate.

2. Use the appropriate card at the right place

As mentioned previously, there are a few different categories of merchants offering the CITI rebate $. Be consistent and use the same card for the said specific purposes – e.g. Citibank SMRT card for grocery and coffee, and Citibank Dividend for dining and petrol. That way, you will know that you have CITI rebate $ in these few cards and will not have to think where your CITI rebate$ are kept!

3. Watch the minimum spend

There are some participating merchants that require a minimum spend before you are entitled to the CITI rebates. For instance, if you are buying $48 of items at Cold Storage, then find a small item like candies to meet the minimum spend of $50. Otherwise, you will lose 1% on CITI rebate and 2% on SMRT rebate (Note: SMRT card earns 5% rebate at supermarkets only if >$50. Otherwise, it is 3%. In addition, monthly spending <$600 will get 0.3% less in terms of SMRT rebate)

In conclusion, know your credit cards well – SMRT and Dividend cards have minimum spending for their own individual categories. Earn CITI rebate $ at the right places and spend at those with the lowest earn rate!

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3 Responses to How to make the most out of your CITI rebate dollars $$$

  1. Deve says:

    Hi, kindly advise if

    (1) SMRT$ above S10 can be used (a) directly in next credit card bill statement offset (b) only in units of $10 or any amount as long as above $10 (similar to POSB$ rebate for POSB Everyday Card) instead of only for exchanging of vouchers

    (2) Cold Storage, Jasons & Marketplace are excluded from the Citi rebates program as well (I know they are already excluded from the SMRT$ programme)?

    (3) If the Citi rebate earned have to be redeemed in full in a single transaction (ie any balance amount not redeemed left in the specific Citibank Card will be forfeited immediately and any balance not redeemed (as the purchase amount is not as high as the rebate) will not be “saved” for the next redemption?

    Thankx 🙂

    • Cheaponana says:

      Hi Deve
      Do note I’m not an employee of Citibank and I try to answer your questions to the best of my ability 🙂

      (1) SMRT$ can only be exchanged for vouchers as far I know, and there does not seem to be anything new from the Citibank website
      (2) Dairy Farm group are still eligible for Citi rebates only if you spend a minimum of $20 for 1% rebate and $50 for 2% rebate
      (3) No need to redeem in full. You can redeem for an item that costs $0.50 and whatever remaining in your Citi rebate $ will not expire, however do note that the card will expire one day. Not sure if the amount will be ported over automatically when you receive the new card though.

  2. Search4souls says:

    Note that the vouchers redeemed cannot be use in promotional items. Eg: you got $160 Popular bookstore vouchers and wanted to buy sales item priced $200 with 20% disc. You thought you have enough but ended up topping up $40 cash as you need to pay full price.
    You wanted to get books because of “Buy 1 free 1”. You can’t, you lost the privilege to get free book/s. So 50% lost.

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