Key takeaways

  • Citi Strata offers a significantly higher welcome bonus and more opportunities for cardholders to earn rewards.
  • Citi Rewards+ doesn’t charge annual fees and provides a unique round-up feature for point earning.
  • Citi Strata offers more valuable benefits, but the $95 annual fee and lack of intro APR offer make it a pricier option.

Citi is an advertising partner

If you’re looking for an everyday rewards card to add to your wallet, the Citi Rewards+® Card and the Citi Strata Card might both be on your radar. Both cards are low-maintenance options that offer rewards in popular categories, as well as flexible redemptions. Still, they target rather different types of cardholders.

In this guide, we’ll compare the cards’ terms, benefits, redemption options and more. Learn what each card offers to determine whether you should apply for the Citi Rewards+ or the Citi Strata.

Main details

Cards Citi Rewards+ Citi Strata
Welcome bonus 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening 70,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Rewards rate
  • 5X points on hotels and car rentals booked through CitiTravel.com (through December 31, 2025)
  • 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points)
  • 1X points on everything else
  • Points are rounded up to the nearest 10 on every purchase.
  • 10x points per $1 spent on hotels, attractions and car rentals booked on CitiTravel.com
  • 3X points on air travel and other hotel purchases, at restaurants, supermarkets, gas and EV charging stations
  • 1X points on all other purchases
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months (from the date of account opening) on purchases and balance transfers (18.74% to 28.74% variable APR after) None; 21.24% to 29.24% variable APR
Annual fee $0 $95

Citi Rewards+ vs. Citi Strata highlights

To choose between two cards, it’s a good idea to compare each of their aspects side by side. Let’s start with rewards and some common fees.

Which card earns the most?

With such diverse bonus categories, the Citi Strata provides more opportunities for cardholders to earn rewards compared to the Citi Rewards+.

Citi Strata vs. Citi Rewards+ spending example

As an example, let’s use the following monthly budget:

  • $500 on groceries
  • $200 at restaurants
  • $350 on flights
  • $150 on gas
  • $100 on miscellaneous purchases

The Citi Rewards+ will earn you 1,000 points at supermarkets, 200 points on dining, 350 points on flights, 300 points on gas and 100 points on other purchases. In total, you’ll get 1,950 points for the month redeemable for $19.50 in gift cards. Of course, this example doesn’t consider the “round up” feature since it depends on the actual cost of your purchases. To account for it, let’s say you earn an extra 550 points from rounding up, which brings your total points for the month to 2,500 worth $25 in gift cards.

In the same scenario, the Citi Strata will earn you 1,500 points at supermarkets, 600 points on dining, 1,050 points on air travel, 450 points on gas and 100 points on other eligible purchases. That’s a total of 3,700 points per month valued at $37 in gift cards and perhaps more if you transfer those points to a travel partner.

Here’s a chart to help you visualize this spending scenario and the rewards:

Category Monthly spending Citi Rewards+ Citi Strata
Groceries $500 1,000 points 1,500 points
Restaurants $200 200 points 600 points
Flights $350 350 points 1,050 points
Gas $150 300 points 450 points
Miscellaneous $100 100 points 100 points
Monthly total $1,300 2,500 points (1,950 points plus 550 “round up” points) 3,700 points

Why should you get the Citi Strata?

If you’re an occasional traveler and want the flexibility to redeem points for cash back, the Citi Strata can be a good choice.

Additional benefits

One of the most prominent Citi Strata benefits is its annual $100 hotel savings perk. You can use this discount on a single hotel stay of $500 or more per year (excluding taxes and fees) when you use your Citi Strata card and book through CitiTravel.com.

Additionally, the Citi Strata offers a few travel insurance benefits. These include trip cancellation/interruption coverage, trip delay and lost or damaged luggage insurance, and car rental insurance. The card provides a couple of shopping protection perks, including extended warranty and purchase protection.

Finally, as a cardholder, you also receive access to World Elite Mastercard benefits, such as:

  • ShopRunner membership
  • $5 Lyft credit (once per month) if you take at least three rides a month
  • Three free months of DoorDash DashPass and $5 off your first order each month (terms apply)
  • World Elite Concierge
  • Zero liability protection
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection

Redemption options

As is the case with many travel cards, you’re likely to get the best redemption value (shortcode Points and miles 46) if you transfer ThankYou points to one of Citi’s travel partners. You can aso redeem your points as cash back at 1 cent per point in the form of gift cards, statement credits, direct deposit or a check.

Additional options may vary in value and include:

  • Payment credits on mortgages, student loans or online bill pay
  • Shopping with Amazon and Best Buy
  • Charity contributions

Recommended credit score

Most travel credit cards require good to excellent credit, and Citi Strata is no exception. That means to qualify for the card, you want a credit score of at least 670.

Why should you get the Citi Rewards+?

If you don’t travel often or would prefer a card without annual fees, the Citi Rewards+ might be a better option.

Additional benefits

With the card’s round-up feature, it’s easy to maximize the Citi Rewards+ value. You’ll also get 10 percent points back when you redeem (up to the first 100,000 points redeemed annually).

Further, the card provides a 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the variable APR of 18.74 to 28.74 percent kicks in. For balance transfers, you’ll pay an introductory balance transfer fee of 3 percent per transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the fee jumps to 5 percent of each transfer ($5 minimum). Note that you must complete balance transfers in the first four months of account opening.

Redemption options

The Citi Rewards+ gets you similar redemptions options as with the Citi Strata, including:

  • Cash back and statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Payment credits, including mortgages, student loans or online bill pay
  • Shopping with Amazon and Best Buy
  • Charity contributions
  • Travel through Citi

The point value ranges from 0.5 to 1 cent apiece. Note that while you can transfer your points to a limited number of partners including JetBlue TrueBlue, Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards, the transfer ratios on the Citi Rewards+ make this redemption option less valuable. For example, 1,000 ThankYou points only yield you 800 points with Wyndham Rewards or JetBlue TrueBlue with this card (compared to the 1:1 ratio with the Citi Strata). And 1,000 ThankYou points get you 1,500 Choice Privileges points. With the Citi Strata, you’d get 2,000 points.

Recommended credit score

Like with the Citi Strata, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score (at least 670) to qualify for the Citi Rewards+.

The bottom line

As far as travel cards go, the Citi Strata has more to offer than the Citi Rewards+. With the Citi Strata, you’ll get better rewards rates and redemption options, as well as more benefits. Still, if you’re not ready to commit to a card with annual fees, the Citi Rewards+ may be a solid alternative.

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