Most people with excellent credit are looking for a credit card that gives them high-value rewards they can really use and are easy to redeem. However, with so many great rewards credit cards on the market, how is a customer supposed to choose the best one? Credit card issuers love customers with excellent credit, so there are many offers to sort through.
The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card is a good place to look if you want your rewards in cash rather than travel, hotels, gift certificates, or points that have to be converted. That isn’t to say that points programs aren’t good values – many are extremely good – but some people would rather just get the cash back bonus and skip the points. Citi is known for its ThankYou Network, which gives ThankYou Points as a reward, but this card caters to the consumer who wants a straight-up cash reward.
Let’s see what you can get with this platinum credit card from Citi.
Cash Back Bonuses
The sign-on bonus for the Citi Dividend is currently $100, which you’ll get after spending $500 on the card within the first three months of opening the account. That’s a twenty percent return on your spending – pretty good. Also, even if you don’t pay off that $500 of purchases right away, you’ll accrue no interest, because of the 12-month introductory zero-percent APR on this card. So if there’s a big-ticket purchase you want to make, you can use this card to finance it, interest-free, and put $100 back in your pocket in the process.
Besides the sign-on offer, you’ll earn one percent back on all purchases, plus five percent back in rotating categories that change every three months. All you have to do is go to the Citi website and sign into your account, where you can sign up for these seasonal cash back bonus offers. Just remember that you do need to sign up again every time, so make sure you’ve enrolled in the latest rotating five percent cash back category.
Zero Interest Pays Off Two Ways
Like many of the best credit cards for people with excellent credit, this one offers zero interest for the first 12 months26 for purchases and 12 months26 for balance transfers. How can that save you money? Here are two different scenarios to illustrate exactly how this benefit can be of value to you.
If you’re carrying a balance on another card and paying interest each month on the unpaid amount, it almost always pays to transfer the balance to a zero-percent offer when possible. Let’s say you’ve got $5,000 of revolving debt that just never seems to get paid off. At an APR of 15 percent – a fairly standard APR these days – you’ll pay about $415 in interest alone over the course of one year. By transferring your balance to a no-interest introductory offer, you can put more of that money toward the capital on your debt and pay it off faster.
The balance transfer fee of 3% would come to $150 for that $5,000 balance transfer, but even after that, it’s worth it – you’d still save $265.
What about purchases? Usually, it’s a good idea to pay off all your purchases in full each month, so you don’t accrue any interest charges. Even with a low APR, who want to pay interest? But with a zero percent promotional APR and a little planning, you can make that big purchase you can’t quite afford all at once, and pay it off over several months – up to 12, with this offer – interest-free. If you’ve been wanting a new home theater system, new kitchen appliances, or another big-ticket item, use the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa to buy it, get one percent cash back, and take up to a year to pay it off without paying a penny of interest.
Another way to take advantage of this is to use the card for a balance transfer and keep making purchases with it as you pay off the balance you transferred. In most cases, that’s not a good idea, because the purchases will accrue interest and the payments you make will be applied to that first, but when you have zero percent for purchases and balance transfers, you can feel free to keep using the card even when you’re paying off a balance transfer. Just be sure you stick to a budget and don’t get carried away – after a 12 months26, the APR will revert to its regular rate of 12.99% - 22.99%26 (Variable), depending on creditworthiness. At that point, you’ll want to make sure your entire balance is paid off or you’ll start getting slapped with interest charges.
Citi Bonus Cash Center
We already said that you can earn five percent cash back in rotating categories with this card, but another way to get extra cash back on more items all year long is to shop online, through the Citi Bonus Cash Center. Over 400 retailers, from Anthropologie to Walgreens, offer cash back in amounts ranging from two percent to 12 percent (the average is five percent) when you use your Citi Dividend card to make purchases through the Citi Bonus Cash Center.
All you do is log into your Citi account online, then go to the Citi Bonus Cash Center and choose where you’d like to shop. Make your purchases through the Citi portal to the store website using your Citi card, and the cash back bonus will appear on your statement along with the charge.
There is a limit to how much cash back you can earn each year with this card – it’s $300 per year. The good news is, the $100 sign-on bonus for spending $500 in the first three months doesn’t count toward the maximum, and neither does cash back earned by shopping at the Citi Bonus Cash Center. That means for the best cash back value, after you’ve hit the $300 ceiling, keep making purchases at the Citi Bonus Cash Center to keep getting cash rewards.
As mentioned before, the ongoing regular APR after the introductory period is over will be 12.99% - 22.99%26 (Variable), depending on your credit history.
There’s no annual fee for this card, and don’t forget to sign up each quarter for the new cash back rotating bonus category.
All in all, this is an excellent cash back bonus card for people with excellent credit who aren’t looking for a travel rewards card and prefer not to hassle with figuring out a points reward system. Anyone transferring a substantial balance will save money with the zero percent APR for one year offer, and those wanting to make purchases interest-free for a year need look no further than the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card.