updated Mar 30, 2016
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The Citi Forward Card is a very popular rewards credit card by Citibank. It rewards you for paying your bills on time and for staying within your credit limit. As a rewards card, Citi Forward gives you points when you make purchases with the card, which can later be redeemed for a wide variety of rewards.
Here we do a detailed review of the Citi Forward Card, one of our best rated credit cards and tell you how we think this card performs.
Things We Like About This Card
No annual fee. You don’t have to pay anything for having this card, so it not only saves you money, but also gives you many cardholder privileges for free.
Get 10,000 bonus points. You will receive 1,000 bonus points if you sign up for paperless statements and 9,000 bonus points when you spend $650 on purchases within the first three months of your account opening.
0% introductory APR on balance transfers. For the first 12 months, you will enjoy a 0% introductory APR on all balance transfers if you qualify based on your credit score. This is a good deal if you plan to take advantage of the introductory 0% balance transfers by transferring your balance from another card account to this one. After that, your variable regular APR will be 12.99% - 22.99%, depending on your credit score.
0% introductory APR on all your purchases. You will also benefit from having a 0% introductory APR on all your purchases for a whole 7 months if you qualify based on your credit score. After that you will have to pay the regular APR of 12.99% - 22.99%, depending on your credit score. Remember that even though you’re in an introductory period and your APR is 0%, you should still make all your payments on time.
See your interest rate shrink by up to 2%. Personally I consider this the most attractive benefit this card has to offer. Just by being a responsible card user, you can see your interest rate shrink by 2% over a 2-year period. This is the deal: For every 3 months in a row that you stay within your limit, pay on time and make purchases, you will receive an APR reduction of 0.25%. You are eligible for a total of 8 reductions, for a 2% total reduction. So if you’re very diligent in all these aspects and do this consistently, you will be able to get the total APR reduction of 2%! You will also receive 100 bonus points per billing period if you pay all your bills on time and stay within your credit limit. Important note! The APR reduction does not apply to balance transfers or cash advances.
Receive 5 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on books, movies and music. If you like eating out and you’re a big fan of entertainment, you would be very interested in this one because you will receive 5 points for every $1 you spend at restaurants (including fast food restaurants), movie theaters, video rentals, record stores and book stores.
Receive 1 point for every $1 for all other purchases. For all the rest of your purchases, you will receive 1 point for every $1 that you spend.
Redeem your points for gift cards, music, cash, electronics, etc, through the Thank You network. There is such a wide range of products you can redeem your points for, such as flights, hotels, travel certificates, baby products, health products, sporting goods, and even towards your student loans or mortgage! If you want cold hard cash, 8,000 points will get you a $50 check. Within 1 to 3 weeks of redemption, you will receive a Cash Rewards fulfillment/confirmation letter and check to your mailing address.
Get shopping discounts at major retailers. Get discounts all the time with Citi Forward when you shop at the online stores of JC Penny, Sears, Target, Barnes & Noble, and many more.
Retail Purchase Protection. When you buy things using your Citi Card, most of the items are eligible for protection against theft, fire or accidental breakage of up to $1,000 for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. So you don't have to worry if the store merchant refuses an item exchange.
Extended Warranty. For most items purchased on your Citi card, the original manufacturers' U.S. warranties (of one year or less) may be extended up to one more year. This is especially useful for electronic products.
Travel insurance. This is always a good thing to have included in your credit card. This insurance includes emergency assistance, medical assistance, and more. When you charge plane, train or bus tickets to your Citi card, you, your spouse and eligible dependent children are automatically covered for Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance at no additional cost. The travel insurance also gives you assistance if you lose any of your baggage when traveling by plane, etc.
Auto rental insurance. If you rent a car with this Citi card and damage the car in an accident, you don’t have to worry about the cost of repair since this card also includes auto rental insurance.
Credit card security services. To make you feel more secure and protected, this card offers excellent security benefits such as $0 Fraud Liability Protection on unauthorized purchases, identity theft solutions, personal photo on card option, fraud and security protection services, lost or stolen card reporting, emergency cash or card replacement, various internet account services, and many more.
Our Least Favorite Things About This Card
You can only earn up to 75,000 points a year. If you are a big spender, this will be a drawback. But if you aren't, you need not worry about this limit on reward points. The 75,000 points limit doesn't include any bonus points you may have earned.
Your points will expire five years from the end of the month in which you earned them. Even though there is an expiry date, five years is a long time, so there's really no hurry either to redeem your points.
A $50 annual authorized user fee is charged for each user you add to your account. Even though the primary cardholder doesn't have to pay any annual fee, each additional user added to the same account will have to pay $50 per year.
I would say the Citi Forward Card is an innovative and cost-effective rewards card to have, since it rewards you for paying your bills on time and not exceeding your limit by giving you reward points and by lowering your APR. With this reward system in place, you will be motivated to be responsible with your credit card, and that is a good habit to have.
The Citi Forward Card just might be the card for you if you’re a big fan of entertainment such as movies, music and books or if you often eat out and spend quite a bit of money on it, since you will receive 5 points for every dollar you spend and thus accumulate a lot of reward points. The 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases is also a plus if you intend to transfer your balance from a high-interest credit card card account to this account and pay off your debt within 12 months.
In our opinion, the Citi Forward Card is truly Forward!
Ivan Daniel is a writer at GET.com a lifestyle and personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cards are rated by our team based primarily on the basis of value for money to the cardholder. The GET.com team rates each card based on its annual fee, rewards, benefits, bonus, introductory APR, ongoing APR, flexibility (in how its benefits can be used and how rewards are earned and redeemed), and other card features.