Citibank Cash Back MasterCard – Still the best cash back credit card out there!

The Citibank Cash Back Card is one of the best credit cards out there for cash back! They have two variants of this credit card – Citi Cash Back MasterCard and Citi Cash Back Platinum MasterCard. My favourite choice – the Citi Cash Back MasterCard. Here’s why.

Read also: 5 Things to Consider when Choosing a Credit Card [Malaysian Edition]

Citibank Cash Back MasterCard

The Citibank Cash Back MasterCard

✓ 10% cash back on petrol, groceries, dining, and Grab (minimum total spend RM500).
✓ 0.2% cash back on other retail spends (uncapped).
✓ Annual fee waiver for the first 3 years.
✖ Need to monitor spend by category to maximise cash back.
✖ Need to hit minimum spend of RM500 to enjoy 10% cash back.

I’ve used many cash back credit cards before, I can confidently say that this credit card delivers most cash back for your buck. For a minimum spend of RM500, you can get a minimum of RM40 in cash back (more explained later). How do you get that much in cash back? Read on!

Key Features

Cashback10% cash back per category (maximum of RM10 cash back per category in a month and spend a total of RM500 and above in total monthly):
– Petrol
– Groceries (AEON Big, Lotus’s, Cold Storage, Giant, Everise, Servay, Econsave, Mydin, B.I.G., Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer)
– Dining
– Grab
0.2% base cash back (uncapped) on any other retail spends.
PremiumWith the Temporary CVV feature, you can now activate your new Citi credit card instantly via Citi Mobile® App, and start spending while waiting for your physical card to be delivered to you.
Balance Transfer5.32% – 5.81% interest rate and no one-time upfront handling fee when you transfer over RM1,000 across 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 months.
Easy Payment Plan0% interest rate and no one-time upfront handling fee when you spend over RM500 across 3 to 48 months.
Fees and other charges – Annual fee – RM120 (free for first three years); Supplementary card (RM60)
– Sales and service tax – RM25 / card
– Minimum monthly payment – RM50 or 5% (whichever is higher)
– Late payment fee – RM10 or 1% of outstanding amount (up to a maximum of RM100)
– Cash withdrawal fee – RM20 or 5% of withdrawn amount (whichever is higher)
– Interest rate on cash withdrawals – 18%
Requirements – Minimum annual income – RM36,000
– Minimum age – 21 years old
– Anybody can apply
Other Retail Spend is defined as the total retail transaction within each Billing Month excluding the following:
(i) transactions made on Citi PayLite, FlexiBill, Cash Advance, Quick Cash, EPP transaction(s) on overseas spend, DuitNow QR transactions, JOMPAY, Balance Transfer (BT) or Balance Transfer via Instalment Plan (BTI), as described in the terms and conditions for these products found on the Website;
(ii) payment for Card account, annual fees, interest payments, late payment fees or charges for cash withdrawals;
(iii) refunded, disputed, unauthorized or fraudulent retail transactions;
(iv) government service tax and other taxes imposed by law;
(v) any form of service of miscellaneous fees;
(vi) premium for Credit Shield or Credit Shield Plus (defined in the terms and conditions for these products found on the Website) or any other credit insurance;
(vii) payment of rates, charges, fines to Governmental, statutory and judicial bodies;
(viii) catering and out-call food and beverage services;
(ix) donations and contributions to charitable, community or social service organizations (including charitable organizations approved by the Inland Revenue Board for tax relief);
(x) fees or charges to any education establishments or institutions (including professional and vocational training centers);
(xi) child care services;
(xii) special events/ categories (including funeral and crematoria services, clothing rental, photographic or video-graphic studios and florists); and

(xiii) card present and card non-present (e-commerce) transactions made at any merchant with physical premises, address of the fixed place of business or business license in any country participating in the European Economic Area (EEA) or joining after the above effective date, for example: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Source: Citi Cash Back Platinum Credit Card and Citi Cash Back Credit Card Terms and Conditions (effective 22 August 2021)

I found some of their exclusions to other retail spend odd. I took the liberty to highlight those I found odd in blue font. Take (viii) catering and out-call food and beverage services for example, or (xi) child care services.

I’d recommend you to just spend within the cash back categories – RM100 per category for the 4 categories, and RM100 on some random expenditure. Once you hit the required RM500 spend to unlock the 10% cash back benefit on this card, switch your remaining spending for the month to another credit card instead. Check out my review on Standard Charted’s LiverPool FC Cashback Credit Card which offers a flat 1% cash back on retail spend.

How is the cash back calculated?

So basically what you need to maximise your cash back is to spend diligently according to the four main cash back categories – petrol, groceries, dining and Grab. Sure, it might take some memory work and discipline, but the cash back is worth it.

For a minimum spend of RM500, you’d be able to get an effective cash back rate of 8.04% as illustrated below:

CategoryMonthly Amount SpentCashback
(max. cap)
Groceries (only AEON Big, Lotus’s, Cold Storage, Giant, Everise, Servay, Econsave, Mydin, B.I.G., Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer)RM100RM10.00
(max. cap)
Dining (e.g. Nandos)RM100RM10.00
(max. cap)
Grab (e.g. top up)RM100RM10.00
(max. cap)
Other retail spendRM100RM0.20
Total (Effective cash back rate of 8.04%):RM500RM40.20

An effective cash back rate of 8.04% is phenomenal. There’s no other credit card out there that I know of that provides with such a high effective cash back rate. If you do know of other better cards, do let me know!

Interested to apply?

Should you decide to get this credit card from Citibank, do check out RinggitPlus’s or CompareHero’s website to see if there are any on-going sign up free gift promotions! It’s always a nice feeling to get a gift just for taking on the card. Do remember to read the terms and conditions on how you can redeem the gift (if any). Some require a minimum spend before you are eligible to claim the free sign up gift.

Questions? Feel free to drop them below.

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