Citi Cash Back Card: Best Unlimited Cashback for Travellers?

Citi Cash Back Card: Best Unlimited Cashback for Travellers?

Uncapped Cashback with Boost for Dining, Overseas & Hotel Spend

Good for

  • Consumers who frequently travel and dine out
  • High spenders looking for unlimited cashback
  • People looking for straightforward, automatic rebates

Bad for

  • People who tend to cook at home
  • Those spending most of their time in Hong Kong
  • Lower spenders who want a maintenance-free card

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

Citi Cash Back Card is ideal for consumers who often travel and dine out and want unlimited rebates. Cardholders earn an uncapped 2% cashback on all their dining, hotel and overseas spend, and 1% on other local retail. Additionally, cardholders enjoy Purchase Protection of up to US$7.6k (~HK$58k) on every purchase, as well as year-round offers from Citi World Privileges. Overall, Citi Cash Back Card is one of the best cards on the market for consumers tired of running into rebate limits, especially those who enjoy dining out and travelling.

ProsCons
  • 2% unltd cashback on dining, hotels, overseas
  • Purchase Protection Insurance
  • Citi World Privileges
  • High HK$240k min. income requirement
  • High HK$1.8k annual fee (1-yr waiver)
  • No luxury travel perks
Promotions:
  • Receive HK$700 cashback w/ HK$10k min. spend in 1st 2mo, OR:
  • Tea set for 2 at Mandarin Oriental w/ HK$10k min spend in 1st 2 mo, OR:
  • HK$800 Wellcome Coupon w/ HK$10k min spend in 1st 2 mo
Card Overview
Pros:
  • 2% unlimited cashback on dining, hotels & overseas
  • Purchase Protection Insurance
  • Visa Signature & Citi World Privileges
  • Promotions: Receive HK$700 cashback w/ HK$10k min. spend in 1st 2mo, OR:
  • Tea set for 2 at Mandarin Oriental w/ HK$10k min spend in 1st 2 mo, OR:
  • HK$800 Wellcome Coupon w/ HK$10k min spend in 1st 2 mo
Cons:
  • High HK$240k min. income requirement
  • High HK$1.8k annual fee (1-yr waiver)
  • No luxury travel perks

What Makes Citi Cash Back Card Stand Out

Citi Cash Back Card is ideal for consumers looking to earn unlimited cashback–especially those who frequently dine out and travel overseas. Cardholders earn an uncapped 2% cashback on all dining, hotel and overseas spend, as well as 1% cashback on all other spend. What’s more, every purchase is insured against damage or loss for up to US$7.6k (~HK$58k) and cardholders can enjoy Citi World Privileges all year round.

Since dining makes up a significant portion of most consumers’ spend, earning a boosted rebate rate in this category is especially beneficial. In fact, this 2% rate is the highest unlimited dining rebate on the market. Although other uncapped cashback cards like Standard Chartered Simply Cash Card or ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card earn 1.5% cashback on general spend, consumers who frequently dine out, stay in hotels, and spend overseas can ultimately earn higher rewards with Citi Cash Back Card.

Comparison of Rebate Rates for Unlimited Cashback Cards

LocalDiningOverseasHotels
Citi Cash Back1.0%2.0%2.0%2.0%
SC Simply Cash1.5%1.5%2.0%1.5%
ICBC Horoscope UP DC Diamond1.5%1.5%1.5%1.5%
DBS Eminent Visa Signature1.0%1.0%2.0%1.0%
HSBC Red1.0%1.0%1.0%1.0%

Since Citi Cash Back Card has a high minimum income requirement of HK$240k, it is only accessible to above-average earners. Although this is not the highest minimum income requirement across unlimited cards, there are more achievable alternatives with requirements as low as HK$96k per year. Consumers should also note that Citi Cash Back Card has a HK$1.8k annual fee, which is waived for just one year. Several competing cashback cards have no annual fees, or offer waivers for banking customers or those who reach a minimum annual spend requirement.

Nonetheless, just HK$90k spend on dining, overseas, and hotels would recoup your HK$1.8k fee in rewards. Altogether, Citi Cash Back Card is an excellent option for consumers who frequently travel and dine out and want to earn rewards without worrying about earnings caps.

How Does Citi Cash Back Card's Rewards Program Work?

Use our quick guide below to learn how you can redeem your credit card rewards.

  • Every 1 dollar of cash back earned is equal in value to HK$1
  • Cashback is automatically credited to the card on the following statement of account when the accumulated rebate balance reaches HK$200 or above
  • While cash back does not expire, it is automatically forfeited when account is closed/suspended
  • Cashback can not be transferred or converted to cash or other offers

Citi Cash Back Card's Features and Benefits:

Card Overview
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,800, 1-Year Waiver
  • Income Requirement: HKD 240,000
Rewards Rate Details
  • 2% cashback on local and overseas dining & hotel spend
  • 2% cashback on all spend in foreign currency
  • 1% on all other spend
Benefits & Perks
  • Citi World Privileges
  • Purchase Protection Insurance against damage or loss for up to US$7.6k for 30 days on all purchases
Promotions:
  • Receive HK$700 cashback w/ HK$10k min. spend in 1st 2mo, OR:
  • Tea set for 2 at Mandarin Oriental w/ HK$10k min spend in 1st 2 mo, OR:
  • HK$800 Wellcome Coupon w/ HK$10k min spend in 1st 2 mo

Citi Cash Back Card's Rewards Exclusions

The following credit card expenditures are ineligible for rewards.

Cash advances; fees and charges; withdrawal amount under the Balance Transfer Program; Cash Conversion Program and Citi Credit Card "Quick Cash" Installment Program; “FlexiBill” Installment Program and “PayLite” Installment Program; payment to the Inland Revenue Department; online bill payment; dynamic currency conversion transactions; transactions through Faster Payment System (FPS) Service; or unposted /canceled /refunded transactions
Casino transactions
NOTE: Transactions made in respect of hotel, banquet services, private functions, private room events, department stores, associations and clubhouses, and the food and beverage services provided by the designated merchants of other spending categories will not be counted as Eligible Local Dining Transactions, but will still be eligible for 1% base rebate

How does Citi Cash Back Card Compare Against Other Cards?

Read our comparisons of Citi Cash Back Card with other cards and learn what makes each card unique in their own way. We compare and contrast each card to highlight its uniqueness to help you identify the card that you need.

Graph comparing several credit cards' 2-year value-to-consumer, based on a HK$12,000 monthly budget
Citi Cash Back Card v. Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 1.5% rebate w/ boost for overseas
  • Read Our Full Review
Compared to Citi Cash Back Card, Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa Card offers consumers a higher uncapped base rate of 1.5%, plus an equivalent 2% cashback on overseas spend. This means that consumers who spend more on general retail than they do on dining or while overseas can earn higher cashback overall than they would with Citi Cash Back Card. Standard Chartered Simply Cash is also more accessible, with a minimum income requirement of just HK$96k and waived annual fee for select SC account holders. Although it has a lower rate for dining and no purchase protection, Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa provides consumers with a more accessible and straightforward way to earn unlimited cashback.
Citi Cash Back Card v. ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,000
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 1.5% flat rebate + lounge & limo perks
  • Read Our Full Review
ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card provides a higher unlimited base rate as well as access to luxury perks. To start, cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback on all spend. Additionally, cardholders can enjoy discounted flat-rate limo services and up to 3 free lounge visits per year (with HK$12k spend across the previous 2 months). Citi Cash Back Card does not offer any such travel perks.


With ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card, consumers enjoy regional travel perks like separate billing for HKD and RMB spend and waived foreign currency transaction fees. Even though it does not offer boosted rates in any area, consumers looking for higher flat rebates and convenient travel perks should consider ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card.

Citi Cash Back Card v. DBS Eminent Visa Signature Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000
  • Stand-Out: Uncapped 2% rebate overseas w/ 12 free limo rides
  • Read Our Full Review
DBS loyalists looking for luxury perks may benefit from DBS Eminent Visa Signature Card. Cardholders earn 2% cashback on overseas transactions and 1% cashback on local retail. Although DBS Eminent Visa Signature has an annual fee of HK$2k and a minimum income requirement of HK$360k–higher in both cases than with Citi Cash Back Card–it does offer DBS Treasures Private Clients extra perks like 3 free limo transfers per quarter and special rebate rates during their birthday month. Overall, for wealthy DBS clients looking for both luxury perks and unlimited cashback, DBS Eminent Visa Signature may be a better fit than Citi Cash Back.
Citi Cash Back Card v. HSBC Red Credit Card
Consumers who prefer cooking at home and shopping online should consider HSBC Red Credit Card. Cardholders earn an unlimited 4% cashback on online purchases, 2% cashback on supermarket spend, and 1% on general spend. While both Citi Cash Back and HSBC Red offer a 1% rebate on general spend, HSBC Red offers significantly higher rates for online and supermarket purchases.


HSBC Red also has no annual fee and is more accessible than Citi Cash Back with a minimum income requirement of just HK$150k. While dining and overseas spend earn at just the base rate, HSBC Red Card is still a great match consumers who spend most of their time in Hong Kong and shop online.

Citi Cash Back Card v. EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 800
  • Stand-Out: 2% cashback on all spend + 3 free lounge visits
  • Read Our Full Review
EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card offers consumers the highest flat cashback rate of 2% on all spend. Consumers can also enjoy waived foreign currency transaction fees, flat rate limo services, and up to 3 free lounge visits per year. Additionally, EarnMORE Diamond has a lower minimum annual income requirement of HK$150k, and its low annual fee of HK$800 is waived for the first 2 years. Nonetheless, EarnMore Diamond Card's rates are not unlimited. In fact, rewards earnings from the 2% rebate are capped at HK$2k per year. This cap can be reached after just HK$100k spend, so those with larger budgets may want to consider an unlimited option like Citi Cash Back Card.
Citi Cash Back v. Standard Chartered Simply Cash
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 1.5% rebate w/ boost for overseas
Compared to Citi Cash Back Visa Card, Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa Card offers consumers a higher uncapped base rate of 1.5%, plus an equivalent 2% cashback on overseas spend. This means that consumers who spend more on general retail than they do on dining or while overseas can earn higher cashback overall than they would with Citi Cash Back Card. Standard Chartered Simply Cash is also more accessible, with a minimum income requirement of just HK$96k and waived annual fee for select SC account holders. Although it has a lower rate for dining and no purchase protection, Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa provides consumers with a more accessible and straightforward way to earn unlimited cashback.
Citi Cash Back v. ICBC Horoscope UnionPay DC Diamond
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,000
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 1.5% flat rebate + lounge & limo perks
ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card provides a higher unlimited base rate as well as access to luxury perks. To start, cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback on all spend. Additionally, cardholders can enjoy discounted flat-rate limo services and up to 3 free lounge visits per year (with HK$12k spend across the previous 2 months). Citi Cash Back Card does not offer any such travel perks.


With ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card, consumers enjoy regional travel perks like separate billing for HKD and RMB spend and waived foreign currency transaction fees. Even though it does not offer boosted rates in any area, consumers looking for higher flat rebates and convenient travel perks should consider ICBC Horoscope UnionPay Dual Currency Diamond Card.

Citi Cash Back v. DBS Eminent Visa Signature
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000
  • Stand-Out: Uncapped 2% rebate overseas w/ 12 free limo rides
DBS loyalists looking for luxury perks may benefit from DBS Eminent Visa Signature Card. Cardholders earn 2% cashback on overseas transactions and 1% cashback on local retail. Although DBS Eminent Visa Signature has an annual fee of HK$2k and a minimum income requirement of HK$360k–higher in both cases than with Citi Cash Back Card–it does offer DBS Treasures Private Clients extra perks like 3 free limo transfers per quarter and special rebate rates during their birthday month. Overall, for wealthy DBS clients looking for both luxury perks and unlimited cashback, DBS Eminent Visa Signature may be a better fit than Citi Cash Back.
Citi Cash Back v. HSBC Red
  • Annual Fee: Free
  • Stand-Out: Unltd. 4% cashback online, 2% on groceries
Consumers who prefer cooking at home and shopping online should consider HSBC Red Credit Card. Cardholders earn an unlimited 4% cashback on online purchases, 2% cashback on supermarket spend, and 1% on general spend. While both Citi Cash Back and HSBC Red offer a 1% rebate on general spend, HSBC Red offers significantly higher rates for online and supermarket purchases.


HSBC Red also has no annual fee and is more accessible than Citi Cash Back with a minimum income requirement of just HK$150k. While dining and overseas spend earn at just the base rate, HSBC Red Card is still a great match consumers who spend most of their time in Hong Kong and shop online.

Citi Cash Back v. EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond
  • Annual Fee: HKD 800
  • Stand-Out: 2% cashback on all spend + 3 free lounge visits
EarnMORE UnionPay Diamond Card offers consumers the highest flat cashback rate of 2% on all spend. Consumers can also enjoy waived foreign currency transaction fees, flat rate limo services, and up to 3 free lounge visits per year. Additionally, EarnMORE Diamond has a lower minimum annual income requirement of HK$150k, and its low annual fee of HK$800 is waived for the first 2 years. Nonetheless, EarnMore Diamond Card's rates are not unlimited. In fact, rewards earnings from the 2% rebate are capped at HK$2k per year. This cap can be reached after just HK$100k spend, so those with larger budgets may want to consider an unlimited option like Citi Cash Back Card.
Jacob Weiss

Jacob is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, focusing on credit cards and other consumer financial products. Previously, he covered hedge funds and long only products for Cambridge Associates. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland and has passed Level 1 of the CFA exam.