About Citi Forward® Card

  • $100 in gift cards - When you redeem the 10,000 bonus ThankYou® Points received after you make $650 in purchases and sign up for paperless statements within the first 3 months
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers and for 7 months on purchases. After that, 12.99% - 22.99% variable
  • 5 points for every $1 spent at restaurants and on books, movies and music.
  • 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases
  • Want to lower your purchase APR? All you have to do is make a purchase, stay under your credit limit, and pay on time 3 billing periods in a row and we will lower your APR for purchase by up to 2% “(0.25% each quarter, 8X maximum)
  • No Annual Fee
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  • Simon Zhen's Profile Image

    By Simon Zhen, Sep 28th 2012

    Editor Rating

    The Citi Forward credit card offers a rewards program that is ideal for people who regularly spend at restaurants and make purchases at bookstores, music stores, video rental stores and movie theaters. Cardmembers earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent at these locations.

    On everything else, cardmembers still get 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent.

    In addition to its rewards program, the Citi Forward touts a unique rate-reduction program that encourages good credit-card management. When a cardmember makes a purchase, does not exceed the credit limit and pays the bill on time for three consecutive billing periods, he or she gets 0.25% reduction of their purchase APR. Citi allows a maximum APR reduction of 2%.

    The redemption choices from the ThankYou program offer plenty of ways to spend rewards points but the points-to-dollar value are not the same for all rewards.

    Like many rewards credit cards in the market, Citi Forward does not come with an annual fee -- always a good feature to see.

    Ultimately, if you can take advantage of the rewards program, the Citi Forward card is great for your. Otherwise, look elsewhere for a card that matches your spending pattern.

    Pros Cons
    Great rewards program Possibility for a high APR
    Fosters good financial habits Variable redemption values
    Mobile phone insurance

    Annual fee

    With no annual fee, the Citi Forward is often thrown into comparisons with other rewards credit cards when it comes time to pick one for your wallet. Having no annual fee is a great start but you’ll have to look at Citi Forward’s other features.

    Other fees/charges

    Citi Forward has the run-of-the-mill list of fees for transactions and penalties including balance transfers (3% or minimum of $5), cash advances (5% or minimum of $10), foreign purchase transactions (3%), late payments and returned payments (up to $35 each).

    Interest rates

    The interest rate for the Citi Forward card is very similar to the rates on many other rewards credit cards. Your creditworthiness will ultimately determine where you’ll land in the variable-APR range of 12.99% to 22.99%.

    Even with the 2% APR reduction, the Citi Forward can still come with a high APR if your credit history is bad.

    Rewards/Perks

    Citi Forward’s rewards program is the main highlight of the card. Few credit cards will dole out 5 points per dollar on common purchases, especially on dining and entertainment. If you frequently make these purchases, the Citi Forward card has plenty of points-earning potential. Earning 1 point per dollar on “all other purchase” is standard for rewards credit cards.

    Additionally, Citi Forward cardmembers have the opportunity to earn 100 extra points for every month that they stay within their credit limits and make the minimum payment on time. (You will not earn this bonus if your statement balance is $0.) That’s the equivalent of spending $20 in Citi Forward’s bonus categories.

    One downside of the Citi Forward is not actually the fault of the card but the ThankYou program. Because the rewards have different points-to-value ratios, you may end up spending more points to redeem certain rewards.

    For example, a cash reward of $50 will require 10,000 points. But, that same 10,000 points is enough to redeem a $100 gift code for Amazon.com.

    It may be wiser to spend the points to redeem a gift card and then resell that gift card for cash.

    In addition to protections such as travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranties, the Citi Forward card offers mobile phone protection, which will reimburse you for a replacement phone when your phone is stolen or lost. You must pay your mobile-subscription bill with the Citi Forward card to receive this supplemental insurance.

    Misc.

    Citi offers easy access to credit-card accounts via online bank and mobile banking, which has almost become a standard for the industry. Through online banking, you can access one-time account numbers for more secure online shopping. If you want, you can request that you have your photo and signature on the front of your card to add even more security.

    Through a partnership with a company called Truaxis, Citi Forward customers may notice special offers, based on where they like to spend most, that will show up next to certain transactions on their online statements. You might also find that some of these offers will lead to savings on purchases you’re likely to make.

    The Breakdown

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