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Citi Double Cash World Elite Version

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Senior Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version


@Aim_High wrote:

@PDXoriginal wrote:  "...I ended up changing my DC to a Rewards+, I wasn't using my DC much anymore and with the loss of benefits, no point letting Citi get away with the higher fees."

 ? ? ?  Higher Fees?  Smiley Indifferent

 

I thought both the Citi Double Cash and the Citi Rewards+ both have no AF?  Which fees do you mean?


Both have $0 annual fee but the WEMC gets Citi a higher swipe fee from merchants.

Message 11 of 28
Mega Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version


@MrPTato wrote:

@Aim_High wrote:

@PDXoriginal wrote:  "...I ended up changing my DC to a Rewards+, I wasn't using my DC much anymore and with the loss of benefits, no point letting Citi get away with the higher fees."

 ? ? ?  Higher Fees?  Smiley Indifferent

 

I thought both the Citi Double Cash and the Citi Rewards+ both have no AF?  Which fees do you mean?


Both have $0 annual fee but the WEMC gets Citi a higher swipe fee from merchants.


Right, I think PDXOriginal's viewpoint is that with Citi nerfing benefits, and thus giving consumers less, no need to reward that behavior by letting them get higher swipe fees from the merchants (which indirectly might lead to higher prices for all)

Message 12 of 28
Super Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version


@longtimelurker wrote:

@MrPTato wrote:

@Aim_High wrote:

@PDXoriginal wrote:  "...I ended up changing my DC to a Rewards+, I wasn't using my DC much anymore and with the loss of benefits, no point letting Citi get away with the higher fees."

 ? ? ?  Higher Fees?  Smiley Indifferent

 

I thought both the Citi Double Cash and the Citi Rewards+ both have no AF?  Which fees do you mean?


Both have $0 annual fee but the WEMC gets Citi a higher swipe fee from merchants.


Right, I think PDXOriginal's viewpoint is that with Citi nerfing benefits, and thus giving consumers less, no need to reward that behavior by letting them get higher swipe fees from the merchants (which indirectly might lead to higher prices for all)


And even before the benefit nerf, I think most people were issued Double Cash WEMC is name only -- they weren't actually granted access to any World Elite benefit, so it totally was a one sided benefit for Citi

Message 13 of 28
Established Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version

Wow.  That is a sleazy practice for Citi to be caught doing.    Smiley Mad

 

I had thought of applying for the DC but it makes me think twice about that.  The only CITI card I have now is the Costco Visa.

 

On the DC, I also think it's petty that you don't get the full 2% back when you use your cash-back to pay your statement.  It's 1.98%.  Most people don't think about that. (For example, if you spend and pay off $5,000, you accrue $100 in your cash-back account.  But if you credit that $100 to your next $100 of charges, you lose the "1% when you pay", or $1 for every $5,000 you charge.)  It doesn't sound like a lot but it makes their advertising look deceptive and when you multiply that $1 over all the cardholders and charges, it turns into a lot of money back in Citi's pocket.  Plus there is the $25 minimum redemption value, rewards value expiration for no activity in past 12 months, and the loss of accumulated unredeemed points if you close your account.  A lot of stipulations going on here.

 

Citi does that with their Costco Visa too, when they hold the earnings for a full year (no interest), pay it out as an annual "check" that can only be redeemed at Costco, and then if you fail to just CASH the check instead of applying it towards new purchases on your Citi Costco card, you just lost 2% on new purchases.   (For example, if you had an annual bonus of $200 and used it towards new purchases at the register, you just lost the 2% at Costco on that $200, which is $4.)  Of course, I imagine some people even just lose that paper check or never remember to cash it since you have to bring it to Costco.

 

For that matter, let's look at the Citi Rewards+ card too.  I just thought of that.  I did the math before and there is smoke and mirrors going on with it.   They make it sound very generous.   ("...The Citi Rewards+ Card is the only card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – a $2 cup of coffee can earn 10 points.")  However, this card is basically only delivering those superior returns on a $2 cup of coffee, because low-ticket purchases are where you get the best benefit from that rounding up!  Let me elaborate.

 

$1 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 10.00% return.

 ... Sounds great, right?!?  Let's keep going beyond where Citi's Ad stopped ...

$2 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 5.00 % return

$3 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 3.33% return

$4 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 2.50% return

$5 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 2.00% return

$6 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.66% return

$7 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.42% return

$8 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.25% return

$9 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.11% return

$10 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.00% return

 

So while it does very well at $5 or below , for a $7 to $10 purchase, you're actually doing worse than a common 1.5% card

Actually, by the time you exceed $20, you'll never earn more than 1.42%.  (@ $21 purchase  for 30 rewards points.)

And the more you spend, the more that math averages out in Citi's favor. 

It all sounds good but it's just a marketing ploy to trick the unthinking consumer

into thinking they are getting a lot more than they really are getting. 

 

At every tier, the best "value" is at purchases ending in $1 rounded up to $10.

But the higher the purchase amount, the less impact that rounding up has on your points. 

So while, a $1 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 10.00% return,

a $101 purchase @ 110 rewards points = 1.089% return

and your return drops even closer to 1% as the purchase amount gets higher.

 

It essentially turns into a 1% card for "everything else" card unless you just use it for small purchases.  *Yawn.

 

Another "math trick" that CITI does on the Rewards+ is when it offers "10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year."  Has a nice ring to it!  But it's all about complicating the rewards and confusing the consumer.  What that actually means you're only earning an additional 10% of 1% (or 1/10th of 1%) on most everyday spending, but only for your roughly first $10K of spending or less.  Wow ... 1.1% or so.   It sounds good in an ad, at least.  Still not close to a basic 1.5% card.

 

Even the "2x the points on gasoline and groceries" is a bit of a ploy when it is capped at only $6K spend annually for both categories combined.  That is a very low cap on a low 2% return (Discover and Chase cap their much higher 5% return categories at the same $6K  annually or $1.5K per quarter.)  That $6K annually works out to only $500 a month.  Most households spend much more than that on gas or groceries or both, so Citi is banking you'll be lured by this "2X" promotion and not notice when you exceed the cap for the year on two of the highest categories of spending for most households.

 

And then there are CITI's redemption stipulations.  Unless you transfer the points to one of CITI's premium travel cards, the points are worth no MORE than a penny a point but sometimes less.  Gift card redemption starts at $25 minimum at typically a penny a point.  If cashed out, they pay only HALF a penny a point starting at $50 for a check or $10 for a statement credit. 

 

I'm not saying all the banks don't play these tricks to some degree.  But it gives you a new respect for banks like Capital One where you earn just a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time, no games, and you can redeem those points immediately after the charges clear, no minimums, for a balance credit.  No rotating categories, no category caps on spending, no annual fee, no misleading advertising about the actual percentage cash back you will earn, no minimum redemption value, no points expiration date for the life of the account, and almost immediate access to your cash back.

 

 




Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 26+ years;
AAoA = 9.5+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Aug 2019)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $400K. Utilization Less Than 1%. Inquiries until May 2020 (TU:1 -- EQ:0 -- EX:5)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name, CL
Message 14 of 28
Super Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version

While I'm not defending Citi, the Costco card voucher has always worked that way, even when it was with Amex. So that is nothing new.

 

The Rewards+ is good for tiny transactions and beyond that your return is nothing special. That said most consumers don't notice or care about these things so there is no reason to make it extremely generous when it is "fine" for the majority who will rarely even redeem points and if they do, don't really care about the value they get.

Message 15 of 28
Super Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version

To this day I still couldn't tell you 1 benefit of a WEMC or Visa Signature card over the other (non) versions.

Message 16 of 28
Established Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version

I don't think DC is WEMC in name only. I read somewhere citi promised it is a WEMC.

 

Mastercard recently revamped some benefits for WEMC, somebody should try it and see if it works.

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Message 17 of 28
Super Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version


@Aim_High wrote:

I'm not saying all the banks don't play these tricks to some degree.  But it gives you a new respect for banks like Capital One where you earn just a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time, no games, and you can redeem those points immediately after the charges clear, no minimums, for a balance credit.  No rotating categories, no category caps on spending, no annual fee, no misleading advertising about the actual percentage cash back you will earn, no minimum redemption value, no points expiration date for the life of the account, and almost immediate access to your cash back.

 

 


This is one of the reasons why my QuickSilver came out of the sock drawer to replace my PayPal Cashback. Capital One just makes it all very easy and straightforward.

 

I was contemplating a DC to replace my PayPal Cashback but all of the shenanigans that Citi plays with it has killed my interest there. I was thinking about getting a Rewards+ and then PCing that to Dividend or DC after the first year but the way you broke down the rest of their mess makes me not want any of their cards period so thanks for that.


Scores 1/2019:
Scores 9/2019:

Hover over my cards to see my limits!
Goal cards: Does it look like I really need any more cards? My goal is to garden until 2/2020.
Message 18 of 28
Super Contributor

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version


@BrutalBodyShots wrote:

To this day I still couldn't tell you 1 benefit of a WEMC or Visa Signature card over the other (non) versions.


Things that people could actually use - cell phone insurance, 5% cash back at Boxed, and ShopRunner for free 2-day shipping from lots of places (AMEX has this too).


Scores 1/2019:
Scores 9/2019:

Hover over my cards to see my limits!
Goal cards: Does it look like I really need any more cards? My goal is to garden until 2/2020.
Message 19 of 28
Valued Member

Re: Citi Double Cash World Elite Version


@Aim_High wrote:

 

For that matter, let's look at the Citi Rewards+ card too.  I just thought of that.  I did the math before and there is smoke and mirrors going on with it.   They make it sound very generous.   ("...The Citi Rewards+ Card is the only card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – a $2 cup of coffee can earn 10 points.")  However, this card is basically only delivering those superior returns on a $2 cup of coffee, because low-ticket purchases are where you get the best benefit from that rounding up!  Let me elaborate.

 

$1 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 10.00% return.

 ... Sounds great, right?!?  Let's keep going beyond where Citi's Ad stopped ...

$2 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 5.00 % return

$3 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 3.33% return

$4 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 2.50% return

$5 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 2.00% return

$6 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.66% return

$7 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.42% return

$8 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.25% return

$9 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.11% return

$10 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 1.00% return

 

So while it does very well at $5 or below , for a $7 to $10 purchase, you're actually doing worse than a common 1.5% card

Actually, by the time you exceed $20, you'll never earn more than 1.42%.  (@ $21 purchase  for 30 rewards points.)

And the more you spend, the more that math averages out in Citi's favor. 

It all sounds good but it's just a marketing ploy to trick the unthinking consumer

into thinking they are getting a lot more than they really are getting. 

 

At every tier, the best "value" is at purchases ending in $1 rounded up to $10.

But the higher the purchase amount, the less impact that rounding up has on your points. 

So while, a $1 purchase @ 10 rewards points = 10.00% return,

a $101 purchase @ 110 rewards points = 1.089% return

and your return drops even closer to 1% as the purchase amount gets higher.

 

It essentially turns into a 1% card for "everything else" card unless you just use it for small purchases.  *Yawn.

 

Another "math trick" that CITI does on the Rewards+ is when it offers "10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year."  Has a nice ring to it!  But it's all about complicating the rewards and confusing the consumer.  What that actually means you're only earning an additional 10% of 1% (or 1/10th of 1%) on most everyday spending, but only for your roughly first $10K of spending or less.  Wow ... 1.1% or so.   It sounds good in an ad, at least.  Still not close to a basic 1.5% card.

 

Even the "2x the points on gasoline and groceries" is a bit of a ploy when it is capped at only $6K spend annually for both categories combined.  That is a very low cap on a low 2% return (Discover and Chase cap their much higher 5% return categories at the same $6K  annually or $1.5K per quarter.)  That $6K annually works out to only $500 a month.  Most households spend much more than that on gas or groceries or both, so Citi is banking you'll be lured by this "2X" promotion and not notice when you exceed the cap for the year on two of the highest categories of spending for most households.

 

And then there are CITI's redemption stipulations.  Unless you transfer the points to one of CITI's premium travel cards, the points are worth no MORE than a penny a point but sometimes less.  Gift card redemption starts at $25 minimum at typically a penny a point.  If cashed out, they pay only HALF a penny a point starting at $50 for a check or $10 for a statement credit. 

 

I'm not saying all the banks don't play these tricks to some degree.  But it gives you a new respect for banks like Capital One where you earn just a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time, no games, and you can redeem those points immediately after the charges clear, no minimums, for a balance credit.  No rotating categories, no category caps on spending, no annual fee, no misleading advertising about the actual percentage cash back you will earn, no minimum redemption value, no points expiration date for the life of the account, and almost immediate access to your cash back.

 

 


Wow thanks for all of the information. I'm really glad I didn't jump at one of the ads for their Rewards+.


Total CL: $40,300

Enthusiast

Goal: 0 Inquiries for a year
Message 20 of 28
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