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Citi® Dividend Card Review: Keep it if you have it for 5% cash back in rotating categories

The Citi® Dividend Card offers 5% cash back quarterly rotating categories. Unlike other cards that cap quarterly bonus category rewards, the Citi Dividend rewards are capped at an annual limit of $300 of rewards. The annual rewards cap means you can get 5% on up to $6,000 of purchases, once during the year.

The Citi Dividend card earns 5% cash back on rotating categories, up to $300/year
Citi Dividend Card

Cards and Points Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Citi Dividend Card is no longer available to new cardmembers.

Our 30 second review of the Citi® Dividend Card

We continue to keep our Citi® Dividend Card for one reason: Getting 5% cash back rewards in rotating categories. The Citi Dividend sits alongside our cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Discover it® Cash Back card which also get us 5% cash back in rotating categories.

Unlike the other 5% rotating category cards that cap rewards each quarter, the Citi Dividend Card caps the amount of rewards you can earn by year. That makes it possible to earn 5% rewards on up to $6,000 of spending in a single category each year, or to spread our spending capacity out over multiple categories. We like this flexibility.

Outside of 5% rewards, we don’t use the Citi Dividend card for anything other than the occasional Citi Merchant Offer. The card doesn’t have any benefits of note and earns only 1% cash back outside of its rotating categories.

The Citi Dividend Card is not available to new cardmembers, but if you have the card, it’s worth keeping around.

Likes

  • 5% cash back in rotating categories.
  • Rewards cap is per calendar year, rather than per quarter.

Dislikes

  • $300 annual cap on rewards.
  • No benefits of note.
  • Card not available to new cardmembers.

Citi® Dividend Card at a glance

Here’s what you need to know about the Citi® Dividend Card.

Rewards

Purchases in rotating quarterly categories.5%
Other purchases1%

Rewards are earned as cash back. The total amount of rewards you can earn is capped at $300/calendar year.

Benefits

Consumer insurance benefits
None.
Travel insurance benefits
None.
Travel benefits
None.

Terms

Annual fee: $0
Foreign transaction fee: 3%

My take on the Citi® Dividend Card

The Citi® Dividend Card is fairly uninteresting outside of its 5% rewards in bonus categories that rotate quarterly. I use my Citi Dividend exclusively for its 5% cash back.

The card’s $300 cap on total rewards earned in a calendar year gives me a pretty good reason to actively avoid using it outside the 5% quarterly bonus categories. Any cash back I earn from the card’s 1% rewards on general spending lowers the amount of 5% rewards I can earn. Not that I need much reason to keep the card in my wallet—1% on general purchases isn’t compelling and the card doesn’t have an extended warranty, purchase protection, or any other consumer benefits of note.

But the fact that rewards are capped annually rather than quarterly actually makes the 5% categories more interesting. Instead of your 5% rewards $1,500 of spending per quarter, if you’re using the card for only spending in 5% categories, you’ll get 5% rewards on $6,000 of spending per year. At the end of the day, that gives you more ability to earn 5% rewards in categories that matter to you. I usually end up spending $6,000 in a single category during the year, earning 5% cash back rewards on the entire amount, and putting the card away for the rest of the year.

If you currently hold a Citi Dividend card, the card is worth keeping. Citi may try to tempt you into converting the card into another card, such as the Citi Custom Cash℠. Don’t do it. If you convert the card, you won’t ever be able to get it again and you can always apply for any other current Citi card directly.

Rewards: How to earn and use rewards of the Citi® Dividend card

Here’s what you need to know about earning and using the Citi® Dividend Card’s cash back rewards.

Earning rewards

The Citi® Dividend Card offers 5% cash back rewards in rotating categories which change every three months. You must enroll in the bonus category offer prior to making purchases. Enrollment takes up to two business days to fully process, so don’t expect to enroll and immediately begin getting 5% rewards. Purchases made prior to when your enrollment is processed will only earn 1% rewards. The card earns 1% cash rewards on all other purchases.

Citi caps the total rewards you can earn on the Citi Dividend at $300 per year. This cap applies to all rewards, not just 5% category rewards. Once you’ve earned $300 in rewards during the year, none of your purchases will earn cash back.

An interesting quirk of the Citi Dividend card is that the card counts your rewards as “earned” when they are awarded on your statement closing date. If you purchase items in late December and you receive the rewards for those items on your January statement, those rewards will count toward the next year’s rewards cap.

2024 Citi Dividend cash back category overview

Here are the currently announced bonus categories of the Citi Dividend card in 2024:

Q1 2024
January – March
Q2 2024
April – June
Q3 2024
July – September
Q4 2024
October – December
Amazon.com and select streaming servicesGrocery stores and drugstoresNot yet announcedNot yet announced
2024 quarterly bonus categories of the Citi Dividend Card

Because of the way Citi counts your rewards against the annual cap, you can double-dip on your 5% category rewards in the 4th quarter with the Citi Dividend card. Purchases made after your December statement closing date will appear on your January statement and count toward that year’s rewards cap.

Using your rewards

You can redeem Citi® Dividend card’s cash back rewards as either a direct deposit to one of your payment accounts or as a check by mail. In either case, the minimum redemption amount is $50 and you can redeem up to your entire rewards balance.

Benefits of the Citi Dividend Card

The Citi Dividend card offers no notable benefits.

Cards that pair well with the Citi® Dividend Card

If the Citi® Dividend Card is the only card in your wallet, you’re almost certainly missing out on rewards and benefits that you can use. Remember, after you earn $300 of rewards in a calendar year on the Citi Dividend, you won’t earn any additional rewards for the remainder of the year. Here are some ideas of cards that can complement your Citi Dividend.

As a Citi Divided cardholder, you probably like the rotating 5% category rewards concept. And if you want to earn 5% rewards in more categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠, Discover it® Cash Back card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and the U.S Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card are all worth a look. Each of these cards offers 5% rewards in categories and with the Custom Cash and Cash+ cards, you can exercise some measure of control over which categories you earn increased rewards in.

Outside of rotating category cards, you should have a 2% cash back credit card for general spending. And it’s probably worthwhile to carry cards that earn additional rewards in categories where you spend more money like groceries or gas. We would also recommend getting a card with extended warranty for purchases of electronics and other expensive items. (The Chase Freedom Flex℠ listed above offers Chase’s extended warranty benefit.)

Should you keep the Citi Dividend card?

If you are fortunate enough to have the Citi Dividend card, you should probably keep it. The card offers useful 5% rewards on rotating categories with no annual fee. Yes, Citi caps the rewards on the card at $300 every year, but the rewards categories often complement other rotating category cards like the Chase Freedom Flex.

Periodically, Citi has sent out offers to cardmembers letting them know that their Citi Dividend card will be automatically converted to another card. These notices have required cardmembers to call in and opt out if they wanted to keep their Dividend cards. Don’t ignore these notices from Citi if you want to keep your Citi Dividend card.

Watch out for card conversions

In mid 2023, Citi sent me a notice that they intended to convert my Dividend Card to another Citi card. I was able to keep the card, but I needed to opt out of an automatic card conversion.

If you have the Citi Dividend Card and want to keep it, be sure to keep an eye on your statement notices. You may need to occasionally opt out of a card conversion.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get a Citi® Dividend card?

Unfortunately, the Citi Dividend card is no longer available to new cardmembers. Additionally, there is no option to convert another Citi card to a Citi Dividend card.

Will the Citi® Dividend Card be discontinued?

There is no information that the Citi Dividend card will be discontinued for existing cardmembers. Current cardholders have been able to keep their existing Citi Dividend cards.

What are good alternatives to the Citi® Dividend Card?

Other issuers offer rotating 5% category cards similar to the Citi Dividend Card. The Chase Freedom Flex℠, Discover it® Cash Back card, and Citi Custom Cash℠ Card can offer you 5% back on category purchases.

Is the Citi® Dividend discontinued?

While you can no longer get the Citi Dividend card as a new cardmember or as a product conversion, the card has not been discontinued. Existing cardmembers can keep their Citi Dividend cards and earn 5% cash back rewards on rotating categories. Citi may attempt to convert your card to another Citi card, so watch your mail for card conversion notices.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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