The Citi Dividend card is no longer available for new applicants. But if you got grandfathered in, don’t forget to enroll in the card’s bonus categories by the Oct. 1 deadline, so you can get 5 percent cash back on your holiday shopping.
For Q4 2016 (Oct. 1-Dec.31), Citi Dividend cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back (on up to $1,500 in spending) in the following categories:
- Department stores
- Best Buy
As with other rotating-category cards, you need to actually enroll in the bonus categories (otherwise you’ll earn just 1 percent on category spending). So log in to your card account online and do so before Oct. 1, to maximize the time you have to earn 5 percent back.
Compared to the other 5 percent rotating-category cards on the market (Discover it and Chase Freedom), we’re feeling lukewarm about these categories. Discover is offering 5 percent at department stores, Amazon.com and Sam’s Club — and Chase is offering 5 percent at department stores, wholesale clubs and drug stores. In other words, all three cards have department stores in their Q4 categories, but Discover and Citi provide some much broader options as well.
If you’re still one of the Citi-Dividend holdouts, the card could very well be worth keeping, as it doesn’t charge an annual fee. If you’d like to reboot your rewards strategy, consider these options (all of which have no annual fee):
If you want to keep a 5 percent category card: As mentioned above, Chase and Discover have 5 percent category cards.
If you want to stick with Citi: Before applying for a new account, call Citi and see if it will let you do a product change without a new credit pull.
If you want to do away with categories altogether: It’s nice to earn 5 percent back, but if Citi’s quarterly cash-back calendar has disappointed you lately, you might go for a card that earns a steady, elevated rate on all purchases. Check out our list of cards that earn 1.5 percent back on everything.