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Citi Credit Card Benefits for Active-Duty U.S. Military Members [2024]

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You’ll find value in today’s article on Citi military benefits if you’re an active-duty military member holding a Citi credit card or a service member not on active duty who is considering one.

Decades ago, laws were enacted to help alleviate some of the financial burdens our active-duty military members face. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in 2003 and the Military Lending Act (MLA) in 2006 set the foundation for how financial transactions involving military members should be handled.

We’ll discuss the acts briefly in a moment, but today’s article will focus specifically on how Citi applies the benefits of the laws to its range of credit cards. Plus, we’ll look at how these benefits can create bottom-line value for active-duty military.

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The 6 Best Citi Credit Cards With Benefits for Active-Duty Military

How Do the SCRA and MLA Work?

The SCRA and MLA, when initially passed, applied to financial transactions such as mortgages, auto loans, other installment loans, rental agreements, and banking in general. In 2017, the laws were amended to include credit cards.

After this addition, credit card issuers instituted policies to ensure credit granted to military members met the laws’ requirements.

Here’s how the laws apply to credit cards:

  • Credit cards acquired prior to active-duty military service would have a maximum interest rate of 6% (SCRA).
  • Credit cards acquired during active-duty military service would have a maximum interest rate of 36%. This was called the Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR) and included all associated credit card fees as well as interest charges.

How Citi Applies Military Benefits

Citi applies military benefits to those who are on active duty, for credit cards acquired prior to active-duty service and after September 2017. Citi will waive associated credit card fees, including annual fees, along with interest charges, for active-duty service members.

Let’s look at some of the best credit cards issued by Citi and how each one might provide value for the active-duty military member.

The 6 Best Citi Credit Cards With Benefits for Active-Duty Military

If you are not on active duty but considering a Citi credit card, you’ll find significant value in the welcome offers that come with some of the best Citi credit cards. These offers allow you to earn a large number of rewards when meeting minimum spending requirements in a specified period after card approval.

We’ve included the current welcome offers in the following summary for comparison purposes.

Before we look at each key benefit individually, and its potential value for active-duty members, let’s look at a high-level overview of the best Citi credit cards, welcome offers, annual fees, and general benefits.

Card Summary

SCROLL FOR MORE
CardWelcome Offer and Annual FeeBenefits
Citi Premier® Card
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Annual fee of $95 waived for active-duty military
  • 3x points on dining, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Annual fee of $595 waived for active-duty military
  • 4x miles on American Airlines purchases
  • Complimentary Admirals Club access
  • Priority boarding, check-in, and airport screening
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 8 traveling companions
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • Earn 75,000 miles after spending $3,500 in purchases within the first 4 months.
  • Annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months; also waived for active-duty military
  • 2x miles spent on American Airlines, gas stations, and restaurants
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after spending $20,000 in a card account year
  • First checked bag free for cardholder and up to 4 traveling companions
  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
Citi Custom Cash® Card
  • Earn $200 cash-back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Annual fee of $0 
  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category from eligible categories
  • Flexible redemption options
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 2% cash-back on all purchases (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
  • No welcome offer available.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 4% cash-back on gas and EV charging for the first $7,000 per year
  • 3% cash-back on restaurants and eligible travel
  • 2% cash-back at Costco and Costco.com

Now let’s look closer at our featured Citi credit cards and the key benefits you can expect on each card.

Citi Premier Card — Best for Travel

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros

  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Why We Like the Card for Active-Duty Military Members

Read our guide to find more information on the Citi Premier Card benefits for Military Members.

AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card — Best Premium Card for American Airlines Flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.
Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
70,000 miles
$980
$595
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a go-to card thanks to its exclusive perks and benefits for people who love to fly American Airlines. With a complimentary Admirals Club membership, free checked bags, inflight discounts, and the ability to earn Loyalty Points for every $1 you spend, there is plenty to love about the card.

Pros

  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible hotels booked through aa.com/hotels
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • After you spend $150,000 in purchases in a calendar year, earn a total of 5 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases for the remainder of the year
  • Earn 1 per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn a 10,000 Loyalty Point bonus after reaching 50,000 Loyalty Points in a status qualification year. Earn another 10,000 Loyalty Point bonus after reaching 90,000 Loyalty Points in the same status qualification year
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation

Cons

  • $595 annual fee
  • Doesn’t earn many miles on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees:

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program

Why We Like the Card for Active-Duty Military Members

  • Waiver of higher annual fee for active-duty military members who acquired the card prior to active duty
  • Generous welcome bonus offer
  • 4x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines
  • Complimentary Admirals Club lounge access for cardholders, immediate family, or 2 guests; authorized users also have lounge access
  • First free checked bag for cardholder and traveling companions (up to 8), priority boarding
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement, up to a $100 statement credit

AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Card — Best Mid-Tier Card for American Airlines Flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.

Learn More(at Citi's secure site)

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.
Earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
75,000 miles
$1,050
$99, waived for first 12 months
21.24% - 29.99% Variable

Blue skies and fair winds make for a good day to fly! Choosing your airline can be difficult, since factors like location, time, and destination all go into whether or not you can fly somewhere.

An easy choice for many people is American Airlines, because they’re the largest airline in the world. If you’re an American, you’ve probably flown American Airlines at least once.

Frequent fliers tend to enjoy the treatment they can get, from boarding privileges to free bags to lounge access. There’s many reasons to fly with AA, and if so then getting a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® could be for you.

  • Earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 0%

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Program

Why We Like the Card for Active-Duty Military Members

  • Waiver of the annual fee for active-duty military members who acquired the card prior to active duty
  • 2x miles on American Airlines purchases
  • Free checked bag for cardholders and up to 4 travel companions, preferred boarding
  • Earn a $125 flight credit after spending $20,000 on the card in a card membership year
  • 25% statement credit for inflight purchases

Citi Custom Cash Card — Best for Cash-back on Your Highest Spend Category

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.

Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.

Pros

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
  • No redemption minimums

Cons

  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

Why We Like the Card for Active-Duty Military Members

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%
  • Balance transfer fees waived for active-duty military
  • Earn 5% cash-back each billing cycle in your highest spending category, up to $500 in purchases each period, then 1%; categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment

Citi Double Cash Card — Best for Everyday Cash-back

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Why We Like the Card for Active-Duty Military Members

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%
  • Balance transfer fees waived for active-duty military
  • 2% total cash-back earnings on every purchase (1% when made, 1% when paid)
  • Cash-back can be redeemed via the ThankYou Points portal for travel

Costco Anywhere Card — Best for Costco Loyalists

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
None
$0
20.49% Variable

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a great Citi’s cash-back rewards card designed specifically for Costco Members.

  • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Why We Like the Card for Active-Duty Military Members

  • One of the best credit cards for gas station purchases, earning 4% cash-back, including EV charging stations, up to $7,000 in purchases each year, then 1%
  • 3% cash-back on dining and travel and 2% cash-back at Costco and Costco.com
  • Available with a $0 annual fee to all military members who have a Costco membership
Hot Tip:

Active-duty military members, including veterans, retired military, spouses, and dependents, may receive a digital Costco gift card when signing up for a Costco membership.

Annual Fee Waiver

One of the most valuable Citi military benefits for active-duty military members is the waiver of the card’s annual fee. Although not all Citi credit cards charge an annual fee, the best Citi cards, with the most earning potential and benefits, typically do.

Here are examples of the potential savings for Citi credit cards (that charge an annual fee) when the annual fee is waived for active-duty military members:

SCROLL FOR MORE
CardAnnual Fee
Citi Premier Card$95
AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card$595
AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Card$99, waived for first 12 months

0% APR for Active-Duty Military Members

Dollar Bill on Table
Citi military benefits can save you money on fees and interest charges. Image Credit: Jonathan Borba via Pexels

Another significant military benefit provided by Citi for active-duty service members is the waiver of interest charges on card balances.

There are 2 ways to take advantage of the lack of interest charges and fees.

Citi Credit Card Debt Acquired Prior to Active-Duty

If you have Citi credit cards with balances accrued prior to active duty, you’ll want to take advantage of Citi’s 0% APR during your active-duty status to pay down those balances during your service.

Balance Transfers

If you have credit cards from other financial institutions with high-interest balances, Citi will waive the balance transfer fees during active-duty service. Since balance transfer fees can be 3% to 5% of the total transfer amount, this option can provide significant savings. You can leverage this benefit even further by utilizing Citi credit cards with an introductory 0% APR period for balance transfers.

If your primary goal is to pay off card balances, these Citi credit cards offering an introductory 0% APR rate for balance transfers could be appropriate choices:

  • Citi Custom Cash Card0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%
  • Citi Double Cash Card0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%
  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.99%
  • Citi Simplicity® Card0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.99%
  • Citi Rewards+® Card0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.74% - 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
Bottom Line:

Military members can take advantage of 0% APR periods while on active duty to pay off eligible Citi credit card balances accrued prior to active duty. In addition, Citi will waive balance transfer fees (during active duty) for balances transferred from other credit cards. Utilizing a Citi credit card with a 0% APR period can result in significant savings on transfer fees and interest charges.

Additional Citi Card Benefits and Protections

Earning and Redemption Options

Citi credit cards will earn flexible rewards such as ThankYou Points, cash-back, or frequent flyer miles.

While both ThankYou Points and cash-back may be redeemed for gift cards, travel, merchandise, statement credits, or charitable donations, the best value is to transfer ThankYou Points to airline or hotel partners.

ThankYou Points earned on the Citi Premier card allow the most flexible redemption options, including transferring to airline and hotel partners to redeem for award flights or free hotel nights.

Hot Tip:

Take a look at our full guide covering some of the best ways to redeem Citi ThankYou Points.

Co-branded Citi credit cards will earn the affiliated rewards currency. For example, American Airlines’ cards earn AAdvantage miles that can be redeemed with the airline, and Costco-branded cards will earn cash-back that can be redeemed via Costco stores.

Travel and Shopping Benefits and Protections

While benefits and protections differ by card, here are some you may find on Citi credit cards:

  • Citi Merchant Offers — Log in to your online card account and select from retail and service provider offers that provide statement credits for making eligible purchases.
  • Purchase Protection — Eligible items purchased can receive coverage for damage and theft for up to 90 days from the purchase date.
  • Extended Warranty Protection — The manufacturer’s warranty is extended on eligible purchased items.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Citi cards with no foreign transaction fees travel well. These fees are normally 3% of the total transaction.
Bottom Line:

Earning and redeeming rewards earned on Citi credit cards adds tremendous value to card membership. Plus, if you can use any of the cards’ travel/shopping benefits, you will realize even more value.

Qualification and Applying for Citi Military Benefits

MLA Website
Image Credit: USA.gov

Citi military benefits for active-duty servicemembers can result in serious savings. Let’s look at the qualifications and how to apply for benefits.

Who Is Eligible for Citi Military Benefits

You’ll want to check the Citi SCRA website for complete information, but here’s an outline of who qualifies for Citi military benefits:

  • Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Space Force, and National Guard full-time active-duty members
  • Federal active-duty reservists
  • Active-duty National Guard members called to service by the President, Secretary of Defense, or by State orders for a period of 30 or more consecutive days
  • Active-duty servicemembers who are absent due to covered illness
  • U.S. citizens who are members of an allied nation’s military service
  • Commissioned officers of NOAA of the Public Health Service
  • Spouses or dependents of the eligible servicemembers listed above

You’ll want to verify that your status is current on the Department of Defense website as this is the source financial institutions will use to verify your status. Visit the MLA website to access your records.

If you acquired your Citi credit card(s) prior to active duty, you’ll want to skip the next step and jump right to applying for benefits.

If you are not on active duty and considering a Citi credit card, here are some tips for applying for a card.

How To Apply for a Citi Credit Card

While applying for a Citi card during active duty will not qualify you for military benefits, you can still do so. Plus, if you’re not on active duty, but will be in the future, here are some tips for making the process go smoothly:

  • Review Citi’s Card Rules — Each financial institution has specific rules for how often and how many cards for which you can be approved as well as how much credit they’ll extend to you. You’ll want to review Citi’s rules before you apply.
  • Review Card Requirements and Know Your Credit Score — The majority of Citi’s credit cards will require a good to excellent credit score to be approved. A good score is generally considered 670 and above but we recommend at least a 700 credit score to apply for the best cards. If your score is below 670, you will still find several Citi cards that you may qualify for.

How To Apply for Citi Military Benefits

Citi Military Benefits Page
Call Citi to learn more about Citi military benefits and to apply for benefits. Image Credit: Citi

If you acquired a Citi credit card prior to active-duty service, you’ll want to apply for Citi military benefits. The waiver of credit card fees and interest charges could save you money and help you pay off any debt.

The easiest way to ask questions and apply for benefits is to contact Citi’s Military Response Unit at 877-804-1082.

Additionally, you can fax your request with a cover page that includes your name, Social Security number, branch of service, your active-duty date, plus supporting documentation to 866-533-0503.

Finally, you could mail your request, including the above information, to this address: City Military Response Correspondence Unit, Attention: SCRA Request, P.O. Box 790398, St. Louis, MO, 63179.

Once your request is approved, it can take up to 3 statement periods for the benefits to be applied.

According to Military Money Matters, a popular military finance blog, data points suggest that in the statement period when your annual fee hits, you should have a balance on your card to trigger the fee reimbursement. Evidently, this is due to the balance causing the maximum 36% interest rate (MLA requirement) to kick in.

Final Thoughts

For active-duty military members who acquired Citi credit cards prior to active duty, you should definitely apply for Citi military benefits. In addition to having your annual fee waived, you could also benefit from a 0% interest rate on previously incurred card debt. The waiver of transfer fees, should you use the balance transfer option on a card with an introductory 0% APR balance transfer offer, could also be a money-saver.

For those military members not on active duty but anticipating it, you may find value in card welcome offers, everyday earning potential, flexible redemption options, and a few shopping benefits.

If travel protections and benefits are a priority to you, as an active-duty military member, you may do better with Chase or American Express-issued travel rewards cards. Our companion articles on the best Chase credit cards for military members, military credit cards and the best American Express credit cards for military members would be worth reading.

The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Simplicity® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Citi waive credit card fees for active-duty military?

Yes, Citi will waive fees, including annual fees, for credit cards acquired prior to active duty and after September 2017.

Does Citi waive interest charges on credit cards?

For credit cards acquired prior to active duty, Citi will waive interest charges during the period of active duty. Citi will also waive balance transfer fees during active duty.

Are Citi military credit card benefits worth it?

Yes, Citi military benefits are worth it if you hold Citi credit cards that were acquired prior to active duty. Citi waives fees and interest rates which can result in significant savings.

How can I apply for Citi military benefits?

The best way to learn about Citi’s military benefits and apply is to call Citi’s Military Response Unit at 877-804-1082.

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About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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