Citi Forward® Credit Card Review

If you are looking for a flexible rewards program, and one that can help you earn points quickly, as well as give you great incentives to pay on time and spend wisely take a look at the Citi Forward® credit card.

The Citi Forward Visa makes use of Citi’s ThankYou points reward program.  It also comes with an attractive introductory offer.

Follow along with our Citi Forward credit card review…

Let’s start with a quick rundown of what the Citi Forward card offers.

• $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

• APR reduction on purchases when using credit wisely

• No Annual Fee

Citi ThankYou Rewards Program with Citi Forward

The Citi ThankYou reward program focuses on racking up points.

For each dollar you spend, you receive one point.  However, you can earn more points per dollar with certain purchases like those made at restaurants and on entertainment.  This can be a great rewards program for the person that likes to go out regularly.

The items that will net you the five points per dollar include:

  1. Citi Forward Credit Card artAll restaurants, including those that serve fast food
  2. Movie theaters
  3. Video rental stores
  4. Book stores
  5. Music stores

As you can see, that’s a fairly wide variety of options when it comes to adding up your points at a faster rate.  These categories are stationary, meaning that they apply all year round.  There are also chances to earn bonus points by making purchases at “qualifying merchants” no matter what spending category the stores fall into.

Your ThankYou points can be used on a number of items, including discounted merchandise, travel, cash back, and more.  There is even a special deal right now that allows you to receive a free subscription to Netflix if you use your Citi Forward card to automatically pay the subscription each month.  It’s important to note that the bonus only offers up to $10 off your monthly subscription, though.  If you have a streaming only plan, then the signup bonus will cover the entire amount.  If you have the streaming plus the DVD plan, the $10 per month won’t cover, and you will have to pay the difference.  But it’s still a solid signup bonus, worth up to $120.

10,000 Points Bonus

If you make $650 in purchases within the first 3 months of signing up AND you sign up for paperless statements then you can earn a 10,000 point bonus.  That’s already worth $100 in gift cards.  If gift cards aren’t your thing then you can also use your bonus points towards travel or even a statement credit.

Pay on Time and Get a Bonus

Also, each month that you pay your bill on time, you will receive 100 bonus ThankYou points.  You don’t even have to pay off the statement balance in order to get this bonus.  You just receive it for paying on time.

That’s an awesome incentive to help you make sure you pay on time (never mind that it generally helps your credit as well).

APR Lowering Bonus

Check out this neat feature – your APR for purchases can be lowered up to 2% when make a purchase, stay under your credit limit, and pay on time 3 billing periods in a row.  How it works is your APR can be reduced 0.25% every quarter, up to eight times.

Again, a great incentive to not max out your card and pay on time!

Other Features of the Citi Forward Credit Card

Because this is a Visa credit card, it is widely accepted, and you will be able to use it almost anywhere.

Citi is also offering a 0% APR on purchases for the first seven months that you have the credit card.  You can also receive a relatively low interest rate, 12.99%, if you have good credit.  (The interest rate could be as high as 22.99%, though.)

There’s also 0% APR on balance transfer for 12 months.  If you have a ba;ance on another card and you’re paying interest on it then this could be a good opportunity to lower your interest for a year and speed up paying off your debt.

The Citi Forward doesn’t have an annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about that cost when you sign up.


Overall, the Citi Forward card isn’t a bad choice.  It’s actually a pretty good overall card.

It has a reasonable rewards program, and the ease of earning bonus points each month just by paying the bill on time is a nice touch.  And with the APR lowering bonuses you can see this is a credit card where they want you to use it wisely and not just max it out.

It’s probably not the best rewards program out there (points programs are notorious for being worth less than straight cash back programs), but it’s a good points program, and it’s flexible and easy to use.



Published or updated September 28, 2012.

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