Top 3 Alternatives to the Citi Dividend Card

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Bah. I still haven’t gotten my cancellation letter from Citibank regarding the discontinued Dividend card. I don’t want to assume, but I think it’s likely just a matter of time. According to the people who have the letters, you still get 5% until October 13th, so another month and a half. Here are what I see as the top 4 3 current alternatives, in no particular order as each has it’s own pros and cons:

1) HSBC Direct Rewards Card

Pros: 5% back at groceries, gas, and drugstores with $500 annual cap. 1% back on purchases over $3,000.

Cons: Rewards only paid out annually. Only 0.5% on first $3,000 of purchases. Relatively unknown card issuer. People report having FICOs of above 700 and still being denied.

2) Citi Driver’s Edge Platinum MasterCard

Pros: 6% back at groceries, gas, and drugstores with $1,000 annual cap. 1% back on all other purchases. You also get Drive Rebates of $100 for every 10,000 miles driven, increasing potential cashback to over 7%.

Cons: Rewards redeemable in cash only towards car expenses (tires, repairs, parts, etc.) or student loans. Otherwise redeemable as gift cards or gas cards. 6% only for first 12 months, 3% after that.

3) Chase Cash Plus Rewards MasterCard

Pros: 5% back at groceries, gas, and drugstores with $300 annual cap. 1% back on all other purchases. $50 bonus after first purchase.

Cons: I thought they killed this card. Like the Citibank card, there is no mention of it on the website. This specific application link appears to work, although it is unknown if the rewards on this card will also become extinct in the near future.

I already got the Citi Driver’s Edge card before all this Dividend doom and gloom, so I’m already switched. It’s working out well since I’ve already sent in my first mileage documentation and I’m going to be driving a good deal this summer. According to my calculations, I’m getting over 7% cash back due to the mileage rebates. Instead of trying to time it to get free tires, I’ll probably just take the easy route and get gas gift cards.

A possible strategy to get to $50 cashout mark for Dividend owners is to buy some gift cards at the grocery store you usually shop at anyways. For example, I could just buy a $100 Safeway card, get the $5 back, and wait until after October 13th to use it.

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  1. Jane Dough says

    Great list – thanks for pulling it together. I also have not yet received my Citi letter. Perhaps they are notifying by state? Anywho I am using the card as much as I can while I have the benefit of the 5% cashback rewards…

  2. where is the forth alternative?

  3. There are only three. Did you forget one?

  4. Ha, you guys are sharp. I had the Discover gas card since it offered 5% on gas and auto maintenance to give another alternative card issuer, but didn’t think it was really on par with the other three, so I dropped it.

  5. I just deleted a comment by accident that pointed out correctly that it’s not a cancellation letter, it’s just saying that the rewards program is changing from 5% on everyday purchases to 2% on everyday purchases + convenience stores and utilities.

  6. In my humble opinion Emigrant Direct credit card is also not bad these days with 1.4% on rest of the purchases you make on your dividend/other 5% cards. Its better than 1% atleast.

  7. Don’t forget the Citi Diamond Rewards card which still gets the 5 thank you points per dollar for groceries, gas, drug stores. While not as good a deal as the dividend card it is close if you shop at any of the stores that have gift cards in the program.

    I do a fair amount of shopping at Taget and can get $50 target gift cards for 5,000 points = 5% on goceries, gas, drug stores. I recognize its not as good a deal since its in the form of gift cards, but definitely better than 2% and I don’t think there is a cap.

  8. Have you considered the Diamond Preferred Rewards from Citi? Same deal as Dividend except it earns ThankYou points. While not 100% as valuable as cash, probably 95% as valuable if you use them for gift cards on things you would buy anyway (gas/groceries not Circuit City or BestBuy GCs). Some people even report obtaining 150% or more of the value of the ThankYou points when redeeming for flights. They are apparently exceeding useful for flying during peak times.

  9. How about Citi Diamond Oreffered Card?

    I got a letter from them. For first year they are giving 5 points for every $ spent.

  10. forgot to tell that it has a $100 gift Certificate also (10000 points) after the first purchase.

  11. I’m not receiving 5% on everyday purchases with my Citi Dividend card, I get 5% on groceries, gas and drug stores and 1% on everything else. I think the problem with Citi is that they have too many reward programs, maybe they are trying to consolidate.

    Anyway I haven’t gotten a letter from them yet, but if I do I think I can make up the difference by using the card to pay my utilitiy bills which is
    something I’m not doing now.

  12. We went with the Chase Cash Plus as a replacement for the Dividend card. I don’t doubt that Chase will probably kill this card in the future, but the $50 bonus makes the risk worth it for us.

    Some might find the Chase Rewards Plus Visa as a viable alternative as well.

  13. Another is the Chase Rewards Plus Card. It also gives 5% back on gas, groc, and drug. You can earn $750 worth of rewards/yr. (although only $600/yr can be redeemed as cash).


  14. isn’t THIS summer over?

  15. i only got the letter this week. i am on the east coast.

  16. I got my letter last week regarding the Citi Dividend card. I have the Citi Diamond Preferred rewards but it is only good for 5% purchases for 12 months. Also have the Citi 5% for everyday purchases Amex card. Don’t know if this is going to go away as well. I moved over to this card when they canceled the AT&T Cash Rewards card a couple of months ago.

  17. Costco AMEX…

    3% on restaurants
    2% on airfares and hotels
    1% everywhere

  18. The Direct Rewards card isn’t 0.5% on the first $3,000 of purchases, it’s 0.5% on the first non-5% qualifying $3,000 worth of purchases. It wasn’t quite clear the way you listed it above.

    Rewards Terms & Conditions

  19. I like the American Express Blue Cash card. You only get 1% on groceries,and drugstore and gas expenses and 0.5% on other things up to $6500, but after that the rewards jump to 5% and 1.5% respectively and there’s no limit. It only pays out once a year though.

  20. I got the same letter for an older 3% cash back program at Citi. I recently applied for the Diamond Rewards card and will replace the older card with it.

    I already get Thank You points via my Citibank checking account, so it’ll work out well for me in the long run.

  21. I had an old chase card with a basic reward plan, and when I called to cancel they moved me to their premeir plan. They waived the $20 annual fee, and I get 5% on gas, groceries, and drugstores, 1% everything else. The cap is $750. I already have $300 after 4 months.

  22. Be careful signing up for the Citi Driver?s Edge Platinum Mastercard. Online they definitely advertise 6% for 12 months. If you call Citi though they only have 3% for 12 months, and 2% after.

    I signed up online to get the 6% and when my card arrived it was only 3%. I called to ask for the 6% and they will honor my claim when I mail in the terms from the website.

    A hassle but definitely worth it.

  23. Yeah… My FICO score is 731 and have no bad records. But I still get denied when applying HSBC Direct Rewards Card. (Sept 18, 2006)

    It only took 5 secound for them to do online process and then suddently showed a word to me that I am denied and wanted me to apply someother their credit cards. I think they didn’t even check my credit report since it wouldn’t be so fast. Does anyone really get this card? I think this card is just an strategy to pull people applying other cards, not this one.

  24. With Citi’s cards going to 2%, this looks like a good deal:

    Only 1% more, but that counts!

  25. J, where’s the entry on the MTVu Visa (Citi) card? My application just made it and I am getting my card in the mail soon. Does it still give 5% in restaurants, movie theatres, and all purchases?

  26. I had the Citi Dividend, and Citi Professional card (for 6 months) and recently received the MTVu card. Today, after cashing out my Citi Dividend card I converted it into the Diamond Preferred Rewards Card (5% grocery and gas for points for 1 year)… I earned 10000 free start up points from Diamond Preferred and another 10000 from professional card and another 7000 points (for dining from professional card in 6 months) so that’s 27000 points, Dividend card I received $250 last year and $200 this year so that’s about $720 worth of freebies from Citi… ohhh I love them (even more if I count the ones my parents and gf received).

  27. Previously I mentioned I got denied on HSBC Direct Rewards Card (on Sept 18, 2006), even if my FICO score was 731. However, one month passed, and I just got a letter from HSBC (Oct. 16) telling me my application is approved and they will send me the card soon.

    Sure I am happy with that. But what the heck are they doing ? LOL

    Well… at least we are sure this card really exists.

  28. Dude, the Citi Divident card is advertising the 2% back on groceries, drug, and gas, but in REALITY, they can’t get their math straight. I do NOT get the full 2%. I’ve been only getting 1% on all of that for the past few months and had to call them to dispute. Their customer service is horrible and still haven’t gotten it figured out. I’ll probably cancel too.

  29. FYI. Chase finally killed the Cash Plus Rewards card this summer and forced customers onto their new Chase Freedom Cash card.

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