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Citi launches new Lazada co-branded credit card

Surprise surprise, banks think that co-branded credit cards are actually still… in?

It’s probably about a decade (or two?) ago where such joint cards are extremely popular. M1, Robinsons, and even SingPost, all have a credit card.

Having said that, the trend has been dying for a while now. The hottest co-branded card that came out was probably the UOB-Krisflyer card last year, and for good reasons, given that the miles gathering community have grown tremendously in just the last two years.

Now, back to the Citi Lazada card.

The basics

  • Income requirement: S$30,000 p.a. for Singapore citizens and PRs, S$42,000 for foreigners
  • Annual fee: S$192.60 for principal cardmembers, waived for the first year; S$96.30 for supplementary cards, waived for the first year
  • Annual fee gift: 
    • 3 x $50 Lazada vouchers for new-to-Citibank customers (with a lot of conditions)
    • Free LiveUp 1-year membership (worth $59.90).
  • Earn rates: 0.4 mile per dollar spent (mpd) locally & overseas
  • Special earn rates:
    • 4.8 mpd for Lazada transactions (until 29 Feb 20, 4.0 mpd thereafter)
    • 2 mpd on dining, travel, entertainment, commuting
    • Total bonus points capped at 10,000 ThankYou points (or 4,000 miles) per statement cycle
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3.0% (3.25% from 15 Dec 2019)

Similar to other Citibank entry-level cards, the Citi Lazada credit card charges S$192.60 (waiveable first year) for its annual fee, and requires you to earn at least S$30,000 per year.

Mediocre earn rates

The base rate for the Citi Lazada credit card is a paltry 1 Citi ThankYou point, or 0.4 mpd, on local and overseas spend.

The bonus earn rates for this card lie in spending on Lazada, where cardholders can earn 12x Citi ThankYou points (4.8 mpd), except for spending on Redmart. Even then, this is a promotional rate which will end 29 Feb 2020, after which it goes down to 4 mpd.

Cardmembers can also earn 5x Citi ThankYou points (2 mpd) on dining, travel, entertainment, and commuting.

These are the MCCs for the bonus spends:

Note that the points do not pool with other Citibank cards you may hold, so you will have to accrue at least 25,000 ThankYou points before converting them to miles, with a processing fee of $25.

On top of that, all the points will expiry within 36 months of the card opening date, not from the time the points were earned. For instance, if your card opening date is on 1 January 2020, all of your points earned between 1 Jan 2020 and 31 Dec 2022 will expire on 31 Dec 2022, in a strange fashion similar to the BOC Elite Miles card.

Note that there’s cap to the bonus points

If you have gone mad and decided to apply for the card, note that there’s a cap of 10,000 points per statement month for both the 12x and 5x categories, translating to the following caps:

  • S$833 on Lazada (up to 29 Feb 20, S$1,000 after), or
  • S$2,000 on dining, entertainment, travel, and commuting, or
  • Any combination in between of the above two (e.g. S$416.5 on Lazada + S$1,000 on dining, entertainment, travel and commuting)

There are easier way to earn more miles

So I’m telling you why this card sucks. There are simply too many cards out there that do so much better than this card, making this new card a total waste of time.

1. Citi Rewards Mastercard

This card earns you 10x points (4mpd) on all online spend, up to a cap of S$1,000 spend per month, including online shopping (RedMart included!), online food delivery, entertainment, Grab/Gojek rides, movie reservations and more.

This applies across all the online spend category, except travel. There is a cap of S$1,000 spend per month.

2. UOB Preferred Platinum Visa

Similar to the Citi Rewards card, this also offers 4mpd for all online spend except travel. On top of that, you also get 4mpd for contactless payments in-person.

3. DBS Woman’s World Mastercard 

Fervent miles collectors will know that you don’t exactly need to be a woman to hold the card. Similar to the above, the DBS Woman’s World Mastercard provides 4mpd for online shopping, online entertainment reservations, Grab/Gojek payments, and even online travel purchases (hotels and airfares). There is a cap of S$2,000 on this.

Welcome gifts

If you are applying for the Lazada card as your first Citibank card: DON’T. Especially if you were eyeing that $150 Lazada voucher (or the $500 voucher on 1-day flash offer on 11 Dec).

The $150 Lazada vouchers should be more specifically defined as 3x $50 vouchers, and you can only use one in each transaction as they are given to you in the form of promo codes. Also, the vouchers have a six-month validity, so I won’t be surprised if many of them go unredeemed.

To add salt to the wound, you will need to spend at least S$1,200 before you get those vouchers. Tough.

Final thoughts

There are much better cards to apply for from Citibank than the Citi Lazada card. For instance, you could try the Citi Rewards card, which can basically do everything that the Citi Lazada card do, and more. Granted you will get 27,000 points (about 10,800 miles) only after a $3,000 spend as a welcome gift, that 10,800 miles will bring you further (literally) if you use it correctly.

Even if cashback is your thing, the Citi Cash Back card gives you a much better welcome gift, at $120 cold, hard cash (not really, it’s a credit) with $1,200 spend.

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