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The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has no annual fee and offers 5% cash back on each billing cycle on purchases up to $500 per month and 1% cash back on all other purchases. As a welcome bonus, you will earn $200 after spending $1500 on purchases in the first six months. The card offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (note the balance transfer must be complete within within 4 months of the account opening).
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has no annual fee, which
means that if you know how to use credit cards
responsibly, there’s a good chance that getting this
credit card could be a good fit for you because it
costs nothing to hold. However, the best feature of
this credit card, in my opinion, is a unique way it
earns 5% back compared to other similar 5% back
5% back on first $500 per month on the highest spend category
Most other cards typically do 5% back on a variety of rotating categories that is hard to keep up with. What is great about the Citi Custom Cash Card is that you do not have to remember complex categories, you will simply get 5% back up to $500 in spending per month on your top category.
This article will examine the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card to assist you in determining whether it is suitable for your needs. We will review its features, perks, and drawbacks to understand the card comprehensively and make an informed decision about its suitability for you.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Card Overview
- Earn 5% cash back on the highest eligible spend category in each billing cycle on spending up to $500 and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of Thank You Points.
- Welcome Bonus: Earn $200 after spending $1500 in the first 6 months, which will be received in the form of ThankYou Points that can be redeemed for $200.
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers & purchases for 15 months. Balance transfer must be completed within the first 4 months.
- Citi will only provide one Citi Custom CashSM Card per person.
- No Annual fee.
- A 3% Foreign transaction fee is applied.
- Its 5% cash back is one of the most generous offers compared to its competitors that also offer 5% cash back. Also Earn $200 in bonus after spending $1500 in the first 6 months
- 0% Intro APR
- No annual fee for the first 15 months on balance transfer and purchases
- The 5% cash back offer has a spending cap of $500 per billing cycle, 1% thereafter
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- There aren’t many rewards other than the 5% cashback and welcome bonus.
Welcome Bonus on the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus by spending $1,500 in purchases within the first 6 months; This offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 Citi ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back. The Citi ThankYou® Points can be redeemed for credit statements, checks, direct deposit, gift cards, shopping, travel rewards, hotels, cruises, and more. Also, your ThankYou Points will not expire as long as your account remains open. ( Pricing Inforamtion)
The automatic adjustment feature eliminates the need for you to manually adjust your rewards program every billing cycle or sign up for specific bonus categories. The key benefit of this system is that you don’t have to worry about signing up for specific bonus categories or manually adjusting your rewards program to match your spending.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Rewards
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card allows you to earn 5% cash back on your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, up to $500. After spending $500 in that category, you will earn 1% cash back for any additional spending. You will earn an unlimited 1% cash back for all purchases outside your top spending category. Essentially, you will earn higher rewards in the category where you spend the most, up to a certain amount, and a standard reward rate on all other purchases.
What are the top eligible categories for the 5% back?
There are only certain eligible categories that count for 5% back. Remember the top category is selected automatically.
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Streaming services
- Drug stores
- Home improvement stores
- Fitness clubs
- Select travel
- Select transit
- Live entertainment.
If you spend up to $500 in your eligible category, you can earn a maximum cash-back reward of $25 each month. While this return on investment is not bad, it is important to consider whether the additional effort of managing an extra credit card is worth earning up to $25 in extra rewards per month.
Reward Redemption – How can you redeem ThankYou Points?
You will earn Citi credit card rewards as ThankYou Points, which can be redeemed in a direct deposit, check, or statement credit. Also, you can redeem ThankYou Points as gift cards, Shop with Points at Amazon, travel, and more.
You can earn cash back through Citi ThankYou Points using this card; however, these ThankYou points are basic points and cannot be used with Citi travel partners. These points can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent per point for cash back, buying gifts, or booking travel.
0% Intro APR Offer
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for balance transfers that lasts for 15 months. A variable APR between 18.49% and 28.49% will apply based on your creditworthiness. Moreover, a fee of 5%, or a minimum of $5, will be charged for each balance transfer.
Transferring your balance to this card with a 0% APR can be a helpful approach to managing your credit card debt, particularly if you can repay the balance in full within the introductory period.
Other Perks And Benefits of this credit card
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has other benefits as well, although since it is a no annual fee card there aren’t too many aditional perks.
Convenience of using a Digital Wallet
This Citi credit card offers several conveniences, such as stress-free account alerts that update you on balance levels, upcoming payments, and exceeding your credit limit through email or mobile notifications. Additionally, you can confidently make purchases using Digital Wallets at numerous online stores, within apps, and in physical retail locations. Moreover, the Citi Mobile® App allows you to view your current balance, available credit, spending summary, make payments, and much more, from anywhere and anytime.
Citi Entertainment delivers entertainment to you, offering access to music, sports, culinary experiences, and much more through the Citi Entertainment program. You can enjoy these experiences from almost anywhere.
Identity Theft Protection
Citi offers an ID Theft Protection program through Mastercard, which monitors the information you choose to protect and alerts you if any suspicious activity is detected, providing peace of mind against identity theft. Additionally, there are no unauthorized charges on your account. You can check your FICO® Score anytime through the Citi Mobile® App and Citi® Online without impacting your score. The score is updated monthly and easy to find, allowing you to see the key factors affecting your score.
How Much Are ThankYou Rewards Worth?
With Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you will be getting no annual fee and 5% cash back on top eligible categories; The City Custom Cash℠ card allows you to earn points that can be converted into cashback. On your first $500 spending each billing cycle, you will earn 5 ThankYou points per dollar in your highest spend category. For any amounts over $500, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per dollar in that category, and 1 Thank You point per dollar on all other purchases. These Thank You points can be redeemed for cashback at a value of 1 cent per point. Essentially, earning 5x points and 5% cashback is the same with this card.
For example, if you spend $500 in everyday purchases in one billing cycle, your highest spending category, you will earn 5x Thank You points per dollar, or 2,500 points. Those points can be redeemed for $25 of cash back, which is 5% of the $500 spent on groceries. This shows that earning 5x points is equivalent to earning 5% cashback.
ThankYou Points worth more when combined with Citi Premier or Prestige
Many people have asked: Can points from the Citi Custom Cash card be transferred to ThankYou Airlines and Hotel Partners Emirates, Asia Miles, Wyndham and so on?
The answer is, it’s complicated. Citi ThankYou points can be used for airline or hotel partners but only if you combine them with a higher-tier Citi Credit Card, such as the Citi Premier on the same account. This turns these cashback points into transferrable currency, which could potentially give you more than one cent per point in value when you redeem the points for certain types of travel, such as transferring to an airline or hotel that could give you much more than the standard 1c per point redemption value.
Here is a list of other Citi credit cards you can pair with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card:
Who The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Is For?
The Citi Custom Cash℠ card provides a unique 5% cashback, which sets it apart from its competitors. However, it may not be an ideal primary card, as the 5% cashback only applies to spending up to $500, which amounts to $25. Additionally, there is only a 1% cash back on other spending. Therefore, it may not be worth having the card solely for the purpose of earning the $25 cashback.
While the Citi Custom Cash℠ card can be a good choice for people who want to earn cashback rewards on their spending, it’s particularly attractive for those who spend a significant amount of money in one or two specific categories each month, as the card offers 5% cash back on the highest spending category each billing cycle, up to $500 spent, and then 1% cashback on all other purchases.
One strategy to get the most value out of the Citi Custom Cash card is to combine it with another Citi credit card. Citi offers several credit cards that allow you to transfer ThankYou points earned from one card to another. This means you can use the Citi Custom Cash card to earn 5% cashback on your top spending category and then transfer those ThankYou points to another card that offers more value for travel, such as the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige.
Other Credit Cards To Consider
It is worth noting that the ideal alternative to the Citi Custom Cash℠ card may vary depending on your unique spending habits and goals. Therefore, it is crucial to compare the rewards and benefits of different cards before deciding to determine which option would offer the most value for you.
Citi Custom Cash℠ card vs Citi Double Cash Card
Both cards are from Citi and are known for their competitive cashback offers. Additionally, both cards have no annual fee. With the Citi Double Cash Card, you can earn 2% cashback: 1% when the purchase is made and 1% when it is paid off.
By using both cards, you can maximize your rewards. You can use the Citi Custom Cash card to earn 5% cashback on your top spending category, and when you reach the $500 limit, you can switch to the Citi Double Cash Card to continue earning rewards at a 2% rate: 1% when the purchase is made and an additional 1% when it is paid off. This allows you to continue earning cashback at a high rate, even after you’ve reached the spending limit on the Citi Custom Cash℠ card.
The Citi Double Cash Card offers a 0% introductory APR for 18 months. After that, a standard variable APR of 18.49% to 28.49% will apply based on your creditworthiness. Additionally, the card has an introductory balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, when completed within the first 4 months. After that, the fee will be 5% of each transfer, with a minimum of $5. Here the Citi Double Cash Card wins with its unlimited 2% cashback( 1% when the purchase is made and 1% when it is paid off) and offers a lower balance transfer fee.
Citi Custom Cash℠ card vs Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a no-annual-fee credit card that provides numerous rewards. Once you activate the card, you can earn 5% cash back on combined purchases each quarter, up to $1500. Furthermore, when you make travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can earn 5% cashback and 3% cash back on purchases made at drugstores and dining restaurants. For all other purchases, you can earn 1% cashback.
Both credit cards offer comparable introductory APR periods. The Chase Freedom Flex provides a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after opening the account.
When comparing the rewards programs of the Citi Double Cash Card and the Chase Freedom Flex, the Chase Freedom Flex offers broader categories for cashback, making it the winner in this aspect.
Citi Custom Cash℠ card vs. Amex Blue Cash Everyday® Card
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday® Card is a card that does not charge an annual fee and provides a cashback rate that is slightly higher than the Citi Custom Cash℠ card. It is considered one of the top cards for everyday purchases such as groceries. The card offers a cashback rate of 3% on the first $6000 spent at US supermarkets and 1% on any additional spending at US supermarkets, as well as 3% cash back on the first $6000 spent on US online retail purchases.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday® Card offers a $200 statement credit when you spend $2,000 on your new card within the first 6 months and has an introductory 0% APR for 15 months starting from the account opening date. The card’s cashback rewards and benefits outperform the Citi Custom Cash℠ card, offering 2X points on groceries and gas stations.
Final Thoughts on this credit card
Consider your credit card strategy before getting the Citi Custom Cash card. If you don’t plan to open many new cards each year, the 5% cashback feature in your top spending category is valuable, making the card a good addition to your wallet. If you want to combine the card’s ThankYou points with another Citi card, Custom Cash is also a good choice. The only drawback of the card is that you can’t earn 5% cashback on your top eligible categories after spending $500, only 1% thererafter.
Keep track of your spending categories and select a credit card that rewards you for your most frequent purchases. Sign up for our travel concierge service, and we will help you uncover the finest credit cards of 2023, as well as incredible travel deals and how to leverage your points for maximum value.
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