Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Review

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Bonus Offer
$200 details
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
0% for 15 months
Regular APR
18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
Rewards Rate
1x-5x Cashback
Recommended Credit Score
690 850

The Citi Custom Cash Card is a great addition to your wallet if you’re looking for a set it and forget it cashback card with some variety. Rather than the standard cashback tiers of other cards, it gives you 5% rewards on your top spending category each statement up to a spending limit.

Pros

  • Low intro APR
  • Welcome bonus
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • $500 spending cap on top category rewards
  • Requires good to excellent credit

Citi® is offering $200 when you open a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Details below!

How To Earn The Bonus:

  1. Apply for a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card using the link below.
  2. Within 6 months, spend $1,500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited as $200 cash back.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a credit card with unique features that make it stand out from other cash back cards.

Whereas most cash back cards either offer a flat rate or a complex tiered reward structure which doesn’t always match your spending, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card sits in the middle.

You’ll earn on a particular category, but that automatically shifts to the category you spent the most on during any billing cycle. Additionally, the range of categories on offer goes beyond what most cards will reward!

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Overview

With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you’ll gain 5% cash back for expenses in your biggest spending area every billing period – up to a maximum of $500.

After that point, and on any eligible spending outside that top category, you’ll earn 1% cash back.

The spending categories are remarkably varied (see below), so whether you’re renovating or spending a lot on gym subscriptions, you won’t be left out.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is fairly low maintenance. You don’t need to activate a particular category, or be locked into one bonus grouping each quarter. Instead, your 5% cash back category automatically defaults to where you spent the most!

There’s no annual card fee, and you can usually score relatively easy signup bonus.

However, some customers may find the $500 spend cap for the top reward rate too low, especially if there are multiple authorized users on the card.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Main Benefits & Perks

The first perk to note is that there’s no annual card fee.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card gives you 5% cash back on eligible purchases (up to $500 total) in your top spending category each billing cycle. After $500 in that category, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card gives you 1% cash back.

For every eligible purchase outside of your top category, you’ll receive 1% cash back.

What makes this a particularly impressive offering is that the spending categories are extremely varied and cover purchases that often are excluded from cash back schemes.

Below is a list of where will earn you cash back on purchases:

  • Drugstores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Live entertainment
  • Restaurants
  • Streaming services
  • Travel
  • Transit

There are a few exclusions in some of these so make sure you read the fine print, but there certainly are a wide variety of categories to be taken advantage of.

Given cash back cards usually fall into either flat-rate rewards, rotating categories, or tiered reward structures, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a refreshing change.

Its cash back program is both easy to understand and gives you a boost if you spend more than usual on one particular category. The cash back is in the form of ThankYou points, which can be redeemed either for cash or spent at Citi partners.

The $500 at 5% in each billing cycle will net you 2,500 ThankYou points, which is worth $25.

Who is the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Best For?

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is great for you if you’re someone who wants to earn as much cash back as possible, but your main spending is in categories which most other cash back cards exclude.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card could really help you make the most of your spending live entertainment, or at the drugstore, for example.

Additionally, if you already use a different Citi card, then the ThankYou points you earn using both can stack up more than just using one or the other.

You might also be able to use a more premium Citi credit card to pool your ThankYou points, with points that can be used in conjunction with Citi’s travel partners. This way, your less flexible points can be upgraded.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers an attractive cash back rate on a number of categories that are usually not available with other cards
  • Unlike some other cards, your top spending category can change with each billing cycle, and you don’t have to choose ahead of time what that category will be.

It’s a pretty good balance between the complexity of variable cash back rate cards, and the simple but lower return flat rate cards

  • When offered, the signup bonus offers a lot and usually require a relatively small level of spending in a 6 month period
  • The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card works particularly well with another Citi card like the Citi Premier® Card, allowing you to maximize the way you use your rewards

Cons

  • The $500 limit on 5% cash back is lower than many other cards. This will bite you, especially if you make big purchases in multiple eligible categories during the same billing cycle.

This feature will also penalize Citi Custom Cash℠ Card holders with multiple authorized users

  • Balance transfer fees are higher than typical for this kind of card, at 5% of balance transferred with a minimum of $5 per transfer
  • The fees for using the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card overseas are also particularly high, at 3% per transaction

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Current Bonuses & Promotions

Here are some of the promotions and bonus offers going on right now:

1. Citi Custom Cash℠ Card - $200 bonus

Citi is offering new Custom Cash℠ Card cardmembers a welcome bonus of $200 when spending $1,500 in the first six months of ownership.

This is in addition to the 5% cash back each month on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, 1% thereafter).

How to earn the bonus

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card using the link below.
  2. Within 6 months, spend $1,500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited as $200 cash back.

read the full terms

Beyond this, you’ll get all the basic Citi and Mastercard bonuses. This means you’ll pay nothing in the case of unauthorized transactions, and Citi will help you with fraud and protection from identity theft.

Rates and Fees

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Balance Transfer Regular APR: 18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%

Best Alternatives to Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a solid credit card with some unique features, but it’s always worth checking out how it ranks when compared to similar cards. Be sure you’re getting the card that best suits you:

Chase

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Bonus
$200
Account Type
Personal Card
Annual Fee
$0

Amex

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Bonus
$250
Account Type
Personal Card
Annual Fee
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Capital One

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Bonus
$200
Account Type
Personal Card
Annual Fee
$0

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to get the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card?

Like a lot of no-annual-fee cards, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card doesn’t give instant approval.

In fact, it could be quite difficult for you to get the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card if you have a credit score that is less than stellar!

In this case, it would be worth looking at the possibility of becoming an authorized user on someone else’s card to build your credit up.

This offers the benefit to the main cardholder as well, if they’re someone who doesn’t always make it to that $500 threshold for getting the maximum cash back.

How much income do you need to qualify for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card?

We can’t tell you exactly how much you will need to be earning to qualify for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.

Your required income will depend on a number of factors, including your credit score. If your credit score is up in the excellent range – over 740 – you could qualify for this card with a lower income.

If you think this is the card for you, it’s worth putting in the application!

What credit score is required for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card?

Although Citi doesn’t make this information public, and there’s no magic number that guarantees you’ll qualify, we can make a few assumptions.

Similar to most no annual fee cards, you will probably need to have a credit score of at least 670 to qualify for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. This is a score that will comfortably put you in a category that is good-to-excellent.

Can I use my Citi Custom Cash℠ Card right away?

Yes, in some cases you can use your Citi Custom Cash℠ Card straight away. You will need to activate the card, and then add it to your digital wallet so you can start using it.

However, not all customers can do that, and you won’t be able to know if you’re one of these customers until after you are approved for the card.

If you aren’t approved for instant use, you will have to wait until your physical card comes in the mail.

Can you use a Citi Custom Cash℠ Card at an ATM?

Yes, you can use your Citi Custom Cash℠ Card at an ATM, but make sure you’re aware of the potential costs!

Cash advances incur a fee that is either 5% of the total advance, or $10, whichever one is higher.

Is the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Worth It?

Although there are other benefits to the card, the big one that customers will look at when they’re deciding which credit card to go with is that 5% cash back on $500 in their top spending category.

So, when you’re looking at whether this credit card is worth it, having a look at the maximum cash back potential of the card is a good idea.

In the first year, a typical consumer will be able to hit that $500 cap every month– whether it’s on gas, or home improvement supplies. That will net them $25 cash back each month, or $300 total for that first year.

It also means they’ll have spent the $1,500 in the first six months to qualify for the welcome bonus of 20,000 ThankYou points. That will be worth another $200.

In the first year, you can earn $500 cash back in total. That would then be likely to go down to $300 in the second year.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is particularly good as a second credit card. You can use it in conjunction with another Citi card to give you the most options for your ThankYou points.

Alternatively, you can use the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card with a card that has a slightly higher percentage of cash back, and swap between them to get the most cash back for your purchases. Doing so does increase your life admin, but it could definitely pay off!