Why we like this card: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has $0 annual fee, but it offers up to 5% cash back on purchases made within your top spending category and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, you get a 0% annual percentage rate (APR) for 15 months for both purchases and balance transfers, giving you over a year to pay off debt or finance a major purchase without interest charges stacking up.
- No annual fee
- 5% cash back on your top spending category
- 15-month 0% promotional APR for purchases and balance transfers
- Minimal benefits
- Charges foreign transaction fees
- Higher cash-back rate only applies to first $500 of purchases per billing cycle
Citi Custom Cash Card: Overview
- Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening (after that, the variable APR will be 19.24%–29.24%)
- Purchase: 19.24%–29.24% variable
- Balance transfer: 19.24%–29.24% variable with a fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash advance: 29.99% with a fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Penalty: up to 29.99%
- Annual fee: $0
- Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars
- Late payment fee: Up to $41
- Returned payment fee: Up to $41
Although several credit cards offer 5% cash back, they typically only apply that higher rate to pre-set spending categories that change every quarter. Your reward total may be low if you don’t regularly make purchases within those categories—such as purchases at big box stores or restaurants.
However, the Citi Custom Cash card gives you more control over your rewards. You earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1% cash back thereafter). Selecting a category is unnecessary; it automatically adjusts based on your spending.
As a result, the Citi Custom Cash Card is a good match for those who want a simple card without the hassle of choosing a bonus category or keeping track of rotating category calendars.
Citi Custom Cash Card: Rewards
The Citi Custom Cash Card allows you to earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1% cash back thereafter). Eligible categories include:
- Fitness clubs
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Home improvement stores
- Live entertainment
- Select streaming services
- Select travel arrangements
- Select transit
You’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn in rewards.
Does the Citi Custom Cash Card have a bonus?
If you’re a new customer, you can take advantage of the Citi Custom Cash Card’s bonus offer. You can earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (this bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back).
How to redeem Citi Custom Cash rewards
You earn Citi Custom Cash rewards as Citi ThankYou points, and you can redeem points several ways:
Through Citi’s ThankYou portal, you can redeem your points for donations to select charitable organizations like Susan G. Komen or World Central Kitchen. You typically need at least 1,000 points to make a donation—the equivalent of $10—so each point is worth about one cent with this redemption method.
You can ask Citi to send you a check in the mail to receive your cash back. With this redemption method, there is a $5 minimum, so you will need at least 500 points.
Redeem your rewards as a direct deposit, and Citi will transfer your cash-back rewards to your selected checking or savings account. There is no account minimum for this option.
You can use your points to purchase gift cards for department and home improvement stores, restaurants, and entertainment. You usually need at least 2,500 points to redeem your rewards for a gift card, and each point is generally worth one cent. Occasionally, some retailers will have special offers that allow you to get more value for your points. For example, you may be able to get a $25 gift card with just 2,250 points.
Shop With Points
Citi partners with select retailers like Amazon and Best Buy through its Shop With Points program. With this option, you can redeem your rewards at checkout with a partnering retailer and use the cash value of your points to cover some or all of your purchases. However, this redemption method may give you less value for your points.
When you redeem your rewards for statement credits, your points are applied to your outstanding credit card balance. There is no minimum requirement for this redemption method.
Book your flights, hotel stays, or car rentals through Citi Travel and you can use your rewards to cover some or all of the cost.
Citi allows you to transfer your points to its travel partners’ programs, such as Wyndham Rewards or Avianca LifeMiles. If you transfer your points, you may get a higher value for your rewards.
The Citi Custom Cash Card’s additional benefits beyond cash back are pretty limited. It doesn’t offer common credit card benefits like travel insurance or extended warranty protection. Instead, it has these three features:
- Citi Entertainment: Citi Entertainment is a program that gives cardholders special access to ticket pre-sales, games and other events.
- Mastercard ID Theft Protection: Mastercard ID Theft Protection is a free, optional benefit that monitors cardholders’ information and notifies them of any suspicious activity.
- Free FICO score access: As a cardmember, you can check your credit score for free through your Citi account.
Is the Citi Custom Cash Card right for you?
The Citi Custom Cash could be a good card for you if you’re frustrated by the limited cash-back categories other cards offer and want an easy-to-use option. The Citi Custom Cash gives you 5% cash back on your top spending category, and you don’t have to worry about keeping track of rotating categories or activating a bonus category; the card automatically adjusts based on your spending.
However, it may not be the right fit if you’re looking for a card that provides travel rewards and perks. The Citi Custom Cash Card charges foreign transaction fees, and doesn’t offer any travel insurance benefits, so you’ll likely be better off with another card with more benefits and lower fees.
Credit cards similar to Citi Custom Cash
The Citi Custom Cash Card has no annual fee and a potentially high cash-back rate. But depending on your spending habits, one of the following cards may be more suitable:
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards vs. Citi Custom Cash
Like the Citi Custom Cash Card, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee and offers more control over your rewards. You can earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, such as online shopping, drugstores, or home improvements. Plus, you can earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% on all other purchases.
Where the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card falls behind the Citi Custom Cash Card is how the higher cash back category is selected. Although you can change your 3% spending category every month with the Customized Cash Rewards Card, you have to do it manually through your cardmember portal; with the Citi Custom Cash Card, Citi automatically changes it based on your spending habits.
Quicksilver Rewards vs. Citi Custom Cash
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is another $0-annual-fee card, but it provides a flat 1.5% cash-back rate on all purchases, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn in rewards.
The Quicksilver Rewards Card is more difficult to get than the Citi Custom Cash Card; you’ll need excellent credit to qualify. However, the card is more valuable than the Citi Custom Cash Card if you travel outside of the U.S.; the card offers added benefits like travel accident insurance and extended warranty protection and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Frequently asked questions
Does the Citi Custom Cash Card have a foreign transaction fee?
If you purchase items in foreign currency, such as shopping in another country, the Citi Custom Cash Card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
What is the starting credit limit for the Citi Custom Cash?
Your Citi credit limit depends on your credit history and income. The minimum credit limit is $500, but it can be significantly higher; some users reported credit limits as high as $10,000.
What credit score do I need for the Citi Custom Cash?
The Citi Custom Cash Card requires fair to excellent credit. According to Equifax, one of the major credit bureaus, an “excellent” score range means you need a score of 800 or higher.
Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date but are subject to change at any time at the issuer’s discretion. Before applying, please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits.
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.