The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Vs. Other Cash Back Cards

Advertiser Disclosure Editorial Disclosure

Last updated on August 3rd, 2022

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is as unique as it is popular. The cash back credit card from Citi offers 5% cash back on purchases in a top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 in spending each month, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. But how does the Custom Cash stack up against the competition? Here is everything you need about the Citi Custom Cash Card vs. its biggest rivals:

This post may contain links from partner offers, and we may receive compensation when you click on links to these offers. Please see our advertiser and editorial disclosures above for more information. Citi is an advertising partner.

At a Glance

This post may contain links from partner offers, and we may receive compensation when you click on links to these offers. Please see our advertiser and editorial disclosures above for more information. Citi is an advertising partner.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

citi custom cash 224x141
Earn 5% Back On Your Top Spending Category
  • Earn 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent
  • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
☆ 5% Cash Back Categories Include Gas, Streaming, Groceries, Travel, & More!
☆ 0% Intro APR for 15 Months
☆ No Annual Fee

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is one of the most popular cash back credit cards available today. It offers enhanced earning of 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, and 1% cash back thereafter. Plus, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.

Additionally, the Custom Cash Card comes with a lengthy 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers (BTs), an easily attainable cash back welcome bonus, and no annual fee.

Here are the 5% back categories in which Custom Cash cardmembers can earn 5% back on the first $500 spent every billing period:

Dining Fitness clubs Grocery stores
Drugstores Gas stations Home improvement stores
Travel & transit (select) Live entertainment Streaming services (select)

And here is a quick breakdown of all the other current offers with the Custom Cash Card:

  • No annual fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR will be variable and based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

How Does the Citi Custom Cash Compare to Other Cash Back Cards?

Are you thinking about applying for the Citi Custom Cash Card? While the card is an exceptional value, here is how it compares to many of the leading competitors on the cash back card market:

Chase Freedom Flex

chase freedom flex mastercard
Earn a $200 Bonus and Up to 5% Cash Back
  • 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months
☆ 5% Back on Chase Travel
☆ 3% Back on Dining & Drugstores
☆ No Annual Fee

The Chase Freedom Flex is one of the most popular 5% back credit cards, thanks to its quarterly rotating cash back categories. These categories offer lucrative savings on things like gas stations, home improvement, groceries, and more.

For example, the Freedom Flex 5% cash back categories for Q2 of 2022 are Amazon.com and streaming services. Freedom Flex cardmembers earn 5% back on the first $1,500 spent on eligible purchases per quarter, and 1% after that.

Chase not listing the upcoming quarterly categories at the beginning of the year is the biggest letdown with the Freedom Flex. Chase announces the new bonus categories several weeks before they activate, making it difficult to plan your spending ahead of time.

On the other hand, the Citi Custom Cash doesn’t rely on rotating categories. Instead, the card offers 5% back on your top spending category. Additionally, the 5% back categories are known, making it easier to plan purchases ahead of schedule with the Custom Cash.

Discover it Cash Back

merit
Earn Up to 5% Cash Back
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate
  • 0% for 15 months from account opening
☆ Discover Cash Back Match
☆ Use Points with Amazon
☆ No Annual Fee

The Discover It Cash Back is another 5% cash back card. Like the Freedom Flex (and the old Citi Dividend Card – no longer accepting new applicants), It cardholders earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in quarterly spending on rotating categories. For Q2 2022, Discover cardholders earn 5% back on Target and gas station purchases.

Unlike the Flex, Discover makes its entire cashback calendar available to cardholders in November, making it easier to plan potential spending for the next year. Discover keeps its calendar fairly consistent, making it a reliable card year after year.

Discover’s Cashback match is another highlight of Discover credit cards. The Cashback Match means Discover will automatically match all of your cash back for the first year. Earn $200 in cash back? Discover will automatically match that, giving your $400 back in year one.

This welcome offer is very competitive for new applicants. It can easily surpass the current welcome offer for the Custom Cash. Still, the Custom Cash might provide better value for those wanting a welcome bonus in the first three months – and not after the first year.

Bank of America Customized Cash

boa customized cash rewards
$200 Cash Rewards Bonus Offer
  • 3% cash back on the category of your choice:
  • 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
☆0% Intro APR for 15 Months
☆ Free FICO Score
☆ No Annual Fee

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card is another direct competitor – albeit offering rewards at a lower rate than the Custom Cash Card by Citi. Customized Cash cardholders earn 3% cash back on the first $3,500 in spending per quarter in their choice of the following categories: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement.

This 3% back earing rate is well below the 5% back on the top category you’d get with the Custom Cash. Additionally, Citi offers automatic category adjustments versus the manual selection found with the U.S. Bank rewards credit card.

Where the U.S. Bank Cash+ has the upper hand on the Custom Cash is the addition of secondary bonus categories that earn enhanced rewards. Cardholders also earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In comparison, the Custom Cash only offers one accelerator cash back category.

U.S. Bank Cash+

us bank cash+
Earn Up to 5% Cash Back
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
  • 2% cash back on one everyday category
☆ 0% APR for 15 Months
☆ U.S. Bank ExtendPay™
☆ No Annual Fee

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa is a more direct competitor to the Citi Custom Cash than either the Discover It or the Chase Freedom Flex. The selling point of the Cash+ is the ability to select your categories to maximize your cash back earnings – the same selling point as the Custom Cash.

Cash+ cardholders earn 5% back on the first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases the following categories:

TV, internet, and streaming services Cell phone providers Electronics stores
Fast food Home utilities Furniture stores
Department stores Clothing stores Movie theaters
Ground transportation Fitness centers Sporting goods stores

The great thing about the Cash+ is that you select two categories to earn up to 5% back. The drawback, however, is that the categories must be activated and are set for the full quarter.

Alternatively, the Citi Custom Cash offers 5% back on your top spending category each billing period. This feature means your cash back is always maximized automatically, with no activation enquired.

Related Article: Citi Merchant Offers

Featured image by PublicDomainPictures

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

Get the Best Credit Card Content in Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest credit card articles and news so you can stay on top of your financial wellbeing.

Looking for Something Else?

Check out these helpful links before you go.

Get the Best Credit Card Content in Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest credit card articles and news so you can stay on top of your financial wellbeing.