Two of the most popular cash back credit cards are from Citibank. The Citi Custom Cash and Citi Double Cash cards provide excellent rewards for no annual fee, but which is right for you? Let’s break down both cards’ earning structures and features to help you find your perfect cash back rewards card.
Citi Double Cash vs. Citi Custom Cash: Which is Best?
Both the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi Custom Cash℠ Card are both popular thanks to no annual fee, generous rewards, and the full array of Citi benefits including Citi Entertainment, Merchant Offers, and more. But which Citi cash back card is right for you? Before applying for your next credit card, make sure you have the best information possible to make the right decision for your unique needs.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the main features of both cards:
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
|Cash back rewards||5% on top eligible spend category per billing cycle (up to $500) and 1% on all other purchases||2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay your bill)|
|Introductory APR offer||0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months||0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months|
|Sign-up bonus||$200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening||N/A|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Annual fee||No annual fee|
Cash Back Rewards
The biggest difference between the Citi Custom Cash and Citi Double Cash is how they earn their cash back rewards.
The Citi Custom Cash card offers 5% cash back on your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to $500 spent per cycle. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. This means you can maximize your rewards by choosing a spending category that aligns with your monthly expenses, with the following eligible categories:
|Dining||Fitness clubs||Grocery stores|
|Drugstores||Gas stations||Home improvement stores|
|Travel & transit (select)||Live entertainment||Streaming service (select)|
Sure the Citi Double Cash card doesn’t have the bonus categories of the Custom Cash. Still, it does offer a consistent (and unlimited( earning rate for all purchases. The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill.
How to Redeem Cash Back
Here’s how you can redeem your ThankYou Rewards with both cards:
|① Cash back||Cash back applies to cash rewards as statement credits.|
|② Gift cards||Citi rewards apply to gift cards from over 100 leading retailers and brands.|
|③ Shopping||Cardholders can use ThankYou points to shop with Amazon, Best Buy, Expedia, PayPal, or 1-800-FLOWERS.|
|④ Charity||Cardholders can also use their points to make donations to the American Red Cross or Smile Train.|
Introductory APR Offers
Another key difference between the Citi Custom Cash and Citi Double Cash cards is their introductory APR offers. The Citi Custom Cash card has a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
The Citi Double Cash card also has an introductory APR offer, but it’s only for balance transfers. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers. After the introductory period ends, expect a variable rate based on your creditworthiness and the Prime Rate.
This lengthy balance transfer offer makes the Double Cash card a better choice if you want to transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card. But if you are planning a big purchase, Custom Cash might be the smarter option.
Both credit cards enjoy the same Citi benefits. These benefits include:
|$0 Fraud Liability||Virtual Account #s||FICO Score Access|
|Citi Quick Lock||Citi ID Theft Protection||Fraud Alerts|
Other Citi features include the following:
|Citi Merchant Offers:||Citi Merchant Offers is like Amex offers or Chase offers in that it provides Citi credit card members with offers for a specific merchant and then receive a rebate in the form of cash or points when using the card for eligible purchases.|
|Citi Entertainment℠:||Citi Entertainment℠: Cardholders gain exclusive access to tickets for thousands of popular events. This includes unique experiences and presale events for concerts, sporting events, and more.|
|Citi® Concierge:||Citi Concierge is a free benefit that gives on-demand personal assistance to eligible cardholders. Citi customer service experts can help with travel planning, shopping, restaurant reservations and more.|
The cards also enjoy Mastercard protections and perks, such as:
|Zero Liability Protection||Mastercard Global Services||ID Theft Protection|
There’s no clear winner in the battle of Citi Custom Cash vs. Citi Double Cash – it all depends on your spending habits and financial goals. Suppose you want to maximize your rewards with bonus categories and have a large purchase or balance transfer coming up. In that case, the Custom Cash card may be the best fit for you.
If you prefer a consistent earning rate on all purchases and want to transfer a balance interest-free, the Double Cash card could be the better choice. Ultimately, it’s essential to compare the features and benefits of each card to determine which one will provide the most value for your individual needs.
Featured image by BestCards
Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards.com's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, BestCards.com lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.