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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Cory Santos

| Last updated on March 18th, 2024

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good
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$0 Annual Fee

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

  • 18.99% - 28.99% (Variable) Regular Purchase APR
  • 18.99% - 28.99% (Variable) Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% (Variable) Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 15 months on Purchases Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Citi Custom Cash? Card is a generous cash back credit card that offers up to 5% back on eligible purchases. The card, from Citi, does not charge an annual fee and rewards 5% back on the top spending category each month, with options including transit, travel, gas, groceries, dining, and more.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • 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.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.99% - 28.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for - as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months on Purchases
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18.99% - 28.99% (Variable)
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months on Balance Transfers
  • Balance Transfer APR: 18.99% - 28.99% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% (Variable)
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • You want to earn 5% back but do't want quarterly categories
  • You plan on spending $1,500 within the first 90 days
  • You have a large purchase in mind that you want to pay down over time
  • You plan on transferring an existing balance within the first four months
  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee

 In-Depth Review: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a no annual fee, cash back credit card that offers exceptional value for cardholders that want to maximize their savings but hate being tied down with quarterly categories.

Who Can Benefit Most from the Custom Cash Card?

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a versatile credit card that can benefit a wide range of individuals. If you’re someone who wants to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without any hassle, this card is for you. Whether you’re a frequent traveler, a foodie, or simply looking for a straightforward rewards program, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has something to offer.

Cards like the Chase Freedom Flex, Discover It, and even Citi’s old Dividend Platinum Select Card earn 5% back on select purchases each quarter, with those 5% back categories changing every three months. With the Citi Custom Cash, rewards are automatically adjusted based on spending, making rewards streamlined, seamless, and headache-free.

How to Get the Custom Cash Card

Credit Needed

To be eligible for the Citi Custom Cash credit card, it is generally recommended to have a good to excellent credit score. This typically means a FICO score of 670 or higher. However, having a score in the 700s or above would increase your chances of approval and potentially qualify you for better terms and rewards.

Pre-Qualify Before Applying

A great feature of Citi credit cards is the ability to pre-qualify before applying. This pre-screening process only applies to Citi’s proprietary rewards cards, including the Citi Custom Cash® Card.

These offers are based on credit score, borrowing history, and other readily available personal information. If you receive a pre-qualified offer, your chances of approval are generally favorable. The best part is that no credit check is needed to pre-qualify with Citi.

To get pre-qualified offers from Citibank, you will need the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Last four digits of your SSN
  • Current address

How to Earn Rewards

Earning impressive cash back is one thing, but to compete in the crowded cash-back credit card space, the Citi Custom Cash℠ needs more than just decent rewards. Fortunately, the card does provide even more value for card members thanks to two introductory offers, up to 5% back and more.

Current Welcome Offers

Second, the Custom Cash℠ provides a very lucrative cash back sign-up bonus. New accounts can earn $200 in cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. That reward is essentially a whopping 26% cash back – a huge – and easily accessible – bonus!

How to Earn Cash Back

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card isn’t like most other 5% back cards. Unlike the Discover It or Chase Freedom Flex, which both earn 5% back on rotating categories each quarter, the Custom Cash℠ earns 5% back on your highest spending category each billing period. This “customized cash” cash back makes the card more akin to the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Card – though that card only earns 3% back on the top category, vs.  5% with Citi’s Custom Cash℠ Card.

What are the 5% back categories? Cardholders can earn the maximum rewards with purchases in the following 5% eligible categories:

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

Remember that the 5% bonus categories are limited to $500 spent every billing period, and any rewards earned after that threshold will be 1% back. All other purchases with the card earn unlimited 1% cash back, with no caps on that earning.

How to Redeem Rewards

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Mastercard earns “cash back” in the form of ThankYou points. So, when you earn 5% back, you’re actually earning 5X ThankYou points, which is quite lucrative.

You can redeem your points for cash back as a statement credit, direct deposits into your bank account, or through the ThankYou Rewards Portal for gift cards, travel, or purchases on Amazon (Shop with Points at It’s important to note that Citi ThankYou points never expire as long as your account is open and active.

0% Intro APR Benefit

First, the card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  This makes the card a direct competitor to other similar products, including Chase’s impressive Chase Slate Edge Visa. The two lengthy periods of zero interest are fantastic – especially for those planning on making a large purchase and reaping the rewards of 5% back.

The balance transfer introductory offer is also great for those with a significant balance they want to pay down over time. However, balance transfers must be made within the first four months of account opening.

Citi® Benefits

The Custom Cash Card also boasts impressive perks and security features courtesy of Citi®. These include:

  • Citi Entertainment: Citi provides cardholders exclusive access to events and ticket presales for popular concerts, sporting events, and more.
  • Citi Lost Wallet: Citi’s Lost Wallet service provides emergency card replacement and emergency cash should your card be lost or stolen.
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions: Citi provides comprehensive support in identity theft and offers expedited service to help get your life back on track should you fall victim.

Mastercard Benefits

Custom Cash cardholders enjoy the pinnacle of Mastercard protections and benefits courtesy of World Elite Mastercard. Just some of the perks that come with a World Elite card include:

Zero Liability Protection Airport Concierge Cell Phone Protection
Mastercard Global Services Priceless Experiences Lyft Credits
ID Theft Protection Priceless Golf Mastercard Travel Services
Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee ShopRunner Membership Hello Fresh Savings

Other Card Benefits

Other notable features of the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card include:

  • No annual fee
  • EMV chip, digital wallet, and contactless payment technology
  • Choose your payment date
  • 3% foreign transaction fee


Citi Custom Cash℠ Chase Freedom Flex Discover It
Annual fee $0 $0 $0
Rewards Earn 5% on purchases on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to $500 spent Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

Comparisons with the Discover it Cash Back

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.

Comparisons with Chase Freedom Flex

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. Freedom Flex cardmembers earn 5% back on the first $1,500 spent on eligible purchases per quarter and 1% after that.

Chase’s failure to list 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.

Comparisons with Citi Double Cash

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

Tips for Maximizing Value with the Custom Cash Card

To make the most of your rewards with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, it’s important to understand how the card works and how to optimize your spending. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your rewards:

  • Take advantage of the 5% cash back category: Each billing cycle, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card automatically selects your top eligible spend category for 5% cash back. Make sure to keep track of the category and adjust your spending accordingly to earn the maximum cash back.
  • Use the card for everyday purchases: Since the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers 1% cash back on all other purchases, it’s a smart move to use the card for your everyday expenses. From groceries to gas to dining out, every dollar you spend will earn you cash back.
  • Pay your balance in full each month: To truly maximize your rewards, it’s important to avoid carrying a balance on your card. By paying your balance in full each month, you can avoid interest charges and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your rewards.

What We Like About the Custom Cash Card

Customized Rewards

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has many features and benefits that make it a top choice for rewards enthusiasts. First and foremost, the card offers 5% cash back on your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to $500 spent. You can earn up to $25 cash back every cycle on your highest spending category.

In addition to the 5% cash back, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card also offers 1% cash back on all other purchases. This ensures you earn rewards on every dollar you spend, regardless of the category. Plus, there is no annual fee, making it even more appealing for those looking to maximize their rewards without any added costs.

Flexible Redemption Options

Another notable feature of the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is its flexible redemption options. You can redeem your cash back as a statement credit or a check, or even convert it into ThankYou Points to use towards travel, merchandise, and more. This allows you to choose how you want to use your rewards, making them even more valuable.

Things to Consider

Lower Rewards Outside Of Your Top Spend

The main drawback of the Custom Cash card is that its rewards are only significant in the 5% back category. This means that unless you are a frequent shopper taking full advantage of all the bonus categories, you may not find the card appealing. However, if you don’t plan on optimizing your credit card purchases, a card like the Freedom Unlimited might be a more suitable choice.


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Citi Custom Cash℠ Mastercard, along with the answers:

Citi credit cards require a good or excellent credit score to qualify. This means you will likely need a credit score of around 680/690 or higher to qualify for the card.

Per Citi:

Your points will never expire as long as your account remains open.

In the event that you close your account or you convert to another Citi® credit card that does not participate in the Citi ThankYou® Rewards program, you will have 60 days to use the accumulated points or forfeit them.

  • No, the card is a plastic credit card.

Yes, you can have 2 Citi Custom Cash Cards. Citibank does not limit the number of credit cards you can apply for with the bank.

Citibank Ratings

How does the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card stack up? Here are a selection of expert reviews for the card, as well as an overview of Citi as a bank:

Should You Apply for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card?

New cash back credit cards are appearing at a faster rate than ever before, so is the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card worth it? For the most part, the answer is an emphatic “yes.”

The 5% back on your top spending category is great, made even better by the impressive selection of eligible options, including travel, transit, fitness, clubs, and the usual gas, groceries, or dining. While a 3% back secondary category would be outstanding, this is a nitpick, given the top-tier category is so much lucrative than many other cards on the market.

The introductory bonuses are another great feature and provide significant added value to the card. Fifteen months without any interest is ideal – especially when it applies to both balance transfers and purchases. Add to that one of the most accessible sign-up bonuses to achieve (just $250 per month for the first three months), and it’s hard to find many faults with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.

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