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Last updated on June 17th, 2021
Citi Custom Cash Card
Earn 5% Back On Your Top Spending Category
- Regular Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Excellent , Good
- Intro Purchase APR 0% for 15 months from account opening date
- Processing Network Mastercard
- Earn 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter
- Earn 1% back on all other purchases
- Earn $200 cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
- No annual fee
- Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months from account opening date
- Balance Transfer APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
At a Glance
The Citi Custom Cash Card is a cash back credit card that offers up to 5% back on eligible purchases. The card, from Citi, features no annual fee and earns 5% back on the top spending category each month, with options including transit, travel, gas, groceries, dining, and more.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Want to earn 5% back but hate quarterly categories
- Plan on spending $750 within the first 90 days
- Have a large purchase in mind that they want to pay down over time
- Plan on transferring an existing balance within the first four months
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee
Citi Custom Cash Card Review
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.
How to Earn Cash Back
The Citi Custom Cash Mastercard 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:
- Fitness clubs
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Home improvement stores
- Live entertainment
- Streaming services (select)
- Travel (select)
- Transit (select)
Keep in mind 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
While the Citi Custom Cash Mastercard earns “cash back,” those rewards actually take the form of ThankYou points. This means that 5% back is really 5X ThankYou points – a rather lucrative total.
Points are redeemable for cash back as a statement credit, direct deposits into bank accounts, or through the ThankYou Rewards Portal for gift cards, travel, or through Amazon for purchases (Shop with Points at Amazon.com). Citi ThankYou points never expire if the account is open and active.
Great 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 thanks to two introductory offers.
0% Introductory APR
First, the card offers 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. 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, keep in mind that balance transfers must be made within the first four months of account opening.
Earn $200 Cash Back
Second, the Custom Cash provides a very lucrative cash back sign-up bonus. New accounts can earn $200 in cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That reward is essentially a whopping 26% cash back – a huge – and easily accessible – bonus!
Ongoing APR is Competitive
The ongoing APR with the Citi Custom Cash is very competitive in the marketplace. New accounts with excellent credit can anticipate a purchase APR of around 14%, which is on par with other rival cards. Given that the average APR for a cash back card is currently around 18%, its hard not to like the interest rates with the Custom Cash.
Other Card Features
Other notable features with the Citi Custom Cash Card include:
- No annual fee
- Mastercard ID Theft Protection
- Citi Quick Lock
- Zero Fraud Liability
- EMV chip, digital wallet, and contactless payment technology
- Choose your payment date
- 3% foreign transaction fee
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.