Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Review: Is It The Best Citi Card?
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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Review: Is It The Best Citi Card?

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a nice option for the average cardholder who are looking to get cashback without paying an annual fee. Here's our verdict:
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
citi-custom-cash_

Rewards Plan

1-5% 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter

Sign up Bonus

$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)

Our Rating

4.3
4.3/5

0% Intro

15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

APR

19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
citi-custom-cash_

Rewards Plan

1-5% 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter

Sign up Bonus

$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)

Our Rating

4.3
4.3/5

PROS

CONS

APR

19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Credit Requirements

Excellent, Good, Fair

If you’re not a big spender and looking to get a decent cash back with no annual fee, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card can be a perfect choice for your needs.

Cardholders earn 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter. In addition, new applicants are eligible for a sign up bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back).  

The card has no annual fee and also offers 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (19.24% – 29.24% (Variable) after that), which can be very relevant for those who are looking to payoff debt.

There are broad range of eligible categories, such as gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, and more. Also, the cash back is awarded as Citi ThankYou points, which can be combined with premium Citi cards for more flexible travel rewards. To maximize benefits, it may be a good idea to pair the Citi Custom Cash Card with other Citi cards.

However, it may be challenging to predict the top spending category each month and the 5% cash back is capped at $500 in spending each billing cycle, limiting potential rewards.

What purchases don't earn cash back?

All purchases earn cashback as a result of using this card. Therefore, you will be able to take a very flexible approach and know that you will always be able to earn reward no matter the type of purchase.

How to maximize rewards on Citi Custom Cash Card?

Make sure that you avail of the signup bonus and that you maximize the 5% cashback offering each cycle. This will allow you to get the best bang for your buck.

What are Citi Custom Cash Card income requirements?

You usually just need a steady income to get this card, and you will usually not have to present any proof of income.

Top reasons NOT to get the Citi Custom Cash Card?

Suppose you want better cashback rewards across various categories of purchases. Certain types of credit cards will have premium cashback rates when it comes to certain types of purchases.

How hard is it to get a Citi Custom Cash Card?

It is not very hard to get this card. The eligibility requirements are very achievable for most people, and pre-approval is also possible.

How do I redeem cash back on the Citi Custom Cash Card?

You can redeem the cashback points through direct deposit, check, or as a statement credit. You can also use them in other ways, such as spending on gift cards, Amazon.com, and travel.

In this Review

Pros & Cons

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the Citi Custom Cash:

Pros
Cons
No Annual Fee
Category Prediction Challenge
Flexible Bonus Category
Balance Transfer & Foreign Transaction Fee
Combine ThankYou Points
Not For Big Spenders
0% Intro APR
Limited Additional Benefits
Simple Redemption Process

The Citi Custom Cash Card comes with no annual fee, making it a cost-effective option for cardholders who want to earn rewards without incurring additional charges.

The eligible categories for earning 5% cash back are broad and include gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, travel, and more, catering to various spending habits.

You can also combine the points from the card with Citi ThankYou Points from another Citi travel card if you have one. This allows you to redeem points from 17 different airlines.

The intro APR period allows you to start spending money and earning cashback without a high APR. This allows you to earn points without worrying about the high interest and being worried about how you’re going to pay it back.

The redemption process for Citi ThankYou points allows for various options, including charitable donations, direct deposits, gift cards, statement credits, and travel bookings.

It can be challenging to predict the top spending category each month, potentially making it difficult for cardholders to maximize rewards on all purchases.

The card imposes a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% (the greater) and a foreign transaction fee 3%.

They are making it less suitable for international travelers who may incur additional costs on purchases made abroad or those who want to balance their transfer from another card.

The threshold for your bonus category is quite low and doesn't fit for families or those who spend a lot, since you can probably get a better deal with another card.

The rate for cashback outside your bonus categories is only 1%. Spending outside your bonus categories will barely give you any cashback or rewards points.

Beyond cash back, the card offers limited additional benefits, lacking common features such as travel insurance or extended warranty protection.

Rewards Simulation: How Much You Can Earn?

The best way to see if the Custom Cash Card is the right choice for your needs, is to calculate the amount of rewards and benefits you suppose to earn. 

Keep in mind that this is a general breakdown of expenses, so make sure to adjust it to your own consumer preferences and spending habits.

citi-custom-cash_
Spend Per Category
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$340
$3,000 – Restaurants
$30
$1,500 – Airline
$15
$1,500 – Hotels
$15
$4,000 – Gas
$40
Estimated Annual Value
$440

How To Apply For The Citi Custom Cash Card?

The first thing you will need to do to apply is to enter your basic personal information. This includes your name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and email. You will also need to add a billing address if it’s different than your mailing address.

You will also need to enter your social security number so that the card company can look up your income and credit score information. This is one of the main ways that credit card companies will figure out if you qualify for the credit card or not.

You will also need to enter some income information. This means your job, company, job title, and yearly earnings. The company might also ask for proof of income which needs to be a bank statement or a paycheck.

Lastly, you will need to make sure all the information is correct before you submit it. This ensures you will receive the card at the right address and with the right name.

Redemption Options

The Citi Custom Cash Card offers various redemption options for the cash back earned in the form of Citi ThankYou points. Here are the redemption options available to cardholders:

  • Charitable Donations: Points can be redeemed for charitable donations to select organizations through Citi's ThankYou portal. Typically, a minimum of 1,000 points is required for a donation, equivalent to $10.

  • Check: Cardholders can request a check to receive their cash back. There is usually a minimum requirement of 500 points, equivalent to $5.

  • Direct Deposits: Redeem rewards as a direct deposit, transferring the cash back to the selected checking or savings account. There is no account minimum for this option.

  • Gift Cards: Points can be used to purchase gift cards for department stores, home improvement stores, restaurants, and entertainment. The redemption typically starts at around 2,500 points for a gift card.

  • Shop With Points: Citi partners with select retailers like Amazon and Best Buy through its Shop With Points program. Cardholders can redeem points at checkout to cover some or all of their purchases.

  • Statement Credits: Points can be redeemed for statement credits, effectively reducing the outstanding credit card balance. There is usually no minimum requirement for this redemption method.

  • Travel: Cardholders can book flights, hotel stays, or car rentals through Citi Travel and use their rewards to cover some or all of the associated costs.

  • Transfer Points: Citi allows the transfer of points to its travel partners' programs, such as Wyndham Rewards or Avianca LifeMiles. Transferring points may provide cardholders with higher value for their rewards.

How to Maximize Citi Custom Cash Card?

  • Choose The Right Category – The best way to maximize this credit card is to choose a bonus category every billing cycle and then spend as much as you can in this bonus category. This is because you get 5% back on the bonus and only 1% back in other categories.
  • Get welcome bonus – This will ensure you get more points from the beginning that can give you a head start on having points to use and redeem.
  • Since this card has an intro APR period, you should take advantage of this period by spending on big purchases where there is no high-interest rate. This allows you to save money and not worry about paying things back since there is no interest.
  • Choose different bonus categories – Picking a new bonus every month will allow you to change up your spending and spend the money where you need it the most.
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

What Customers Think?

Satisfied borrowers report that the Citi Cash Card gives them more cashback than other cards. 5% cashback is very generous, especially when you are able to pick your own categories and choose where you want to spend.

The high rewards rate allows you to earn much more than you would on other cards. You also earn cashback on a wide variety of categories and you can use it on everyday purchases.

Negative reviews report that the customer service is usually awful though. If you have problems with the card, you might be stuck on your own. You might also be on the phone for a long time waiting for a representative which can be annoying.

In Which Cases You Should Consider It?

If you’re looking to earn high rewards for the money you spend every day, this is the card for you. You don’t have to look hard for a place to spend money because you can use the card everywhere including restaurants, grocery stores, and movie theatres.

You should also consider this card if you don’t want to work hard for cashback as this card offers 5%. This is also the card for you if you don’t want to pay an annual fee.

In Which Cases It’s Better to Skip?

This card is better to skip if you are looking for a card that earns you travel points, especially when you want to fly internationally. This card is also better to skip if you have a low credit score as you might not be able to qualify for this card with a less than average card.

Since you only get one bonus category and low cashback in other spending areas, this is card is better to skip if you want to earn cashback in many different areas.

Compare The Alternatives

There are other Citi cash back cards worth mentioning and can provide a good alternative:

citi-custom-cash_

citi double cash

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Citi Double® Cash Card
Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee
$0
$0
$95
Rewards
1-5% 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter
1% – 2% 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
1X – 10X 10X per dollar on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked through CitiTravel.com, 3X points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, and air travel and other hotels purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
Welcome bonus
$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)
$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening
75,000 points 75,000
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
3%
$0
0% Intro APR
15 months on purchases and balance transfers
18 months on balance transfers
None

FAQ

Yes, it offers rental insurance for cars if you pay for the full cost with this credit card and you decline the rental company’s insurance. Please review the terms and conditions before to make sure you're covered.

Besides the cap on specific categories, there is no limit in place with this card on how many total rewards you can earn. Therefore, people who will be spending large sums on purchases can ideally take advantage of this offering.

The initial credit limit will usually be $500 for this card. The exact limit that will be in place will depend on your financial situation (can be much higher).

If you don't tend to spend more than $1,000 – $1,500 every month and you tend to spend them on specific categories, this card can be a perfect fit due to the high cashback on the your top category.

Compare Citi Custom Cash Card

If you're a high spender, the Citi Double Cash Card can give you more. But what if you're just looking for everyday rewards?

Citi® Double Cash Card vs Citi Custom Cash℠ Card : Which Card Wins?

The Citi Custom cash offers high cashback on your preferred category, but it's very limited in rewards compared to the Blue Cash Preferred

Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. Citi Custom Cash Card: Which Card Is Best?

When it comes to cashback potential, the Chase Freedom Unlimited wins, especially for those who frequently engage in travel-related expenses

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Citi Custom Cash Card: Which Card Is Best?

Both cards provide comparable cashback terms, with Citi Custom Cash being more flexible as it autonomously selects your preferred category.

Citi Custom Cash vs. Discover It Cash Back: Comparison

Unlike the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, Citi Custom Cash automatically adjusts its cashback categories based on your spending habits.

Citi Custom Cash vs. Amex Blue Cash Everyday: Which Card Is Best?

Citi Custom Cash Card and the BofA Customized Cash Rewards have similar reward structures but some significant differences. How they compare?

Citi Custom Cash Card vs. BofA Customized Cash Rewards: Which Card Is Best?

Review Cash Back Credit Cards

Picture of Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Best Cards Per Category
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.