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.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
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.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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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)

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

0% Intro

15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

APR

17.74% – 27.74% (Variable)

On Citi Secure Website

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
citi-custom-cash_

On Citi Secure Website

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)

0% Intro

15 months on purchases and balance transfers

PROS

CONS

APR

17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0

Balance Transfer Fee

$5 or 5% (the greater)

Credit Requirements

Good - Excellent

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 (17.74% - 27.74% (Variable) after that), which can be very relevant for those who are looking to payoff debt.

  • No Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR
  • Combine ThankYou Points
  • Rewards
  • Bonus Category
  • Good - Excellent Credit Required
  • Not For Big Spenders
  • International Airline Companies

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

Benefits

One of the best benefits of the Citi Custom Cash Card is that there is no annual fee. 

The no annual fee means you don’t have to work hard to earn that money back. This allows you to focus more on spending your money however you want rather than trying to focus on getting bonuses or other cashback to make back the annual fee.

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.

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.

You can earn points and cashback in many different categories including gas stations, restaurants, fitness clubs, streaming services, and home improvement stores. You can also redeem the points for travel and transit.

You can choose the bonus categories you want to earn 5% cashback in. This allows you to earn more money back in the categories you spend the most in. You can also get 1% cashback in other categories.

Drawbacks

One of the main drawbacks is that you need good to excellent credit to get this card. If your credit falls on the lower end, you might not be able to get the Citi Custom Cash Card. You also need to have a low debt to income ratio.

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.

Most of the airlines you can redeem travel points for are international airlines. If you don’t travel outside the country very often, this might not be the best card for you. If you are flying domestically, you will need to fly with JetBlue.

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

You can redeem your cashback rewards with the Citi Custom card as a statement credit or a direct deposit at a rate of 1 cent per point. You can also redeem them for gift cards. To figure out how many points you have and which ones you can redeem, you can send an SMS to 52484 or you can log into your online account and check your rewards points.

Citi Cash also allows you to redeem points by paying bills. You can do this through the online portal and see if there are any bills you have that are eligible to be paid with your points.

If you want to redeem your points for travel, you will need to transfer the points to the airline. The exact points you need to redeem a flight depend on the airline and where you are flying to. You can also redeem points on Amazon or CVS

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.

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_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
2% (1% when purchase and another 1% upon payment) 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
1X – 3X 3X points per dollar on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel 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)
None None
80,000 points 80,000
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
3%
None
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.

Review Cash Back Credit Cards

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.

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.