Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. Citi Custom Cash Card
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Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. Citi Custom Cash Card

The Citi Custom cash offers high cashback on your preferred category, but it's very limited in rewards compared to the Blue Cash Preferred
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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.

 The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express boasts generous cashback on everyday essentials like groceries and streaming services, while the Citi Custom Cash Card takes a versatile approach with its dynamic cashback categories. 

Let's unravel the features, fees, and fine print to help you decide which card is the cashback champion for your lifestyle.

General Comparison

If your main focus is earning cashback rewards for your day-to-day spending, especially at U.S. Supermarkets and gas stations, then the Blue Cash Preferred might be the more suitable choice.

The Citi Custom cash offers high cashback on your preferred category, but it's limited to $500 each month, and then the rewards rate ratio decreases drastically.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

citi-custom-cash_
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
Citi Custom Cash Card
Annual Fee
$95 ($0 intro for the first year). See Rates & Fees.
$0
Rewards
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 .Terms Apply.
5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter.
Welcome bonus
$250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
$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 APR
12 months on purchases and balance transfers , then 19.24% – 29.99% Variable APR
15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.24% – 29.24% (Variable) APR
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.70%. See Rates & Fees.
3%
Purchase APR
19.24% – 29.99% Variable
19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
Read Review
Read Review
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six 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 platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Credit Card Cashback Battle: A Side-by-Side Analysis

In terms of pure rewards rates, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred can offer higher cashback rates in most categories like U.S. supermarkets, streaming services, and gas.

Therefore, for the average consumer, the Blue Cash Preferred seems to be more attractive.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

citi-custom-cash_
Spend Per Category
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
Citi Custom Cash Card
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$450
$390
$5,000 – Restaurants
$50
$50
$4,000 – Airline
$40
$40
$3,000 – Hotels
$30
$30
$4,000 – Gas
$120
$40
Estimated Annual Value
$690
$550

Which Extra Benefits You'll Get With Each Card?

There are some additional types of perks that you will see with both of these cards. The Blue Cash Preferred offer statement credits and broader protections compared to the Custom Cash Card.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

  • $120 Equinox+ Credit: When you use your Blue Cash Preferred credit card to pay for your Equinox+, you’ll receive $10 a month in statement credit. Terms Apply.
  • Additional Car Rental Insurance: When you use your Blue Cash Preferred card to reserve and pay for your car rental, you’ll receive additional car rental loss, damage, and theft insurance.
  • Purchase Return Protection: You can enjoy return protection on eligible items with up to $300 per item and a cap of $1,000 per year. You must make your purchases with your card and negotiate with the seller first.
  • Exclusive Ticket Presale Access: Via American Express Experiences, you can obtain exclusive access to card member only events and ticket presales for concerts, sporting events, shows, and family events. Terms Apply.
  • $84 Disney Bundle Credit: Earn an $84 Disney Bundle Credit by receiving a monthly $7 statement credit when you use your enrolled Blue Cash Preferred® Card to make monthly subscription payments of $9.99 or more. 
Citi Custom Cash Card

citi-custom-cash_

  • $0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges: Enjoy complete protection against any unauthorized charges on your account at Citi. You won't be held responsible for charges you didn't authorize, whether online or otherwise.

  • Free Access to your FICO® Score: Monitor your FICO® Score effortlessly with no impact on your credit score. Accessible anytime, the score is updated monthly and easily accessible through the Citi Mobile® App and Citi® Online. Explore the key factors influencing your score and more.

  • 24/7 Customer Service: Experience round-the-clock assistance from our customer service representatives, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address your needs.

man hold the Citi Custom Cash Card
Citi Custom Cash Card (Photo by photobyphotoboy/Shutterstock)

When You Might Prefer the Blue Cash Preferred?

You may prefer the American Express Blue Cash Preferred over the Citi Customer Cash card in the following situations:

  • You Want To Maximize Benefits: Despite the annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred may be preferable for those who can maximize its benefits, especially with its generous welcome bonus, additional perks like extended warranty protection, and a potentially higher overall cashback return, depending on spending habits.

  • Grocery and Streaming Enthusiasts: If a significant portion of your budget goes to U.S. supermarket purchases and streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred takes the lead. 

  • Gas Guzzler: For individuals who frequently find themselves at the pump, the Blue Cash Preferred offers higher cashback on U.S. gas station purchases. If fuel is a significant part of your monthly expenses, this card provides enhanced rewards in a category where the Citi Custom Cash Card doesn't specialize.

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.
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.

When You Might Prefer The Citi Custom Cash Card?

You may prefer the Citi Customer Cash Card over the Amex Blue Cash Preferred in the following situations:

  • Variable Spending Patterns: If your spending habits vary widely and don't align with fixed categories, the Citi Custom Cash Card could be your go-to, as it automatically adapts its cashback categories based on where you spend the most, offering flexibility that the Blue Cash Preferred's fixed categories may not match.

  • No Annual Fee Preference: If you prefer a credit card with no annual fee while still enjoying cashback rewards, the Citi Custom Cash Card might be the better choice, as it offers a straightforward cashback program without the annual fee that comes with the Blue Cash Preferred.

  • You have fair or good credit. The Citi Custom Cash Card is available to people with fair or good credit (FICO scores of 630 or higher). The Blue Cash Preferred Card is available to people with good or excellent credit (FICO scores of 680 or higher).

Compare The Alternatives

There are a couple of alternatives that you may want to take a look at before applying:

Chase Freedom Flex

capital-one-venture

American express everyday card review 2021

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
American Express EveryDay® Card
Annual Fee
$0
$95
$0
Rewards
1-5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on selected categories each quarter and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Also, you can earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), drugstore purchases , and 1% on all other purchases
2X – 5X 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
1X – 2X 2X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1X), 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome bonus
$200 $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 miles 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
$0
2.7%
Purchase APR
20.49%–29.24% variable
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
18.24% – 28.24% Variable

Compare Amex Blue Cash Preferred

In terms of cashback rates, the Blue Cash Preferred is a clear winner. But is it still apply if you're a high spender?

Here's our analysis: Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

Cash back or Amex membership rewards? Annual fee with higher rewards or no annual fee? Here's our full analysis – which is better for you?

Amex Everyday® Card vs Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

When it comes to travel benefits, there is a clear winner. But what about if you're looking for rewards on everyday spending?

Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

While the Amex Gold Card is more expensive than the Blue Cash Preferred, its rewards program and other benefits are more lucrative.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. Amex Gold: Which One Gives You More?

If you can maximize supermarket benefits, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred may be more suitable than the Everyday card despite the annual fee.

American Express Blue Cash Everyday vs. Preferred: Side By Side Comparison

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?

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?

Related Posts

Review No Annual Fees Credit Cards

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Best Cards Per Category
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six 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 platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
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.