Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Citi Custom Cash Card
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Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Citi Custom Cash Card

When it comes to cashback potential, the Chase Freedom Unlimited wins, especially for those who frequently engage in travel-related expenses
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 Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Citi Custom Cash℠ Card are two of the most popular basic cash-back rewards credit cards on the market. Both cards offer generous rewards rates on everyday spending, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.

In this detailed comparison, we will delve into the unique features and advantages of both cards.

Freedom Unlimited vs. Custom Cash: General Comparison

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers an array of cash back rewards, allowing cardholders to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase and higher cashback on dining and purchases via Ultimate rewards. If you spend a lot of money on travel and dining, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is a good option.

Chase Freedom Unlimited card management on app
Chase Freedom Unlimited card management interface (Screenshot from Chase app)

In contrast, the Citi Custom Cash Card takes a different approach by offering dynamic rewards that adapt to your spending habits, allowing you to maximize cash back in categories where you spend the most.

chase freedom unlimited card

citi-custom-cash_
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Citi Custom Cash Card
Annual Fee
$0
$0
Rewards
Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% on drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
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
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$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
15 months on purchases and balance transfers , then 20.24%–28.99% variable APR
15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.24% – 29.24% (Variable) APR
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%
3%
Purchase APR
20.24%–28.99% variable
19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
Read Review
Read Review
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.

Cashback Battle: Freedom Unlimited vs. Custom Cash

When it comes to cashback potential, Chase Freedom Unlimited enjoys an edge, especially for those who frequently engage in travel-related expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

However, suppose you have a particular spending category, such as groceries or gas. In that case, if you aim to optimize your rewards on, the Citi Custom Cash Card might provide a higher cashback rate.

chase freedom unlimited card

citi-custom-cash_
Spend Per Category
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Citi Custom Cash Card
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$225
$390
$5,000 – Restaurants
$150
$50
$4,000 – Airline
$200
$40
$3,000 – Hotels
$150
$30
$4,000 – Gas
$60
$40
Estimated Annual Value
$785
$550
Redeeming points with Chase Freedom Unlimited
Redeeming points with Chase Freedom Unlimited (Screenshot from Chase app)

Which Extra Benefits You'll Get With Each Card?

Apart from the bonus points and welcome bonuses, both cards offer a host of supplementary benefits. In general, the additional perks of these cards are quite comparable, but it's worth noting that Chase provides a wider range of protections and insurance benefits.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

chase freedom unlimited card

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Drive with confidence as you get coverage against theft and collision damage. Simply decline the rental company's insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. This coverage is applicable to most cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: Experience flexibility in your travel plans with reimbursement for pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares. It covers up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip in case your trip is canceled or interrupted due to covered situations.
  • My Chase Plan: Enjoy financial flexibility with My Chase Plan on the Unlimited card. Easily pay off eligible purchases of $100 or more in equal monthly payments with no interest, only a fixed monthly fee.
My Chase Plan with Chase Unlimited card
My Chase Plan with Chase Unlimited card (Screenshot from Chase app)
  • Instacart+ Benefit: Enjoy a complimentary 3-month Instacart+ membership with bthe Freedom Unlimited, granting you unlimited deliveries at $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on eligible orders.
  • 5% Cash Back/5x Points on Lyft Rides: Elevate your Lyft experience with enhanced rewards on the card through March 31, 2025, providing 5% cash back or 5x points on all Lyft ride purchases.
  • Cellular Telephone Protection: The Unlimited card ensures peace of mind with up to $600 in cell phone protection. Simply pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card, and enjoy coverage, subject to a $25 deductible.
  • Purchase Protection: The card extends a safety net to your new purchases, offering 120 days of coverage against damage or theft. Benefit from up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Amplify your warranty with the Unlimited card, extending the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.
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.

Chase Spending planner on Chase app
Analyze spending and rewards on Chase app (Screenshot from Chase app)

When You Might Want the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card?

There are several situations in which you might prefer the Chase Freedom Unlimited card over the Citi Custom Cash Card:

  • Travel Enthusiasts: If you frequently travel and use Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Freedom Unlimited card offers better value for travel-related expenses.
  • Better Insurance Perks: You want to take advantage of the additional benefits offered by the Freedom Unlimited® card, such as travel insurance and rental car insurance.
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.

When You Might Want the Citi Custom Cash Card?

There are certain situations in which you might prefer the Citi Custom Cash card over the Chase Freedom Unlimited:

  • Category Maximization: If you have specific spending categories, such as groceries, gas, dining, or entertainment, where you tend to spend a significant amount, the Citi Custom Cash card's dynamic rewards structure, which offers 5% cash back on your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, can provide more substantial rewards in those areas.
  • Flexibility: With the Custom cash card, you can spend on a different category each month and enjoy the hgher cashback rate, up to the limites.
  • You Have Another Travel Card: If you don't plan to use the card as your travel credit card, it may be a better choice than the Unlimited card.

Compare The Alternatives

Before submitting your application, you might want to explore a few other options:

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 Chase Freedom Unlimited

While both cards offer great cash back rewards and considered among the best Chase cards, there are some major differences. Which is better?

Chase Freedom Flex vs Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Is Best?

While both cards offer decent cash back rewards with no annual fee, there is a clear winner between the two. And here's why we think so.

American Express Everyday® Card vs Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Which Card Wins?

While both cards offer great cash back rewards and considered among the best Chase cards, there are some major differences. Which is better?

Chase Freedom Flex vs Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Is Best?

The flat rate cash back on Citi Double Cash Card is higher – but usually, it may not be the best option. Here's The Smart Investor analysis.

Citi Double Cash Card vs Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Wins?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers costs more and offer more benefits than the Freedom Unlimited. Is it worth the annual fee?

Chase Freedom Unlimited Vs. Sapphire Preferred: Compare Side By Side

The Freedom Unlimited beckons with its cash-back rewards, but the Amex Gold exudes luxury, boasting robust rewards on dining and groceries.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Amex Gold Card: Which Card Wins?

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday is the winner if you need gas and grocery purchases, while the Freedom Unlimited offers better travel rewards

Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Wins?

The Savor card is ideal for dining out and entertainment, while the Freedom Unlimited is best for travelers and those who need 0% intro APR.

Capital One Savor vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Side By Side Comparison

The BofA Customized Cash Rewards is more flexible, but the Chase Unlimited card will drive more rewards and benefits. Here's why.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards vs Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Wins?

The Active Cash card offers flat-rate cashback, while the Unlimited card is the winner for travel. Here's a side-by-side comparison

Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Wins?

The Apple Card offers competitive cashback rewards on Apple purchases and services – but if you travel frequently, the Unlimited card wins.

Apple Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: How They Compare?

The Costco Card is a great for Costco shoppers, gas and grocery purchases, while the Freedom Unlimited stands out for its travel benefits.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card vs Chase Freedom Unlimited: 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?

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?

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?

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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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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.

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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.

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