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The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card makes spending and saving pretty easy, but less profitable than other rewards cards. Here’s what the card has to offer:
- Highest cashback on one bonus categories: You can earn 5% cashback on up to $500 per billing cycle on whatever Citi Custom Cash℠ Card eligible bonus category you spend the most in that month. Bonus categories include restaurants, gas stations, groceries stores, and home improvement stores. The downside of this system is that you only earn the base rate of 1% in all the potential bonus categories that weren’t your highest spending that billing cycle.
- Average welcome bonus: As a sign-up offer, you can earn $200 cashback when you spend $1,500 in your first 6 months. This is an affordable and convenient bonus, although it may not be very high. However, it’s on par with other no-annual-fee cards in this range.
- No interest for over a year: You get 0% APR for your first 15 months all on purchases and balance transfers, making this card ideal for paying off large purchases incrementally or consolidating debt.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Pros & Cons
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Important Details
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase APR: 17.74%–27.74% (variable)
- Introductory APR: 0% for first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Rewards rate: 1%–5%
- Welcome bonus: $200
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Rates & Fees
- Annual fee: $0
- Balance transfer fee: $5 or 5% (whichever is greater)
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5% (whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Late and returned payment fee: Up to $41
- Purchase APR: 17.74%–27.74% (variable)
- Intro purchase APR: 0% for 15 months
- Balance transfer APR: 17.74%–27.74% (variable)
- Intro balance transfer APR: 0% for first 15 months
- Cash advance APR: 28.99%
- Penalty APR: 29.99%
Your creditworthiness will determine how high your interest rates are. Since the purchase and balance transfer APR is pretty high at the top end, this card may not be suitable for people who tend to leave a balance between billing cycles.
0% Intro APR
Regardless of the potentially high interest rates, you’ll get to enjoy your first 15 months interest-free on both purchases and balance transfers.
This can be incredibly helpful if you have a large upcoming expense that you want to pay off over time without accruing interest, or if you want to consolidate credit card debt that you can reasonably pay back during the no-interest period.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Rewards
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card lets you earn cash back on all of your purchases. You can earn 5% cash back on your top eligible bonus category for up to $500 per billing cycle and 1% cash back on all other purchases. If you prefer to earn Citi’s ThankYou points instead, you can redeem your cashback for points instead.
The card’s rewards system is relatively simple and doesn’t require you to manually select bonus categories every month or wait to redeem points at the end of the billing cycle, making it ideal for less experienced cardholders.
However, the limited rewards categories and $500 monthly cap on the 5% rate mean you can only earn $25 in cash back per billing cycle at the upper rate, then 1% back on everything else. These are pretty low numbers compared to other cards on the market.
Automatic Bonus Categories
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card’s most unique feature is its automatic bonus category system.
While many cards on the market require you to decide which bonus category you want to take advantage of every month, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card tracks your spending habits to determine which category you’re spending the most in that month and transfers your 5% cash back automatically.
That means if you spent a lot of groceries one month but spent the most on gas the next month, your card would make sure that you get your cash back where you need it the most for each respective month.
This is all done automatically, making it as convenient as possible for you. Additionally, you have ten different bonus category to spend and save in:
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Select travel
- Select transit
- Select streaming services
- Home improvement stores
- Fitness clubs
- Live entertainment
There are several ways to redeem your cash back or ThankYou Points:
- Redeem as a statement credit: A statement credit can be used to pay off future or outstanding credit card balances.
- Redeem as a direct deposit or check: You can deposit cash back directly into your checking account and use it as cash.
- Redeem for gift cards: CitiBank offers a wide range of gift card options to choose from, including popular clothing brands and national restaurant franchises.
- Use as travel rewards: You can redeem ThankYou Points for plane tickets, cruises, and hotel bookings.
- Use points to shop at Amazon.com: ThankYouPoints can be redeemed through Shop with Points on Amazon.
You’ll earn a $200 cashback welcome bonus when you spend $1,500 in your first 6 months. This comes out to $250 in spending a month, which is a very realistic target, even for people on tight budgets.
While the sign-up offer is a nice bonus, it’s not particularly high. You’ll also have to wait at least 6 months before receiving your $200 cashback, which may be inconvenient.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Benefits
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card isn’t a travel credit card, but your cash back or ThankYou points can be redeemed for travel-related purchases, including plane tickets, hotel and rental car bookings, and cruise tickets.
If you intend to travel with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, keep in mind that all foregin transactions are subject to a 3% fee. Considering this fee and the lack of travel benefits, this isn’t a good primary credit card for frequent travelers.
Like many other CitiBank credit cards, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card comes with a limited selection of additional benefits. Here’s what you can get:
- Access to Citi Entertainment
- Digital wallet and contactless pay
- 24/7 customer service
- Automatic alerts
- Banking mobile app
- $0 fraud liability
- ID theft protection
- Free FICO scores
The Citi Entertainment platform is accessible by all Visa and Mastercard CitiBank cardholders. It provides exclusive access to comedy show, concert, and live event tickets, including pre-sale ticket opportunities, too.
A cash advance is when you use your credit card to withdraw money via an ATM or money order. Cash advances are helpful in emergencies, but they are also notoriously expensive. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card comes with a 28.99% cash advance APR and a $10 minimum fee. These types of interest rates and fees can add up quickly, so we recommend using your debit card to withdraw cash instead.
Balance transfers involve moving debt from one credit card to another to consolidate debt. Because of the 15 months of no interest on balance transfers, this may be a good card to consolidate debt onto if you can pay off your balance within the 15-month intro period.
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card allows authorized users of any age to be added to your account free of charge, which is perfect for parents looking to help their children build their credit. You can add up to 10 authorized users to this card, but we recommend only starting with one or two.
Additionally, as the primary cardholder, you are legally responsible for any charges and fees (including those potentially very high interest rates) incurred on the account, so add authorized users with caution.
Citibank reports to the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This means you can use your Citi Custom Cash℠ Card knowing that all your activity is being regularly reported and used to update your credit score.
You can also check your FICO Score for free whenever you want using your mobile or online banking app.
If you want to speak to CitiBank directly regarding your Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you can do so using these contact numbers:
Credit Card Assistance
Should You Get the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card?
We would recommend this card for new rewards card borrowers who don’t want to be tied down to specific spending categories. The automatic 5% cashback bonus categories make saving easy and effortless, even if you do have to manually redeem your cashback every-so-often. However, the card’s relatively low $200 welcome bonus and rewards potential keep it from being a top recommendation in our book.