Citi has just launched the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, which is a fantastic no annual fee card that can earn you up 5x ThankYou points. You can redeem that for travel rewards or for 5% cash back, depending on your redemption preferences. For those who have been frustrated by the lack of cards in the Citi ThankYou ecosystem, this card is a reason to be excited.
Citi Custom Cash offers 5x ThankYou points (or 5% cash back)
The Citi Custom Cash Card offers:
- 5x ThankYou points (or 5% cash back) on your top eligible spending category, on up to $500 spent each billing cycle
- 1x ThankYou points (or 1% cash back) on all other purchases
Eligible spending categories include the following:
- Fitness clubs
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Home improvement stores
- Live entertainment
- Select streaming services
- Select transit
- Select travel
These rewards can be transferred to the Citi ThankYou travel partners as long as you have either the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige.
How Citi Custom Cash bonus categories are defined
For anyone wondering how some of the above categories are defined, here’s what you need to know:
- Drugstores includes standalone drugstores and generally includes pharmacies in grocery stores, general merchandise and discount superstores, and wholesale and warehouse clubs
- Fitness clubs includes membership fee and other purchases at athletic, sports, and recreation facilities requiring memberships, such as health, tennis, and swimming clubs
- Home improvement stores includes home supply warehouse stores, lumber and building materials stores, paint and wallpaper stores, hardware stores, nurseries, varnishes, and supplies stores
- Live entertainment includes concerts, live sporting events, live theatrical productions, amusement parks, and orchestras
- Restaurants includes cafes, bars, lounges, and fast food restaurants
- “Select streaming services” includes the following cable, satellite, and streaming service providers — Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Apple Music, CBS All Access, Disney+, AT&T TV NOW, ESPN+, fuboTV, HBO Max, NBA League Pass, Netflix, Pandora, Showtime, Sling TV, Spotify, Starz, SiriusXM, Vudu, YouTube Red, YouTube TV, and Tidal
- “Select travel” includes airline, hotel, cruise line, and travel agency purchases
- “Select transit” includes car rentals, ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis, limousines, car services, passenger railways, bridges and road tolls, parking lots and garages, bus lines, and motor home and recreational vehicle rentals
Furthermore, note that your top category can change each billing period. You’ll automatically receive the 5x points (or 5% cash back) on whatever your highest spending category is. There’s no need to register or to specify in which category you want to earn 5x points, as it’ll be automatically determined.
Citi Custom Cash offers 20,000 ThankYou points (or $200)
The Citi Custom Cash Card offers a fantastic bonus for a personal no annual fee card. The card is offering 20,000 ThankYou points (or $200 cash back) after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months.
Eligibility for the bonus is unrelated to whether or not you have any other Citi cards — the bonus isn’t available to anyone who has received a new cardmember bonus on the Citi Custom Cash Card in the past 48 months (which should be almost no one, since the card just launched). The typical Citi credit card application restrictions apply.
As of now reports suggest that it isn’t possible to product change other Citi credit cards to this card, though that should be possible in the future. Regardless, you won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus if you do product change.
How the Citi Custom Cash fits into the Citi ThankYou ecosystem
Historically one of the downsides of Citi ThankYou compared to Chase Ultimate Rewards has been that you couldn’t create as much of a portfolio of cards to maximize your rewards. The new Citi Custom Cash Card offers significant value in that sense.
You could use the Citi Custom Cash to complement any of the below cards (which can all potentially earn Citi ThankYou points):
- The Citi Premier® Card (review) offers 3x points on airfare, hotels, gas stations, groceries, and dining
- The Citi® Double Cash Card (review) offers 1x points when you make a purchase and 1x points when you pay for a purchase
- The Citi Rewards+® Card (review) rounds up purchases to the nearest 10 points, and also gives you a 10% refund on redeemed points, for up to 100,000 redeemed points per year
When you throw in the ability to also earn 5x points in a category of you choice, the value proposition of this card is looking great.
This card is a no-brainer if you earn Citi ThankYou points
If you’re someone who has cards earning Citi ThankYou points, then it totally makes sense to pick up the Citi Custom Cash Card:
- The card has a solid bonus, particularly given that it has no annual fee, and you’re eligible even if you’ve received the bonus on other Citi cards
- Being able to earn 5x ThankYou points per dollar in the select category where you spend the most (with a $500 limit per billing cycle) all for a no annual fee card is a great opportunity
- As you can see, you have your choice of several bonus categories, from more niche categories like drugstores and home improvement stores and fitness, to more mainstream categories like dining and gas stations
The combination of the Citi Premier Card, Citi Double Cash Card, and Citi Custom Cash Card, seems pretty awesome. You’ll pay a single $95 annual fee, and you’ll earn 2-5x points on all your purchases, which can be transfered to Citi ThankYou travel partners.
The Citi Custom Cash Card is a fantastic new no annual fee card that is worth picking up for anyone earning Citi ThankYou points. The card offers 5x points (or 5% cash back) in your top select category every billing cycle, for up to $500 of spending. While that cap is fairly low, those bonuses could really add up. A very nice Citi ThankYou card ecosystem is being developed here, and you can potentially earn a minimum of 2x points and a maximum of 5x points on all your purchases, which is pretty unbeatable.
You can even earn a great bonus with the card, which is all the more reason to get it.
What do you make of the Citi Custom Cash Card, and do you plan on applying?