Link: Apply now for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an underrated no annual fee credit card that can earn you up 5x points. If you’re into earning Citi ThankYou points and have the Citi Premier® Card, then adding this card to your portfolio should be a no-brainer.
Citi Custom Cash Card Details For March 2023
The Citi Custom Cash Card has an innovative rewards structure, as the card offers 5x points (or 5% back) in select categories, all with no annual fee. If you’re not a huge credit card spender, then this might just be the ideal card for you. Let’s go over all the details.
Citi Custom Cash Has No Annual Fee
The Citi Custom Cash Card has no annual fee, and you can also add authorized users to the card at no extra cost. It’s awesome to have a no annual fee card that can help you maximize rewards. On top of that, having credit cards long term is great for your credit since it increases your average age of accounts, and there’s no better card with which to do that than a no annual fee card.
Citi Custom Cash Offers 20,000 ThankYou Points (Or $200)
The Citi Custom Cash Card offers a solid welcome bonus for a personal no annual fee card. The card is offering 20,000 ThankYou points (or $200 cash back) after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months. That’s a pretty big bonus for a no annual fee card that’s actually useful.
Eligibility for the bonus is unrelated to whether or not you have any other Citi cards — the bonus isn’t available to anyone who currently has the Citi Custom Cash Card, or who has received a new cardmember bonus on the Citi Custom Cash Card in the past 48 months. The typical Citi credit card application restrictions apply.
While you can potentially product change another Citi credit card to this one, you wouldn’t be eligible for the welcome bonus if you went that route.
Citi Custom Cash 5x ThankYou Points (Or 5% Cash Back)
The primary reason to consider the Citi Custom Cash Card is because of the innovative rewards structure, as the 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
- Your top eligible spending category can change with each billing cycle, and you’ll automatically receive the 5x ThankYou 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 will be automatically determined
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. Note that the Citi Custom Cash does have 3% foreign transaction fees, so I wouldn’t recommend using the card abroad.
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
How Citi Custom Cash Fits Into 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 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, making it one of the best cards for everyday spending
- 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 your choice with the Citi Custom Cash Card, that’s a great complement to any of the above cards.
Citi Custom Cash Is No-Brainer If You Earn 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 transferred to Citi ThankYou travel partners.
The Citi Custom Cash Card is a fantastic no annual fee card that is worth picking up for anyone earning Citi ThankYou points, as it’s a great complement to the Citi Premier Card. 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. This contributes toward a very nice Citi ThankYou card ecosystem, 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?
I just called citi and confirmed that if your Custom Cash points are merged into your Premier Thank You points, these Custom Cash points are stilled flagged as 'Custom Cash' points and can not be used as points transferred to Airlines. This makes Citi not as competitive with Chase where your Freedom points can be merged and used as Sapphire ultimate rewards points with no restrictions. This is contrary to what I have read as...
I just called citi and confirmed that if your Custom Cash points are merged into your Premier Thank You points, these Custom Cash points are stilled flagged as 'Custom Cash' points and can not be used as points transferred to Airlines. This makes Citi not as competitive with Chase where your Freedom points can be merged and used as Sapphire ultimate rewards points with no restrictions. This is contrary to what I have read as the advice here and elsewhere. Could it be people just think these Custom Cash points are not tracked differently by Citi? Or does this Citi manager have it wrong?