Citi Custom Cash Card: 5x Points & No Annual Fee

Citi Custom Cash Card: 5x Points & No Annual Fee

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card $200 cash back after qualifying purchases | $0
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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card $200 cash back after qualifying purchases | $0
No Annual Fee
Promotional Purchase APR
Promotional Balance Transfer APR
36
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The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card 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:

  • Drugstores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Live entertainment
  • Restaurants
  • 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.

You could earn 5x points on fitness with the Citi Custom Cash

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.

You could earn 5x points on travel with the Citi Custom Cash

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.

Redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel on Turkish Airlines

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 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):

When you throw in the ability to also earn 5x points in a category of your choice, the value proposition of this card is looking great.

The Citi Custom Cash beautifully complements other Citi cards

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 CardCiti 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.

You could earn 5x points on dining with the Citi Custom Cash

Bottom line

The Citi Custom Cash Card is a fantastic 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?

Conversations (36)
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  1. Larry Guest

    Downgrade or apply for SUB? I have the Premier and the Prestige, and I've been planning to downgrade my Citi Prestige to a Rewards+ card, but wondering if I should/can downgrade to Custom Cash. Considering signing up for a Custom Cash or Double Cash card, then downgrading Prestige to Rewards+. Any thoughts?

  2. sacrxy New Member

    $500 may be a bummer for some but I can see this being a no fee niche card to earn 5X points for people with smaller budgets such as new grads starting out in their career. If I understand correctly, there is no need to sign up of categories from month to month but Citi would automatically give 5X points to the highest category each billing cycle up to $500 so there's built in flexibility and convenience.

  3. Tom Guest

    Live Entertainment is the category that intrigues me, but the cap is much too low to actually entice. $500 often isn’t enough for a single concert, and certainly isn’t adequate when renewing season tickets to a sports team, theater series, etc.

    @lucky, is there a points card that offers bonuses for entertainment spend? (I used to use the Citi Premier, but the category disappeared with the card’s revamp.)

  4. Pam Guest

    Will be a good conversion from my old Dividend card when/if they ever allow

  5. JustSaying New Member

    5X at Costco? Now that is something to get excited about!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      No. If it really excites you, you probably have already read the fine prints.

      Stick to US Bank.

    2. Oops Guest

      Costco only accepts Visa unless you plan to shop on Costco.com

  6. Andrew Platinum

    Kind of crappy categories. Live entertainment? Gyms? Who spends $500 on a gym in 3 months? Even Equinox costs less than that.

    I love all the rando blogger articles about this development in that the “credit card wars are heating up.”

    Sorry, nothings on fire here. Citi just copied Chase from 3 years ago. Chase is stuck in 2015; there will be no overhaul other than perhaps a bigger signup bonus when they find people aren’t inspired by 2x earn on travel for CSP.

    1. Andrew Platinum

      Oops I take it back - reread the category rules. At least this is better than chase.

      I still assert that Chase thinks they will never need to materially change. Everything at most is temporary (re: Covid) for them.

  7. DLPTATL Guest

    Anyone know that codes as "Select Travel" means? I looked at the fine print on the Citi launch page for the card and there were no details. I'm specifically looking for a card to use for cruise bookings. In the past the Citi Premier card was my go to with 3pts/$, but now that they've limited the category to air/hotel they lost this unique advantage.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ DLPTATL -- "Select Travel" includes airline, hotel, cruise line, and travel agency purchases, and excludes timeshares, boat leases and rentals, campgrounds and trailer parks, and real estate agencies.

    2. DLPTATL Gold

      Thanks Ben

      Unfortunately the $500 monthly cap on the 5x category bonus makes this less useful for booking a cruise. It could still be useful for deposits and onboard purchases.

  8. TravelerMike Guest

    So, I have an AT&T Access card that I barely use. I was just late on the ability to PC to the Access More (which is why I initially got the card). I have not followed the PC change rule but since both the Access card and this new card earn TYP, what is the general thought about if my points would expire 60 days after PC?

  9. RC Guest

    Can you open multiple cards? If so, I'd use one for all my groceries, another for gas, etc

  10. AdamH Guest

    Whats the hotel in the banner photo on this story up top?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ AdamH -- That's Canaves Oia Epitome, in Santorini, Greece. Booked it with World of Hyatt points. Amazing hotel.

  11. Adam Guest

    Does Whole Foods delivery from Amazon count as grocery store spend? Or online merchant?

  12. Ken Guest

    Niche - but might be useful for people with all-access Equinox memberships. Comes out to ~$4000 a year. Charge that and only that on the car and you net $200 a year. Not bad.

    1. Vincent Guest

      This card would be even more useful for Equinox members who also have personal training or private Pilates sessions. Those can go for around $100 per hour.

  13. Jetiquette Guest

    $500 per billing cycle which is $25. Not that great.

    1. ECR Guest

      @Ben, is $500 the limit in spending or the limit in rewards at the 5x/$ valuation? I had read it as a maximum of $500 back per cycle (meaning $10,000 of spend) but $500 spend limit would be quite a different value proposition.

    2. Richard Guest

      It certainly looks like $500 spend, not $500 back:

      "5% cash back on your top eligible spend category up to $500 spent each billing cycle, 1% thereafter"

    3. Giri New Member

      Only if you're using it in categories that have better options.

      For more niche items like transit, drug stores, $500 per month can be fine.

  14. STEFFL New Member

    $500 cap is not the only thing that a "turn off" (compared to other Citi cards!!)
    Foreign Purchase Transaction 3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars.
    . . . that would hit you hard if you travel international and charge quiet a bit or book your ferry tickets with it and hotels . . .
    Spensing the $500/month (just so you would make the MOST out of it, in spending and...

    $500 cap is not the only thing that a "turn off" (compared to other Citi cards!!)
    Foreign Purchase Transaction 3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars.
    . . . that would hit you hard if you travel international and charge quiet a bit or book your ferry tickets with it and hotels . . .
    Spensing the $500/month (just so you would make the MOST out of it, in spending and payback) that would end up in in fees of $180,-

    NOT so good anymore then, the Citi Premier Card cheaper with more value and no cap and NO foreign purchase fees of 3%

    1. Jay Guest

      Clearly, that this card is not a travel card and meant for domestic market. If that's your only excuse for not getting it, then you need to reassess how you strategize your credit card game.

    2. STEFFL New Member

      No need, i'm totally happy with my Card settings! (Citi was never my favorite one so far!)
      BUT, i DO think, that any fees involved for a points card that would reduce the real "gain" at teh end is important to mention!

    3. Giri New Member

      As Jay said, it's a card targeted for domestic spend, competing with the Freedom.

      That said, if you used the card for international transit, it's 5 points for 3% fee. Based on Lucky's valuation, you're getting over 5% return, which is pretty solid for transit expenses (It at least matches the CSR). I'm considering this card as a catch all transit card.

    4. Shrop Guest

      If you TRAVEL international, use another card during that time. Simple as that.

      If you're traveling international that often where a good chunk of your spend is abroad, then this card isn't meant for you.

  15. KEVIN Guest

    This seem like a no brainer. I can use this as dedicate card for grocery store runs and put all other spends on double cash and travel on prestige. Can I get authorized users for this card?

    1. STEFFL New Member

      YES! auth. users are welcomed!
      https://www.citicards.com/cards/credit/application/flow.action?app=UNSOL&HKOP=532bdb0474f47232b00eff18ba32e4f7c5017aa6cc6b6cff53fced318279b5e8&cmp=afa|acquire|2003|affiliatesallother&ranMID=44660&ranEAID=3362261&ranSiteID=zag1kXgl5yI-DxblgPx1vi5QF71LG7swDA&ProspectID=E23DC7BD0D704EE9A424071CA6993C54

  16. Sel, D. Guest

    Are these points transferable or only cash back? Haven’t dipped my toes in this ecosystem.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Sel, D. -- They're transferable to partners in conjunction with the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige.

  17. RRR Guest

    Can you product change into it from the citi thank you preferred?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ RRR -- It doesn't seem to be possible as of now, but it should be in the future.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jay Guest

Clearly, that this card is not a travel card and meant for domestic market. If that's your only excuse for not getting it, then you need to reassess how you strategize your credit card game.

2
Ben OMAAT

@ DLPTATL -- "Select Travel" includes airline, hotel, cruise line, and travel agency purchases, and excludes timeshares, boat leases and rentals, campgrounds and trailer parks, and real estate agencies.

1
Ktc Guest

$500 cap is a bummer

1
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