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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Review

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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
4.9
★★★★★
Finder score
Terms and conditions apply. Rates and fees
Welcome offer
$200
Cash back
Up to 5%
Annual fee
$0
Intro purchase APR for the first 15 months (then 18.99% to 28.99% variable)
0%

Our verdict

An exciting 5% cash back card with terrific flexibility.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, is a 5% cash back card from Citi and joins the Citi® Double Cash Card as the second non-cobranded cashback card in the provider’s lineup. It offers a unique spin on the traditional 5% cashback card configuration: You’ll earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent. It will revert to a 1% reward rate after that. It otherwise earns 1% back on all other purchases, comes with a $200 signup bonus after you spend $1,500 in your first 6 months of account opening, requires no annual fee and carries a 18.99% to 28.99% variable APR.

Doing the math, 5% of $500 is $25. If you spread this out over the year, you’ll earn $75 a quarter with this rate, which is the same earning cap you’d find on a rotating category card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The main benefit the Citi Custom Cash has over a typical rotating category card is how much easier it is to reach that spending cap.

Considering your eligible categories include everyday categories like restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores, you have plenty of options each month for maxing your rewards. And if you’re familiar with traditional rotating category cards, you’ll know that not every quarter offers categories that make it easy to max your earning cap – the current Freedom Flex categories, for example, are on gas stations and home improvement stores, which is likely less useful for a city commuter without a car. In fact, Citi has stated that this card was directly influenced and customized for the millennial market and pandemic-spending, where consumers value the simplicity and flexibility of cash back more than a rewards program.

The lack of annual fee and signup bonus are just icing on the cake for the Citi Custom Cash. In fact, it’s unique reward structure may very well be the future of all rotating category cards. We had seen a sign of this over 2020 as providers sought ways to increase card usability during the pandemic. The Citi Custom Cash is the natural evolution of this desire for flexibility and the result is an excellent rewards card well worth a spot in most cardholder’s wallets.

Pros

  • Flexible rewards. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns 5% back on your highest eligible spending category each billing cycle, on up to $500 that cycle. After meeting the cap you’ll earn 1% back until the next billing cycle. Eligible categories are grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, drugstores, live entertainment, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, travel, transit and streaming services.
  • Signup bonus. The card’s $200 bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months is higher than the average you’d find on a 5% cashback card.
  • No annual fee. You won't pay an annual fee to use this card.

Cons

  • High penalty APR. Missing payments on this card can result in a hefty penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable.
  • Foreign transaction fees. This card isn’t great for travelers abroad. You’ll pay 3% on transactions made outside of the US.

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Features
    • Fees
  • Your reviews
  • Ask an expert

finder.com's rating: 4.9 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you have diverse spending needs that change from month to month.
  • Pick something else if you regularly spend most in a single category and exceed $500 a month in that category.
  • Apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

Details

Features

Annual fee $0
Welcome offer $200 cash back after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months. Fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back
Rewards 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle on up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back thereafter and on all other purchases
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 18.99% to 28.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 18.99% to 28.99% variable) Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Minimum credit score 670
Issuer Mastercard

Fees

Balance transfer fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash advance rate 29.99% variable
Cash advance fee $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee 3% of the transaction value
Late payment fee Up to $41
Returned payment fee Up to $41
Security deposit N/A
Rates & fees Terms apply, see rates & fees

How to apply for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

You can apply for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card by doing the following.

  1. Go to the provider's site to Learn more about how to apply for Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.
  2. Fill out the requested information and click Agree & submit.

What credit score do I need for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card?

To qualify for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you’ll want to apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card benefits

  • Flexible rewards. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns 5% back on your highest eligible spending category each billing cycle, on up to $500 that cycle. After meeting the cap you’ll earn 1% back until the next billing cycle. This puts its total accelerated earnings on par with a rotating category card, but without the quarterly limitations. If you were worried about the complexities of a rotating category cash back card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is your answer.
  • Rewards on everyday spending. The rewards categories offered on this card are strong, as they include most typical spending areas. Eligible categories are grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, drugstores, live entertainment, home improvement stores and fitness clubs. It also includes select spending on the following categories: travel, transit and streaming services.
  • Signup bonus. The card’s $200 bonus after you spend $1,500 in your first 6 months is higher than the average you’d find on a 5% cashback card, which usually sticks to the $100 to $150 range if they offer a bonus.
  • No annual fee. You won’t pay an annual fee to use this credit card.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card drawbacks

  • High penalty APR. Missing payments on this card can result in a hefty penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable.
  • Foreign transaction fees. This card isn’t great for travelers abroad. You’ll pay 3% on transactions made outside of the US.

Compare cash back credit cards

Here are other similar cash back credit cards to compare to help you find the best card that suits you.

1 - 3 of 16
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
$200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Up to 1.5% cash back
$0
More than an unlimited 1.5% cash back card: you'll also earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). See rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.
Up to 3% cash back
$0
Earn $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months on Amex’s flagship everyday cashback card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Up to 6% cash back
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. Having 6 months to earn a welcome offer is a rare benefit as most cards give you only 3. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Citi Custom Cash℠ Card reviews and complaints

As of August 2021, Citi is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and earns an F rating from the organization. Of the 5,433 customer complaints, all have been resolved. Many complaints mention billing and collection issues. Note that this F rating refers to Citi’s likelihood to interact with its customers, not the rating of the card or business itself.

Citi features a 1.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot as of August 2021. Customer complaints include difficulties transferring money and unexplained account closures. Again, this rating is based on customer interactions with Citi, not the card itself.

Bottom line

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an excellent cashback card that takes a traditionally somewhat tricky to navigate 5% cash back system and makes it much simpler to use and maximize. Given the ease of use and big value, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a new favorite at Finder and a cashback card that can easily fit into nearly any wallet.

Credit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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