Travel on Points

Review: Citi Custom Cash

The Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% on eligible spending categories each month up to $500. One of the easiest quarterly spend cards available.
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Review: Citi Custom Cash

The Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% on eligible spending categories each month up to $500. One of the easiest quarterly spend cards available.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

 

The Citi Custom Cash card is a cash back card that actually earns valuable ThankYou Points. These points can then be cashed out at one cent per point. But if you also have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card, you can transfer the points earned to Citi's many transfer partners. As is always the case with transferrable points currencies, you will get much better value by transferring those points to one of Citi's many transfer partners.

Current Offer

The Citi Custom Cash card offers $200 in cash back after spending $1500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back. The card does not have an annual fee.

If you choose to apply, keep in mind Citi's application rules. Also, Citi only allows customers to hold one Custom Cash card per customer. Lastly, you are not eligible for a welcome bonus if you received one for opening a new Citi Custom Cash card account in the past 48 months.

Earn Rate

The Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% back on the first $500 spent in your ToP eligible category. This spend is tracked per billing cycle, as opposed to monthly. The great part is there are a lot of eligible categories:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas Stations
  • Grocery Stores
  • Select Travel & Transit
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Drugstores
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Fitness Clubs
  • Live Entertainment

All other purchases earn 1%/x.

In addition to having many categories for bonus spend, the Citi Custom Cash card is also super easy to use. You do not have to select a category at any time. Nor is any activation required. Instead, Citi looks at the category in which you spent the most during the billing cycle and that spend automatically receives 5x.

Points can be Redeemed for cash back as a statement credit, direct deposit or check. Other ways to redeem points including for gift cards, travel and Shop with Points at Amazon.com. However, since these are earned as ThankYou Points, they can be used to transfer to Citi transfer partners. You do have to have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige to be able to transfer to Citi's transfer partners.

Card Benefits

Like some other no annual fee cards, the Citi Custom Cash card does not offer any major benefits or perks. This card is all about rewarding cardholders for their spend, does come with some features.

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • Access to free FICO score
  • Access to Citi Entertainment features 

Our Analysis

This is an easy card through which to earn 2,500 Citi TYPs per month by just spending $500 per billing cycle. Those 2,500 can add up. Spending just $500 per month earns 30,000 TYPs for the year, and all with no annual fee. For an idea of how far 30,000 TYPs can get you: a one-way business class seat from the U.S. to Europe on Turkish Airlines (a Citi transfer partner) costs just 45,000 miles.

The Citi Custom Cash card is comparable to the Chase Freedom Flex (review), which also earns 5%/x on certain categories. But the Custom Cash card is easier to manage. The categories are static and do not require activation. Whereas the Freedom Flex categories change every quarter and do require activation. But with either card, you can score 30,000 points per year without paying an annual fee and for very little work.

The current welcome bonus is a great deal for the little amount of spend it requires. Alternatively, folks can product change to the Custom Cash from other Citi cards (though product changing would not earn the welcome bonus).

Final Thoughts

The Citi Custom Cash card offers an easy way to boost your stash of Citi ThankYou Points by earning 5%/x on select categories. Fans of ThankYou Points should look into the Custom Cash as another great way to earn TYPs on top of the Citi Premier and the Citi Double Cash cards.

What do you think of the Citi Custom Cash? Come join the discussion in our Facebook group!

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities

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