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Home » Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: 5% where you spend the most

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: 5% where you spend the most

Advertiser disclosure: Cards and Points has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Cards and Points and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers. Compensation may affect how and where card products appear on the site. The site does not include all card companies or all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to all credit card benefits.

Citi Custom Cash Card Art
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns ThankYou® Points, but is marketed as a cash back card. With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you can get 5% cash back on up to $500 in spending on the category where you spend the most each month. The Custom Cash carries no annual fee.

Eligible 5% categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment, select travel, select transit and select streaming services.

The best way to use the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is to select a bonus category and use the card primarily for that bonus category. The card earns 5% rewards only in the eligible category where you spend the most each month, and only on your first $500 in spending in that category. Other purchases earn 1% rewards.

Citi Custom Cash® Card welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

All information about the Citi Custom Cash℠ has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Citi doesn’t often offer an increased welcome bonus on the Custom Cash. If you do not yet have a Custom Cash card, there’s no reason to wait for an increased bonus.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art

Citi Custom Cash℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on the first $500 in monthly purchases in your top eligible category. 1% everywhere else.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card at a glance

Where’s what you need to know about the Custom Cash℠ Card.

Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on the first $500 of spending in your top eligible category each statement cycle.

Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.

Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Benefits

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers no additional notable benefits beyond its elevated cash back rewards.

Other important terms

No annual fee
3% foreign transaction fee

My take on the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an incredibly versatile card that can boost the rewards of almost anyone. The best use of the card is to select one of the card’s eligible categories and use the card exclusively for purchases (up to $500 each month) in that category.

Depending on which other cards you hold, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card could become your best card to use in any of its bonus categories: Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, or live entertainment. For this reason, the card appears on a lot of out “best cards” lists.

It’s even possible to get multiple Citi Custom Cash℠ Cards. But you must do so through a card conversion. Citi will only open only a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card for you if you do not already hold the card.

The card becomes even more valuable when you also hold a Citi Premier® Card. When you hold both cards, you can combine the points you earn and transfer them to Citi’s ThankYou Points travel partners.

I have the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, and use it to earn cash back in categories when my other cards offer less.

Welcome bonus

Citi Custom Cash® Card welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

All information about the Citi Custom Cash℠ has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Citi doesn’t often offer an increased welcome bonus on the Custom Cash. If you do not yet have a Custom Cash card, there’s no reason to wait for an increased bonus.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art

Citi Custom Cash℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on the first $500 in monthly purchases in your top eligible category. 1% everywhere else.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Rewards

With the Citi Custom Cash card, you will earn 5% rewards on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle on up to $500 in spending. You don’t need to select a category and your bonus category can change month-to-month. Citi automatically awards 5% rewards in the category where you spend the most each month.

5% cash back on up to $500 spent during your statement cycle in your top eligible spending category. Eligible category with the greatest spending during your statement cycle. Eligible categories include: Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

All other purchases: 1% cash back

The Citi Custom Cash card earns it rewards as Citi ThankYou Points. ThankYou Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including cash back, travel rewards and gift cards. See our Guide to ThankYou Points for more details on how to maximize your rewards in the ThankYou Rewards program.

Citi ThankYou Points card synergies

When you hold multiple Citi cards that earn ThankYou Points, you can choose to combine your ThankYou Rewards accounts and earn a single pool of points. This feature of the ThankYou Rewards program means that holding multiple Citi ThankYou Points cards will enable you to both earn more points on your purchases and give you more options when you redeem your points.

Here’s a quick overview of how these ThankYou Points synergies work.

Earning ThankYou Points across cards

Citi offers four cards that earn ThankYou Points to new cardmembers. You’ll earn the most points from your spending by using the card that earns the most points for your purchase. For example, at grocery stores, you might choose to use the Citi Premier® Card over the Citi Double Cash because you’ll earn 3 points per dollar rather than 2.

Here’s an overview of how many points the four ThankYou Points cards earn in their respective bonus categories.

Citi® Double Cash CardCiti Custom Cash℠ CardCiti Rewards+® CardCiti Premier® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card card artCiti Custom Cash℠ Card card artCiti Rewards+® Card card artCiti Premier® Card card art
RestaurantsUp to 5x3x
DrugstoresUp to 5x
Gas stationsUp to 5x2x
(on the first $6,000 spent across bonus categories)
3x
SupermarketsUp to 5x2x
(on the first $6,000 spent across bonus categories)
3x
Streaming (Select providers)Up to 5x
Travel – Citi Travel Portal5x

Hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi Travel through June 30, 2024.
5x

Hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi Travel through June 30, 2024.
10x

Hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi Travel through June 30, 2024.
Travel – Air TravelUp to 5x3x
Travel – HotelsUp to 5x3x
Travel – Cruise line and travel agencyUp to 5x
Select transitUp to 5x
Home improvement storesUp to 5x
Fitness clubsUp to 5x
Live entertainmentUp to 5x
Everywhere else2x

(1% as you buy, plus 1% as you pay.)
1x1x1x
Reward earnings on ThankYou Points credit cards

All of the cards in the table above earn ThankYou® Points, even though some are marketed as cash back cards.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns 5% cash back in the one eligible category where you spend the most each statement cycle, on up to $500 of spending. Other purchases earn 1%.

Redeeming Citi ThankYou Points with multiple cards

The key to maximizing the value of your ThankYou Point redemptions is holding multiple ThankYou Points cards and earning your ThankYou points in a combined ThankYou Points account. When you combine your ThankYou Points accounts, you get access to the best redemption options available from each of your cards. Here are the ThankYou Points redemption options that vary between cards.

Citi® Double Cash CardCiti Custom Cash℠ CardCiti Rewards+® CardCiti Premier® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card card artCiti Custom Cash℠ Card card artCiti Rewards+® Card card artCiti Premier® Card card art
Cash back rewards
(Including statement credits, direct deposit, and check by mail)
1 cent/point1 cent/point0.5 cents/point1 cent/point
Point transfers to airlines and hotelsSelect partners only
Lower transfer ratios
Select partners only
Lower transfer ratios
All transfer partners
Best transfer ratios
Redemption bonus10% bonus on up to 100,000 points redeemed per year
Redemption options available on ThankYou Points cards

The table above doesn’t include some redemption options, like gift cards and pay with points. This is because the redemption options either do not vary across cards (gift cards) or because the value of the redemption is less than the cash back redemption value.

How to apply:

Citi Custom Cash® Card welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

All information about the Citi Custom Cash℠ has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Citi doesn’t often offer an increased welcome bonus on the Custom Cash. If you do not yet have a Custom Cash card, there’s no reason to wait for an increased bonus.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art

Citi Custom Cash℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on the first $500 in monthly purchases in your top eligible category. 1% everywhere else.

A few notes on applying for Citi credit cards

  • Citi has limits on the number of applications you can submit. You can only apply for one personal card every eight days and no more than two cards every rolling 65 days. Business cards are subject to the same eight-day limitation, but you can apply for no more than one business card every 95 days.
  • You can get a new customer welcome bonus on Citi cards multiple times, but Citi has rules on how often you can earn a welcome bonus.
    • ThankYou Point welcome offers are typically not available if you’ve received a new account bonus on the same card in the past 48 months.
    • Welcome bonuses on AAdvantage cards are only available if you have not received a welcome bonus for the same card within the past 48 months.
  • There is no limit to the number of Citi cards you can hold.
  • You can check your application status on the Citi website or by calling 1-866-606-2787.

Good cards to pair with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a great way to add an additional bonus category to your wallet, but we don’t recommend holding the Custom Cash as your only card. Usually in this part of our card overview, we’ll give you a few cards to look at instead of the featured card. But since the Custom Cash is so unique, here are a few ideas of cards that pair well with the Citi Custom Cash.

Citi Double Cash Card – 2% in the Citi ecosystem

Citi Double Cash® Card card art
Citi Double Cash® Card

Most consumers would be best served by having a 2% cash back card as their default credit card. Fortunately, Citi offers such a card: The Citi Double Cash. The Citi Double Cash offers 2% cash back on all purchases and you can combine your points with the Citi Custom Cash card.

The Citi Double Cash carries no annual fee.

Citi Double Cash® Card welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

All information about the Citi Double Cash® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: The Citi Double Cash card hasn’t always offered a welcome bonus, so if you are considering getting this card, now is a good time to apply.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Double Cash® Card card art

Citi Double Cash® Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 2% – 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay

Citi Rewards+® Card – The best extended warranty, plus a redemption bonus

Citi Rewards+® Card card art
Citi Rewards+® Card

If you buy a cell phone, laptop, or other expensive electronics device with a warranty, getting a free extended warranty through your credit card is probably worth more than an extra percent or two of cash back. Unfortunately, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card doesn’t offer an extended warranty.

But Citi has a card that not only offers the best extended warranty available on a credit card, but also gives you an extra 10% point bonus when you redeem your ThankYou points. And the card comes with no annual fee. That’s the Citi Rewards+® Card. If you’re building out a wallet of Citi cards, the Rewards+ card is an essential part of the picture.

Citi Rewards+® Card welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

All information about the Citi Rewards+® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Last year, Citi offered a slightly higher bonus on this card, but that doesn’t happen often. It’s probably not worth waiting for a larger bonus that is likely to amount to just 5,000 additional points.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Rewards+® Card card art

Citi Rewards+® Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5x on hotels and car rentals booked through Citi Travel through June 30, 2024. 2x at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year, then 1x. 1x on other purchases.

Should you keep the card after the first year?

The Citi Custom Cash card carries no annual fee and can be a great way to earn a high level of rewards on limited spending in a category of your choice each month. Unless you have a specific reason to close the card, it’s a good idea to keep this card after the first year as keeping accounts open longer can help you improve your credit score.

Benefits of the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash card offers no significant benefits beyond its reward structure.

Frequently asked questions

Does the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offer point transfers to airline partners?

Only the Citi Premier card and the no-longer-available Citi Prestige Card offer the ability to transfer your points to travel partners.

Are the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card’s rewards in cash or points?

The Custom Cash is marketed as a cash back card, but behind the scenes, it awards ThankYou Points. This is great because it gives you the flexibility to either use your points for cash back or transfer them to another one of your cards and use them for the rewards available on the other card.

Advertiser disclosure: Cards and Points has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Cards and Points and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers. Compensation may affect how and where card products appear on the site. The site does not include all card companies or all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to all credit card benefits.