Credit cards that don’t require a ton of work to redeem and to collect rewards are the ones that can really reduce your spending. There’s just a credit card like that. In this Citi Custom Cash Card review, I will list all its details that will help you see if it’s the right card for you.
The Citi Custom Cash Card stands out among its rivals because its welcome bonus can be easily attained, and its cash-back rewards program can be customized. You don’t need to activate bonus categories every quarter to earn cashback of 5%. Other credit cards often require such.
This cash card is a Mastercard credit card that gives its holders many opportunities to earn cashback. If you are a member, you don’t need to sign up for a rotating bonus category. For your purchases in every billing cycle, you will be able to earn 5% cashback in the top eligible spend category, up to your first $500 of spending.
Read on to learn more about the Citi Custom Cash Card, its details, its benefits, and its pros and cons that will enable you to determine if it is the credit card you are looking for.
About the Citi Custom Cash Card
One thing that separates the Citi Custom Cash Card from other credit cards is that its welcome bonus can be easily attained. Another plus for this credit card is that you can customize its cashback rewards.
No Need to Activate Bonus Categories
But one of its biggest advantages is that you don’t need to activate bonus categories every quarter to earn the cashback of 5%. Other cards often require their card members to do this, which could be pain after some time.
Opportunity to Earn Cashback
This cash card is a Mastercard credit card. Just like other cards, it gives you opportunities to earn cashback. But for rotating bonus categories, this Citi cash card does not require you to even sign up for it.
Several Categories of Spending
This cash card also offers several categories of spending. You can earn your 5% cash backs on your spending in the top ten categories for every billing cycle, up to your first $500 of spending. In this cash-back card, the percentage of your purchases that you get as cashback varies. So, you can earn from a low of 1% to a high of 5%.
To date, there are at least two cashback cards in circulation. They are the Chase Freedom Flex and the Discover It Cash Back cards. The Citi Custom Cash Card is the newest member of this club of 5% cashback cards.
The banks supporting the Chase and Discover cash back cards were the ones that chose their rotating bonus categories for their cardholders. Their members are required to enroll in these categories to earn cashback. The Citi cashback card offers more flexibility by not requiring this.
Members Are Free to Choose Bonus Categories
With Citi cash cards, members are the ones who choose their bonus categories. As their purchases change in every billing cycle, they will earn 5% cashback automatically on the category where their purchases are the greatest.
Of course, just like other cash cards, the Citi Custom Cash Card also offers a welcome bonus, several rewards, and several benefits. Its attraction lies in its offering more flexibility to its cardholders than the other cash card brands.
Key Features of the Citi Custom Cash Card
Knowing the key features of the Citi Custom Cash Card will give you an idea of how it can help you earn money while you are spending. Here are the essential features of this cash card:
1. Easy to Earn Welcome Bonus
Even if your spending is on the low end, you can still earn a welcome bonus with the Citi Custom Cash Card. During the first three months after signing up and you spend $750 on your purchases, you will earn $200 cashback.
If you spread this out in more than 3 months, this translates to a $250 spending per month that you can meet if you use your Citi cash card on your everyday purchases. This bonus offer will be provided as 20,000 Thank Your Points. You can redeem these points as $200 cashback.
Citi cash cardholders will earn 5% cashback for every billing cycle if they make purchases in their top eligible spend category. It will be reckoned up to the first $500 of their spending. Less than that amount will only earn 1% cashback. That means all their other purchases will also earn 1% cash backs. This will be credited automatically.
Eligible Spending Categories
There are several eligible spending categories. These include:
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Home improvement stores
- Fitness clubs
- Live entertainment.
- Travel (select)
- Streaming services (select)
- Transit (select)
You can earn a substantial cashback by maximizing the 5% cashback on a maximum of $500 spending every billing cycle. If you can do this, you may earn cash backs $25 every month. This will add up to $300 per year.
I will show you how much you will earn in cash backs in one year if you use the Citi Custom Cash Card in your purchases. Say, your average annual spending is about $20,200 on everything from groceries to entertainment.
Let us assume that your budget consists of six categories with the following figures:
- Utilities – $4,500
- Groceries- $4,900
- Travel – $1,950
- Gas – $2,000
- General Purchases – $3,500
- Dining Out – $3,350
Amount of Cashback You Can Earn in Each Category
Potentially, you may earn cash backs in each category, per year, in these amounts.
- Utilities – $4,500 x 5% = $225
- Groceries- $4,900 x 1% = $49
- Travel – $1,950 x 1% = $19
- Gas – $2,000 x 1% = $20
- General Purchases – $3,500 x 1% = $35
- Dining Out – $3,350 x 1% = $34
- Total Cash Backs = $382
According to Esri, a supplier of geographic information, the typical American earns around $628 during their first year of Citi Custom cash credit card membership. This assumes that they earn the welcome bonus of $200 and a cashback of $2,340 in a period of five years.
This resulting figure also assumes that the cardholder is redeeming their ThankYou Points for cash backs at a 1 cent average value.
Higher or Lower Cashback Depending on Your Spending
You may earn higher or lower cash back depending on your habit of spending. With Citi Custom Cash Card, it is not too difficult to maximize each dollar you spend because you earn 5% back automatically on the top eligible spending category that you chose.
If you maximize the $500 in purchases on just one of the categories that earn 5% each month, you can potentially earn $300 in the course of one year, in cashback, from just that category.
Your cash backs are earned in ThankYou Points. Every billing cycle, you will earn 5 points for each $1 on spending in your top eligible spending category up to your first $500 spent. Additionally, you also earn 1 point for every $1 spent on your other purchases.
3. Other Notable Features of the Citi Custom Cash Card
There are other features of this cash card that you should know to determine if it’s the right credit card you need:
- Annual Fee – there is no annual fee required
- Intro APR – for the first 15 months, there is 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers
- Regular APR – after the first 15 months, the regular APR ranges from 13.99% to 23.99%
- Balance Transfer Fee – 5% of every balance transfer with a minimum of $5
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 3%
Again, what does the Citi Custom Cash Card offer? The Citi Custom Cash Card gives its first-time customers a welcome bonus and a customizable cashback rewards program. Meaning, you don’t need to activate bonus categories every quarter to earn 5% cashback.
Benefits of the Citi Custom Cash Card
One of the things that will sway your decision to buy an item is the benefit you will get from it. As far as this is concerned, the issuer of this credit claims that this cash card can give you the following benefits:
1. Safe Shopping
The Citi Custom Cash Card features a contactless-chip-enabled system. This system enables you to tap on the card once it is placed on a payment reader. This will give you a safer and more convenient shopping experience.
2. Account Alerts
You will be given the option to set up alerts. Once you do that, the system will remind you about your payment dues, balance levels, or when you are already going over your credit line. You can choose to get these alerts through your mobile or your email.
3. Choose Your Due Date
This cash card gives you the option to choose the due date of your payments. You can choose to do it initially, in the middle, or at the end of the month. You are also given an option to pay your dues in full or just the required minimum for each month.
4. Digital Wallets
You can choose to have your Citi cash card function as a digital wallet. As such, you will have the confidence to shop in countless online stores, in actual brick and mortar stores, or within apps. This digital wallet can also speed you up at checkout counters.
Requirements and Fees of the Citi Custom Cash Card
To apply for this cash card, the issuer requires you to satisfy only a very few things:
- Your credit score should be from 670 to 700 minimum, the higher the better.
- You must be of legal age in your state.
- Annual Fee – none
- Balance Transfer Fee – 5% per transfer ($5 minimum)
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 3%
- Welcome APR – 0% for the first 15 months after sign up
- Regular APR – from 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)
How to Earn Rewards Using the Citi Custom Cash Card
Here is how you can earn rewards from your Citi Custom Cash Card:
Earn 5% on purchases in the top eligible spend category of your choice, up to your first $500 purchases per billing cycle. After that, you earn just 1% cashback. The eligible categories are already enumerated elsewhere in this article.
Earn 1% on all other purchases, unlimited.
How to Redeem Rewards with Citi Custom Cash Card
The system implemented by the issuer of the Citi Custom Cash Card is straightforward. It goes like this:
Every time you shop, use your Citi Custom Cash Card.
Earn 5% cashback on your chosen top category for every billing cycle, up to your first $500 spent, and then earn only 1% after you are over this limit. And then earn 1% on all your other purchases. You earn your cashback in the form of ThankYou Points.
You can redeem the accumulated cashback points in the form of a check, a statement credit, or a direct deposit on your bank account. You can also redeem it in the form of gift cards or Shop with Points at Amazon.com.
When redeeming points through direct deposit or statement credit, the issuer does not set any minimum amount.
Pros and Cons of Citi Custom Cash Card
This Citi Custom Cash Card review will not be complete if we touch on its advantages and disadvantages. So, here are the pros and cons of this cash card:
- There is no annual fee
- Welcome bonus of $200 cash back if you reach the spending threshold of $750 on your first three months after sign up.
- You can earn 5% cash back on your purchases in gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, and other eligible categories if you choose any one of them as your top choice. This is for each billing cycle and up to the first $500 spent. Afterwards, you still get 1% on all your additional purchases in that category.
- All other purchases can earn 1% cash back.
- No need to activate bonus categories each quarter to earn 5% cash back.
- Zero percent introductory APR for the first 15 months.
- 5% cash back is only for the top spend category and only up to the first $500 spent.
- Balance transfer fee of $5 per transaction is a bit high.
- Sometimes it is difficult to choose the top spend category. So, it is hard to maximize rewards.
Conclusion: Citi Custom Cash Card
It is more to your advantage if you will get the Citi Custom Cash Card because you can easily attain the requirement of its welcome bonus. You can also customize its cashback rewards program. These are just two things that make this cash card stand out among its rivals.
In addition, you don’t have to spend much effort to activate the bonus categories for each quarter to earn the 5% cashback. Other credit cards often require their members to activate their bonus categories each quarter. There is no such thing as this card. This can be a pain after some time. In this context, the Citi Custom Cash Card is worth your consideration.