Tired of rotating bonus categories? This cash-back credit card skips the hassle.

Our take: The Citi Custom Cash® Card earns up to 5% cash back automatically on the category you spend the most each month. You don’t have to manually activate or select a category ahead of time.

Pros

  • Earn up to 5% cash back
  • Bonus cash back automatically applies to highest eligible spend category without having to register
  • 15-month 0% promotional APR for purchases and balance transfers

Cons

  • Monthly spending cap of $500 for bonus category
  • Only one category at a time is eligible for extra rewards
  • Charges foreign transaction fees

Citi Custom Cash Card Highlights

  • Card type: Cash back, 0% APR, Balance transfer
  • Welcome Bonus: $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (this bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards: 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1% cash back thereafter), unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Overview

With the Citi Custom Cash Card, you’ll earn maximum cash back the easy way. Bonus rewards automatically apply to the first $500 you spend in any one of ten eligible categories each month. No registration is required, and you don’t have to select a category ahead of time. There are no annual fees, which is great for your budget. But, beware of foreign transaction fees if you travel internationally.

New customers can earn a cash bonus after meeting spending requirements. Plus, there’s a 0% intro APR promotion on balance transfers and purchases to eliminate interest charges while paying off your debt. Beyond these offers, the card offers limited benefits and protections, which is disappointing when compared to competing cash back credit cards.

Who is the Citi Custom Cash Card good for?

The Citi Custom Cash Card is ideal for people who want to earn maximum rewards wherever they spend the most each month. They’re often busy with work and family, so they don’t want to miss out on extra rewards just because they forgot to activate a promotion or select which category earns a bonus. These customers also don’t want to pay an annual fee that could reduce the total amount of cash back they earn.

Customers looking for extra time to pay off their balance would also benefit from the Citi Custom Cash Card. The card features an intro APR promotion for both balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. This promotion eliminates interest charges on your balances and purchases during the promotional period so all of your payments go toward reducing the balance instead of covering interest charges.

Who shouldn’t get a Citi Custom Cash Card?

If you’re looking to maximize the rewards earned on your monthly purchases, the Citi Custom Cash Card may not be for you. Only one eligible category of rewards qualifies for the 5% cash back rate, and the bonus cash back is limited to the first $500 you spend each billing cycle. All other purchases earn just 1% cash back. Many competing cards have multiple cash back categories or do not have such a small cap on spending.

Big spenders will also be disappointed with the Citi Custom Cash Card. They’re better off with a card that doesn’t limit how much cash back you can earn. Instead, they should choose a card with unlimited reward potential to capture the most rewards on their larger purchases, even if the category bonus rate is lower than this card.

Citi Custom Cash Card: How to earn rewards

There are three primary ways to earn rewards with the Citi Custom Cash Card. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you’ll maximize cash back on your purchases.

Welcome bonus 

New cardholders can earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (this bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back). These rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit to your bank account or a check mailed to your address.  

Earn up to 5% on bonus categories

Each billing cycle, you’ll automatically earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1% cash back thereafter).  You don’t have to choose a category ahead of time, nor do you have to register for any promotions. When maximizing this bonus opportunity, you’ll earn at least $300 cash back each year with the Citi Custom Cash Card.

Eligible categories include: 

  • Drugstores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Live entertainment
  • Restaurants
  • Select streaming services
  • Select travel arrangements
  • Select transit

Unlimited 1% cash back on everyday purchases

All purchases that do not qualify for 5% cash back rewards, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases . There are no limits on how much you can earn, and your rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.

How to redeem Citi Custom Cash rewards

Cardholders have numerous ways to redeem their Citi Custom Cash Card rewards. Rewards earned are posted to your account as Citi ThankYou points, which can be redeemed in multiple ways.

Cash back rewards

Get cash back that you can use however you want by redeeming points for cash back. The cash back arrives as a statement credit, direct deposit to your bank account or a check that’s mailed to your home.

Gift cards

Redeem points for gift cards to dozens of retailers. You can use the gift cards yourself or give them to friends and family as gifts or to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Travel

Book flights, hotel rooms and more by redeeming your Citi Custom Cash rewards for your next vacation. When booking travel through the ThankYou portal, there are no blackout dates or other limitations that you might experience when using airline miles or hotel points.

Combine with Citi Premier points and transfer to partners

If you hold numerous ThankYou points-earning cards, you can combine the points into one account. If you have a Citi Premier card, you’ll open up a wide range of travel transfer partners where you can use points or miles to book your travels.

Shop with Points

When shopping at Amazon.com, use your ThankYou points to cover some or all of your purchase amount. Link your accounts by adding your Citi Custom Cash Card to your Amazon payment methods. At checkout, select your card and type in how many points you’d like to redeem toward your purchase. But be sure to check how much value you are getting as it may be more cost-effective to redeem your rewards for cash at one cent per point, then use those rewards toward your purchases.

Citi Custom Cash Rates and Fees

  • Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening (after that, the variable APR will be 19.24%–29.24%)
  • Intro Balance transfer fee:
  • Purchase APR: 19.24%–29.24% variable
  • Balance transfer: 19.24%–29.24% variable
  • Balance transfer fee: $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars

Additional benefits

  • Automatic account alerts. Stay updated with your card balance, charges, payments and other activity by activating email or text alerts.
  • Contactless pay. This chip-enabled card allows cardholders to shop more safely by tapping the card reader at participating merchants.
  • Free access to your FICO score. Manage your credit score by accessing your free FICO score anytime. Learn which factors are affecting your score so you can create a strategy to achieve your credit score goals. It is updated monthly and available online or through the Citi mobile app.

Credit cards similar to Citi Custom Cash

The Citi Custom Cash Card is appealing to consumers who want to automatically earn the highest rewards on purchases without remembering bonus categories or registering for promotions. However, this cash back credit card isn’t the best option for all spending styles. Before applying for this card, consider these alternatives which may be a better option.

Citi Double Cash vs. Citi Custom Cash Card

While the Citi Custom Cash maximizes rewards on one category, the Citi Double Cash offers enhanced rewards on every purchase. You’ll earn 1% when you make purchases plus an additional 1% as you repay your balance. This 2% cash back potential allows you to earn maximum cash back without worrying whether the purchase qualifies for a bonus category. Rewards can be redeemed for cash back, or you can transfer them to selected hotels and airlines.

As a new cardholder, you’re eligible for a $200 cash bonus when you spend $1,500 within the first six months. This card also provides a balance transfer offer for 18 months with an intro 3% fee ($5 min). While its balance transfer offer is longer than the Custom Cash Card, it does not provide the same interest-free financing for purchases.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards vs. Citi Custom Cash

With the Bank of America Customized Cash Card, you can choose which category you want to earn 3% cash back. You get to choose from six categories and can switch your selection once each billing cycle. Plus, you’ll automatically earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Customers with larger deposit and investment balances may qualify for Preferred Rewards, which increases your cash back on every purchase by up to 75%.

Bonus cash back is available on the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter, and all other purchases earn 1%. While the top bonus rate is lower than Citi’s 5% top rate, the Bank of America card has a higher spending cap, which makes it easier to maximize cash back on larger purchases.

Is the Citi Custom Cash Card right for you?

The Citi Custom Cash Card is the ideal cash back credit card for people who want to earn maximum cash back without worry. The card automatically gives up to 5% cash back on the eligible category you spend the most each month, then 1% on all other purchases. You don’t have to register for any promotions or pre-select which category the bonus applies to. Additionally, this card gives an intro 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers to give you extra time to pay off your debt. This promotional interest rate helps pay off old credit cards or large purchases without incurring any interest charges.

If you’re looking for unlimited cash back or additional perks, you’re better off with a competing card. Its 5% cash back is limited to the first $500 you spend in your top category each billing cycle. While the card has no annual fee, its benefits are limited and don’t include useful features like purchase protection or an extended warranty.

Frequently asked questions

Is it hard to get a Citi Custom Cash Card?

The Citi Custom Cash Card is easy to get, even if you don’t have perfect credit. While your approval odds are higher with better credit, you can get approved with fair credit.

Can I use the Citi Custom Cash Card for gas?

Gas purchases are one of ten bonus categories eligible for up to 5% cash back. If gas is your biggest expense each month, you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $500 you spend each billing cycle. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

How do I increase my Citi Custom Cash credit limit?

Banks assign credit limits based on your income, debt payments, credit score and other factors. A higher income provides more money to handle monthly payments and pay off your debts. Paying down your debts reduces your monthly expenses and shows the bank that you can handle debt responsibly.

Does the Citi Custom Cash Card have a foreign transaction fee? 

If you purchase items in foreign currency, such as shopping in another country, the Citi Custom Cash Card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. 


Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date but are subject to change at any time at the issuer’s discretion. Before applying, please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.