Citi Custom Cash: A True Cash Back Innovator
At CompareCards, we sift through hundreds of credit cards to help guide you to find the perfect card for your financial situation. But looking at a lot of cards can also mean they tend to all look a little same-y after a while – similar rewards programs, similar benefits, even similar names.
So, when a card comes along with something new, we definitely take note. That’s where the new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card comes in.
A Rewards Revolution
What makes the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card so special? It’s all in the rewards program:
- Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Let’s break that down. Unlike many rewards cards out on the market today, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card doesn’t require you to sign up for any rotating bonus categories. Instead, as your spending habits change, the card will automatically adjust that 5% category to wherever you’re spending the most. This card’s eligible spending categories cover a wide variety of potential purchases too, like restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores, select travel, transit and streaming services, home improvement stores, live entertainment and fitness, so odds are you’ll be able to hit that $500 spending limit each and every billing cycle.
It’s hard to overstate just how powerful this new rewards approach is. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation when you’re trying to maximize your rewards, making this a card that works incredibly hard all year-round:
- Buying a gym membership or at-home equipment in January to get a jump-start on a new year’s resolution? You’re covered with 5% cash back on fitness.
- Looking to up your streaming game in the depths of winter? Enjoy 5% cash back on streaming services.
- Ready to enjoy a little outdoor dining as the weather gets nicer? You could get that 5% cash back at restaurants.
You also get a substantial amount of flexibility in how you choose to redeem your rewards after you’ve earned them. Citi ThankYou® points can be redeemed as cash back via direct deposit, statement credit or check, but you can also use your points towards travel, gift cards or directly on Amazon.com.
It’s not often we seen innovations in the credit card world, but the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card absolutely delivers with one of the most exciting rewards programs we’ve gotten in years.
We’ve already established that the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card comes stock with an incredibly engaging suite of cash back rewards, but it gets even better with a solid welcome offer:
- 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.
This is our favorite kind of welcome offer – it’s simple, offers great rewards and happens relatively quickly after account opening. While some rewards cards may offer higher payouts, $200 is still nothing to sneeze at when coupled with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card’s frankly amazing cash back program. And since this card has no annual fee, 100% of that $200 will be going straight into your pocket without having to set some aside to pay down a yearly fee.
Pay No Interest Until Nearly 2024
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a great pick for those looking to maximize rewards earning potential, but it’s generous periods of 0% intro APR also make it an outstanding choice for everyday use:
- For purchases: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases, then 18.49% - 28.49% (Variable) APR based on creditworthiness.
- For balance transfers, it’s the same as the above: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then 18.49% - 28.49% (Variable) APR after that intro period is up.
We love cards that offer extended periods of 0% intro APR because they offer something the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card already has in spades: flexibility. Regardless of whether you’re planning for a big purchase on the horizon or suddenly have to confront an unexpected expense, you’ll have 15 months to pay down your balance without having to worry about accumulating a pile of interest fees. Likewise, if you transfer a transfer a high-interest balance from another credit card to the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you’ll have over a year to pay down that balance without accumulating more interest charges. You might not think you always need a 0% intro APR benefit on a card, but when you need it, they can be absolutely invaluable.
We can’t say it enough – the rewards program on the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is incredibly innovative and, quite frankly, pretty exciting. One of the big tradeoffs cards that offer rotating cash back categories is that while they have pretty high rates of return, it’s pretty easy to forget to activate those categories. This means that you could be missing out on potentially hundreds in cash back rewards all because you forget to click a few buttons.
This becomes a non-issue with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card’s automatically-adjusting cash back categories. You’ll still get the 5% cash back (a standard rate for featured categories on cards with rotating programs), but you’ll never have to activate a category – no matter where you shop, this card will be working to ensure you make as much in cash back rewards as possible.
If the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card had nothing but this amazing rewards program, it would be an interesting oddity. But the generous welcome offer, long period of 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases (it’s unusual to have both on a rewards card) and no annual fee move it into a firm recommendation from us. If you’re looking for a new rewards card, this is absolutely one to keep an eye on.
If you’re interested in theCiti Custom Cash℠ Card, you can apply on Citi’s secure site in 60 seconds or less…why wait?
Each month, the CompareCards team reviews over 100 credit card offers examining the features most valuable to consumers including rewards, welcome offer, the interest rate, fees and other features to identify the best offers shown here.