The Citi Custom Cash Card offers cash back that adapts to your spending habits. It may be worth a look if you’re interested in a flexible rewards structure.
If you want a cash back rewards card that fits your lifestyle, the Citi Custom Cash® Card could be what you’re looking for.
This card offers cash back rewards that adjust to how you spend from month to month by rewarding you with 5 percent cash back on your top spend category, on up to $500 every month. Rewards are earned as Citi ThankYou points, and you can redeem them for cash, statement credits, gift cards and travel.
If you value flexibility, the Citi Custom Cash’s flexible rewards structure might appeal to you. This Citi Custom Cash Card guide takes a closer look at how the cash back works. It may help you determine if you’d like to add the card to your wallet.
Citi Custom Cash benefits
The Citi Custom Cash Card earns 5 percent back on your highest spending category each billing cycle, up to $500 in purchases. The card earns 1 percent back thereafter.
The eligible spending categories include:
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Select travel (including flights and hotels)
- Select transit (including car rentals)
- Select streaming services
- Home improvement stores
- Fitness clubs
- Live entertainment
Once you reach the $500 cap for earning 5 percent back on your top spending category, you’ll keep earning 1 percent back on those purchases in the same category until a new billing cycle begins.
Meanwhile, you’ll also earn unlimited 1 percent back on all other purchases. That means you can earn cash back virtually anywhere you go. Whether you shop at warehouse clubs, Amazon, Target, Walmart or pet supply stores, you can get 1 percent cash back on those purchases.
Thanks to the flexibility of the Citi Custom Cash rewards structure, this card is great for everyday spending. However, for any rewards credit card, half the ball game is the redemption options so that all the work you put into earning rewards doesn’t go to waste.
Flexible redemption options
You can redeem Citi ThankYou points in a variety of ways. The choices include:
- Statement credit
- Direct deposit into a bank account
- Gift cards
- Shop with Points at partner brands
- Travel booked through ThankYou Rewards Center
There are no minimums when you redeem for statement credit or direct deposit. Points are worth an average of 1 cent each, so 10,000 ThankYou Points can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit, a $100 check or a $100 direct deposit.
If you’d like to redeem your rewards for travel, you must book your travel through the Citi ThankYou portal. Keep in mind that even though the Citi Custom Cash earns ThankYou points, they’re technically considered basic ThankYou points. This mostly means that you cannot transfer your points to any of Citi’s transfer partners. That privilege is reserved for cardholders of the Citi Premier® Card and the Citi Prestige® Card*.
0% introductory APR
Not only does the Citi Custom Cash function as a great cash back card, but it also works decently as a balance transfer card. If you’re carrying a small amount of credit card debt or planning to make a big purchase soon (for example, a new couch, dishwasher, wardrobe makeover or textbooks), you may appreciate this card’s intro APR offer. For the first 15 months, a 0 percent APR will apply to all new purchases and balance transfers made within the first four months of account opening. Afterwards, your regular APR will go up to 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable.
For all balance transfers, Citi will charge you a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5 percent of each transfer, depending on which one is greater.
The Citi Custom Cash Card includes zero liability protection. That means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges to your account, online or otherwise, if your card is lost or stolen. It’s a nice benefit to have if you’re worried about someone gaining access to your account and using it to make fraudulent purchases.
Free FICO score
As a Citi account holder, you also get free FICO credit score access. You can see your FICO Bankcard Score 8, provided by Equifax, online or through the Citi mobile app.
FICO scores are updated monthly so you can easily track score changes over time. You can also see at a glance which factors are impacting your score positively or negatively.
Citi Quick Lock
Losing your card can be a hassle but you don’t have to worry about anyone misusing it, thanks to Citi Quick Lock. This feature allows you to lock your card and block new charges until you find it or receive a replacement.
You also have fraud early-warning detection built in. This feature monitors your account for suspicious activity, then notifies through text or email. That way you can lock your account or take other action as needed.
Mastercard ID theft protection
With the increasing threat of identity theft, it’s good to have security features designed to help protect your information. The Citi Custom Cash Card includes Mastercard ID theft protection, which monitors your accounts for suspicious activity. It’s free to enroll and monitoring begins as soon as you’re signed up.
Maximizing your Citi Custom Cash rewards and benefits
Making the most of your Citi Custom Cash rewards starts with hitting that $500 cap in your top spend category each billing cycle. Remember that Citi chooses your top category and applies your rewards automatically, based on your spending every month. To ensure you’re earning 5 percent cash back on your category of choice, such as groceries, you must use your Citi Custom Cash primarily at the grocery store and not as much elsewhere.
This preplanning will allow you to earn the max amount of cash back every month: $25. In a year, you’ll get $300 in cash back.
The other important aspect of maximizing rewards is redeeming them. Your Citi ThankYou points are worth 1 cent each when redeeming for flights or gift cards. You might get a lower valuation when redeeming for statement credit or online shopping. You should think carefully about how you want to use the rewards you’ve earned, so you can wring the most value from them.
The Citi Custom Cash Card could be a good fit, depending on how you spend each month. You may prefer the Citi Custom Cash’s 5 percent cash back and $500 spending cap if you’re a modest spender. If you easily hit that cap within the first week of your billing cycle, then you may be better off with a flat-rate cash back card. Either way, it pays to look at your last six to 12 months of purchases to better understand your spending habits and know if the Citi Custom Cash is a good fit for you.
*Information about the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.