Most rewards credit cards require very good or excellent credit, and the Citi Custom Cash Card is no exception.
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Generally speaking, rewards credit cards tend to have some of the strictest credit requirements, and for good reason. The best credit cards let consumers earn points or miles on their spending, so it makes sense that only the most qualified applicants get approved.
You might be wondering what kind of credit score you need to get approved for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. Here’s what you need to know — and we’ve also included tips on how to improve your credit before you apply.
What credit score do I need for the Citi Custom Cash Card?
While Citi doesn’t publish its credit score requirements for its cards, there are some general guidelines that can help you gauge eligibility. For example, rewards credit cards are typically for individuals with good, very good or excellent credit scores. Since FICO credit scores are used by 90% of lenders, we’ll use this specific credit scoring method as an example.
Among FICO credit scores, you’re considered to have “good” credit if your score is between 670 and 739. Meanwhile, individuals have “very good” credit with scores from 740 to 799, or “exceptional” scores if they fall between 800 and 850, the highest possible FICO score.
You may be able to qualify for the Citi Custom Cash Card with a credit score as low as 670, but you’ll have a better shot at approval if your score is on the other end of the “good” range, or 720 and higher. Your chances of approval are even better once your FICO score is over 740.
How do I check my credit score before applying for a Citi card?
If you’re thinking of applying for the Citi Custom Cash Card – or any other cash back credit card — it helps to check your credit score to see where you stand.
There are quite a few ways to check your credit score for free:
Regardless of the service you choose, checking your credit score is the best way to know whether it’s good enough for the card you want.
Is the Citi Custom Cash Card good?
Why are consumers rushing out to sign up for the Citi Custom Cash Card? Not only does it come with no annual fee, it also lets cardholders earn a lucrative cash back rate in several everyday spending categories.
New cardholders start off by earning $200 in cash back after spending $1,500 within six months of account opening. In the meantime, you’ll earn 5 percent back on up to $500 you spend in your highest eligible spending category each billing cycle, then 1 percent back.
Categories that can earn 5 percent back include restaurants; gas stations; grocery stores; select travel, transit and streaming services; drugstores; home improvement stores; fitness clubs and live entertainment.
The Citi Custom Cash Card also gives customers the chance to save money on interest for more than a year. New cardholders are eligible for 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 18.49 percent to 28.49 percent.
Improve your credit before applying for Citi Custom Cash Card
If you check your credit score and it’s not where it needs to be to qualify for a rewards credit card, there are several steps you can take to improve it. Here are some of the easiest ways to boost your credit score in a hurry:
- Check your credit reports: Mistakes on your credit report can damage your credit score without you even knowing it. Fortunately, you can check all three of your credit reports with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion for free through AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Dispute any errors in your credit report: If you find mistakes on your credit report, such as a falsely reported late payment or an incorrect balance, you can dispute these mistakes.
- Pay off your debts: For the best results, most experts recommend keeping your credit utilization ratio less than 10 percent or 30 percent of your available credit. If you pay down your revolving debts to get in this range or below it, you can help boost your credit score.
- Pay your bills on time: Since your payment history is the most important factor that makes up your FICO score at 35 percent, you should always avoid paying bills late.
Use CardMatch to check for credit card offers
With CardMatch, you enter basic information like your name, your home address, your income, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your email address to see prequalified credit card offers that fit your profile.
You may find you’re prequalified for the Citi Custom Cash Card if you use this tool, but you can also explore and compare other cards you may be eligible for. The best part about the CardMatch tool is that it’s free to use and you can see your preapproved card offers in minutes.
Having excellent credit can make life considerably easier, but good credit can also help you qualify for better financial products. This is true whether you’re applying for a mortgage, planning to finance a new car or comparing rewards credit cards that can help you maximize your spending.
Fortunately, good credit is something you can work toward if you’re not quite where you want to be. With responsible credit use and some time, you could qualify for the top rewards credit cards sooner than you think.