Most products on this page are from partners who may compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how they appear on the page. However, opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain. This page may include information about American Express products currently unavailable on Slickdeals. American Express is not a partner of Slickdeals.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • $200 $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 in the first 6 months. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, from our partner Citi, gives cardholders the chance to earn a whopping 5% cash back every month in their top eligible spending category — without having to pay an annual fee.

This Card Makes Cash Back Simple

This card offers an industry-leading 5% cash back rate in one of 10 potential bonus categories, from groceries, gas, to home improvement stores, up to the $500 cap each billing cycle.

4.5/5 Rating How our ratings work

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. The credit card offers an impressive 5% cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 spent per month — no activation required. After that, you’ll earn just 1% back on every purchase because that’s the base rewards rate. The list of eligible bonus categories includes restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel and transit, select streaming services, drug stores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. Cardholders can redeem their ThankYou Points for cash back as a direct deposit, statement credit or check. Alternatively, they can redeem their points for gift cards, travel and online shopping via Amazon.com. The ThankYou rewards program also partners with a number of airlines, both domestic and international, and you can transfer your points to these frequent flyer programs when paired with select Citi products.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to maximize the 5% cash back reward and earn $300 per year
  • No annual fee
  • The cash back comes in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for things like travel

Cons

  • 5% cash back tier is capped at $25 in earnings per month

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, from our partner Citi, gives cardholders the chance to earn a whopping 5% cash back every month in their top eligible spending category — without having to pay an annual fee.

It’s technically billed as a cash-back credit card. Although, unlike its popular cousin, the Citi® Double Cash Card, you’ll earn ThankYou Points, which can be worth more than traditional cash-back rewards, especially when you redeem points for travel rewards or take advantage of the credit card issuer’s multiple airline and hotel transfer partners.

Here’s what you need to know about the Citi Custom Cash Card, including some limitations that could make some people think twice before applying.

Citi Custom Cash Card Overview

The Citi Custom Cash Card offers a sort of hybrid approach to compete against other top cash-back credit cards, like the Discover it® Cash Back and the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

But instead of assigning rotating bonus categories every quarter and essentially forcing you to spend money in those categories to maximize your rewards, the Citi Custom Cash Card gives you 5% back on your top spending category from a list of nine eligible categories.

Sign-Up Bonus

The Citi Custom Cash Card is offering $200 bonus after you spend $1,500 in the first 6 months — that’s 20,000 ThankYou Points, which you can redeem for cash back or for a number of other things, including gift cards and travel.

New cardholders will also get an introductory 0% APR for 15 months, after which the APR jumps to 18.24% - 28.24% (Variable) APR, based on your creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate

The Citi Custom Cash Card offers an impressive 5% cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 spent per month — no activation required.

After that, you’ll earn just 1% back on every purchase because that’s the base rewards rate.

The list of eligible categories includes:

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

The Citi Custom Cash Card has no rotating bonus categories to sign up for like the Chase Freedom Flex. As your spending changes each billing cycle, your rewards earning adjust automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.

The $500 monthly cap seems low, but it matches up with the Discover it Cash Back and Chase Freedom Flex, which limit their 5% rates to $1,500 spent per quarter.

Also, this credit card offers more flexibility than Discover and Chase, which require you to activate your bonus categories every month, and they may or may not be categories in which you spend a lot.

Introductory 0% APR

Similar to the popular Citi Rewards+® Card, the Citi Custom Cash Card also offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

After that, a 18.24% - 28.24% (Variable) APR applies, which is based on your creditworthiness, and will be charged on all balances.

Balance Transfers

Note that the Citi Custom Cash Card charges is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the transfer, whichever is greater. Furthermore, balance transfers need to occur during the first four months of account opening.

If you plan on carrying a balance transfer for longer than the Citi Custom Cash Card’s 15-month offer, then consider the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. The Citi Diamond Preferred offers new cardholders long-term 0% interest on balance transfers and new purchases, after that a 17.24% - 27.99% (Variable) APR applies based on creditworthiness. Read our full review of the Citi Diamond Preferred.

New Purchases

While many credit card experts recommend paying off your balances every billing cycle, the Citi Custom Cash Card could make borrowing in the short-term acceptable.

This credit card gives members up to 15 months of zero interest on new purchases.

The trick is paying off your balance before the 0% period ends so you don’t get a stuck paying interest on the 16th month of card ownership. After that, a 18.24% - 28.24% (Variable) applies based on your creditworthiness.

Annual Fee

The Citi Custom Cash Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, which is common for cash-back credit cards in the same tier as this one.

Redeeming Rewards

Citi ThankYou credit card holders can redeem their points for cash back as a direct deposit, statement credit or check. Alternatively, they can redeem their points for gift cards, travel rewards and online shopping via Amazon.com.

The ThankYou rewards program also partners with a number of airlines, both domestic and international, and you can transfer your points to these frequent flyer programs.

Citi also has hotel loyalty programs on its list of transfer partners, providing even greater value for cardholders that prioritize travel rewards over bonus cash back.

Taking advantage of transfer partners is one of the best ways to use your points because you may be able to get a better redemption rate than the standard 1 cent per point.

Fans of the credit card issuer who have other Citi cards in their wallets — such as the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Rewards+® Card — can pool ThankYou Points together for even more significant redemptions.

A Simple to Use Cash Back Card

Citi Custom Cash℠

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

Should You Apply for the Citi Custom Cash Card?

The chance of earning 5% back for the eligible category you spend the most on every month can be incredibly appealing, especially because the Citi Custom Cash Card includes common everyday categories such as grocery store purchases, restaurant purchases and drugstore purchases.

While the $500 monthly spending limit for cash bonus rewards is relatively low, it’s standard among the rotating cash-back cards.

If you’re a ThankYou Points enthusiast, the Citi Custom Cash Card can be a great way to maximize your rewards on categories that other Citi ThankYou credit cards don’t offer.

However, it may not make sense to use just this card for all of your purchases because of its mediocre base rewards rate. Consider pairing it with a credit card that offers 1.5% or even 2% back on all purchases to maximize your cash back.

FAQs

  • With the Citi Custom Cash Card, cardholders earn 5% cash back on the first $500 spent on purchases in their top eligible spending category each billing cycle and 1% cash back thereafter. Cardholders earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other card purchases.

    Eligible categories include restaurants, grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, select streaming services, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment, select travel and select transit expenses. Cardholders do not have to keep track of rotating bonus categories, as the rewards earning will adjust automatically as your spending changes in the eligible categories.

  • Cash back earned with the Citi Custom Cash Card comes in the form of Citi ThankYou Points. You can redeem ThankYou Points online for redemption options that include statement credits, cash back via direct deposit or paper check, gift cards, travel rewards, Shop with Points at Amazon and other online retailers, and much more. You can also choose to donate your points to charities. ThankYou Points carry no minimum redemption requirements for statement credits or direct deposit redemptions.

  • New cardholders who haven’t opened a Citi Custom Cash Card account within the last 48 months are eligible to earn the card’s sign-up bonus. If you’ve previously earned the card’s sign-up bonus and closed the account later, you may be able to apply for an account again, but you are likely ineligible to earn the sign-up bonus again. You may be better off applying for another Citi credit card or another reward credit card that offers an opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus. 

  • Citi Custom Cash Card cardholders earn 5% cash back in their top eligible spending category. Customers also earn unlimited 1% cash back outside of the highest spending category each billing cycle. Eligible top spending categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

BL

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.