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Citi Custom Cash Card Review: 5% Cash Back in Your Top Spending Category, and More

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.  Citi is an advertising partner of The Ascent.

With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, the category where you spend the most is also where you earn the most. Every billing cycle, it earns 5% cash back on up to $500 spent in one eligible category from a list of 10, which include grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations. In addition to one of the highest cash back rates you'll find, it also offers a valuable sign-up bonus. Read our detailed Citi Custom Cash℠ Card review to find out if you should apply.

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Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Credit Score:
Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Intro APR

Purchases: 0%, 15 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months

Regular APR

16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)

Rewards Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 5% cash back in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent), 1% cash back on other purchases

1% - 5% cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Welcome Offer Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Earn $200 in 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.

20,000 ThankYou® Points

  • A leading cash-back card that includes a big sign-up bonus, great rewards program, and long 0% intro APR offers, all with no annual fee.

    • Cash back rewards
    • Sign-up bonus
    • No annual fee
    • 0% intro APR offer
    • Bonus cash back limits
    • 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.
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • 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.
    • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
    • No Annual Fee
    • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.

Full Citi Custom Cash Card review

This credit card is a good fit for: Consumers who want to maximize cash back in one spending category. This card also works well in combination with a flat-rate rewards card.

Top perks

A few key benefits make the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card a great value.

Cash back rewards

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category every billing cycle, up to a spending cap of $500. Other purchases earn 1% cash back, including bonus category purchases beyond that $500 spending cap. Here are the categories that are eligible to earn 5% back:

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

That high cash back rate is the card's most valuable perk. Not many cash back credit cards offer 5% back, and to make it even better, you get it in whichever category you spend the most. If you max it out by always spending $500 in your top bonus category, that's $25 cash back per billing cycle, which can add up to $300 per year.

See more: Best Gas and Groceries Credit Cards

Sign-up bonus

You'll earn $200 in bonus cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of opening the account. This is one of the better credit card sign-up bonuses. It offers a large bonus amount, and you don't need to spend too much to get it. If you put at least $250 in purchases per month on the card, you'll spend enough to get the bonus.

No annual fee

If you're looking to avoid extra credit card fees, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card will work for you. It's a no annual fee card, so you can carry it free of charge.

Read more: Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

0% intro APR offer

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card packs in a long 0% intro APR offer for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. The 0% intro APR offer can help you finance the cost of a large purchase or help you get out of debt faster. Importantly, few credit cards offer such a rich rewards program, big bonus, and long 0% intro APR offer for both purchases and balance transfers.

More options: Best 0% APR Credit Cards

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want to earn a high cash back rate on purchases: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer can get you 2% cash back on purchases. It earns 1% cash back when you make the purchase, and the other 1% when you pay your credit card bill on time. If your spending is usually spread fairly evenly across several categories, this card's flat-rate cash back could save you the most money.
  • If you want more bonus categories: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and boosts rotating categories for cash back. It also earns 3% back at drugstores and restaurants, making it one of the most rewarding cards on the market.

Learn more: Best Rewards Credit Cards

As of Sep. 27, 2022
Image for
Image for
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer Chase Freedom Flex℠
Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Apply Now for Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's Secure Website.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Welcome Offer: Welcome Offer info Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

$200 cash back

Welcome Offer: Welcome Offer info Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!

$200 bonus

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 2% cash back: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay

Up to 2% cash back

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

1% - 5% cash back

Intro APR: Intro APR Tooltip N/A

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0% Intro APR on Purchases, 15 months

Balance Transfers: 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers, 15 months

Regular APR:

16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)

Regular APR:

17.24% - 25.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee: Annual Fee Tooltip N/A

$0

Highlights:

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Highlights:

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
Apply Now for Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's Secure Website.

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What could be improved

There is an area where this Citi credit card could be better.

Bonus cash back limits

You earn a high cash back rate with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card -- but only in one category, and only on up to $500 in spending per billing cycle. Some of the other top credit cards offer multiple bonus categories or have bonus categories without spending caps. Make sure you compare credit cards to see how much you could earn with different card products.

It'd be great to see Citi offer more bonus cash back, such as 3% back on your second-highest spending category each billing cycle. Another option would be bumping up the spending cap to $1,000 per billing cycle. Either of those would help consumers maximize credit card rewards even more.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

It helps to have a FICO® Score of 670 or higher when applying for the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. As one of Citi's most valuable cards, it's intended for consumers who have good to excellent credit. Your credit score isn't the only factor Citi looks at, so that alone doesn't guarantee an approval or a denial. But it is one of the most important factors.

The Citi Custom Cash Card is right for you if:

You want to earn cash back and you have high spending in one of its bonus categories. The best thing about the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is that just about anyone can get good value from it. If you spend anywhere from about $200 to $500 per billing cycle in one of its 5% eligible categories, you'll collect plenty of cash back with this Citi card.

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