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Citi Custom Cash Card Review – No Annual Fee & 5% Cash-Back

The new Citi Custom Cash Card is a cash-back credit score card with no annual charge and a beneficiant rewards program that favors on a regular basis spending. With no quarterly rotating classes or money again activation required, it’s a notable enchancment on conventional category-based money again bank cards like Chase Freedom Flex.

The Citi Custom Cash Card shines on two different fronts as properly. It has probably the greatest sign-up bonuses of any no-annual-fee credit score card on the market, and it boasts a really lengthy 0% APR introductory promotion that applies to each purchases and stability transfers. Although its overseas transaction charge is a downer for jet-setting cardholders, there’s not a lot to complain about right here in any other case.

Thinking about upgrading your present cash-back card to a brand new mannequin? Intrigued by what you’ve realized thus far in regards to the Citi Custom Cash Card, a Mastercard from probably the most fashionable credit score card issuers round? Keep studying for extra about this card’s options, advantages, and total suitability for shoppers such as you.

Key Features

The Citi Custom Cash Card has a beneficiant sign-up bonus, a strong ongoing money again rewards program, and a powerful 0% APR introductory promotion. Cash again arrives as ThankYou factors, Citi’s loyalty forex — value $0.01 per level when redeemed for money equivalents like assertion credit and checking account deposits.

Sign-Up Bonus

Earn $200 bonus money, fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou factors, after spending $750 in eligible purchases in the course of the first three months your account is open. This bonus supply is value $200 when redeemed for assertion credit or direct deposits to an eligible checking account.

Earning Cash-Back Rewards

Citi Custom Cash has a two-tiered rewards program.

First, all eligible purchases within the cardholder’s prime month-to-month spending class (of the eight completely eligible classes) earn 5% money again (5 Citi ThankYou factors per $1 spent), as much as $500 in month-to-month spending in that class. The spending classes eligible for bonus money again are:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Select transit
  • Select journey
  • Select streaming providers
  • Drugstores
  • Home enchancment shops
  • Live leisure

There’s no restrict to how ceaselessly the cardholder’s prime month-to-month spending class can change. But keep in mind that the $500 month-to-month spending cap successfully limits bonus cash-back earnings to $25 per 30 days or $300 per year.

Second, all different eligible purchases earn 1% money again (1 ThankYou level per $1 spent), with no caps or restrictions on incomes potential. This class contains purchases within the prime month-to-month spending class above the $500 month-to-month spending cap.

Redeeming Cash-Back Rewards

ThankYou factors will be redeemed for nearly something within the Citi ThankYou Rewards portal. Optimal redemptions embody assertion credit or checking account deposits, each of which worth factors at $0.01 apiece. Cardholders may additionally redeem for Amazon purchases, present playing cards, merchandise, and different objects.

Introductory APR

Enjoy 0% APR for 15 months after account opening on purchases and for 15 months from the date of switch for stability transfers. Thereafter, common variable APR applies, relying in your creditworthiness and prevailing rates of interest.

Qualifying stability transfers should be accomplished inside 4 months of account opening. A stability switch charge applies.

Important Fees

The Citi Custom Cash Card has no annual charge. Foreign transactions value 3% of the whole transaction quantity. Other charges might apply.

Credit Required

Citi Custom Cash requires a good to glorious credit score rating. Applicants with restricted, poor, or truthful credit score are unlikely to qualify for this rewards credit score card.

Advantages

The Citi Custom Cash Card has a whole lot of benefits over flat-rate cash-back bank cards and conventional quarterly rotating class playing cards as properly. Plus, with a beneficiant sign-up bonus and intro APR promotion, it provides loads for brand new account holders to love.

1. No Annual Fee

The Citi Custom Cash Card has no annual charge. Cardholders who don’t plan to make use of it as their major credit score card can relaxation assured that it received’t burn a gap of their pockets between makes use of.

2. Strong Sign-up Bonus

Citi Custom Cash has a robust sign-up bonus with a comparatively low spending requirement and no spend classes to fret about.

3. Lots of Opportunities to Earn 5% Cash Back

Unlike the unique crop of cash-back bank cards with 5% bonus money again classes, Citi Custom Cash provides a everlasting array of bonus classes and robotically rewards cardholders for utilizing their favourite.

To be particular, Custom Cash has eight pretty broad spending classes eligible for bonus earnings: eating places, gasoline stations, choose journey, choose streaming providers, choose transit, drugstores, residence enchancment shops, and stay leisure. You’ll robotically obtain 5% money again in whichever of those classes you spend essentially the most in every month (as much as $500 in month-to-month spending).

4. Very Long 0% APR Introductory Promotion on Purchases and Balance Transfers

Citi Custom Cash has one of many longest 0% APR introductory promotions of any cash-back card on the market, exceeded solely by a handful of playing cards at any given time — together with by its stablemate, the Citi Double Cash Card, which has an excellent longer stability switch promotion.

Citi Custom Cash’s 0% APR promotion is notable for masking each purchases and stability transfers, quite than just one or the opposite as is usually the case. All in all, this is among the greatest bank cards round for candidates trying to keep away from curiosity expenses early on.

5. Lots of Cash-Back Redemption Options

Citi Custom Cash cardholders earn ThankYou factors redeemable for money equivalents (assertion credit, checking account deposits) and for present playing cards, normal merchandise, and extra. Needless to say, it’s a pleasant loyalty forex for cardholders who like preserving their choices open, and a bonus over straight cash-back playing cards like Citi Double Cash.

6. No Quarterly Rotating Cash-Back Categories to Worry About

Unlike Chase Freedom Flex and different bank cards with rotating classes, Citi Custom Cash doesn’t ask cardholders to maintain monitor of classes that change by the month or quarter. Neither does it require cardholders to manually activate bonus money again in these classes, a perennial downside of Flex and its ilk. Here, bonus earnings are all automated, on a regular basis.

Disadvantages

The Citi Custom Cash Card isn’t excellent. Its drawbacks embody a comparatively low baseline cash-back rate and a overseas transaction charge that’s lower than ideally suited for cardholders who recurrently enterprise exterior the U.S. or buy items from worldwide distributors.

1. Low Baseline Cash-Back Rate

Citi Custom Cash has a low baseline cash-back rate of simply 1%, or 1 ThankYou level per $1 spent. This rate applies to all purchases besides the primary $500 in eligible purchases within the cardholder’s prime spending class for the month. For higher-spending cardholders, that’s apt to imply the majority of all card spending.

By distinction, 2% flat-rate playing cards like Citi Double Cash earn limitless 2% money again on all eligible purchases, on a regular basis.

2. Has a Foreign Transaction Fee

Citi Custom Cash has a 3% overseas transaction charge. That’s a downside relative to competing playing cards that don’t have overseas transaction charges and of specific concern to cardholders who ceaselessly journey overseas or patronize worldwide distributors.

3. Not Appropriate for First-Time Credit Card Users

Citi Custom Cash requires good to glorious credit score. It’s not accessible to first-time credit score card customers with restricted credit score historical past, nor to candidates with impaired credit score (low FICO credit score scores).

4. Bonus Cash-Back Earnings Capped at $500 in Monthly Spending

Citi Custom Cash caps bonus cash-back earnings at $25 per 30 days, equating to not more than $500 in month-to-month bonus class spending. That’s an obstacle for heavy spenders who persistently hit the spending cap.

Final Word

The Citi Custom Cash Card improves upon the category-based cash-back card with one smart tweak to the mannequin: robotically rewarding spending within the cardholder’s prime spending class for the month, quite than in an arbitrary class or two that rotates each quarter.

Nothing in opposition to old-school class playing cards like Chase Freedom Flex. With advance buy planning, maximizing Chase Freedom Flex’s 5% bonus classes is totally doable. Diligent Freedom Flex cardholders with ample budgets can simply extract the utmost $300 annual bonus money from their playing cards.

Then once more, Citi Custom Cash additionally holds the promise of as much as $300 in bonus money every year, housed in a a lot easier rewards scheme. No handbook activation, no checking the cash-back calendar each quarter — simply on a regular basis spending that robotically earns 5 instances the baseline cash-back rate. What might be easier?

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