Citi Custom Cash Credit Card Review 2022: Competitive Rates and Cash Back
Interest and Fees
- Earn cash quickly
- Competitive interest rate
- Balance transfer APR
- Promotional bonus
- Low cash back on nearly all categories
- No purchase protection
Citi Custom Cash Credit Card Overview
The Citi® Custom Cash card, from our partner, is a compelling offer designed for the most responsible borrowers. In exchange for their proven borrowing responsibility, those who get approved for the card enjoy competitive interest rates and no annual fee coupled with the ability to earn up to 5% cash back and a compelling new-user bonus.
Applicants who sign up before the promotion expires will enjoy a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months — after which the APR will be — as well as $200 cash back when they spend $1500 on purchases in the first six months. Those looking to access that bonus should keep in mind that the $1500 must be on purchases; balance transfers and cash advances don’t count toward the promotion.
The card’s introductory APR makes it an appealing option for those looking to transfer balances. However, there are some drawbacks to consider.
While the main draw for consumers is the ability to earn cash quickly, the 5% cash back rate is only on the cardholder’s highest spend category. All other purchases will earn cash at the 1% rate, which is fairly low. Moreover, stiff requirements set the stage for limited access.
Citi Custom Cash Key Features
Some of the most compelling features of the Citi Custom Cash card include:
Interest and Fees
The credit card comes with a reasonable interest and fee schedule. See the chart below:
|Fee||Citi Custom Cash||Average Cash-Back Card|
|Interest Rate||0% for 15 months, then||20.57%|
|Balance Transfer Rate||0% for 15 months, then||19.79%|
|Minimum Interest Charge||$0.50||$0.50 to $2.00|
|Annual Fee||$110 for cards with fees|
|Balance Transfer||$5 or 5%, whichever is greater||3% to 5%|
|Cash Advance||$10 or 5%, whichever is greater||3% to 5%|
|Foreign Transaction||3%||2% to 3%|
Earning cash back on the Citi Custom Cash card is relatively simple and, depending on how the cardholder uses the card, it can happen quickly. Cardholders will get 5% cash back on the highest spend category, up to $25 on $500 spent, but there’s one drawback.
All purchases outside the cardholder’s highest spend category will earn rewards at a rate of 1%, which is relatively low compared to other cards designed for excellent credit users. Moreover, after the first $500 spent during any billing cycle on the highest spend category, even that category will earn just 1%.
The sign-up bonus is a strong draw for many consumers. Those who spend $1500 in their first six months will receive a $200 bonus. However, when comparing options, consumers with excellent credit scores will easily find larger bonuses. For example:
- The Capital One Savor card offers a $300 sign-up bonus when users spend $3,000 in their first three months.
- The American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card offers a $350 welcome offer when users spend $3,000 on the card in the first six months. Terms apply.
- Discover it matches cash back on an unlimited basis for the first year.
Nonetheless, not all cash-back credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, and the $200 offered with the Citi Custom Cash card is nothing to shake a stick at.
New cardholders will enjoy an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by an APR of .
Applicants should remember that while the introductory APR is 0%, they will be charged a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount — whichever is greater. However, these additional fees are commonplace with balance transfer credit cards.
Citi Custom Cash cardholders also enjoy the following advantages to owning the card:
Anytime someone chooses to work with a financial service, the level of customer service the company is known for providing should be taken into account. After all, nobody wants to call a lender with a question and find that either nobody’s there to answer the call or the people answering aren’t knowledgeable enough to answer the question.
As a premier lender, Citi offers one of the highest-quality customer service teams available with any credit card company. The team is available day or night, weekends and holidays, through varying contact methods.
Moreover, the staff at Citi is highly trained and knowledgeable, so they should be able to answer cardholder questions quickly and clearly.
Cash Back Redemption Options
Different cash-back credit cards will offer different redemption options. In the case of the Citi Custom Cash card, there are three options: direct deposit to a bank account, a statement credit or a check.
Product Change Capabilities
Citi allows cardholders to interchange products based on creditworthiness. Therefore, cardholders who have been approved for the Custom Cash card and decide the card isn’t quite what they’re looking for are often able to upgrade or downgrade to a different Citi product.
Who Citi Custom Cash Card Is Best For
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all financial offer, and the Citi Custom Cash card is no exception to the rule. Considering the benefits and drawbacks of the credit card, the prime applicants would have the following characteristics:
- Good to Excellent Credit: For applicants to be approved, they must have a good to excellent credit score. Those on the low end of the good score still might have difficulty getting approved depending on other factors like their debt-to-income ratio. Moreover, those with bad or fair credit will not be approved.
- A Strong Sense of Self-Control: When earning cash back for spending, it’s easy for consumers to get so wrapped up in earning money that they don’t realize how much they’re spending. Only consumers with a strong sense of self-control should consider signing up for a credit card that incentivizes spending.
- Strong Budgeting Skills: To avoid racking up high levels of debt, cardholders need to have strong budgeting skills.
- In Need of a Balance Transfer: Finally, due to the balance transfer introductory rate, those with high interest-rate balances are perfect candidates for the card.
Alternatives to the Citi Custom Cash Card
There are several alternatives to the Citi Custom Cash card. Some of the most compelling offers include:
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Cardholders can earn a $200 introductory bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, plus unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® card. This card comes with no annual fee and the interest rate is competitive.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® card also comes with a .
Cardholders also enjoy other perks such as cell phone protection when they pay their bills using the card, contactless payment and no limits to the number of rewards they can earn.
There are four ways cardholders can redeem their earned cash:
- Get cash at the ATM
- Use for purchases
- Get gift cards
- Send cash to a qualifying Wells Fargo checking, savings or credit card account
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards
Cardholders can earn a $200 introductory bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days, plus 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases with the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card.
The credit card also comes with a
Cardholders have no limits to the amount of cash they can earn, and the earned rewards will never expire.
The card also gives cardholders several additional perks, such as access to their FICO scores, online and mobile banking, paperless statements, contactless payments and digital wallet technology.
The Citi Custom Cash card is a compelling offer for those looking to earn cash back on purchases in categories where they spend the most money or for those interested in transferring high-interest balances to a zero-interest credit card.
However, people who are looking for a card that offers a decent rewards rate across multiple categories and a welcome bonus that exceeds $200 will want to look at alternative credit cards.
FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Citi Custom Cash® card.
- How hard is it to get a Citi Custom Cash® card?
- Due to the fact that the card requires applicants to have a good to excellent credit score, it is relatively difficult to get a Citi Custom Cash® card. However, those with good-to-excellent credit will find the process of applying and being approved relatively simple.
- Is the Citi Custom Cash® card worth it?
- This largely depends on what the cardholder is looking for in a credit card. If the cardholder is interested in earning cash, multiple redemption options and a quality support team, the Citi Custom Cash® card is definitely worth the time spent filling out an application.
- Is the Citi Custom Cash® card a credit card?
- Yes, the Citi Custom Cash® card is a credit card.
- Is the Citi Custom Cash® card metal?
- While the Citi Custom Cash® card may appear to be metal in pictures online, like most cash-back cards, it is made of plastic.
- Does Citi Custom Cash® have purchase protection?
- The Citi Custom Cash® card does not have purchase protection.
Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Citi, Wells Fargo or Bank of America. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Citi, Wells Fargo or Bank of America.
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