citi custom cash 5%
Citi Custom Cash Credit Card
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Today, Citi has launched a new ThankYou point-earning credit card offering not just a new opportunity for bonus ThankYou points, but a pretty compelling reason to continue to spend on the card as well.

The card earns ThankYou points which I expect works similar to a ThankYou Preferred in that the points are just 1% cash back unless you also have a Citi Premier card or Prestige in your Citi portfolio. Assuming you do, then these should combine to your overall ThankYou pool once linked.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

Citi Custom Cash Signup Bonus

You’ll earn 20,000 ThankYou points when you spend $750 within 3 months from when you open your card.

This equates to a $200 signup bonus, but it’s worth more if you have a Citi Premier or Prestige to link it to.

How It Earns

You will earn 5% cash back (as ThankYou Points) on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, with 1% cash back thereafter. You do not have to select anything at any time. It’s automatic.

The eligible spend categories are:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas Stations
  • Grocery Stores
  • Select Travel
  • Select Transit
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Drugstores
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Fitness Clubs
  • Live Entertainment

You’ll earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This is the first and only card that I can think of that will offer 5% at home improvement stores. That’s kind of a big deal. It’s also 2% higher than the Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited which earn 3% (uncapped) for drugstores.

Now, the $500 limit is a bit of a bummer for sure, but what is cool is that it’s your top category each month. So it’s kind of like a rotating bonus category except you choose – and you don’t even have to technically choose or register, the 5% is automatically applied to your highest spend category each billing cycle.

As a comparison, the Chase Freedom Flex offers a 5X rotating quarterly bonus category, but with a limit of $1,500 per quarter and on whatever categories they choose. This works out to the same $1,500 per quarter, but divided evenly each month such that you can utilize different categories each month.

While a heavy spender may not be super impressed with the $500 a month cap, I think many spenders would be very happy to earn 5% on restaurants, grocery stores, gas, etc. on a card with no annual fee.

And heck, you could buy $500 worth of show or concert tickets one month and get 5% on that! So, in context, I think this card becomes a very compelling addition to the Citi Trifecta / Quadfecta. Is “quinfecta” a word??

Essentially, I think that for many people this is an easy 30,000 more ThankYou points a year (2,500 a month on 5X).

O% Intro APR Offer – New Purchases and Balance Transfers

This one is going to be a great choice for those looking for a 0% intro offer as you’ll get 15 months at 0% for both new purchases and, if you choose, balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%.

Annual Fee

There’s no annual fee.

Card Limit

Many people have multiples of the same Citi credit card. Acknowledging out of the gate that someone might want to hold many of these to get everything at 5X, they are capping this card at one per person.

Citi Custom Cash Card Summary

As I said above, I think this card should make for an easy extra 30,000 ThankYou points per year. That’s enough for a round trip in business class anywhere in North America (based on United having saver availability to book via Turkish) – as long as you also have a Premier or Prestige card.

I would absolutely pair this with a Citi Premier credit card (3X on most travel, dining, groceries, and gas plus it unlocks the ability to transfer all ThankYou points to airlines), a Citi Double Cash (2% cash back on everything with the ability to convert to ThankYou points 1:1), and a Rewards+ card (10% annual rebate on redemptions).

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Thoughts?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

1 COMMENT

  1. I wonder if Citi would find it abusive if you purchased $500.00 worth of GC’s at the supermarket every month?

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