It’s been a while since I’ve written about a credit card last time as there was nothing that triggered my attention. But the next-gen Citi Custom Cash Card that came out last week seems like a no-brainer to me. One of the biggest benefits of the card is that you no longer have to track rotating categories that offer higher cash back. For example, Chase Freedom Flex rotates bonus categories every few months. I never liked that idea as I rarely remembered to make the change. With the new card from Citi tracking rotating categories becomes almost obsolete. The new Citi card comes with a 5% cash back (up to $500 per month) in eligible categories where you usually spend the most. You earn 1% cash back on all other categories. The 5% cash back eligible categories include:
- Grocery Stores
- Gas Stations
- Drug Stores
- Home Improvement Stores
- Fitness Clubs
- Select Streaming Services
- Select Travel & Transit
- Live Entertainment
The rewards come in the form of Citi ThankYou Points which you can then redeem for travel, cash out, or shop with. 1 ThankYou Point equates to 1 cent of cash-back rewards. That means you will earn 5 points per dollar (5% back) on the first $500 spent on your top eligible spending category.
The card offers a sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $750 in purchase within the first three months of account opening. In addition to that, the card does not have an annual fee.
Additional benefits include access to Citi Entertainment, a free check of your FICO credit score, and identity theft protection that monitors and alerts your in case of suspicious activity.
A Quick Example
Let’s say that you spent $1,000 on groceries and $500 on dining out last month. Your cash back for that month would be $1,000 x 5% and $500 x 1% for the total of $55 ($50 + $5). If you were to spend $2,000 on travel and $1,000 on groceries next month then you would earn back $110 ($2,000 x 5% and $1,000 x 1%).
If you max out your spending every month, you can earn up to 30,000 ThankYou Points – this almost enough for a round trip from Chicago to Hawaii.
Our spending habits change frequently and that is why I find this card very interesting. Since the Citi Custom Cash Card adjusts to our spending habits I think it can be a good addition to your wallet. The welcome bonus isn’t big but it is very attainable – just spend $750 within three months and get $200 back.
Next, I like that you won’t have to track or make any changes to cash back categories whatsoever. Citi will identify the categories where you spent the most during the last billing cycle and will calculate the ThankYou Points automatically – this is super convenient.
Finally, the new Citi card can help you to get more cash back in certain categories where cash back isn’t often high. For example, I am big a fan of American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card that gives me 6% cash back on Groceries and Streaming. At the same time, Amex Blue Cash Preferred earns me only 3% on Gas and 1% on Travel. With the Citi Custom Cash Card I can now earn bump up my cash back earnings on gas or traveling from 3% and 1% to 5%. Not bad at all for a credit card with no annual fee.
How To Apply
Applying for the new Citi Custom Cash Card is simple. Just click on this link and fill out the application.