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New Citi “Custom Cash” card - 5% in top eligible category

New Citi “Custom Cash” card - 5% in top eligible category

Old Jun 10, 2021, 6:37 am
  #1  
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New Citi “Custom Cash” card - 5% in top eligible category

Citi has released a Custom Cash card that offers 5% in your top spend category in a month and 1% back in everything else.

They have a $200 signup bonus after $750 in spend. Interestingly they say the bonus is paid out as 20K Thank You points redeemable for $200 in cash so it appears this card earns thank you points and has a 1 pt to 1c conversion ratio.

Link to card on their site

Last edited by islandguy84; Jun 10, 2021 at 6:43 am
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 7:33 am
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Wow, does anyone else feel like this card came out of nowhere? I noticed the following language, which won't be popular:

"Citi will only issue one Citi Custom CashSM Card account per person. You will qualify for the bonus offer only if you have not received a bonus offer for opening a new Citi Custom CashSM Card in the past 48 months."

I'm actually tempted to try to convert my double cash to this card since I would use it more often.
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 7:45 am
  #3  
mia
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The 5% reward is capped at $500 spend. That's a potential $15/month versus putting the same expense on Double Cash

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
...and only applies to specific categories. many of which earn bonuses on other cards, but this could be good in a category where you have recurring expenses:

5% eligible categories: Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment.
Originally Posted by xov91
....

"Citi will only issue one Citi Custom CashSM Card account per person. .
That's to prevent using a separate card for each category, but a couple could have two in a household.
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Last edited by mia; Jun 10, 2021 at 7:55 am
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 8:42 am
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This offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
So this earns TYP. Combining with the Premier/Prestige and the Rewards+, it can form a strong Citi trifecta.
Plus it establish a 1cpp TPY Cash Out option on a $0 annual fee card. Noice!
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by mia
The 5% reward is capped at $500 spend. That's a potential $15/month versus putting the same expense on Double Cash



...and only applies to specific categories. many of which earn bonuses on other cards, but this could be good in a category where you have recurring expenses:





That's to prevent using a separate card for each category, but a couple could have two in a household.
I'm not as excited anymore.
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare
I'm not as excited anymore.
This card is clearly an attempt to compete with the Chase Freedom.
  • Chase Freedom is 5x on rotating categories per quarter with a limit of $1500 in the quarter with a $200 sign on bonus
  • Citi Custom Cash is 5x on a category, up to $500 per month (which is the same as $1500 per quarter) with a $200 sign on bonus
So it fills a similar spot in the Citi lineup to the Chase trifecta:
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve = Citi Premier/Prestige
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5x unlimited) = Citi Double Cash (2x unlimited)
  • Chase Freedom (5x up to $1500 per qtr) = Citi Custom Cash (5x on up to $1500 per qtr)
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Last edited by islandguy84; Jun 10, 2021 at 10:10 am
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by islandguy84
This card is clearly an attempt to compete with the Chase Freedom.
Yup. It's the Citi Freedom Card. It's not awful, not incredible either.

Hey, Citi, how about some new BUSINESS cards to compete with Chase's VERY successful Ink cards? That seems to be the biggest hole in Citi's offerings. I'd jump on a Business version of this and other Citi personal cards...
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 11:21 am
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I will get this card, either as a conversion from an AA card or a new approval. No brainer for someone that collects Thank You points
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy
Yup. It's the Citi Freedom Card. It's not awful, not incredible either.

Hey, Citi, how about some new BUSINESS cards to compete with Chase's VERY successful Ink cards? That seems to be the biggest hole in Citi's offerings. I'd jump on a Business version of this and other Citi personal cards...
I agree. I find Citi's business cards to be quite weak...
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 4:00 pm
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I think it's a good, not excellent, option. If you like TYP you may as well convert a lesser used card to this one (once it's allowed). I'm hesitant to say it's worth an app on its own. Maybe if it offered 2 or 3 categories at 5x as opposed to just only one.
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos
I will get this card, either as a conversion from an AA card or a new approval. No brainer for someone that collects Thank You points
Originally Posted by kdm31091
I think it's a good, not excellent, option. If you like TYP you may as well convert a lesser used card to this one (once it's allowed). I'm hesitant to say it's worth an app on its own. Maybe if it offered 2 or 3 categories at 5x as opposed to just only one.
You both bring up great points, and I agree this card is not worth a 5/24 slot on it's own. One thing that has me concerned, and has yet to be addressed, is whether this card will be part of Citi's 24 month Thank You bonus restriction.

As far as I know Citi's terms states that you can only get one Thank You bonus every 24 months, and some have reported that product changes reset the clock. In my case, I got the Prestige in May, 2019, converted to the Double Cash, June, 2020, and am planning to wait until summer 2022 to apply for the Premier to collect another 60,000 bonus, depending on what is offered at the time.

If someone applies for the "Custom Card" to get the $200 bonus, which is actually 20,000 Thank You points, they may be locking themselves out of a bonus on the Premier/Prestige and not even realize it. Of course, someone that got the Premier/Prestige within the last two years, could potentially apply for the "Custom" card and not be eligible for the $200 bonus, and not realize it until the application is already processed, since Citi won't notify you ahead of time.

Getting this card as a product change is the best strategy, since the signup bonuses on the AA/Premier/Prestige are substantially larger. I'll keep my Double Cash for large non-bonus spend and for everything else that I don't have a card for, but this is nice option to have for Gas, Groceries, or Restaurants if I decide to cancel any Amex cards that have annual fees.

In my mind, the "Custom" card makes the Rewards+ card less valuable, but I won't consider getting either, until after I earn my next Thank You bonus next year.
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Last edited by diesteldorf; Jun 10, 2021 at 10:22 pm
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by mia
That's to prevent using a separate card for each category, but a couple could have two in a household.
It just sucks for people that double down on multiple Freedom Flex/Discover It cards to circumvent the low spending caps.

$500/month is nothing for many categories even for modest spenders. Making P2 get one is annoying for people that like to keep their p2 under 5/24
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Old Jun 11, 2021, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by WasKnown
It just sucks for people that double down on multiple Freedom Flex/Discover It cards to circumvent the low spending caps.

$500/month is nothing for many categories even for modest spenders. Making P2 get one is annoying for people that like to keep their p2 under 5/24
Citi (or Chase or Discover) doesn't necessarily want you holding a handful of the 5x cards and maximizing your benefits. That's the whole purpose of this rule from Citi. You get one 5% card with one category. As I said upthread I think 2 categories would be a little more reasonable for the product in general, but I completely understand not allowing more than one card per customer. The low spending caps exist for a reason and lenders don't want you circumventing them, or they wouldn't put them in place.
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Old Jun 11, 2021, 6:38 am
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From YouTube comments, it's not possible to convert to the card from an existing product at this time.
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Old Jun 11, 2021, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by kdm31091
Citi (or Chase or Discover) doesn't necessarily want you holding a handful of the 5x cards and maximizing your benefits. That's the whole purpose of this rule from Citi. You get one 5% card with one category. As I said upthread I think 2 categories would be a little more reasonable for the product in general, but I completely understand not allowing more than one card per customer. The low spending caps exist for a reason and lenders don't want you circumventing them, or they wouldn't put them in place.
Not saying that Citi should allow this or want this but it is totally ok to do this with Chase. It is pretty common for churners to have multiple Freedoms.
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