Citi Custom Cash® Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠*
The Chase Freedom Flex℠* also offers 5% cash back, though in a much different way. With the Freedom Flex, the rewards are 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that rotate quarterly (requires activation), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The bonus categories change each quarter and must be “activated” to earn the cash back. Because each quarter is three months, the average category spend cap works out to $500 per month—the same as the Citi Custom Cash. This means the same amount of cash back can be earned by maximizing either category.
Though the Citi Custom Cash means being able to leverage spending in a specific category—and this may appeal much more to some potential cardholders—the Freedom Flex also has additional elevated earning opportunities. For this reason, we’re calling the cash-back earning advantages between these two cards a toss-up: It’s entirely about what’s best for each individual consumer’s spending habits.
Both cards have similar introductory APR periods, Freedom Flex offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% – 29.24% applies. Intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days, after that either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater applies. Neither card has an annual fee.
Citi Custom Cash® Card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card
We’re fans of both these cards from Citi, albeit for different reasons. The Citi® Double Cash Card and the Citi Custom Cash make great next-door neighbors in a wallet. The Citi Double Cash’s unlimited rewards program sets the standard for a flat-rate, cash-back earning card: 2% cash back on all purchases—1% when purchases are made and another 1% when they’re paid off.
But, if paired with the Citi Custom Cash, you can maximize the 5% reward on the first $500 each month in a top-earning category to hit up to $300 in cash-back rewards per year, while using the Double Cash for all other spending.
If choosing one card, the Citi Double Cash is a better cash-back card for most. The card’s lower balance transfer fee and its introductory APR makes it a superior card for balance transfers as well. Get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the standard variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on creditworthiness. An intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, applies to transfers completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, the fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Add in the ability to transfer points to a limited selection of Citi’s travel partners, and the Double Cash comes out strongly on top.
Citi Custom Cash® Card vs. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Terms apply, see rates & fees) offers an example of a card for those who want to see cash-back rewards across a variety of purchase categories. This card earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases in the U.S. (on up to $6,000 in each category per year in purchases, then 1%), and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
Which card is more rewarding will depend on the amounts and types of purchases you make. You’ll earn a lower cash-back rate on bonus categories but more categories are included and with higher purchase limits. The card also includes the potential to earn statement credits on select purchases including subscriptions to the Disney Bundle (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+) and Home Chef for extra value. Enrollment is required.