Citi Custom Cash(SM) Card vs. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Citi Custom Cash® Card and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express are excellent choices for an everyday credit card. Both have a welcome offer, rewards for everyday spending, and a 0% Intro APR offer. One may be perfect for you depending on your monthly expenses or since neither card has an annual fee, you might enjoy using both.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Overall Rating
4.7

Welcome Offer
Earn $200 in cash back

Rewards Range
1% - 5%

Annual Fee
$0

Regular APR
19.24% - 29.24%

0% APR on Purchases
15 months

0% APR on Balance Transfers
15 months

Foreign Transaction Fee
3%

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Overall Rating
4.4

Welcome Offer
Earn a $200 statement credit

Rewards Range
1%-3%

Annual Fee
$0

Regular APR
19.24% - 29.99%

0% APR on Purchases
15 months

0% APR on Balance Transfers
15 months

Foreign Transaction Fee
2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Welcome Offer

Citi Custom Cash® Card has this as a welcome offer: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has this welcome offer: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. (Terms Apply)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is a bit easier to earn so we give them the win here.

Cash Back Rewards

Citi Custom Cash® Card offers 5% cash on your top spending category, but you don’t have to sign up or register for anything. Instead, Citi just figures out which category you spend the most money in and gives you 5% back automatically, up to $500 each billing cycle. Categories include restaurants, gas, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, 3% cash back for U.S. online retail purchases, and 3% at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 per year (for each one), then you’ll earn 1% cash back. The cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or on Amazon.com at checkout.

For many people, groceries is their biggest spending category (after things like the mortgage and car payments). If this is you, you’ll be better off with the Citi Custom Cash® Card because you can earn 5% on groceries as opposed to the 3% that Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers. However, if you spend a lot on gas, eating out, and groceries, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may earn you more cash back overall. This is a tough one: it’s a tie.

Here are the rewards for each card:

Citi Custom Cash® Card 

Rewards:

1% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
5% cash back
Select Categories
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.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express 

Rewards:

1% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
3% cash back
U.S. supermarkets
3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
3% cash back
Select Categories
3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
3% cash back
Gas
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.

Rates and Fees

You get an attractive introductory rate with both cards. Citi Custom Cash® Card offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, after which your rate will be 19.24% - 29.24% variable, depending on creditworthiness.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express also has a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, after which your rate will be 19.24% - 29.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Neither card has an annual fee, and although Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a slightly lower foreign transaction fee, if you’re going to travel internationally, take a card with no foreign transaction fee.

Who the Citi Custom Cash® Card is Best For

Citi Custom Cash® Card is a great all-around card with good rewards, a 0% introductory APR, and it has no annual fee. If you don’t feel like figuring out which category you spend the most money in, or perhaps if your spending varies from month to month, the Citi card is a great deal. There is nothing to sign up for; it’s automatic. You’ll also get that 0% introductory rate, so if you’re planning a big purchase or want to transfer other debt over, this card is perfect.

Who the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is Best For

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may be perfect for you if your biggest monthly expenses are gas, online purchases, and at grocery stores. You may also consider pairing this card with a card that earns elevated rewards on other everyday purchases like dining and drugstores. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® for example, or a card that earns 2% cash back on all purchases like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card.

If you want to earn 6% cash back on groceries, you could apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. In addition to the 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), you also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit. The cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or on Amazon.com at checkout. There is an annual fee of $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Does it make sense to get both cards?

Yes! Since there’s no annual fee on either card, you could use the Citi Custom Cash® Card card on whatever you spend the most money on and then use the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express for gas and online purchases. Or you could use the Citi card on something not covered by the American Express card, like fitness clubs or home improvement stores. Between the two cards, you could earn cash back on almost everything you spend, which makes applying for both cards a great choice.

Approval Odds

The credit score data listed below comes from publicly available information in several forums. The accuracy of the information cannot be verified. Keep in mind that credit card issuers consider more than an applicant’s credit score and that underwriting standards change over time.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved02/06/2023
748
Experian
$3,800
Approved02/06/2023
759
TransUnion
$3,800
Approved02/06/2023
761
Equifax
$3,800
Approved10/04/2023
784
Experian
$5,300
Approved10/04/2023
801
TransUnion
$5,300
Approved10/04/2023
811
Equifax
$5,300
Approved09/13/2023
800
Not Provided
$11,600
Approved10/24/2023
720
Equifax
$8,000
Approved07/17/2023
790
Equifax
$3,000
Approved01/17/2023
800
TransUnion
$5,300
Denied05/12/2023
800
Not Provided
---
Denied05/19/2024
762
Not Provided
---

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved02/01/2023
727
Experian
$2,000
Approved09/24/2023
730
Experian
$2,000
Approved09/24/2023
735
Equifax
$2,000
Approved09/24/2023
790
TransUnion
$2,000
Approved05/21/2023
665
Experian
$5,000
Approved07/20/2023
770
Equifax
$6,000
Approved07/20/2023
772
Experian
$6,000
Approved07/20/2023
780
TransUnion
$6,000
Approved06/15/2023
730
Not Provided
$10,000

According to the data above, it looks like the American Express card may be a little more forgiving of lower credit scores in the 660 to 670 range, so if you’re rebuilding your credit, consider applying for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Once you’re approved and build up your credit score, you can apply for the Citi Custom Cash® Card.