Citi® Double Cash Card – 18-month BT offer vs. Citi Custom Cash

Cash back credit cards are incredibly popular, and for good reason. Cash back is like a bonus in your pocket every month, but not all cards give out their cash back rewards the same way. Here are two cash back card from Citi: Citi® Double Cash Card and the Citi Custom Cash® Card. We compare them so you can decide which card suits you better.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Overall Rating
4.9

Welcome Offer
Earn $200 cash back

Rewards Range
1% to 2%

Annual Fee
$0

Regular APR
19.24% - 29.24%

0% APR on Purchases
N/A

0% APR on Balance Transfers
18 months

Foreign Transaction Fee
3%

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%

Welcome Offer

Citi Custom Cash® Card: 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. This is a nice offer for a modest spend, and you get six months to achieve it.

Citi® Double Cash Card offers this: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of your Citi Double Cash® card account opening. Since both welcome offers are worth the same amount and require the same spend, this is a tie.

Cash Back Rewards

Citi® Double Cash Card is very straightforward: you earn an unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay the bill. No categories, no limits, and nothing to sign up for. Cash back rewards are distributed in the form of ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit, or a mailed check.

Citi Custom Cash® Card offers 5% cash back on whatever category you spend the most money each month. Many other cards offer 5% cash back on rotating categories, but with the Citi Custom Cash® Card, there are no rotating categories. Citi simply gives you 5% cash back automatically on the category you spend the most on, up to $500 spent per billing cycle. That means you can earn up to $25 cash back each month. Eligible categories include:

  • restaurants
  • gas stations
  • grocery stores
  • select travel
  • select transit
  • select streaming services
  • drugstores
  • home improvement stores
  • fitness clubs
  • live entertainment

There’s nothing to figure out, making this a low-maintenance, easy-keeper card.

On the other hand, you are limited to the $500 spend each month ($25 in cash back), after which you’ll earn 1% cash back. Which card is best for you depends on your spending habits. You’ll need to crunch some numbers to figure out which card will allow you to redeem the most cash back.

Here are the details for each card:

Citi® Double Cash Card 

Rewards:

2% cash back
All eligible purchases
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

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.

Rates and Fees

Neither card has an annual fee, and they both have the same foreign transaction fee: 3% If you’re trying to get out of debt by transferring higher-interest credit card balances, then the Citi® Double Cash Card card gives you an extra three months to pay it off. If you’re planning a major purchase, then you can take advantage of the Citi Custom Cash® Card 0% APR on purchases.

Citi® Double Cash Card offers a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers only for the first 18 months. After that, your rate will be 19.24% - 29.24% variable, depending on creditworthiness.

Citi Custom Cash® Card offers a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, your rate will be 19.24% - 29.24% variable, depending on your creditworthiness.

Who the Citi® Double Cash Card is Best For

Citi® Double Cash Card is a great card and one of our favorites at Allcards.com. You get unlimited 2% cash back on everything you purchase with no restrictions or caps. This is an especially great deal if you pay your balance every month. This card also has one of the longer balance transfer periods available, you can transfer that debt to this card and get the 0% APR for 18 months. This will help you get out of debt faster.

One quirk to this card is that if you take your cash back rewards as a statement credit, Citi doesn’t consider that a valid form of payment, so you won’t earn the second 1%. If you redeem your rewards in the form of a check or direct deposit, you can use that money to pay Citi and you will get the second 1%.

Citi® Double Cash Card was one of the first cards to offer 2% cash back, but now there are others. One to consider is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. This card also pays 2% cash back, there’s no annual fee, and you can earn a signup bonus.

Who the Citi Custom Cash® Card Best For

Citi Custom Cash® Card is also a great card that doesn’t require you to sign up for a particular category every quarter. That’s especially valuable if your spending habits change every month or are hard to predict. And you can take advantage of the 0% APR on purchases to make a large purchase. You could also transfer balances, but you only get 15 months months to pay those off, so the Citi® Double Cash Card is a better option for transfers.

If you want another option for a 5% cash back card and don’t mind signing up for a category each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex(SM) is a great choice. There’s no annual fee, but you do have to remember to choose a 5% category every quarter. You also get elevated cash back rewards for everyday purchases, like 3% cash back on dining and at drugstores.

Does It Make Sense to Get Both Cards?

Since neither card has an annual fee, you could easily use the Citi Custom Cash® Card for a reward category you spend up to $500 in and then use the Citi® Double Cash Card for everything else. This would give you the best of both worlds. They complement each other very well.

Approval Odds

The credit score data provided for some of the cards 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® Double Cash Card

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved06/20/2023
803
Not Provided
---
Approved07/11/2023
667
Equifax
$3,000
Denied01/10/2023
737
Equifax
---

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
---

Since both cards are issued by the same bank, approval odds are pretty similar. It appears from our data that the Citi® Double Cash Card will consider lower credit scores, but lenders take a lot of different factors into account when extending credit.