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They all complement each other perfectly. Once you have a the Chase Ink Preferred®, which allows you to transfer points to Chase’s great lineup of airline and hotel partners like World of Hyatt, you will want to get the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited to maximize your total earnings on bonus categories – since all points can be combined to your Ink Preferred.
The Ink Cash is a truly amazing card when it comes to bonus multipliers on select business categories. With 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year plus 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, you have tremendous bonus category multipliers on a no annual fee card.
But the most important thing to know is that although this card says you are earning cash back, that is only if you don’t also have a Chase Ink Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card.
Either way, you are earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But without one of the above cards, you can only redeem your points for 1 cent per point. Once you do have a Chase Ink Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card in your arsenal, though, you’ll be able to move your points from your Ink Cash to any of those three cards, where you can either transfer to airline and hotel partner programs or redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal where your points are worth 1.25 – 1.5 cents each, depending on which card you have. The Ink Preferred and Sapphire Preferred offer 1.25 cents a point while the much higher annual fee Sapphire Reserve gives you 1.5 cents per point when booking travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Even if you don’t “combo” your Ink Cash, those 5% and 2% bonus categories are exceptionally strong for business spending on a business credit card with no annual fees. And that large signup bonus doesn’t hurt either!
Overall, the Chase Ink Cash is one of my very favorite cards. I charge my cable, internet, and phone to the card and use it often at office supply stores, which sell a wide array of goods. I also use it for gas stations and dining as I like racking up Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 2X bonus rate.
But keep in mind that it is at its most powerful when paired with a Chase Ink Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. To show you the difference, you know cash back means each point is worth a penny. But when you have it paired with one of these other cards to unlock points transfers, we value those points at 1.75 cents a piece – due to the flexibility of transfer partners and the potential redemptions those programs offer. So pairing your card boosts the rewards value, in our humble opinion, by 75%.
When using our spend calculator on this card, you’ll notice that we ask if you have a Chase Ink Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and, if you do, we’ll increase the value of rewards on this card from 1 cent to 1.75 cents accordingly.
Please note: you must be under 5/24 (more on the Chase 5/24 rule) to apply for this card and you cannot apply for more than one Chase Business card in any 30 day period. You can apply for a maximum of two Chase cards within 30 days, with only, at most, 1 of them being a business card.
$200 in the form of 20,000 bonus ThankYou® points when you spend $1,500 within 6 months
You will earn 5% cash back (as ThankYou® Points) on eligible purchases in your top spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, with 1% cash back thereafter on all of your other eligible purchases made with your Citi Custom Cash card. You do not have to select anything at any time. It’s automatic. And these are not rotating bonus categories – it’s the same choice each month.
The eligible bonus spend categories are:
You’ll earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
The 5X applies to your top category each month. So it’s kind of like a rotating bonus category except you choose – and you don’t even have to technically choose or register, the 5% is automatically applied to your highest spend category each billing cycle.
As a comparison, the Chase Freedom Flex offers a 5X rotating quarterly bonus category, but with a limit of $1,500 per quarter and on whatever categories they choose. This works out to the same $1,500 per quarter, but divided evenly each month such that you can utilize different categories each month.
This is the first and only card that I can think of that offers 5% at home improvement stores and at drugstores.
While a heavy spender may not be super impressed with the $500 a month cap, I think many spenders would be very happy to earn 5% on restaurants, grocery stores, gas, etc. on a card with no annual fee.
And heck, you could buy $500 worth of show or concert tickets one month and get 5% on that!
The Citi Custom Cash card is a perfect companion card to a Citi Premier® and a Citi® Double Cash card, creating a Citi Trifecta. If you have all three cards, you would use the Citi Premier for 3X Citi ThankYou points® on air travel & hotels, gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets, the Double Cash card for everything else at 2X, except for one category out of the Custom Cash’s options for 5X up to $500 a month. Personally, I think that most people would want to make this their go-to card for gas stations, as that is an easy one to spend roughly $500 a month on. But, of course, what category you pick will depend on your own spending patterns.
You might be thinking about getting multiple Citi Custom Cash cards – a Custom Cash card for each category, but you cannot. Acknowledging that someone might want to hold many of these to get everything at 5X, they have capped this card at one per person.
The bonus offer is not available if you received one for opening a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account in the past 48 months.
However, this is GOOD news! You see, with all of the other Citi credit cards that earn ThankYou points you can only get one bonus, in total, every 24 months. Meaning that getting a Citi Premier precludes you from, for example, a Citi Rewards+.
But the Custom Cash card is not subject to that rule. So, you can get another Citi ThankYou® card bonus and a Custom Cash card bonus within the same 24 month period.
It’s important to know what counts and what doesn’t, especially for bonus categories that start with the word “Select.”
The following definitions apply to the Citi Custom Cash card categories:
Includes purchases at cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants. Excludes purchases at bakeries, caterers, restaurants located inside another business (such as hotels, stores, stadiums, grocery stores, or warehouse clubs) and third party dining delivery services.
Excludes gasoline purchases at warehouse clubs, discount stores, convenience stores or other merchants that do not use the gas station merchant category code.
Includes purchases at supermarkets, meat/seafood stores, dairy stores, bakeries, and miscellaneous food/convenience stores. Excludes purchases at general merchandise/discount superstores; wholesale/warehouse clubs; candy, nut and confectionery stores. Purchases made at online supermarkets or with grocery delivery services also do not qualify if the merchant does not classify itself as a supermarket by using the supermarket merchant category code.
Includes airline, hotel, cruise line and travel agency purchases. Excludes timeshares, boat leases and rentals, campgrounds and trailer parks, and real estate agencies.
Includes car rentals, ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis/limousines/car services, passenger railways, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages, bus lines, and motor home and recreational vehicle rentals. Excludes bike/scooter rentals, auto clubs and insurance companies.
Select Streaming Services
Includes the following cable, satellite, and streaming providers: Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Apple Music, CBS All Access, Disney+, AT&T TV NOW, ESPN+, fuboTV, HBO Max, NBA League Pass, Netflix, Pandora, Showtime, Sling TV, Spotify, Starz, SiriusXM, Vudu, YouTube Red, YouTube TV, and Tidal.
Includes purchases made at pharmacies in grocery stores, general merchandise/discount superstores, and wholesale/warehouse clubs if those merchants submit purchases made in their pharmacy with the drug store and pharmacy merchant category code.
Home Improvement Stores
Includes purchases at home supply warehouse stores, lumber and building materials stores, paint and wallpaper stores, hardware stores, nurseries – lawn and garden supply stores and paints, varnishes and supplies stores. Excludes florists and florists’ supply stores; nursery stock; wholesale construction stores; and glass stores.
Includes membership fee and other purchases at athletic, sports and recreation facilities requiring membership such as health, tennis, and swimming clubs. Excludes fees associated with virtual services for home exercise equipment, personal monitoring devices, or fitness streaming classes.
Includes ticket purchases for live entertainment, including: concerts, live sporting events, live theatrical productions, amusement parks, and orchestras. Excludes: charitable organizations that provide live entertainment (benefits), sporting camps, sports complexes where you participate in the sport, public and private golf courses, country clubs (including membership fees), bowling alleys, movie theaters, tourist attractions, museums and art galleries.