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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and
American Express® Green Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
APR on purchases
APR on balance transfers
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
No Fees for Authorized Users
0% Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
Earns Transferable Points
Airport Lounge Access
Annual Statement Credits
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Has No Preset Spending Limit
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Amex Offers
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
580-850 *
APR on purchases
0% Intro APR (on purchases for 15 months, 19.24%-29.24% thereafter)
APR on balance transfers
0% Intro APR (on balance transfers for 15 months, 19.24%-29.24% thereafter)
Ongoing APR
19.24%-29.24% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Best Multiplier
5x Airfare
5x Transit
5x Car Rentals
5x Gas Stations
5x Dining Out / Food Delivery
5x Hotels
5x Gym Memberships
5x Streaming Services
5x Drugstores
5x Entertainment (Concerts / Shows / Movies)
5x Groceries
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.01 - $0.016
Bonus Offer

$200 in the form of 20,000 bonus ThankYou® points when you spend $1,500 within 6 months

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.93) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

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:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas Stations
  • Grocery Stores
  • Select Travel
  • Select Transit
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Drugstores
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Fitness Clubs
  • Live Entertainment

restaurants-citi-custom-cash

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.

Bonus Eligibility Rules for the Citi Custom Cash card

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.

Bonus Category Definitions

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:

Restaurants

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.

Gas Stations

Excludes gasoline purchases at warehouse clubs, discount stores, convenience stores or other merchants that do not use the gas station merchant category code.

Grocery Stores

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.

Select Travel

Includes airline, hotel, cruise line and travel agency purchases. Excludes timeshares, boat leases and rentals, campgrounds and trailer parks, and real estate agencies.

Select Transit

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.

Drugstores

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.

Fitness Clubs

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.

Live Entertainment

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.

concerts-citi-custom-cash-credit-card

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
0% Intro APR on Purchases
yes
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
yes
Earns Transferable Points
no
Airport Lounge Access
no
Annual Statement Credits
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Extended Warranty
no
Purchase Protection
no
Trip Protections
no
Has No Preset Spending Limit
no
No Foreign Transaction Fees
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
Amex Offers
no
Annual Fee
$150 (Rates and fees)
Avg. Min. Credit Score
*
APR on purchases
-
APR on balance transfers
-
Ongoing APR
-
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
3x Airfare
3x Transit
3x Car Rentals
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
3x Hotels
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.017
Bonus Offer
Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.95) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

American Express seems to have positioned the Green Card to more directly compete with high performing mid-tier cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Citi Premier card, offering a few more direct benefits than each of them in exchange for a $150 annual fee (vs. $95 on those other cards). (Rates and Fees)

The American Express Green Card is a Powerhouse for Travel, Transit and Dining

Whereas the The Platinum Card® from American Express is all about the benefits (elite statuses, statement credits galore, etc), the American Express® Green Card is all about the 3X Membership Rewards points on all things travel (including Transit!) plus 3X on dining – all for a relatively low annual fee of just $150 (Rates and Fees). It’s great for frequent travelers, especially if you don’t already have a card that earns at least 3X on travel purchases.

And it does have a couple of benefits that can cover the annual fee. If you don’t have access to CLEAR (which lets you go ahead of most other people at airport security in select airports / terminals), this card will cover $189 in CLEAR fees which is enough for a whole family to have a membership. And you also get up to $100 in credits for airport lounge access with LoungeBuddy.

It’s worth considering this card in combination with other American Express cards. One solid Trifecta that maximizes points would be an Amex Gold Card, an Amex Green Card, and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. You’d use the Gold for Dining and U.S. Supermarkets, the Green for 3X points on travel and transit, and the Blue Business Plus for 2X on other eligible purchases (up to $50,000 a year; 1X Membership Rewards points per dollar thereafter).

In another Trifecta replace the Gold Card with a Platinum Card and enjoy all the perks and benefits of the Platinum card while putting all non-airfare travel and transit charges on the Green Card and the rest on your Blue Business Plus.

In short, I don’t think anyone should have the Green Card as their sole credit card, but I do think it has a nice place among a handful of American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points.

Keep in mind that American Express Membership Rewards points never expire and combine among all of your Membership Rewards-earning cards. All points earned from various American Express cards have the same transfer partners.

The Amex Green Card Functions as a Credit Card

The Amex Green card is part of the same family of Amex proprietary cards formerly referred to as charge cards. However, the Green Card has a built-in Pay Over Time feature, making it function in many ways as any other standard credit card. Unlike a typical credit card, the Green Card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.

What this means: Amex generally limits a cardmember to 5 credit cards (personal and small business combined), while they have a limit of 10 on proprietary Amex cards (formerly known as Charge).  This means that even if you already have 5 Amex credit cards, you would still be eligible for a Green Card.

Bonus Eligibility: They still state that if you had the Green Card before, you are not eligible for a welcome bonus on this card. So you’ll be eligible if you have less than 10 Amex charge cards and have never had the Amex Green card before.

Rates and Fees for the American Express® Green Card

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Your Best Credit Cards. 
Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
0% Intro APR on Purchases
no
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
no
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Has No Preset Spending Limit
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
Amex Offers
yes

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