My Citi Custom Cash Approval

I applied last year for the Citi Premier’s 80,000 point bonus, and now that the second annual fee is due, the card is on the chopping block. After failing repeatedly to receive a retention offer from Citi, I gave up and decided to downgrade the card. My only active Citi card is the Premier card.

After some consideration, I came to the conclusion that it would be beneficial to have two Citi cards for the long term, with additional cards thrown in as needed or as bonuses become available:

I wanted the ability to earn a 10% bonus on cash redemptions, but the Rewards+ card does not allow cash redemptions, only gift card redemptions:

  • The Citi Custom Cash card has no annual fee and offers 5% back on your top category each month on up to $500 in spend. The card also enables redeeming ThankYou points for cash at 1 cent-per-point.

The Custom Cash card will allow me to cash out ThankYou points at 1 cent-per-point, and then I’ll get a 10% redemption bonus with the linked Rewards+ card.

I decided to get one of the two cards via product change and the other via new application. Both the Custom Cash and the Rewards+ card offer a 20,000/$200 bonus signup bonus. I applied for the Custom Cash card via new application and product changed my Premier to the Rewards+.

Product changing from Premier to Rewards+ should avoid resetting my 24 month clock on the Prestige/Premier/Preferred/Rewards+ family of cards if the card number remains the same. Indeed, my card number remained the same through the product change, and my ThankYou points remained intact through the downgrade as well.

Citi always says some confusing thing about how their product changes are only complete after 45 days. For me, everything seemed to change over to the Rewards+ within a week or two, and the $95 annual fee was refunded within a couple of weeks as well.

So that’s my latest Citi churn. Hopefully someone found this interesting. 🙂

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Christopher
Christopher

Could you apply for a new Custom Cash, then product change your Premier into another Custom Cash, therefore having 2 Custom Cash cards, i.e. 5% on $1k instead of 5.5% on $500?

Eric

Yes.

sdsearch
sdsearch

Yes, but keep in mind that each $500 has to be in the same category to earn 5%. Anything not in your biggest-spend category of that billing statement only earns 1%, even if you spend less than $500 total.

For many people, the point of having two Custom Cash cards would be to be able to have up to $500 at 5% in two different categories.

CSF
CSF

Trying to get the max out of my 150,000 thank you points. I have double cash and custom card. I just earned my 80,000 from premier that I opened a month or so ago. Can I change this to rewards plus now to get the extra 10% for 2022 and then the rest in January 2023. Is it bad to downgrade so fast?

CSF
CSF

Any thoughts on this? Thanks

sdsearch
sdsearch

At most banks you can’t downgrade until you’ve had the card open for at least one year. So the question is not even whether it’s bad, it’s whether it’s possible.

Erin

Thanks Chuck. I think this will help a lot of people.

Danny Leiva
Danny Leiva

Thanks for the heads-up on the combo. I recently got my premier and already have the custom cash, so I’m going to PC my double cash to the rewards+ for the discount on redemption.

PlugNPray
PlugNPray

The application rule of Citi’s TYP credit cards is somewhat confusing. Sometimes reward + is not counted in the 1/24 clock, sometime did. And I thought open/close/downgrade also reset the 1/24 clock. But Chuck you said downgrade does not count. My situation is that I recently applied a Custom cash and downgraded a Citi Premier to Custom cash (around September). Can I apply reward+ in the near future or have to wait for 24 months?

Zenster
Zenster

I’m lost about how you get 10% with the reward + card when the custom is 5%

Zenster
Zenster

I guess all the thank you points go in the same place?

Zenster
Zenster

An extra $30 assuming you max out the $500 spend every month? Meh.

Matisyahu
Matisyahu

It’s all how you look at it. If you’re team cashback, a ~5.5% category on groceries for example (without an annual fee) is pretty great.

Jacob
Jacob

Yep that’s my plan Premier in March then R= if the 24 month language is still missing through the CK link. Then the Double Cash when/if the SUB returns and in March 2024 PC the Premier to a 2nd CCC card.

2 CCCs 1 DC and the R+ IMO is one heck of a no AF cash back setup… Just would need a way to PC another card to a CCC for a 3rd lol.

Jacob
Jacob

If you get the SUB from the Premier and Rewards+ it’s an extra $100 in points. Then every year it’s worth up to another $100 if you regularly use the Custom and Double Cash cards. Really good sock drawer card.

My plan in March is to get the USBank Altitude Reserve card, then the Citi Premier, then Rewards+ assuming the 24 month language is still missing through the Credit Karma link. Those 3 cards will get me 750 then 800 + 200 + 100 from the 10% rebate on the R+ card. Assuming that works out I’ll add the Double cash if/when the SUB comes back.

sdsearch
sdsearch

Read carefully. They’re not the same thing at all. Rewards+ is 10% off of points REDEMPTIONS, while custom cash is 5% cashback (actually 5x points EARNING) on PURCHASES in one category per billing cycle (with a limit of $500 on which you get 5% per billing cycle).

M
M

I got denied for the Custom Cash twice with a 760+ score

Dr.Plantain
Dr.Plantain

I have the Premier and I was one day away from getting the bonus and they refused to help me. If I cancel the card and apply again would I still get the bonus later ? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Ali
Ali

According to one of the links in the post (https://www.doctorofcredit.com/citi-24-month-churning-rule-explained-detail/):

“Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+®, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months.”

Sounds like regardless of whether or not you got a bonus, closing the card/account will reset your clock and you’d have to wait another 24 months.

Dr.Plantain
Dr.Plantain

Thank you for this. I guess doing a PC would cancel the clock from starting since I technically wouldn’t close the card. Might have to look into this a bit more just to be save, see if I can find any data points.

Uki
Uki

Product change the current card instead of closing it, And and then apply for the new premier card. Since you didn’t get the bonus, I don’t see why you wouldn’t get it if you meet the spend on a new card.

TTT
TTT

I recently had same issue, one day over the deadline when about $1500 away from spending requirement, through online chat I asked help for extending the date , that rep made a case, gave me ref: number, phone number ( special team ) to call since he can’t grant the extension, waiting while I was making call, he checked my account again, confirmed the note from special team saying that extension was granted . I only asked for 24 hrs more, they gave me to next billing circle end. I was so thankful.
I would suggest to try again for asking help through online chat.

Geogeo
Geogeo

“The Custom Cash card will allow me to cash out ThankYou points at 1 cent-per-point, and then I’ll get a 10% redemption bonus with the linked Rewards+ card.”
How do you plan to do this? Or have you already done it??? How?
If you try to get the 10 percent TYP back, you have to redeem them according to the Rewards+ terms, which means redemption through gift cards.
If you go through the citi custom card, then you get cash but no 10 percent extra.
Right?

Lrdx
Lrdx

No

MisterBill
MisterBill

If both cards are on the same TY account, you get the best of both worlds. If they get created on separate TY accounts, make sure that the phone numbers and other info are the same on both accounts and then you can merge them

Geogeo
Geogeo

I did exactly the same!! [shake hands]