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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Al (@guest_1602331)
April 20, 2023 02:08


How Do you Get the 10% Redemption Bonus that is specific to the Reward+ card on the points earned from Custom Cash Card ?!!
Can you also get the 10% remeption bonus from the points on Citi Double Cash Card when redeeming if you only have the Reward+ card and the Double Cash cards only ?!!

Those two cards combo scenarios; Reward + & Custom Cash cards or Reward+ & Double Cash cards
Considering you don’t have the Citi Premier Card or the Prestige card along with the reward +

Do you still get the 10% bonus with only two above cards combo when redeeming the Thank you points ?!!

 William Charles

Pete (@guest_1566326)
March 1, 2023 11:35

I downgraded Permier to Rewards+ and the Thank You points site now says i have 60 days before the Premier points expire. Reason: account closed. This is not what I was hoping for, now I have to cash out, not sure how I can cash out specifically the permier points and if this resets the clock.

0x539 (@guest_1715852)
October 15, 2023 12:13

Combine your accounts first to avoid this issue. The terms on the site state that once combined, one card can be closed and the TU account will remain active as long as one card is remains open.

Avi (@guest_1529161)
January 8, 2023 20:52

My travel plans need me to get a lot of Choice hotel points. I typically get ~0.8-1.1 cpp from Choice points. So I’m gonna look at the Custom Cash card as a 11x Choice hotel card. Only issue is can you upgrade a Citi Rewards+ or Custom cash card back to Premier?

Christopher (@guest_1496788)
November 27, 2022 12:17

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 (@guest_1496909)
November 27, 2022 18:05


sdsearch (@guest_1497730)
November 28, 2022 23:02

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 (@guest_1496732)
November 27, 2022 10:21

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 (@guest_1497857)
November 29, 2022 07:48

Any thoughts on this? Thanks

sdsearch (@guest_1498580)
November 30, 2022 10:13

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 (@guest_1494632)
November 23, 2022 14:56

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

Danny Leiva
Danny Leiva (@guest_1494506)
November 23, 2022 11:01

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 (@guest_1494502)
November 23, 2022 10:54

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 (@guest_1494410)
November 23, 2022 08:47

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

Zenster (@guest_1494411)
November 23, 2022 08:49

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

Zenster (@guest_1494413)
November 23, 2022 08:54

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

Matisyahu (@guest_1494530)
November 23, 2022 11:54

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 (@guest_1498151)
November 29, 2022 17:09

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 (@guest_1498148)
November 29, 2022 17:04

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 (@guest_1494474)
November 23, 2022 10:15

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 (@guest_1494255)
November 23, 2022 00:52

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