Citi is now allowing product changes to its Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. The new card adds a new twist to the 5X bonus category earning. While other cards—like the Chase Freedom Flex℠—have set quarterly bonus categories, they are fixed and inflexible. Meanwhile, the Citi Custom Cash has 10 bonus categories, and every month you’ll earn 5X from the category you spent the most at.
This flexibility to switch between categories monthly is a huge boost. Throw into the mix the fact that the cashback is delivered in the form of Citi ThankYou points—which you then can transfer to 16 airline partners if you hold the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card, and that the card has a $0 annual fee, and the Citi Custom Cash can be a travel reward earning powerhouse.
Maximizing your earnings every month over the year will earn you an impressive 30,000 Cit ThankYou points for $6,000 of spending, which is a fantastic return.
Which Citi Cards Can You Product Change to Citi Custom Cash
Citi has not issued a definitive list of cards that can be converted over to Citi Custom Cash cards. However, data points show that cardholders have successfully converted all the following cards to Citi Custom Cash cards.
- Citi Premier® Card.
- Citi Prestige® Card.
- AT&T Access Card from Citi.
- Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
- Citi American Airlines AAdvantage cards.
- EXPEDIA®+ VOYAGER CARD from Citi.
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
- Citi® Dividend Card.
Should You Convert Your Card to the Citi Custom Cash?
This will depend on your current spending patterns, the current cards you hold, and how you want to maximize your returns. The strength of the Citi Custom Cash is that every month whichever of the categories you spend the most at, you will receive 5X for that spending and 1X for the rest. Here are the eligible categories:
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Select travel
- Select transit
- Select streaming services
- Home improvement stores
- Fitness clubs
- Live entertainment
Bear in mind the 5X is restricted to the first $500 of spending. So, if you are spending around that amount on any of the above categories but are earning less than 5X, you may consider a switch.
For instance, say you spend about $500 per month on groceries and currently use the Citi® Double Cash Card—which earns you 2% back (1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay your credit card bill). Converting to the Citi Custom Cash would boost your earing on groceries to 5X, but you would lose the 2X earning on other categories.
However, you could hold another card optimized for everyday spending—like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, both of which earn 2X on everyday spending. Switching your other spending to those cards while putting your grocery shopping on the Citi Custom Cash will maximize the returns on every cent you spend.
How Do You Product Change to the Citi Custom Cash?
Citi is making it quite easy to product change your existing card to the Citi Custom Cash. All you need to do is call the number on the back of your existing card. Once you get a representative, make it clear that you are interested in product changing—or “converting”—your existing card to a Citi Custom Cash.
You’ll likely be transferred to a dedicated agent to handle the conversion. After a few minutes of disclosures, Citi will give you the choice to accept the product change. The agent should also let you know whether or not you’ll get a new card number. If not, you can continue to use your existing card until your new Citi Custom Cash card arrives in the mail.
A Note About Welcome Bonuses
One thing to keep in mind is your welcome bonuses. If you switch products to the Citi Custom Cash, you are not eligible for the welcome bonus of $200 cashback after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
However, on the other hand, a product change does not count as a new account. So, changing products will protect your 5/24 status!
The ability to change products without closing and opening accounts and then earning 5% back is welcome news. However, whenever a new opportunity presents itself, you should crunch some numbers and see if you can improve your earnings and leverage your spending for even more rewards. So maybe it’s time to check your stable of cards and see if switching to the Citi Custom Cash works for you!