Why Citi Custom Cash is Ideal for Travel

While the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is advertised as a high-paying cash-back card, there are a few reasons why frequent flyers also sign up.
The card's popularity with travelers is due in part to the types of rewards the card earns and can be used as part of the Citi ThankYou program. Also, the yield on Citi Custom Cash is very competitive compared to other travel credit cards. This is especially true given that the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has no annual fee.
Read on to learn the best travel strategies for Citi Custom Cash and how cardholders can use this card in their everyday lives to up their rewards game.
Strong support for premium tariffs on travel purchases
Citi Custom Cash is unique in that it offers 5% cash back (then 1% cash back) on up to $500 in spend in the top earning category each billing cycle and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Ultimately, this means you'll earn up to 5% back as long as the category you spend the most falls into the "qualifying" spending category.
Fortunately, maxing out the Citi Custom Cash travel category is easy, since a range of purchases can all be counted. Specifically, within the travel category, the top-earning eligible expenses included purchases from airlines, hotels, cruise ships, car rentals, trains, subways, parking lots and taxis.
If you maximize your $500 in travel purchase incentive spend each billing cycle, you'll earn a $300 annual bonus on that alone.
Generous welcome bonus Along with up to 5% back in various reward categories including travel, this card's welcome bonus is another great way to save money on travel. This bonus gives you 20,000 bonus points worth $200 in cash back after spending $1,500 in purchases in the first six months.
Not only are spending requirements extremely reasonable within the allotted time, but like your rewards, they come in the form of Citi Thank you Points.
However, all Citi Complimentary Cards (including Custom Cash Cards) earn 'basic' ThankYou points, which cannot be transferred to travel partners for greater value. However, below we discuss how this limitation can be circumvented through card combo strategies.
Easily redeem for travel and other purchases If you just want to take Citi Custom Cash with you, you can keep it simple and redeem your rewards for direct deposit, check or statement credit.
This enables you to redeem rewards to pay for travel purchases made with your card, including flights, hotel stays and even vacation packages.
However, you can also use your ThankYou points to book travel through the Citi Travel Portal. This allows you to use your points to directly book certain types of travel, including flights, hotel stays and cruises, just to name a few.
Other options include redeeming points for gift cards, eligible Amazon purchases, merchandise and some Citi loan products. These options are handy if you don't travel a lot and don't need a credit card statement or rewards deposit to pay for your trip.
Option to earn points for premium travel redemptions You can even transfer your rewards to a Citi travel partner using another Citi credit card that collects standard ThankYou points (as opposed to 'basic' points) in your wallet.
An example of a card you can pair with is the Citi Premier® Card, which currently offers 60,000 points to new cardholders who spend at least $4,000 in purchases within three months of account opening.
Citi's travel partners are wide and varied, and they often allow you to get more value from your rewards. Most partners also allow you to transfer points on a 1:1 basis, with the exception of programs like Choice Privileges and Sears Shop Your Way. Pay off a big trip with no interest (limited time) In addition to rewards, this card can help you pay for your vacation if you use it responsibly. Let's say you've planned a long vacation, but you don't have enough money to make it happen. In this case, Citi Custom Cash can help you earn rewards while giving you the option to withdraw your balance interest-free for a limited period of time. Specifically, Citi Custom Cash offers a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 18.24% to 28.24%. Remember, you must withdraw the full balance on the card before the 15 months are due. Otherwise, you'll pay any remaining balance at the card's high regular variable rate.

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