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Citi Adds Two Cash-Back Credit Cards For Fair Credit

Triston Martin

Feb 08, 2024

With cash-back credit cards more popular than ever, Citi has expanded its offerings to make these rewards available to those trying to build or rebuild their credit.

Citi recently announced the addition of two new cash-back credit cards designed for consumers with fair credit, typically those with credit scores in the 580-850 range.

The Citi Double Cash and Citi Custom Cash Card offer the opportunity to earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases plus category bonuses to maximize rewards without an annual fee. Citi's new offerings open the door for fair credit consumers to enjoy the benefits of cash-back rewards.

Citi's Two New Cash Back Credit Cards For Fair Credit

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi's Double Cash card has made a splash in the cash-back credit card arena, offering an appealingly simple value proposition since its launch. With Double Cash, cardholders earn an uncomplicated 2% back on every purchase.

Just 1% is earned at the time of purchase, and another 1% kicks in when you pay your balance. No rotating categories or quarterly caps to keep track of. This straightforward cash-back structure has won over many consumers.

You will need a good to excellent Citi double cash card credit score to qualify for this popular card, generally, a minimum score of around 690 or higher. Citi wants to see responsible credit management for approval.

The Double Cash card charges no annual fee, allowing you to enjoy full cash-back earnings year after year.

Double Cash also offers an intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) within the first 4 months and a 5% fee after that intro period.

One downside is the relatively high APR, currently a 19.24% - 29.24% variable based on creditworthiness. But if you pay your balance off each month, the APR won't impact you.

Citi Custom Cash Card

Newly launched, Citi Custom Cash enters the ring with a competitive cash-back offer tailored to those with fair credit. What does "fair" mean? You can get approved with a score of around 670 or higher. Ideal for those looking to build or rebuild credit through responsible card use.

Custom Cash lets you pick one everyday spending category each billing cycle and earn a strong 5% cash back on up to $500 in purchases made that month.

Supermarkets, gas stations, dining - maximize whichever category fits your spending profile. All other purchases earn 1% back with no cap.

Like Double Cash, no annual fee means you keep more of the cash rewards you earn. The APR for Custom Cash is moderately higher at 19.24% - 29.24% variable to account for the more flexible approval requirements.

The downside of the Custom Cash Card includes its higher balance transfer fee and high foreign transactional fee.

Benefits Of The Cards For Fair Credit Consumers

Opportunity To Build Credit Through Responsible Card Use

Getting approved for a credit card when you have fair credit can be challenging. But Citi's new offerings make it attainable with a minimum score of around 670. The cards provide an opportunity to demonstrate responsible usage habits.

Making on-time payments, keeping utilization below 30%, and using the card for regular purchases will help strengthen your credit profile for future approvals. Avoiding late fees and interest charges by paying the monthly balance off in full is key as well.

Cash-Back Rewards Provide Savings

The cash-back earned from Citi's cards puts money back in your wallet on everyday purchases. The Citi Custom Cash Card optimizes category spending by letting you earn a strong 5% back on up to $500 monthly in your top spending category, from supermarket trips to filling your gas tank.

All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% back. Just like that, Double Cash Card offers 2% cashback. Compared to no-rewards credit cards, cash-back earnings provide significant savings and value.

Low Fees And No Annual Fee

Credit cards geared towards fair credit often charge an array of fees - annual fees, balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, and more that quickly eat into rewards.

The lack of an annual fee with Citi's new cards removes a barrier that often deters consumers new to credit from even applying.

On top of this, the low additional fees allow cardholders to benefit from the full cash-back they earn. Every reward dollar stays in your wallet.

Pre-Qualify Options Reduce Hard Credit Inquiries

Applying for credit cards when you have fair credit means every hard inquiry can impact your approval odds for future credit.

Citi allows you to pre-qualify with a soft credit pull that doesn't affect your credit rating. This gives you an idea of the approval likelihood before formally applying.

Things To Consider Before Applying For A Card With Fair Credit

Here are some important things to consider before applying for Citi cash-back credit cards with fair credit:

1. Check Your Credit Score

Having a credit score of at least 670 will improve your chances of approval for Citi's new rewards cards. Know where your score stands before applying.

2. Understand The APR

Citi's new cards have APRs from 15.99% - 25.99% variable based on your creditworthiness. This is higher than cards requiring excellent credit. Make sure you plan to pay balances off monthly to avoid interest.

3. Evaluate The Rewards Programs

Citi Double Cash provides a flat 2% back on all purchases. Citi Custom Cash optimizes category spending, offering 5% back on up to $500 monthly in your top category. Pick the card whose rewards align with your spending profile.

4. Consider The Fees

No annual fee is a major perk, but look at other charges like a 3% intro balance transfer fee on the Custom Cash Card. Make sure you can offset fees with rewards earnings.

5. Check Pre-Qualification Options

Citi lets you see if you're pre-approved through a soft credit check that won't impact your score. This helps avoid denials from hard inquiries.

Final Thoughts

Citi has taken a positive step to expand access to cash-back rewards by introducing the Citi Double Cash and Citi Custom Cash cards designed for fair credit applicants. The new offerings allow you to earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.

Responsible card use will strengthen credit for future approvals. While cash-back cards typically require good or excellent credit, Citi's new options make cash rewards more inclusive.

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