Chase Freedom Flex®
vs. Citi Custom Cash® Card

Updated: June 19, 2024

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Both the Chase Freedom Flex® Card and the Citi Custom Cash® Card offer enticing cash back rewards and no annual fees, making them strong contenders for anyone looking to optimize their credit card usage. With a higher MoneyGeek cash back score, the Citi Custom Cash edges ahead primarily due to its 5% cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle.

Although the Chase Freedom Flex offers a robust rewards program, especially in rotating categories, the simplicity and automatic adjustment of rewards with the Citi Custom Cash make it a more user-friendly choice for many.

Nevertheless, the Chase Freedom Flex® Card's broad bonus categories and introductory cash bonus for new cardholders present a compelling case if you prefer a more structured rewards program.

Credit Card logo for Chase Freedom Flex®
Chase Freedom Flex®
Credit Card logo for Citi Custom Cash® Card
Citi Custom Cash® Card
MoneyGeek Rating
3.7/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
3.7/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    20.49–29.24% variable
    19.24% - 29.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    0% for 15 months on purchases
    Intro Offer
    Earn a $200 bonus
    Earn $200 Cash Back
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1– 5% cash back
    Earn 1%–5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    0% for 15 months on balance transfers
    Balance Transfer Fee
    3% of the amount of each transfer (minimum $5)
    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    Up to 29.99% (variable)
    Up to 29.99% (variable)
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Freedom Flex if you enjoy maximizing category-specific rewards and can benefit from the rotating 5% cash back categories. This card also offers a higher reward rate on travel booked through Chase, making it a strong choice for frequent travelers who plan their spending strategically.

You might prefer the Citi Custom Cash if you prefer simplicity and flexibility in earning cash back. With 5% cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle, this card adapts to your spending without the need to track rotating categories. It's ideal for if your spending varies or concentrates heavily in one area each month.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating features like APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and introductory offers will clarify which card is for you. For instance, if you frequently dine out, Freedom Flex's 3% cash back on dining could sway your choice, whereas consistent spending in one category might make Citi Custom Cash's 5% back more appealing.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Citi Custom Cash

    The Citi Custom Cash offers a slightly lower starting APR at 19.24%, compared with the Chase Freedom Flex's starting APR of 20.49%. This makes the Citi Custom Cash potentially more favorable if you prioritize a lower regular APR.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Freedom Flex and the Citi Custom Cash have no annual fee, making them equally appealing if you’re looking to avoid extra costs.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Freedom Flex

    Both cards offer a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. But the Chase Freedom Flex is more favorable due to its lower balance transfer fee of 3% compared with the Citi Custom Cash’s 5% fee.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Citi Custom Cash

    The Custom Cash is better for rewards, offering flexibility with 5% cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent. It also provides an additional 4% cash back on travel booked through Citi Travel until June 30, 2025.

    By contrast, the Freedom Flex offers 5% back on rotating categories and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Freedom Flex

    The Freedom Flex offers a better welcome bonus, requiring only $500 in spend within the first three months to earn a $200 bonus, compared with the Citi Custom Cash's requirement of $1,500 in spend over six months for the same bonus. The Freedom Flex's higher return on investment (ROI) on the offer makes it more advantageous for users looking for immediate value.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Freedom Flex and the Citi Custom Cash require a credit score range of 670 to 850, indicating they are equally accessible if you have good to excellent credit.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: Tie

    Both the Freedom Flex and the Citi Custom Cash have similar penalties and fees, with late fees slightly higher for the latter at up to $41 compared to up to $40 for the former. Both cards charge a penalty APR of up to 29.99%, cash advance fees of 5% and foreign transaction fees of 3%. Given these similarities, there's no clear winner based on penalties and fees alone.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Tie

    Both Chase and Citi have equal issuer satisfaction ratings of 4.1.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Neither the Freedom Flex nor the Citi Custom Cash offer unique perks that enhance their value beyond rewards and fees.

Rewards Comparison

The Citi Custom Cash edges out with a higher expected reward value, making it potentially more lucrative for straightforward earning. Its 5% cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle, up to $500, is particularly compelling for consistent spenders in one category. The Freedom Flex, while not the frontrunner, offers a robust 5% back on travel booked through Chase, which could be a deciding factor for frequent travelers.

The Freedom Flex card's rotating categories can be a boon if your spending aligns with those quarterly categories. By contrast, the Citi Custom Cash simplifies the process by automatically rewarding you in your highest spend category. The table below for a visual comparison of the bonus categories for both cards.

Category
Freedom Flex
Citi Custom Cash

Rotating Categories

5% on rotating categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter upon activation)/1%

5% on top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, 1% thereafter)

Travel

5% if purchased through Chase Travel/1%

5% if purchased through Citi Travel℠ portal (through 6/30/2025)/1%

Dining

3%/1%

1%

Drugstores

3%/1%

1%

All Other Purchases

1%

1%

Redeeming Rewards

The Freedom Flex and Citi Custom Cash both offer flexible redemption options. With the Freedom Flex, you can redeem points for a variety of rewards, including cash and travel, with no point expiration as long as your account remains open.

The Citi Custom Cash also allows for redemption without minimum requirements for most options, and points do not expire, ensuring your earnings remain available for use whenever you choose.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Freedom Flex and Citi Custom Cash based on their performance in various use cases. This approach ensures that the score reflects the card's performance in the scenario where it provides the most value.

For cash back cards, the primary factors we consider are the effective reward rate and the return on investment for offers. These elements — along with annual fees, introductory purchase rates and issuer satisfaction — contribute to a card's overall score. For a detailed understanding of our process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Freedom Flex vs. Citi Custom Cash

What are the main differences in rewards between the Freedom Flex and the Citi Custom Cash?
How do the introductory offers for the Freedom Flex and the Citi Custom Cash compare?
Are there any differences in the APRs after the introductory period between the two cards?
Which card is better if I frequently travel?
Do either of the Freedom Flex or Citi Custom Cash charge foreign transaction fees?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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