Citi Custom Cash Foreign Transaction Fee Explained

by | May 5, 2024 | Transactions fee | 0 comments

The Citi Custom Cash Card is a popular credit card option that offers attractive cash back rewards and benefits. However, when it comes to using the card for international transactions, it’s important to understand the foreign transaction fee associated with the card. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Citi Custom Cash foreign transaction fee, compare it to other Citi credit cards, and provide tips for avoiding these fees while traveling abroad.

What is the Foreign Transaction Fee for Citi Custom Cash Card?

Understanding Foreign Transaction Fees

A foreign transaction fee is a charge assessed by credit card issuers when you make a purchase in a foreign currency or with a merchant located outside of the United States. These fees are typically a percentage of the total transaction amount and can add up quickly if you frequently travel or make international purchases.

It’s essential to be aware of foreign transaction fees when using your credit card abroad, as they can significantly increase the cost of your purchases. Some credit cards charge higher foreign transaction fees than others, while certain cards waive these fees altogether.

Citi Custom Cash Card Foreign Transaction Fee Rate

The Citi Custom Cash Card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% on all purchases made outside of the United States. This means that for every $100 you spend in a foreign currency or with an international merchant, you’ll be charged an additional $3 in fees.

For example, if you use your Citi Custom Cash Card to make a purchase for €500 while traveling in Europe, the transaction will be converted to U.S. dollars, and you’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee of approximately $15 (assuming an exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.20 USD).

How does the Citi Custom Cash Foreign Transaction Fee Compare to Other Cards?

Citi Double Cash Card Foreign Transaction Fee

Another popular Citi credit card is the Citi Double Cash Card, which offers 2% cash back on all eligible purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill). However, like the Citi Custom Cash Card, the Citi Double Cash Card also charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

Comparing Foreign Transaction Fees Across Citi Credit Cards

When comparing the foreign transaction fees of Citi credit cards, it’s evident that many of their cards charge a 3% fee for international transactions. This is a standard rate among credit card issuers, although some cards, particularly travel rewards cards, may waive foreign transaction fees as a benefit to cardholders.

Credit Card Foreign Transaction Fee
Citi Custom Cash Card 3%
Citi Double Cash Card 3%
Citi Premier Card None
Citi Prestige Card None

Other Fees and Benefits of the Citi Custom Cash Card

Annual Fee and APR

The Citi Custom Cash Card has no annual fee, making it an attractive option for those looking to earn cash back without paying a yearly cost. The card’s regular APR for purchases ranges from 19.24% to 29.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Balance Transfer Fee

If you want to transfer a balance from another credit card to your Citi Custom Cash Card, you’ll be charged a balance transfer fee of 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum fee of $5. However, the card does offer an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months, which can help you save on interest charges if you need to pay off existing credit card debt.

Cash Back Rewards and Welcome Bonus

One of the standout features of the Citi Custom Cash Card is its cash back rewards program. The card offers 5% cash back on your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. The eligible 5% cash back categories include:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Select travel
  • Select transit
  • Select streaming services
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Live entertainment

Additionally, the Citi Custom Cash Card offers a welcome bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus can help offset the cost of any foreign transaction fees you may incur while using the card abroad.

Tips for Avoiding Foreign Transaction Fees

Use a No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card

The most effective way to avoid foreign transaction fees is to use a credit card that doesn’t charge them. Many travel rewards credit cards, such as the Citi Premier Card and the Citi Prestige Card, waive foreign transaction fees as a benefit to cardholders. If you frequently travel internationally, consider applying for a card that doesn’t charge these fees.

Exchange Currency Before Traveling

Another way to minimize foreign transaction fees is to exchange currency before you travel. By obtaining local currency in advance, you can avoid using your credit card for small purchases and cash withdrawals, which are often subject to foreign transaction fees and higher ATM fees.

However, be sure to compare exchange rates and fees from different currency exchange providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Some banks and credit unions offer competitive exchange rates and low fees for their members.

Final Thoughts on the Citi Custom Cash Foreign Transaction Fee

While the Citi Custom Cash Card offers attractive cash back rewards and benefits, its 3% foreign transaction fee can be a drawback for those who frequently travel internationally or make purchases in foreign currencies. If you’re planning to use your credit card abroad, it’s essential to factor in these fees when budgeting for your trip.

However, if you primarily use your credit card for domestic purchases and only occasionally travel internationally, the Citi Custom Cash Card’s rewards program and lack of an annual fee may still make it a worthwhile choice. By understanding the card’s fees and benefits, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right fit for your spending habits and financial goals.

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