Analysis

The One Credit Card Every Homeowner Needs in Their Wallet

Going from renting to owning has changed my spending in a lot of ways. One of the more noticeable ones was how much more often I’m using my Citi Custom Cash® Card.

I’ve always loved this card for its great cash back rewards, but it wasn’t until I was spending every other weekend at the hardware store that I truly appreciated how valuable this card could be for homeowners. Really, every homeowner should probably have one in their wallet.

Earn 5% back at hardware stores

To be honest, I think everyone needs this card, not just homeowners. I mean, you get 5% cash back in your top spending category, on up to $500 in category purchases, every month. That’s pretty darn great. And the list of eligible categories includes a lot of useful options:

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

For homeowners, though, it’s that bold one in the middle I want to call out: home improvement stores. If you own a home, you probably spend a decent amount of time at the hardware store. And if you own an older home, the people at the hardware store probably know your name. (Ask me how I know.)

Either way, you’re probably spending a pretty penny on repairs, replacements, and updates. Wouldn’t it be nice to get 5% back on those?

Maximize your rewards to earn $300 a year

Getting 5% cash back on up to $500 in hardware store purchases every month can add up very quickly — starting none-too-soon after closing. Because what’s the first thing you should do? That’s right, all new locks. (We spent more than $300 replacing all of the locks in our house. That was fun.)

It keeps going from there, friends. And I can tell you from experience, it hasn’t been that hard maximizing my Citi Custom Cash® Card rewards each month. Here’s what that looks like in cash back:

Monthly Spend Annual Spend Annual 5% Cash Back
$25 $300 $15
$50 $600 $30
$100 $1,200 $60
$150 $1,800 $90
$200 $2,400 $120
$250 $3,000 $150
$300 $3,600 $180
$400 $4,800 $240
$500 $6,000 $300

Data source: Author’s calculations.

As you can see, if you manage to hit the rewards cap every month on your card, you’re looking at a cool $300 in cash back every year. That’ll (almost) buy you a house full of new door locks!

Oh, and the other perks are nice, too

I got so excited about the purchase rewards that I almost forgot to mention the other great things about this credit card. For instance, new cardholders can earn a pretty competitive welcome bonus. (One big repair and that spending requirement is smashed.)

And I can’t emphasize enough how much I love intro APR offers. The move to my new house was paid off via one, and the new furnace via another. So having a good intro APR offer on a card that also has bonus rewards at the hardware store…well, that’s a very powerful combo.

Don’t forget perhaps the best part of the whole thing: no annual fee.

Alright, so I admit it might be a bit of a stretch to say that everyone needs a particular card. But I really do think most homeowners can maximize the purchase rewards — and everything else — that comes with the Citi Custom Cash® Card. At the very least, it’s worth checking out.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

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