When it comes to earning credit card points, consumers should look at different types of rewards credit cards to find the right fit. Some people would definitely benefit the most from rewards credit cards that have different bonus categories or from travel credit cards that let them earn points good for airfare, hotels and other travel bookings. However, there are also cash back credit cards to consider, including ones that let you earn a flat rate of rewards for each dollar you spend.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the top rewards credit cards in the latter category due to its flat earning rate, yet this card is also popular for consumers who need to consolidate and pay down high-interest debt.
If you want to earn the highest rate of cash back you possibly can, or if you need to pay down debt, the Citi Double Cash should be at the top of your list. Read on to learn about the main details of this offer, including the benefits you’ll get if you sign up, and if this card is worth it for you.
As a reminder: Details of the Citi Double Cash Card
Cardholders who sign up for the Citi Double Cash get the chance to earn a total of 2 percent cash back for each dollar they spend—1 percent back when a purchase is made and another 1 percent when it is paid off. The Citi Double Cash doesn’t charge an annual fee, and there are no limits to the rewards you can earn.
Separately, this card also gives you an introductory 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent based on your creditworthiness. This perk doesn’t necessarily combine well with the rewards aspect of this card, but you can use it to consolidate and pay down high-interest debt from other cards and save money along the way.
0 percent APR balance transfer
The Double Cash’s low-interest offer only applies to balance transfers—not purchases. With that in mind, you should know that purchases you make with your card will accrue interest at the regular variable APR if you carry a balance from month to month.
If you plan to use this card’s low-interest offer to consolidate debt, we actually suggest not using your card for purchases while you pay off old balances. This will allow you to focus on debt repayment without being enticed by rewards and racking up new balances you can’t afford to pay off.
Balance transfer example
How much money can you save if you transfer a balance to the Citi Double Cash? This all depends on the specifics of your situation, but consider this example:
Let’s say you owe $6,500 in credit card debt at a current APR of 21 percent and that you figured out you can afford to pay $375 per month toward your balance. At that rate, you could become debt-free in 21 months, although you would pay $1,313 in interest along the way.
If you transferred the $6,500 balance to the Citi Double Cash, you would have to pay a 3 percent intro (minimum $5) balance transfer fee if completed after 4 months of account opening. This means you would begin debt repayment with a balance of $6,695. With the same $375 monthly payment, however, you could pay off the entire balance in 18 months with $0 in interest charges.
The total savings in this scenario works out to more than $1,100.
Card protections and benefits
The Citi Double Cash doesn’t have many consumer protections or perks, but there are a few to be aware of. Consider the following benefits and how you might use them when gauging the total value of this offer.
Citi Identity Theft Solutions
This protective benefit can help you sort out the issue if your identity is stolen or compromised. Citi experts will help you figure out the cause of the identity theft as well as how to restore your identity so you can move on with your life.
Lost wallet service
If your wallet is lost or stolen, Citi will replace your credit card in a short period of time, usually within 24 hours. Citi can also provide you with emergency cash to spend, provided you have cash advance availability within your credit limit.
The Citi Double Cash can help you gain access to special presale tickets and events that may not be open to the general public. Events available within Citi Entertainment can include concerts, sporting events, culinary experiences and more.
Flexible redemption options
While the Citi Double Cash is a cash back credit card at heart, there are several different options when it comes to redeeming your rewards.
- Cash back or statement credit: You can request a check in the mail for your rewards once your rewards balance is at least $25. You can also request a statement credit to your card when your rewards balance is at least $25 or ask for a credit to a linked Citi checking or savings account (as long as you have used that account to pay your Citi credit card bill at least twice).
- Convert your rewards to Citi ThankYou points: If you have another Citi credit card that earns Citi ThankYou points (or just want to have more options for redeeming your rewards), you can also convert rewards earned with the Citi Double Cash to Citi ThankYou points. You’ll need a minimum of $1 in rewards to make this conversion.
How to maximize the perks and benefits offered by the Citi Double Cash Card
If you are thinking of signing up for the Citi Double Cash, we suggest figuring out your goals first. Here are the two strategies to consider once you’re a card member.
Earn rewards on all your purchases
The Citi Double Cash lets you earn one of the best flat rates among all cash back credit cards, and you don’t have to keep track of bonus categories or limits. Use your card for all your spending and regular bills and earn a total of 2 percent cash back for each dollar you spend—1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off.
Consolidate and pay down high-interest debt
Instead of focusing on rewards, you can also use the Citi Double Cash to consolidate and pay down high-interest debt. We suggest transferring as much high-interest debt to this card as you can, then figuring out how to pay off as much as you can within the 18-month introductory period. Remember that any remaining balances you have will begin accruing interest at the regular variable APR after your offer ends.
The bottom line
This guide explains the main perks you can get as a cardholder and the strategies you can use to make the most of this offer. Even so, you should take the time to compare Citi Double Cash Card’s benefits with the perks you get from other rewards credit cards.
If you can’t decide on a single rewards credit card for your wallet, you can also pair up a few cards with different rewards structures and perks. Be sure to research the top credit card combinations before you decide.