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- The Citi Double Cash is a top cash back credit card option for no annual fee, earning cardholders 1 percent back as they buy and another 1 percent when they pay for their purchases
- The card is great for those looking to earn a flat rate of cash back rewards or pay off debt
- It might not the best option for paying off a large purchase over time or earning additional first-year rewards
The Citi® Double Cash Card can definitely be worth it, but it all depends on how you plan to use the card. For example, are you looking to earn a flat rate of rewards on all purchases or consolidate and pay down high-interest debt? Or, are you hoping to pay off an upcoming purchase at a 0 percent intro APR or enjoy a slew of additional credit card perks?
Before you decide to apply for the Citi Double Cash, it helps to look at specific scenarios in which the card makes sense to hold.
Is the Citi Double Cash a good rewards credit card for you? Our analysis below can help you decide.
When is the Citi Double Cash worth it?
Before you choose the Citi Double Cash over other rewards credit cards, it helps to know and understand all the main features you can access as a cardholder — and when these perks may be right for you.
You want a high, flat rate of cash back rewards
The Citi Double Cash offers one of the highest flat rewards rates out there. Once you’re a cardholder, you can earn a total of 2 percent cash back for each dollar you spend — 1 percent when a purchase is made and another 1 percent when it’s paid off.
There are no limits to the rewards you can earn, and rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit or check, as well as gift cards, travel, Amazon and PayPal purchases (when you convert your cash back to basic ThankYou points).
You need to pay off debt (but still want to earn rewards)
As a cardholder, you get a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent. This makes the Citi Double Cash a good option for consumers who need to consolidate and pay down credit card debt. And once you’re done paying off your balance, the opportunity to earn rewards makes the card valuable in the long run.
Just keep in mind that you’ll pay a 3 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), which jumps to 5 percent ($5 minimum) after four months of account opening. This means a $5,000 balance would incur at least a $150 fee.
You have another Citi card and want to combine points
The Citi Double Cash allows you to convert your cash back into basic ThankYou points, meaning you can pool your points with other Citi credit cards. Further, if you hold a premium Citi card like the Citi Premier® Card, you can pool and transfer your points to Citi transfer partners at a heightened value.
Bankrate values Citi ThankYou points at up to 1.9 cents apiece toward select high-value transfer partner travel — meaning 50,000 points could be worth up to $950 when transferred to the right airline or hotel partner.
When is the Citi Double Cash not worth it?
While the Double Cash is no doubt a top cash back credit card, it’s not going to be the perfect option for everyone. Here are a few scenarios where you may want to look elsewhere:
You want to earn a welcome bonus
The Citi Double Cash doesn’t feature a first-year welcome bonus, unlike other options on our list of the best cash back credit cards. The Double Cash has offered a bonus in the past, so if you’re willing to wait, it may come back as a feature in the future. Otherwise, you’re better off with another card.
You want a bevy of additional card benefits
If you’re considering the Citi Double Cash, note that the card is a tad light on additional perks. It doesn’t come with traditional card benefits like purchase protection or extended warranty coverage.
Further, you won’t get travel perks like auto rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance or access to a travel hotline. You’ll also have to pay a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the United States.
You want a 0% intro APR on purchases
It’s not uncommon for zero-interest cards to offer introductory periods on both purchases and balance transfers. Unfortunately, the Citi Double Cash doesn’t offer a 0 percent intro APR on purchases. So, if you’re looking to pay off a large purchase in the future sans interest, you’ll want to pull out a different credit card.
Should I get the Citi Double Cash Card?
The Citi Double Cash could work for almost anyone, including consumers who just want an easy-to-use, no-annual-fee credit card.
The Citi Double Cash stands out among cash back credit cards due to its generous flat rate of rewards, which is higher than most others. Plus, you can easily pool your points if you hold another Citi card and potentially get more value.
If you’re not interested in rewards but need to consolidate and pay down debt, the Citi Double Cash is still worth considering. While you’ll want to avoid using this card for spending while you pay down transferred balances, this card ranks among the best balance transfer credit cards thanks to its 18-month 0 percent intro APR offer (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR thereafter).
The bottom line
The Citi Double Cash is popular for a number reasons — primarily its exceptional rewards rate and low-interest offer on balance transfers. Just keep in mind that other credit cards may be worth considering, including options that give you rewards and a 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers.
Take the time to research other cash back credit cards before you fully decide on the Citi Double Cash. It could be the best credit card for your wallet, but you should still compare all your options to be sure.