It seems everyone loves using the Citi® Double Cash Card as their everyday, non-bonus spending card. I have the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card that I use in a similar manner, but after seeing so many people applaud the Citi Double Cash Card, I couldn’t help but wonder why it’s consistently rated as one of the best cash back credit cards on the market.
After looking into the perks this cash back credit card offers, I discovered it offers benefits for all types of cardholders—whether they’re looking for cash back, travel rewards or a 0 percent APR balance transfer card.
Here are the four biggest reasons why so many people are in love with the Citi Double Cash Card.
1. One of the highest cash back rates
The Citi Double Cash Card offers unlimited 1 percent as you buy and 1 percent as you pay (for a total of 2 percent cash back on all purchases). As long as you make the minimum monthly payment, you’ll earn a maximum of 2 percent cash back on those payments. That represents one of the highest cash back rates on the market for cards with no annual fee.
What I like about the Citi Double Cash Card is its simplicity. Sure, you can find other credit cards that offer cash back rates of up to 5 percent. But those cards usually come with restrictive bonus categories, manual activation, and spending limits.
By contrast, there’s no hoop-jumping with the Citi Double Cash Card. There are no special categories or manual activations to remember. It’s a simple, hassle-free card to keep in your wallet to earn valuable cash back rewards.
2. Zero percent intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers
The Citi Double Cash Card also offers you the opportunity to transfer high-interest debt balances to the card at a 0 percent introductory APR for 18 months. That’s one of the longest time frames for an introductory APR offer, and it should give you enough time to pay off your debt or at least significantly reduce your balance.
Once the 18-month introductory period expires, you’ll receive a variable APR between 14.74 percent and 24.74 percent based on your creditworthiness.
To take advantage of the 0 percent introductory APR offer, you must transfer balances to your card within four months of opening your account. Just remember, balance transfers don’t earn cash back, and you’ll have to pay a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3 percent (whichever is greater) of the amount of each transfer. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
For example, if you have $2,500 in credit card debt with high-interest rates, you can transfer it to the Citi Double Cash and pay just under $139 a month for 18 months to completely eliminate the debt. You wouldn’t pay a cent in interest, but you would be on the hook for a $75 transfer fee—a worthwhile trade-off when you consider all of the money you’d save by avoiding interest charges.
3. Flexible rewards redemptions
You can receive your cash as a check, statement credit or direct deposit. Alternatively, you can choose to convert your cash into ThankYou® points, which only requires $1 in cash back rewards.
When you convert your rewards into ThankYou points, Citi automatically creates a ThankYou account for you, where your points are valued at 1 cent per point. However, you can combine your ThankYou points from two Citi cards to maximize your value.
ThankYou points open you up to more redemption options. You can redeem your points for gift cards, for travel rewards or at participating online partners like Amazon and PayPal with the Shop with Points redemption feature.
The Travel Loyalty Program Transfer Partners for ThankYou rewards include:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Asia Miles™
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Flying Blue Air France-KLM
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
According to the October 2021 valuations by The Points Guy, Citi ThankYou Points are worth 1.7 cents each. In other words, every time you use your Citi Double Cash Card to buy and pay for purchases, you’re earning an effective 3.4 percent return.
4. No Annual Fee
When I was shopping for a rewards card, I didn’t want to pay an annual fee. These fees often range from around $95 to more than $550. While the rewards you can earn with these cards often offset the yearly cost, I didn’t want the burden of making sure I used my credit card enough to make the annual fee worth it.
And that’s what you get with the Citi Double Cash Card—a hassle-free way to earn an excellent cash back rate with no annual fee. It’s one of the main reasons this card is recommended for first-time cardholders.
The bottom line
The Citi Double Cash is one of the best cash back cards available. While the card doesn’t offer an extensive list of perks and benefits, what it does, it does very well.
Citi Double Cash offers generous earning rates on all purchases with no restrictive categories to worry about. Its balance transfer offer for 18 months is one of the longest balance transfer periods in the marketplace. Combine these benefits with flexible rewards redemption options and you’ve got a simple yet valuable card with no annual fee.