Citi® Double Cash Card review

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Claire Dickey @ClaireDickey  in  Cash Back How we rate our cards  |  Advertiser Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

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Best for cash back

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

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This page includes information about Discover products that are not currently available on bankrate.com and may be out of date.

Best for responsible cash back card usage

  • Rewards Rate: Unlimited 1 percent as you buy, plus another 1 percent when you pay for your purchases
  • Welcome Offer: None
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Purchase Intro APR: None
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0 percent introductory APR for 18 months (then the regular variable applies)
  • Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable

“Practical” and “constructive” comes to mind when analyzing the Citi® Double Cash Card. This cash back credit card offers a few concrete ways in which you can better your financial situation, improve your credit card habits and enjoy cash back rewards without the fuss of tracking rotating categories.

Here’s a breakdown of the Citi Double Cash’s card offerings, who it’s ideal for, the best cards to pair it with and more.

Rewards

Besides being one of the best flat-rate cash back cards on the market, the Citi Double Cash can help keep your spending habits in check with its earn-as-you-pay rewards structure.

In order to receive an additional 1 percent cash back rewards for your purchases (on top of the automatic 1 percent cash back you earn), you must pay off the balance you owe.

Earning cash back

The value you extract from the Citi Double Cash depends on how wisely you use it. In other words, make sure you’re paying at least the minimum due on time each month or, ideally, the full amount. You’ll only earn the full potential cash back if you pay off what you owe.

There’s no cap on the amount of cash back rewards you can receive with the Citi Double Cash, so feel free to swipe and earn as you please.

Redeeming cash back

Redemption options for your cash back rewards include statement credits, direct deposit, check and ThankYou points.

Check, statement credit and direct deposit redemptions start at $25, meaning you must have at least $25 in cash back rewards in your account to redeem. Cash back redemptions require a much lower $1 cash back rewards balance.

If you choose to redeem your rewards for points, a ThankYou Account is automatically created for you. This allows you to further redeem your points for gift cards or Shop with Points on Amazon or PayPal.

You can redeem rewards by logging into your online account or calling Citi at 1 (855) 473-4583. Cash back rewards expire after 12 months of card inactivity, meaning you haven’t earned cash back on purchases or payments for one year.

How much are points worth?

Generally, you can expect credit card cash back to be worth 1 cent per piece. In the case of the Citi Double Cash, if you spend $500 a month with the card and pay off the full amount, you’ll earn $120 in cash back rewards by the end of 12 months.

The Citi Double Cash isn’t marketed as a ThankYou point-earning Citi credit card, considering you earn cash back, not points. You can, though, easily convert your cash back rewards to ThankYou points as a redemption option. According to The Points Guy’s monthly points and miles valuations, Citi ThankYou points are worth as much as 1.7 cents per piece when redeemed for travel.

Citi Double Cash: Details and Benefits

The Citi Double Cash is pretty simplistic in terms of additional card benefits, but that doesn’t mean those the card does offer aren’t useful.

0 percent APR offer

In addition to being a cash back card, the Citi Double Cash doubles as a balance transfer credit card. The 18-month 0 percent introductory APR offer on balance transfers (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after) is one of the longest balance transfer periods currently available. Keep in mind, if you take advantage of the offer, you’ll still owe either $5 or a 3 percent fee, whichever is greater. Additionally, balance transfers must be made in the first four months of account opening to qualify for the rate.

For reference, if you had $2,000 in credit card debt and transferred it to the Citi Double Cash, you could pay just over $111 a month for 18 months and completely wipe out your debt—all without paying a dime in interest. Bear in mind, you’d also owe a $60 balance transfer fee.

Security and protection perks

In addition to a solid flat-rate rewards structure and lengthy introductory APR offer, the Citi Double Cash extends a myriad of security and fraud protections.

Get $0 fraud liability, 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Lost Wallet Service—meaning Citi will replace your lost card within 24 hours and provide you with emergency cash in the meantime.

Citi Entertainment

Citi Entertainment gets you access to presale tickets, events and more, whether it be a music festival, professional football game or high-end restaurant experience. For more information, read Citi Entertainment’s FAQ page.

Rates and fees

Typically, it’s important that your spending garners enough rewards to justify paying an annual fee, but with the Citi Double Cash, there’s no need; the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, meaning there’s no recurring yearly cost to own the card.

As discussed above, the Citi Double Cash offers a lengthy 0 percent introductory APR with a 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR thereafter. Keep in mind if you fail to pay off your balance within the given 0 percent window, you’ll be subject to the card’s variable APR for the rest of your card ownership.

Frequent travelers should know the Citi Double Cash charges a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent of each purchase. If you travel outside of the U.S., be sure to bring along an additional credit card that offers no foreign transaction fees.

How the Citi Double Cash compares to similar cards

In the current economic environment, it isn’t uncommon to notice issuers lowering the time period of introductory balance transfer offers from their cards’ offerings or removing them altogether.

With this in mind, here are three, currently available cash back or balance transfer credit card offers to consider before deciding on the Citi Double Cash.

Card Annual fee Intro APR Ongoing APR Other details
Citi Simplicity® Card $0 0 percent for 18 months on balance transfers and purchases. Then the regular variable applies 14.74 percent  to 24.74 percent variable APR No rewards structure or welcome bonus
Wells Fargo Platinum card $0 0 percent for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers (made within the first 120 days of account opening) Then the regular variable applies 16.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable APR No rewards structure or welcome bonus
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card $0 0 percent for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers and purchases. Then the regular variable applies 14.49 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase

 

$150 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in your first three months

The information related to the Citi Simplicity® Card, Wells Fargo Platinum card, and Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has been collected by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

Best cards to pair with the Citi Double Cash

When it comes to pairing credit cards, it’s best to choose a card that supplements and even makes up for what the initial card is lacking.

In the case of the Citi Double Cash, consider pairing it with a rotating cash back card that can help you earn a higher rate of rewards in categories you tend to spend more in. Additionally, if you know you have a big purchase coming up, a low introductory APR on purchases may be helpful. Seeing as the Citi Double Cash doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, you might look to pair it with a card that does.

Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it Cash Back, for example, offers 5 percent cash back on rotating categories each quarter—every three months—on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent (activation required). Here’s a look at the Discover it Cash Back bonus calendar for 2020:

  • July through September 2020: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October through December 2020: Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com

This no annual fee credit card is a good option for you if a significant chunk of your spending falls within these rotating categories (keep in mind categories are subject to change each year). Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com may be helpful during the holiday season, especially with the card’s 14-month introductory APR on purchases (11.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable APR after).

Lastly, the Discover it Cash Back offers a pretty stellar Cashback Match welcome bonus; at the end of your first year of card ownership, Discover matches all of the cash back you’ve earned. If you racked up $200 in cash back rewards, for example, this welcome offer would bring you to a total of $400 in cash back earnings.

The information about the Discover it® Cash Back has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Chase Freedom®

Similar to the Discover it Cash Back, the Chase Freedom offers a rotating cash back calendar with new places to earn heightened rewards; earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1 percent)  and an automatic 1 percent cash back on everything else. For the rest of 2020, Chase’s cash back calendar is as follows:

  • July through September 2020: Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • October through December 2020: Currently unannounced

The Chase Freedom doesn’t charge an annual fee, and there’s a 15-month introductory APR on purchases (14.99 percent to 23.74 percent variable APR after). Even better, new cardmembers receive a special offer amid coronavirus concerns:

  • $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
  • 5 percent cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year of card ownership

Bankrate’s Take – Is the Citi Double Cash worth it?

The Citi Double Cash is a great choice for those looking for an everyday credit card that earns a solid cash back rate on each purchase—no rotating categories or cash back calendars to keep up with. There’s no opportunity to earn a welcome bonus with the Citi Double Cash, though, which may be a drawback if you value bonus earning-potential over all else.

To be approved for the Citi Double Cash, you’ll need an excellent credit score (between 740 and 850), meaning this card might not be the best option for you if you’re just starting to build your credit or have a poor-to-mid-range credit score.

Most importantly, the Citi Double Cash is only worth it if you can pay back what you owe and avoid carrying a balance for an extended time; if you don’t pay them off, each purchase only earns 1 percent cash back. Should you have a history of skipping credit card payments or paying bills late, it might be best to consider a different cash back card.

Those who’re in the market for a balance transfer credit card can benefit greatly from the Citi Double Cash with its significantly long introductory APR period on balance transfers. Further, you can continue to get use out of the card after your debt is paid off, thanks to its simplistic rewards structure. The earn-as-you-pay caveat may even act as encouragement to stay out of debt.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1 percent as you buy, 1 percent as you pay cash back rewards structure
  • No annual fee
  • 18-month introductory 0 percent APR on balance transfers (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after)

Cons

  • No welcome bonus offer or introductory APR on purchases
  • Balance transfer fee of 3 percent of each transfer or $5, whichever is greater
  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee