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Citi Double Cash® Card review: A first-class card for flat-rate cash back and balance transfers

The Double Cash is a top flat-rate card, especially if you’re consolidating debt.

 /  16 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

4.2

Bankrate rating
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Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This is a solid low-hassle option that will get the job done for anyone looking for a simple way to earn rewards. But no intro APR on purchases and a foreign transaction fee put it at a disadvantage to other rewards cards.
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Best for up to 2% cash back

Citi Double Cash® Card

Apply now Lock
on Citi's secure site
  • Rewards value
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Rewards flexibility
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Recommended Credit
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Intro offer

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1% - 5%

Rewards rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

Citi is an advertising partner

Citi Double Cash® Card overview

The Citi Double Cash® Card is a practical cash back credit card that makes it easy to earn rewards and practice financial responsibility without the fuss of tracking rotating categories. It’s quite light on features and doesn’t have an intro APR offer on purchases, but its strengths make up for this. Its two biggest merits are its flat-rate rewards, which outclass many other flat-rate cards, and its generous intro APR offer on balance transfers. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn rewards on  purchases or pay down existing debt, the Double Cash card could be an appealing option.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • Limited-time offer: 5 percent total cash back on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked via the Citi Travel portal through Dec. 31, 2024
    • Up to 2 percent cash back on all eligible purchases (1 percent when you buy, plus another 1 percent when you pay off purchases)

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards
    Welcome offer
    • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back).

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Apr

    0% APR offer

    • 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (transfers must be made within the first four months)
    • 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable ongoing APR
    Expert Appraisal: Good

    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • No annual fee
    • 3 percent foreign transaction fee
    • 3 percent intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum; 5 percent after the first four months)
    Expert Appraisal: Typical

    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats
    Other cardholder perks
    • Citi Entertainment access
    • Citi Flex Pay alternative installment payment plans for qualifying cardholders

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

Citi Double Cash pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Its flat cash back rate is one of the highest available, making it an excellent standalone or second rewards card.

  • Checkmark

    This card does not charge an annual fee.

  • Checkmark

    It features one of the longest intro APR offers for balance transfers on a rewards card.

Cons

  • Its bonus spending requirement is relatively high.

  • A 3 percent foreign transaction fee makes this card a poor choice for purchases abroad.

  • Unlike some competing cards, it doesn’t offer an introductory APR on new purchases.

Why you might want the Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash is one of the best no-annual-fee cash back cards available. Whether you’re looking for a standalone card or to combine it with other cards, its flat rate for all purchases gives it plenty of flexibility. It could also be a top choice if you need to pay off debt thanks to its strong intro APR on balance transfers and remarkable long-term value.

Rewards: Stellar flat cash back rate

Besides being one of the best flat-rate cash back cards on the market with up to 2 percent cash back, the Citi Double Cash can help keep your spending habits in check with its earn-as-you-pay rewards structure. You automatically earn 1 percent cash back when purchasing, but you must pay off that purchase to receive the additional 1 percent back. If you’re new to rewards cards, this structure can incentivize you to pay on time to avoid interest charges and the slippery slope into debt.

The Citi Double Cash is also a great option if you’re simply looking for a low-maintenance rewards card. You’ll earn the same unlimited rewards rate no matter how much you spend or what you buy, so you won’t have to track spending categories or juggle multiple cards to maximize rewards. Plus, for a limited time through Dec. 31, 2024, you can earn 5 percent total cash back on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked via the Citi Travel portal. 

Although Citi advertises the Double Cash as a cash back card, you actually earn ThankYou points, which you can redeem for cash back in the form of a statement credit, direct deposit or check. You can also use your rewards for gift cards, travel through Citi or Shop with Points on Amazon or PayPal. However, it’s important to note that this card’s rewards are “basic” ThankYou points, so you can’t transfer them to a Citi travel partner. You’ll need a premium Citi travel card if you’re interested in that.

To make the most of “basic” points, you can pool them with the points you earn from one of Citi’s premium travel cards, like the Citi Premier® Card. Based on Bankrate’s latest point valuations, this could increase the value of your points to around 1.6 cents each on average when you take advantage of Citi’s best travel transfer partners.

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Bankrate Insight

To make the most of “basic” points, you can pool them with the points you earn from one of Citi’s premium travel cards, like the Citi Premier® Card. Based on Bankrate’s latest point valuations, this could increase the value of your points to around 1.6 cents each on average when you take advantage of Citi’s best travel transfer partners.

0% APR balance transfer offer: A lengthy intro APR for a cash back card

The Citi Double Cash is also a great balance transfer credit card. The card’s 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers lasts an impressive 18 months (then 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable). That’s one of the longest offers on a no-annual-fee rewards card and is on par with many offers you’ll find on traditional balance transfer cards.

The Double Cash charges a 3 percent introductory fee for balance transfers ($5 minimum; 5 percent for transfers made after the first four months). However, this is a lower fee than you’ll pay with some other balance transfer cards as many charge a 5 percent fee. This lower fee makes the Double Cash stand out even more because you could save more with a lower fee than a few extra months of 0 percent APR. 

For example, 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 accruing any new interest. You’d only owe a $60 balance transfer fee, which is modest compared to the amount you would owe in interest over 18 months without an introductory APR.

Welcome offer: New bonus

The Citi Double Cash doesn’t typically offer a sign-up bonus, but the card currently boasts a competitive offer. You can get 20,000 ThankYou points after you spend $1,500 in your first six months as a cardholder (worth $200 when you redeem for cash back). This is on par with the bonus offers you'll find on many of the best no-annual-fee cash back and rewards cards, though the spending requirement is a bit high: Some competitors only require a $500 spend to earn the same. 

While a sign-up bonus shouldn’t be the main factor when weighing card options, these bonuses can offer substantial value. You’d normally need to spend $10,000 to earn $200 cash back with the Citi Double Cash.

Considering the Double Cash usually comes with no bonus offer, now may be the ideal time to apply if you've been unsure about which flat-rate cash back card is best for you. Though Citi hasn't advertised an expiration date for this offer, it may not stick around long.

Why you might want a different cash back card

Although the Citi Double Cash is a top-tier option among flat-rate cards, it lacks an intro APR period for new purchases and only carries basic perks. These shortcomings may disappoint applicants looking for more perks and first-year value.

Rates and fees: No annual fee, but otherwise typical 

As long as you pay off your balance in full each month, the Citi Double Cash should be a rewarding card since it doesn’t charge an annual fee. However, other fees could hamper your rewards. The most notable fee is the card’s 3 percent foreign transaction fee. These fees can add up quickly if you make card purchases abroad, wiping out your earned rewards and then some.

You’ll also have to watch out for a high penalty APR and a fee of up to $41 if you make a late payment. The penalty APR can last indefinitely, which makes the Double Cash card’s terms much harsher than some rival cards. Several competitors don’t charge a penalty APR or only keep it in place for six to 12 months if you make consistent on-time payments. Fees aside, you should avoid making late payments, as the Double Cash card’s rewards program is only great if you pay on time. 

APR: No introductory offer on purchases

Unlike many balance transfer cards — and competing rewards cards — the Citi Double Cash doesn’t offer an intro APR on purchases. That means carrying a balance will accrue interest from the start of account opening. The Double Cash is still one of the best cash back cards for balance transfers, but the Discover it® Balance Transfer may be worth considering if you don’t mind rotating rewards in exchange for a modest intro APR on purchases. However, if you can manage with a slightly shorter payoff window, many no-annual-fee rewards cards also carry an intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Otherwise, you may need to lean toward a balance transfer card like the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card for matching, lengthy intro APRs.

Perks: Limited benefits for a rewards card

The Citi Double Cash is light on card benefits compared to competing cash back cards. Like all Citi credit and debit cards, the Double Cash card comes with Citi Entertainment access. Citi Entertainment opens the door 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.

That said, a few popular no-annual-fee cash back cards offer even better benefits. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card provides many of the same features, plus trip cancellation and interruption insurance and partner perks with several delivery and rideshare services. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express even offers an annual credit for eligible streaming service purchases.

The card that works best for you will have perks that you value most. If you instead make various purchases across categories and can make the most of flat-rate cash back, a card like the Citi Double Cash might be the best option for you, despite its thin perks portfolio.

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Our credit card expert, Nouri Zarrugh, uses the Double Cash card to maximize rewards on purchases that don’t typically earn boosted rewards.

I love the card’s simplicity. It has come in handy for big but easy-to-forget expenses like insurance bills or car repairs, which typically only earn 1 percent back on other cards. Even though I carry several cards, I have plenty of purchases pop up for which the Double Cash offers the best return on spending.

— Nouri Zarrugh, Editor, Bankrate

How the Citi Double Cash compares to other cash back cards

The Citi Double Cash card is a solid pick, but it doesn’t offer the highest flat cash back rate. It also lacks a few of the top features available on other cash back cards, like an intro APR on new purchases. Here are some comparable flat-rate cash back cards worth considering before committing to the Citi Double Cash.

 
Image of Citi Double Cash® Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Citi's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200 cash back
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1.5% - 2.5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 – 850)
Info
Image of Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Wells Fargo's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200 cash rewards
Info

Rewards rate

2%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Best cards to pair with the Citi Double Cash Card

When pairing credit cards, it’s best to choose a card that supplements your existing card or makes up for what your card lacks.

In the case of the Citi Double Cash, consider pairing it with a bonus category cash back card that can help you earn a higher rate of rewards in categories you frequently spend. Additionally, if you know you have a big purchase coming up, a low introductory APR on purchases may be helpful. However, any card that earns more than 2 percent back in your most frequent spending categories can pair well with the Double Cash.

Who is the Citi Double Cash right for?

The Double Cash could be an excellent partner if your spending habits or goals align with these cardholder profiles:

Bankrate’s Take — Is Citi Double Cash worth it?

The Citi Double Cash is a strong choice if you’re looking for an everyday credit card that earns a solid cash back rate on each purchase, with no rotating categories or cash back calendars to manage. You can also benefit from the Citi Double Cash if you’re in the market for a balance transfer credit card thanks to its long introductory APR period on balance transfers. Plus, thanks to its no-hassle rewards structure, you can continue to make the most of the card after you pay off your debt. The earn-as-you-pay caveat may even encourage you to stay out of debt.

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

How we rated this card

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We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest).

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Writer, Credit Cards

Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.