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Citi® Double Cash Card review: Great for filling cash back gaps

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

 /  13 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 . 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

The Citi Double Cash Card is a solid, low-hassle option that will get the job done for anyone looking for a simple way to earn rewards. But a penalty APR and lack of a sign-up bonus and intro APR offer on purchases put it at a disadvantage to other rewards cards.
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Apply now Lock
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Best for up to 2% cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card

Rewards rate

2%
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Annual fee

Intro offer

N/A

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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chance of approval
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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. Its two biggest features are its flat-rate rewards, which outclass many other flat-rate cards, and a generous intro APR offer on balance transfers. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn rewards on your purchases or have debt currently sitting on a high-interest card, the Double Cash card could be an appealing option. But compared to other rewards cards, it’s light on features, and the lack of a sign-up bonus or intro APR offer on purchases could be a letdown for some. 

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.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 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
    • None

    Expert Appraisal: Weak
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Apr

    0% APR offer

    • 0 percent on balance transfers for 18 months (transfers must be made within the first four months)
    • No 0 percent intro APR on purchases
    • 18.99 percent to 28.99 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
    • Typical account security features: $0 liability for unauthorized purchases, 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and card replacement and emergency cash service

    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

    Features one of the longest intro APR offers for balance transfers you can get on a rewards card.

Cons

  • Does not carry a sign-up bonus, making it harder to match the value offered by other 2 percent flat-rate cash back cards.

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

  • Unlike some competitors, it does not 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 one you can combine with other cards to maximize your cash back on general purchases. It could also be a top choice if you need to pay off debt thanks to its exceptional 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 its 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. To receive an additional 1 percent cash back for your purchases (on top of the automatic 1 percent cash back you earn), you must pay off the balance you owe. This makes the Double Cash card an excellent option if you’re new to rewards and want to make sure you avoid credit card debt and interest charges.

The Citi Double Cash is also a great option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance rewards card. You’ll earn the same flat rate no matter how much you spend or what you buy, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. This makes it an excellent pick if you’d rather not track spending categories or juggle multiple cards to maximize rewards. 

You can redeem rewards as cash back in the form of a statement credit, direct deposit or check. You can also redeem ThankYou points for gift cards, travel through Citi or Shop with Points on Amazon or PayPal. Remember that these are considered “basic” ThankYou points and can’t be transferred to a Citi travel partner without a premium Citi travel card.

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 1.9 cents each on average when you take advantage of Citi’s best travel transfer partners.

0% APR offer: Lengthy intro APR for balance transfers

The Citi Double Cash can also come in handy as a balance transfer credit card. The card’s 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers is impressive at 18 months (then 18.99 percent to 28.99 percent variable). That’s one of the longest offers you’ll find on a no-annual-fee rewards card. In fact, this offer is on par with many of the offers you’ll find on traditional balance transfer cards.

It’s worth noting that 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 face with some balance transfer cards, since many charge a 5 percent fee right from the start. In fact, a lower balance transfer fee could save you more overall 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 spending a dime on interest. You’d only owe a $60 balance transfer fee, which you could offset this via cash back — a perk that’s lacking on many balance transfer cards.

Rates and fees: No annual fee

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. This means you won’t have to worry about earning enough in cash back to offset an the card’s cost each year. That said, there are a few other fees to be aware of, including a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent of each purchase. If you travel outside the U.S., be sure to bring along an additional credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees

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 also 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 6 to 12 months if you make consistent on-time payments.

Why you might want a different cash back card

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. This is especially disappointing since a card offering similar rewards and intro APRs on both purchases and balance transfers isn’t unheard of. 

For example, The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card earns a flat-rate 1.5 percent cash back while packing a superior 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (then 17.74 percent to 27.74 percent variable; eligible transfers must be made within the first 60 days). The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card even delivers higher-rate cash back categories with the same intro APR offers.

If paying off debt is your goal, you should avoid using the card for purchases while taking advantage of the balance transfer offer. Since the card doesn’t carry an intro APR offer on purchases, any time you use the card, your purchases will get charged interest. And that interest will keep accruing until you pay off your entire balance — including your balance transfer.

Welcome offer: No sign-up bonus

The Citi Double Cash does not currently offer a sign-up bonus, which is disappointing since many no-annual-fee cash back cards usually offer at least a $200 intro bonus. In fact, the card’s biggest competitor, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, earns 2 percent cash rewards on purchases and offers a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in your first three months.

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

Perks: Limited benefits for a rewards card

The Citi Double Cash is light on additional card benefits, but there are a few conveniences that could come in handy. 

In addition to a solid flat-rate rewards structure and lengthy introductory APR offer, the Citi Double Cash comes with plenty of security and fraud protections to cardholders. It also offers $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.

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 cash back cards offer even better benefits. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card provides largely 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.

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Bankrate credit cards editor Nouri Zarrugh has firsthand experience using the Citi Double Cash as part of his everyday rewards card roster. He finds it especially helpful for earning rewards in categories not covered by his other cards.

"The Double Cash is an essential part of my cash back strategy. I've used it to earn rewards on everything from my insurance bill to car repairs — big but easy-to-overlook costs that would only earn a maximum of 1 percent back with my other cards." 

Nouri Zarrugh, senior credit cards editor at Bankate

How the Citi Double Cash compares to other cash back cards

The Citi Double Cash card is a solid pick for a flat-rate card, but it doesn’t offer the highest flat rate. It also lacks top features offered by other cash back cards, like a sign-up bonus and intro APR offer. Here are a few solid flat-rate cash back cards to consider before deciding on 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

N/A

Rewards rate

2%
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 and even makes up for what the initial card is lacking.

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 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. However, any card that earns more than 2 percent back in your key spending categories can pair well with the Double Cash.

Who is the Citi Double Cash right for?

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

The Citi Double Cash is a strong choice for those 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 keep up with. Those in the market for a balance transfer credit card can also benefit from the Citi Double Cash thanks to its long introductory APR period on balance transfers. Plus, you can continue to use the card after your debt is paid off, thanks to its no-hassle rewards structure. The earn-as-you-pay caveat may even act as encouragement 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 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.

Dig deeper: Is the Citi Double Cash Card worth it?

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Credit Cards Writer

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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