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Citi® Double Cash Card: A Great Cash Back Option

Citi® Double Cash Card: A Great Cash Back Option

Easily one of the best cash back cards on the market.
Editor's Rating: 5.0/5.0

Editor's Rating

5.0/5.0

The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the best all-around credit cards that's available. It has a simple but effective rewards structure: Get 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% as you pay, effectively making it a 2% cash back card. There are other cards that may get you higher cash back rates, but they'll require you to "activate" categories and pay attention to changing bonus categories. In comparison, the Citi® Double Cash Card is much simpler to use, making it one of the best options, especially for people who are looking for one card to utilize for all their expenses.

Citi® Double Cash Card: One of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards

There are dozens of cash back credit cards to choose from, but most of them provide cash back rates that range from 1% to 1.5% back. This is what makes the Citi® Double Cash Card so great. It offers 1% cash back on your purchases and another 1% as you pay (effectively 2% cash back).

Citi® Double Cash Card
Annual Fee
$0*
Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed Excellent/Good
Details
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

If you're someone who only uses one credit card for all your spending, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table if you opt for a card with a lower cash back rate. Depending on how much you spend per year, you may miss out on hundreds of cash-back dollars. As highlighted in the table below, the difference in cash back rates is quite significant, especially at higher spending levels.

Annual Spend on Credit CardCiti® Double Cash Card (Effective 2% cash back)1.5% cash back card1.0% cash back cardMax - Min
$10,000$200$150$100$100
$15,000$300$225$150$150
$20,000$400$300$200$200
$25,000$500$375$250$250

To be clear, some users will be able to get more cash back from cards like the Chase Freedom® or the Discover it® Cash Back, both of which have rotating bonus categories. However, doing so requires diligence, as you'll have to keep track of the cards' bonus categories and you'll also have to activate the categories in your account. If this doesn't sound appealing to you, the Citi® Double Cash Card is likely the best choice for you. Otherwise, we suggest reading about the other cards in the comparison section, below.

There's two main drawbacks of getting the Citi® Double Cash Card: The card doesn't currently offer a sign-up bonus and it has a foreign transaction fee. Competing cards will generally reward applicants with a one-time bonus, which ranges in value but is typically around $150. To get the bonus, users must spend a few hundred dollars on the card within a period of about three months. Also, the Citi® Double Cash Card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%, meaning it's not ideal for frequent international travelers.

Bottom line: The Citi® Double Cash Card is among the best cash back credit cards, especially if you don't want to think about which card to use for specific expenses. It's a jack-of-all-trades that will earn you a high cash back rate every time you use it.

Redeeming Your Cash Back on the Citi® Double Cash Card

To redeem the cash back you earn with the Citi® Double Cash Card, you'll first have to accrue a rewards balance of $25 or more. Once you've met the threshold, you can redeem your rewards on Citi's website through a few different methods:

  • Request a check of at least $25.
  • Redeem for a statement credit for at least $25.
  • Redeem for a credit to your linked Citi savings or checking account or to a checking account from which you've paid a Citi credit card bill at least two times.

It's fairly common to see cash back cards require you to earn a certain rewards balance before you're able to redeem. Therefore, we don't consider this to be a major downside of the Citi® Double Cash Card. To get a $25 rewards balance, you'll have to spend at least $1,250 on the card.

How Does the Citi® Double Cash Card Compare to Other Cards?

If you're just after one card to put all your spending, then the Citi® Double Cash Card is the best choice for you. However, if you're someone who's willing to utilize multiple credit cards or you're someone who diligently tracks your credit card spending, then you may want to consider a few other options listed below.

The Citi® Double Cash Card vs the Chase Freedom®

Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent/Good
Details
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

Unlike the Citi® Double Cash Card, which awards a flat cash back rate, the Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on spending categories that change every quarter. Spending outside of the rotating categories will earn you just 1% cash back; therefore, the card is best used toward the bonus categories for that given quarter. The Chase Freedom® also limits spending in these bonus categories to $1,500 per quarter (which will get you $75 in cash back for the 5% categories) and you'll have to activate them in your account.

If you're able to take advantage of the Chase Freedom®'s bonus categories, it'll be the better card most of the time. That said, both cards come without an annual fee, so there's limited downside to applying for both cards. Doing so would allow you to get 5% cash back in the Chase Freedom®'s rotating categories and 2% back on all other purchases with the Citi® Double Cash Card.

The Citi® Double Cash Card vs the Discover it® Cash Back

Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent, Good
Details
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

The Discover it® Cash Back functions similarly to the Chase Freedom®. It awards cardholders with 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum each time it's activated, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. That means you'll get an excellent cash back rate if your spending aligns with the 5% cash back categories. If it doesn't, or if you'd rather not have to keep track of rotating categories, the Citi® Double Cash Card is the much better card choice for you.

It's worth noting that the Discover it® Cash Back is better than the Citi® Double Cash Card when it comes to rewards in the short term. That's because Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. So if you earn $100 in cash back, you'll be awarded with an additional $100. In stark contrast, the Citi® Double Cash Card doesn't currently offer a bonus at sign up or after the first year. That said, we advise applicants to always think about their long-term usage of a card.

The Citi® Double Cash Card vs the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent/Good
Details
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

In the long run, the better card between the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® will always be the Citi® Double Cash Card. That's because the Citi® Double Cash Card offers superior cash back rewards (effectively 2% back versus the 1.5% back available through the Chase Freedom Unlimited®). However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® currently comes with a $150 sign-up bonus if you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, so it can be a solid card for earning quick cash back.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is at its best when it's paired with another card in the Chase family, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Pairing the two cards allows users to transfer their points from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Once the points are transferred, they can be redeemed for 25% more value through Chase Ultimate Rewards, effectively boosting the card's rewards rate to 1.875%.

Cash Back Credit Card Comparison Tool

If you're still unsure of which card is the best for you, use our credit card comparison tool below. It allows you to enter your monthly expenses and receive an estimate of how much each card will earn you in cash back rewards.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Citi® Double Cash Card
$0* 2.00%
$0
$686
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 686 x $1 = $686
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 686

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0*
APR 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$0 1.94%
$150
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
$665
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.01 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 665

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 16.99% - 25.74% Variable

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Discover it® Cash Back
$0 1.50%
$171
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
$514
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
171 x $1 = $171
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 514

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 13.99% - 24.99% Variable

Card Details

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Chase Freedom®
$0 1.44%
$150
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
$493
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 493

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 16.99% - 25.74% Variable

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, and Amazon Business American Express Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.