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Citi® Double Cash Card: A Great Cash Back Option

  • On Citi's Secure Website
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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
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Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

5.0/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

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).

  • On Citi's Secure Website
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Citi® Double Cash Card

  • On Citi's Secure Website
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  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 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.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 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.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 a card like the Chase Freedom®, which offers 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®

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent
Details
  • 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
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • 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℠

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

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Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
13.49% - 24.49% 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 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. For 2019, the categories include grocery stores (January-March), gas stations, Uber & Lyft (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com (October-December).

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®

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent
Details
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open

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®).

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.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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Comments and Questions

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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 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).