The Citi Double Cash Card is a good fit for consumers who want to earn cash back on most of their spending without worrying about bonus categories or earnings caps. This card’s 2% earnings rate can add up to significant cash back, but there’s a catch: Earnings are split—1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay for the charge. Cardholders who pay their balances in full each month—and avoid interest charges—will see the most benefit.
Highest rewards-earning rate among cards in its class
No annual fee
Long introductory balance transfer deal
You don’t earn half of your rewards until you pay your purchase off
No bonus for new cardholders
- Highest rewards earning rate among cards in its class: Other cash-back cards earn as much as 5% back, but only on certain kinds of purchases. Flat-rate rewards mean you don’t have to think about rewards tiers. And while there are a few other niche cash-back credit cards that offer a flat 2% back, most mainstream flat-rate cards cap out at 1.5%
- No annual fee: You may be able to earn a sign-up bonus with other kinds of credit cards, but usually they charge an annual fee. Because this card doesn’t, you can keep it for the long haul without worrying about carrying costs.
- Long introductory balance transfer deal: If you transfer balances from other cards to the Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll pay no interest for 18 months on that balance, provided you make the transfer within four months of account opening. A 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) applies, but the interest savings could be worth it.
- You don’t earn half of your rewards until you pay off your purchase: While earning 2% back on all your purchases is great, you only earn the second 1% when you pay off what you owe. Then again, you shouldn’t worry about earning cash back if you plan to carry a balance, since your interest costs can quickly outweigh any rewards you earn.
- No bonus for new cardholders: This card may have the best flat rate for cash-back rewards, but many of its competitors offer a new-cardholder bonus. Long term, the Citi Double Cash will give you a better return, but if you’re looking for a lot of rewards upfront, consider a card offering a bonus for new cardholders.
- Redemption threshold: You can only redeem cash back once you have earned at least $25, which means you may often have some rewards locked up in your account that you can’t redeem.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Citi Double Cash Card lets you earn 2% back for each dollar you spend, although the rewards are offered in two parts—1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay for the charge. Citi provides a “Purchase Tracker” on your monthly statement so you can see where you stand on both sides of the 2% reward. There are no caps or limits on how much you can earn.
However, your rewards will expire if you don’t make any purchases or payments toward your account for 12 months. As well, you don’t earn cash-back benefits if you miss a payment or don’t pay the minimum amount, and you will not earn more cash-back rewards until your account is current.
You have a few options when it comes to redeeming the cash back you earn with this card. You can:
- Request a check in the mail in increments of $25 or more
- Request a statement credit on your account in increments of $25 or more
- Redeem for a credit to a Citi checking or savings account (in increments of $25 or more), although you must have paid your Citi credit card bill with the account twice or more
- Convert your cash back to Citi ThankYou Points
Based on our analysis of spending data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we estimate that most cardholders can expect to get as much as $486 in cash back annually. To earn it, you’d have to average a little more than $2,000 per month of cash-back eligible charges on the card.
Redeeming your cash back as a statement credit cuts down how much cash back you can earn. That's because taking a statement credit reduces how much you owe, and the second 1% of your cash back comes when you pay your bill.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Using the Citi Double Cash Card for all your regular purchases is the best way to maximize the rewards you earn. However, you should also pay your balance in full each month. Doing so will ensure you earn the second “half” of your rewards quickly, but it will also help you avoid interest on your purchases.
If you carry another Citi rewards credit card that pays higher rewards in specific categories (such as Citi Premier, which returns 3 ThankYou Points for $1 in travel spending, 2 points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else), you might add this card to the mix. The 2% cash back with this card beats Premier’s non-bonus 1% earnings rate. Better, you can convert this card’s cash back to ThankYou Points and pool them with the ones you earn with your Premier card.
Finally, this card offers a long introductory 0% balance transfer offer—18 months. If you have high-interest credit card debt elsewhere, you can transfer it to this card and get a break on interest while you pay it off. There’s a 3% fee ($5 minimum), and you’ll have to do the transfer within the first four months you have the card. Also note that as long as transferred balances remain on your account, Citi will rescind the grace period and charge interest on purchases—even if you pay your purchase balance off every month.
Citi Double Cash Card Other Features
- Sports, music, and event ticket presales, plus VIP access at some events
Citi finished sixth out of 11 issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. You can reach customer service 24/7 by phone or online chat and there’s a mobile app through which you can message support and manage your account.
One other nice touch? This card gives you access to a free FICO credit score on your monthly credit card bill, which is a helpful tool in building and maintaining good credit.
The Citi Double Cash Card provides the full suite of industry standard security features, including zero liability for fraudulent purchases, virtual account numbers for online shopping, card lock in case you’ve lost your card, and account monitoring and alerts.
Citi Double Cash Card’s Fees
The card has comparable fees to its competition, but international travelers may want to note the 3% foreign transaction fee. On the bright side, you won’t be charged a late fee the first time a payment is late.