Citi Double Cash Card Review

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The Citi Double Cash Card offers the highest flat-rate rewards-earning rate among cash-back credit cards with no annual fee. This card is best for those who spend heavily in everyday life, and then pay off their credit card bill monthly.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Overall Rating
4.0
Citi® Double Cash Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
3.2
for Rewards
3.4
for Credit
3.7

Top Rated For

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver

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.

Pros
  • Highest rewards-earning rate among cards in its class

  • No annual fee

  • Long introductory balance transfer deal

Cons
  • You don’t earn half of your rewards until you pay your purchase off

  • No bonus for new cardholders

  • Redemption threshold

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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.

Redeeming Rewards

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.

Warning

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

Customer Experience

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.

Security Features

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.

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CURRENT CARD
Citi® Double Cash Card
overall rating
4.0
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Citi. "Citi Disclosures." Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.

  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Consumer Expenditures -- 2018." Accessed Aug. 10, 2020.

  3. J.D. Power. "Customers Losing Faith in Credit Card Issuers as COVID-19 Pandemic Lingers, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.

  4. Citi. "Welcome to the Security Center." Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.