The Citi Double Cash Card is ideal for consumers who want to earn a flat rate of cash back without worrying about bonus categories or earnings caps. Since you earn when you make a purchase and again when you pay your bill, consumers who pay their balance in full each month will get 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
Few extra perks
- 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 other cash-back credit cards that offer a flat rate of rewards, most cap out at 1.5% This is one of the few widely available credit cards that earns this much.
- No annual fee: You may be able to earn more rewards with other kinds of credit cards, but usually they charge an annual fee.
- 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 (minimum $5) 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 sounds ideal, don’t forget that 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 and make the minimum payment, since your interest costs will quickly outweigh any rewards you earn.
- Few extra perks:The Citi Double Cash Card offers fewer cardholder perks than many cash-back credit cards. There are no travel insurance benefits, for example, and you don’t get extended warranties, guaranteed returns, or purchase protection benefits like some other cards offer.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Citi Double Cash Card gives you the opportunity to earn 2% back for each dollar you spend, although the rewards are offered in two tiers—1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you make the monthly payments. There are no caps or limits on how much you can earn.
However, keep in mind that 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.
This card may have the best flat rate for cash-back rewards, but many of its competitors offer a sign-up 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 sign-up bonus.
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, although you must have paid your Citi credit card bill with the account twice or more
You can also transfer your cash back to a Citi ThankYou rewards account. There they'll become ThankYou points you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, or use as part of Citi's "Shop with Points" program to cover purchases made with popular retailers. You can transfer cash back in amounts as little as $1 (for 100 ThankYou points).
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 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.
Make sure you use your card regularly so your rewards don’t expire. You may also want to redeem rewards in increments of $25 frequently so you won’t put your cash back at risk if you stop using the card later on.
If you convert your cash back to ThankYou points, your redemption values will vary, depending on what you redeem them for. However, based on The Balance's analysis of the value of ThankYou points, you will get the most return if you transfer them to JetBlue's TrueBlue frequent flyer program.
Citi Double Cash Card Other Features
Like many rewards credit cards, Citi Double Cash offers a concierge service for help planning dining and travel, but Citi Entertainment also gives you access to events worldwide with presale tickets.
Citi promises that you can “talk to a real person” every time you call their customer service line, which is open 24 hours a day. According to Citi, you can skip over their automated prompts right away by saying “representative” when you call in.
Citi only scored 799 out of 1,000 points in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study—below the industry average of 806 points. It came in No. 6 in a list of 11 major credit card companies.
But Citi does have its own mobile app that can make monitoring your purchases and payments easier, and this card also gives you access to a free FICO credit score on your monthly credit card bill. Many but not all major credit cards offer this.
The Citi Double Cash Card has a number of security features that stand out:
- If your identity has been compromised, Citi specialists will guide you through the process of filling out police reports and other government forms, and monitoring your credit report—even if the fraud occurred on a product from a different company.
- Citi’s Lost Wallet Service helps you get a replacement for your credit card within 24 hours if it’s lost or stolen.
- Citi Quick Lock lets you lock your account against new purchases or cash advances without interrupting bills on autopay or any payments you’ve made
- Citi will give you a virtual account number you can use to shop online without revealing your Citi credit card number.
Citi Double Cash Card’s Fees
The card has comparable fees to its competition, but international travelers may want to note the foreign transaction fee: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount for each purchase. So, for a $100 overseas purchase, you’ll pay an extra $3 when using this card. On the flip side, Citi doesn't charge a fee the first time you make a late payment. (After that, a late payment could cost you up to $39.) Many competitor cards don't waive the first late fee.