The Citi® Double Cash Card is an attractive offer among cash back credit cards. If you want to take advantage of a low-hassle cash reward on everything you purchase with your card, you can’t go wrong owning this card.
While the card doesn’t include a big bonus offer like other cash back cards we know of, “consistency” is the key to winning with this cash back card.
Let’s start with what makes this cash back credit card great: The card gives you 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you make it, 1% back when you pay it off. What’s awesome about this specific cash back credit card, there’s no limit to how much you can earn. If you spend a lot every month and can pay it off, you can rack up the cash back. Another thing that makes this card attractive is the annual fee, which is $0.
The Citi® Double Cash Card offer is solid on its own, but it could also be a great partner to a bonus-category credit card, utilizing a two credit card strategy to maximize your cash back rewards.
While that’s great, this specific offer is not going to have what most of you are looking for. First off, there’s no sign-up bonus. You’re not going to see an opportunity to earn more than the base rewards. What about transferring a balance? Sure, you could, but the terms for that are average.
Despite not having a bonus or opportunities to earn more cash, there’s a lot of upside to this credit card. Let’s take a look at the basics.
Citi® Double Cash Card Overview
Credit Card Type: Cash Back
Annual Fee: $0
Sign-Up Bonus: No
Rewards: 2% cashback on purchases, distributed in two stages:
1% cashback for every dollar spent.
1% cashback for every dollar paid off.
Redemption options: Statement credit, bank account deposit or a check. Minimum redemption amount: $25.
Interest rate: 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months.
Better Than The Industry Average – When you look at the industry standard for cashback, you’re going to find that it’s 1% on average. As the name would suggest, the Citi® Double Cash Card would double that rate. You’d receive 1% on the front end for everything you purchase and you get 1% after you pay your bill. Essentially, the quicker you pay your balance, the quicker you get your rewards. When you think about it, it’s a genius incentive to get your credit card balance paid.
Simple Structure – You always want to be careful when choosing a cashback credit card. Most cashback cards have numerous bonus categories and offers, some of them are great to take advantage of. Even so, it can become complicated trying to keep up. Furthermore, if it’s not a store you shop at, that bonus offer provides you no benefit.
With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you don’t have to worry about that. You don’t have to remember what categories are active this month, what gas stations are paying, etc. Instead, you just pull out your cashback card and pay knowing you’re getting 2% cashback on everything.
Easier To Qualify – Another benefit of the Citi® Double Cash Card is qualifying for the card. It’s easier to get approved for this card versus other counterparts. A good credit rating can get you approved while the others require excellent credit.
It’s easier to qualify for this card than it is even for many cards that pay a lower rate. You need good credit; many of its lower-paying rivals insist on excellent credit only.
What about the drawbacks of the Citi® Double Cash Card? While most of these are not a big deal, I still want you to know them. Some of these we touched on earlier, others we didn’t, so let’s get to some of the negatives for this card.
No Bonus – There’s no sign-up bonus as part of this offer, but cash-back card bonuses usually aren’t high anyway, typically $150 of cash/value or less.
No Bigger Rewards – Double cash on all purchases is awesome, but it doesn’t come close to the 5% back you can get on some spending if you’re willing to invest more effort by using quarterly category cards.
Balance Transfer Fee – The lengthy no-interest period on balance transfers is solid, the 3% balance transfer fee with a minimum of $5 is common. Even so, that fee still hurts you. For example, you’d be looking at a $600 fee on $20,000 transferred.
Foreign Transaction Fee – You do have a 3% fee for foreign transactions, which means you shouldn’t take it with you abroad. Several cash back cards don’t include this fee.
Reward Minimum – You’ll need at least $25 in rewards before you can redeem it, which would equal around $1,250 worth of purchases. Other cashback credit cards allow you to redeem rewards in any amount of time.
Reward Expiration – This is not the biggest of deals but certainly worth bringing up. Citi explains that cash rewards balances “expire” if you don’t earn cashback from purchases or payments for 12 months. If you stop using your card, you may not be eligible for rewards after a 12 month period. You can avoid this by making a single purchase, which resets the 12-month clock back to zero.
Citi® Double Cash Card vs. Competitors – The biggest competitors are cashback cards that give large cashback for specific categories of spending, based on where you use it. If you use your credit card in these specific categories, it makes sense to have a card that gives you that option.
Permanent Categories – We love permanent categories that don’t change. Cash-back credit cards do have these bonus categories that won’t change on you. One great example to mention is The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The card allows you to earn more cashback at supermarkets, a category that doesn’t change.
Rotating Categories – When we think about the best cashback credit cards on the market, we’re usually talking about Chase Freedom® and Discover it®. Both cards offer 5% back on categories that you activate, allowing you to earn up to $1,500 in spending per quarter (which equals $75 in cashback), and you can earn 1% on all other spendings. These categories can include home-improvement, department stores, gas stations, restaurants or supermarkets.
Flat-Rate Cards –A few credit union cards might have flat-rate cash-back programs that match or exceed the Citi® Double Cash Card, but you must qualify to be a member of the credit union. And the Citi® Double Cash Card beats the more typical flat rate of 1.5% cashback offered by such cards as the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
Citi® Double Cash Card In Closing
It all depends on your specific scenario. If you want a flat-rate rewards credit card that’s simple, it’s going to be tough to beat the Citi® Double Cash Card. The rewards you can earn are limitless, so you can go all out.
If you’re using a two-card strategy, you can really rack up the rewards with Citi® Double Cash Card. This is something I’m always talking about in the articles I cover because a 2 card strategy gives you a lot of opportunities to maximize your rewards.
If you’re looking for a balance transfer card, there are much better options out there.
If you’re looking for select categories to earn 3-5 percent cash back or want to take advantage of sign-up bonuses, this isn’t the right rewards card for that.
Again, it’s all about your specific scenario and needs. You know the pros, you know the cons, now you have what you need to make the best decision for you.
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