The Citi® Double Cash Card is a cashback credit card with no annual fee and an unusual, but not overly complicated, rewards program. As its name implies, Double Cash earns cash rewards twice: once when you spend and once when you pay off your card balance. Cardholders who take advantage of both opportunities get unlimited 2% cashback cash back, which is almost as generous as cashback cards with no annual fee.
Citi Double Cash competes with several other cashback cards with no annual fee, including Chase Freedom and Discover it. Thanks to its generous rewards program, it’s also comparable to cash-back cards like Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and Amex EveryDay Preferred (both $95 annual fees), as well as travel rewards cards like Chase Sapphire. Preferred Card ($95 annual fee). However, unlike many of these cards, Double Cash does not have a sign-up bonus.
Currently, there is no sign-up bonus for this card. Earn cash back rewards
Citi Double Cash purchases earn unlimited 1% cashback. Every payment made on your card balance also earns the same unlimited 1% cashback, as long as you make the minimum payment. Consequently, when used correctly, this card has a flat, unlimited 2% cashback earn rate. Importantly, you can carry a balance for as long as you like and still get cashback on eventual payments, although of course the interest charged on the balances carried over offsets and overwhelms your cash income over time.
Redeem cash back rewards
Once you reach the minimum redemption limit of $25, you can redeem your accumulated cash rewards for a paper check, proof of payment, gift card, or bank account deposit. Citi only allows deposits to external bank accounts if you have used the chosen account to make at least two credit card payments in the past. If there are no purchases or payment activities on your account for at least 12 consecutive months, your accumulated rewards will expire.
This card has an April promotion of 0% for 18 months for balance transfers. To qualify, balance transfers must be made within 4 months of account opening, and please note that balance transfers do not generate any refunds. important fees
There is no annual fee. Foreign transactions are 3% of the transaction amount, cash advances are $10 or 5%, and balance transfers are $5 or 3%. There is no late payment fee for the first missed payment; however, subsequent late payments are $35 each. Returned payments are always $35 each.
Citi Double Cash has a nice list of value-added benefits, including 24/7 concierge service (including travel and event booking), purchase protection (up to 120-day damage and theft) up to $1,000 per item, and $50,000 per calendar year. and courtesy car rental loss and damage insurance charged in full to your card account. Citi Double Cash also comes with the Citi Private Pass, which grants VIP access to major events (such as concerts and sporting events), as well as exclusive access to more intimate experiences (such as celebrity dinners).
This card requires good to excellent credit. Minor blemishes in your credit history probably won’t disqualify your application, but more serious problems probably will. Advantages
- No annual fee. Citi Double Cash does not have an annual fee. This further increases your effective cash recovery rate and serves as a welcome contrast to some higher cashback cards, such as Blue Cash Preferred from American Express ($95 annual fee).
- High Potential Earning Rate. Citi Double Cash’s maximum effective cash recovery rate is an unlimited 2%. That’s higher than many competing cards, including Capital One Quicksilver (unlimited 1.5%) and Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® ( note: this offer is no longer available ).
- Long introductory APR period. Citi Double Cash comes with an 18-month 0% April introductory promotion on balance transfers. That’s longer than Capital One Quicksilver, which offers a nine-month introductory APR period, and Discovers it, which offers a 12-month introductory APR period.
- No capitalization, rotating categories, or activation requirements. Citi Double Cash offers unlimited, flat, general cash earning power. You never have to worry about spending caps, spinning categories, or pesky category activation requirements. That’s not the case with Chase Freedom and Discover, which have quarterly rotating spending categories with limits and activation requirements.
- First Late Fee Waived. You don’t have to pay Citi Double Cash’s $35 late fee on your first missed payment as a cardholder. This is a great benefit for cardholders who rarely miss payments.
- Nice additional benefits. For a cashback card with no annual fee, Citi Double Cash has a nice list of fringe benefits. Citi Private Pass, which offers infrequent access to high-demand and exclusive events, is particularly useful for cardholders looking for entertainment.
- No registration bonus. Citi Double Cash does not have a sign-up bonus. That puts it in a distinct minority of cash-back cards. Sign-up bonuses for most comparable cards range from $100 to $150.
- It has a penalty APR. Citi Double Cash charges penalty interest. That’s a big problem for cardholders who miss payments. Many competing cards, including Capital One Quicksilver, have no penalty APR.
- It has a foreign transaction fee. This card’s foreign transaction fee is a bummer for cardholders traveling outside the US at any rate. Capital One Quicksilver and Discover avoid foreign transaction fees, giving globetrotting cardholders a huge jump.
- Light Spenders Redemption Threshold Minimum Disadvantages. Citi Double Cash’s $25 minimum redemption threshold is a significant hurdle for low spenders, as it can take a long time to accumulate enough rewards to cash out. If you’re looking for a cashback card that lets you redeem it for any amount, look instead at Discover it or Capital One Quicksilver.
- Rewards accumulate at a flat rate. If you focus your spending on one or two preferred categories, like gas or groceries, and you’re unlikely to exceed the associated limit, consider a gas or grocery credit card like BankAmericard Cash Rewards MasterCard or American Express’s Blue Cash Everyday.
- Rewards expire after 12 months of account inactivity. If you don’t make purchases or payments on your account for 12 months or more, your accumulated cash rewards expire. This is inconvenient if Double Cash is not your primary credit card, and therefore is not used regularly. Few other cash-back cards put an expiration date on earned rewards.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is billed as “Citi’s Best Cash Back Card.” With unlimited 2% cashback and no annual fee, it’s not a tough case. I could go further and say that Double Cash is one of the best cashback cards, period. If you use this card heavily and make timely payments, you can earn rewards at a faster rate than any other lump sum rebate card.
That said, Double Cash isn’t perfect. If you prefer a rewards program with no redemption minimums or one with favored spending categories that accelerate your cashback earnings beyond 2%, you need to look elsewhere. There is no right or wrong here, just optimal cash earnings that fit your lifestyle.