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Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Citi Double Cash

Two solid choices for a flat-rate, 2 percent cash back card

Summary

The Citi Double Cash and Wells Fargo Active Cash are two credit cards with no annual fee and a flat 2 percent earning rate on all purchases. The Active Cash offers a solid welcome bonus, but the Double Cash actually earns rewards as Citi ThankYou points.

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The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a contender for the crown of the best cash back credit card. It offers unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases and a welcome bonus of $200 when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of having the card. The Citi® Double Cash Card is another top contender, offering effectively 2 percent cash back (1 percent back as you buy and another 1 percent when you pay). Both cards come with no annual fee, so let’s look at how they compare and see which one might be right for you.

Card details

CardsWells Fargo Active Cash® CardCiti® Double Cash Card
Welcome bonus$200 cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in 3 monthsNone
Rewards rateUnlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases1% cash back on general purchases

1% additional cash back as you pay off those purchases

Intro APR15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (18.74 percent, 23.74 percent or 28.74 percent variable APR after)18 months on balance transfers (17.74 percent to 27.74 percent variable APR after)
Annual fee$0$0
Other notable perksCellphone protection when you pay your monthly cellphone bill with the cardCash back earned as Citi ThankYou points at a rate of 1 cent per point

Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Citi Double Cash

Earning cash back

Wells Fargo Active Cash CardCiti Double Cash Card
Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • 1% cash back on general purchases (excluding gift cards)
  • 1% additional cash back when you pay off those purchases

The winner: Wells Fargo Active Cash

Both cards offer a 2 percent rewards rate on eligible purchases, with no limit and no quarterly activations. This makes either card a great addition to your wallet since you know you’re going to get 2 percent cash rewards on purchases, no matter where you are spending. However, with the Citi Double Cash Card, your second 1 percent depends on if you can pay off your purchases on time. If you cannot pay on time, you may only earn the initial 1 percent cash back.

Another major difference between the two cards is that while the Citi Double Cash lacks a welcome bonus, the Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. This is comparable to the welcome offers of other no-annual-fee cards. Combined with its reliable, unlimited 2 percent cash back, the Wells Fargo Active Cash comes out on top.

Redeeming rewards

Wells Fargo Active Cash CardCiti Double Cash Card
  • Cash back
  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Travel
  • Donations
  • Cash back
  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit
  • Check
  • Gift cards
  • Shop with Points
  • Pay with Points
  • Travel
  • Donations

The winner: Citi Double Cash

Redeeming rewards with either card is quite straightforward. Like many other cash back cards, the Wells Fargo Active Cash allows you to redeem your rewards through the typical methods: check, statement credit or direct deposit. Since there’s no minimum redemption requirement they’re easy to redeem, and they never expire.

The Citi Double Cash offers many of the same redemption options, but some, like check, require a minimum of $5. However, the Citi Double Cash Card shines because its cash back comes in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which is quickly becoming a valuable currency, at a rate of 1 cent per point. Because Citi’s travel portal is a little more robust and flexible than Wells Fargo’s, Citi ThankYou points are handier.

Annual fee

Wells Fargo Active Cash CardCiti Double Cash Card
$0$0

The winner: Tie

It’s easy to compare the annual fees of the Wells Fargo Active Cash to the Citi Double Cash cards. Since each card has no annual fee, they’re both great long-term options.

0% introductory APR

Wells Fargo Active Cash CardCiti Double Cash Card
On purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months (18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% variable)On balance transfers for 18 months (17.74% to 27.74% variable)

The winner: Wells Fargo Active Cash

Both cards have intro APR offers, but the Wells Fargo Active Cash comes out on top because its 0 percent intro APR applies to both purchases and qualifying balance transfers (those performed within the first 120 days) for 15 months. The card also has an intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent or $5, whichever is higher. After the first 120 days, your transfer fee goes up to 5 percent (or $5, whichever is greater). Once the intro APR expires, the regular APR can be 18.74 percent, 23.74 percent or 28.74 percent variable.

The Citi Double Cash Card’s intro APR deal isn’t too shabby at 18 months, but it only applies to balance transfers made in the first four months. You will pay an intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3 percent, whichever is higher. Its regular APR ranges from 17.74 percent to 27.74 percent variable. This card’s 0 percent APR period does last longer, but since we’re comparing the two cards as cash back cards, an intro APR on new purchases may be more useful as you rack up purchases to earn rewards.

Which card should you get?

In terms of rewards potential, the Wells Fargo Active Cash may earn you more, considering its reliable 2 percent rate and welcome bonus. However, the Citi Double Cash can offer great value since its cash back come as ThankYou points, and you can use them to book travel.

  • If you want a simple no-annual-fee card: The Wells Fargo Active Cash is better for cardholders looking for easy use because of its simple rewards structure and achievable welcome bonus (you only need to spend $1,000 in three months).
  • If you care about earning rewards: Since the Citi Double Cash lacks a sign-up bonus, the Wells Fargo Active Cash is a better choice for those who only care about cash back rewards. When you calculate it, factoring in the welcome offer of $200 cash rewards and a 2 percent flat rate, with an estimated yearly spend of $15,900, the Wells Fargo Active Cash could earn you $518 cash back in the first year.
  • If you’re a travel rewards newbie: Earning your cash back rewards as ThankYou points makes the Citi Double Cash extremely attractive, especially since you can use those points to book travel through the Citi travel portal. To bump up the card’s value even further, if you also have a premium Citi card like the Citi Premier® Card and transfer your points to the Citi Premier, you can transfer your cumulative points to Citi’s airline travel partners, potentially stretching their value to more than 1 cent per point.

Bottom line

Both of these cards feature a flat 2 percent earnings rate on eligible purchases. The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers a solid welcome bonus, but the Citi Double Cash’s travel rewards potential is undeniable. Which one is right for you will depend on how much you value some of the ancillary perks like a sign-up bonus, an intro APR offer and the ability to transfer your cash back into travel rewards.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
18.76%
Student
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Business
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Cash Back
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