The Citi Double Cash Card makes sense for those who prefer cash back over points, miles and other types of travel rewards. It’s also a great card for those who prefer simplicity over more complex types of cash back credit cards.
Steady cash back that rewards responsible card use
With the Citi Double Cash, you earn 1% cash back at the time of purchase and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of up to 2% cash back. And you can earn this much cash back on all your purchases, with no limits.
Citi likes to say this is the only credit card that offers you cash back twice. Another way to look at this card: It’s a product that rewards responsible use. That’s because you only receive half your rewards for making a purchase. The other half is awarded for paying off your purchases. Like most reward credit cards, the Citi Double Cash has a higher interest rate than similar cards that don’t offer rewards.
The standard interest rate for this card is 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR. The rate you receive will depend on your creditworthiness at the time you apply. This means the most qualified applicants could receive a standard interest rate just below the national average of about 16% APR, but most will likely receive a higher rate.
If you plan to carry a balance with this card, though, you’re probably doing it wrong. Reward cards like this are best for those who avoid interest charges by paying their entire statement balance each month. Do that, and you’ll not only have no interest to pay, you’ll also receive your full 2% cash back soon after your purchases. Considering the Citi Double Cash has no annual fee, avoiding interest charges means there’s no cost to using this card and earning unlimited 2% cash back.
Even if you have unpaid balances on another card, this Citi card still has you covered. New accounts receive 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers (after that, 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR) that are completed within four months of account opening, with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher). Just note balance transfers won’t earn cash back. Also, if you transfer a balance, you will incur interest charges on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance, including balance transfers, by the due date each month.
Good long-term value
The Citi Double Cash is the kind of card people keep for many years. While some cards come with generous new account bonuses, the Citi Double Cash does not. Instead, it rewards you by offering consistently high levels of cash back on all purchases, all the time. And it does so with no up-front cost to you. It has no annual fee, and its other fees are just penalties that are easily avoided, such as its late fee and returned payment fee of $40.
There’s a cash advance fee of 5%, but it’s never a good idea to use a credit card for a cash advance outside of an emergency. The balance transfer fee is 3% (or $5, whichever is greater) – standard for nearly every credit card with a 0% APR financing offer for balance transfers, and well worth paying for those who want to take advantage of its promotional APR period.
Also, the cash rewards program is incredibly easy to use. Many competing cash back cards offer bonuses for certain categories of purchases, which often include a variety of exceptions. The categories can be confusing, and some cardholders may not know if their purchases qualify for the bonus until after they receive their statement. Other cash back cards require you to register for your bonus categories in advance, have limits on the amount of purchases that will be eligible, or both.
In contrast, the Citi Double Cash doesn’t require you to do anything other than make purchases – and pay for them on time – to receive your full rewards. Even if you like to use multiple credit cards to maximize your rewards, the Citi Double Cash is still a valuable addition to your wallet. When paired with a card that offers bonuses for some purchases but only 1% on other purchases, you could easily use your Citi Double Cash to ensure you never earn less than 2% cash back on anything.
See related: Introducing the Citi ThankYou trifecta
Is the Citi Double Cash Card good for me?
No one credit card is right for everyone, and the Citi Double Cash is no exception. It’s ideal if you prefer cash back over points, miles and other types of travel rewards. It’s also a great card if you prefer simplicity over more complex types of cash back credit cards.
But even if you prefer to use multiple credit cards to maximize cash back, the Citi Double Cash is worth having. Use one card for groceries and another for dining out, but when it’s time to buy furniture, pay an insurance bill or visit a home improvement store, you can still earn 2% cash back with the Citi Double Cash instead of the 1% offered by most cash back credit cards beyond bonus categories.
Furthermore, the Citi Double Cash is a great choice if you’re looking for a rewarding balance transfer card. You can save significant amounts of interest by using its 18 months of 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers (followed by the regular 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR). As long as you pay off your balance in full before the promotional period ends, you can continue to use the card for its cash back.
Overall, the Citi Double Cash is a great default cash back card. If you know you’ll pay off your balance in full each month and want a simple way to earn 2% cash back on at least some of your spending, this card probably deserves a place in your wallet.