The Citi Double Cash and Wells Fargo Active Cash cards are two credit cards with no annual fee and a flat 2% earning rate on all purchases. The Active Cash card offers a solid welcome bonus, but the Double Cash card offers the ability to transfer rewards to valuable Citi ThankYou points.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card is a new contender for the crown of the best cash back credit card. It offers unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases and a welcome bonus of $200 when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of having the card. The Citi® Double Cash Card is another top contender, offering your choice of 2% cash back or 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent on the card. Both cards come with no annual fee, so let’s look at how they compare and see which one might be right for you.
Wells Fargo Active Cash vs. Citi Double Cash
Here’s a quick overview of how the Citi Double Cash and the Wells Fargo Active Cash card stack up against one another:
|Cards||Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card||Citi® Double Cash Card|
|Welcome bonus||$200 cash back bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of having the card||None|
|Rewards rate||Unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases||1% cash back on general purchases|
1% additional cash back as you pay off those purchases
|Intro APR||0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then 14.99% to 24.99% variable||0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months of account opening, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable|
|Other notable perks||Cellphone protection when you pay your monthly cellphone bill with the card||Ability to transfer cash back to Citi ThankYou points at a rate of 1 cent per point|
Earning cash back
The Citi Double Cash and the Wells Fargo Active Cash card offer 2% cash back on all 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% cash back on all purchases, no matter where you are spending. With the Citi Double Cash card, you earn 1% cash back on all purchases, but the second 1% is earned when you pay off those purchases on time. If you don’t pay on time, you may only earn the initial 1% cash back.
Another major difference between the Citi Double Cash and the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is their respective welcome bonuses. Unlike many other rewards credit cards, the Citi Double Cash does not offer a sign-up bonus.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of having the card. This is comparable to the welcome offers on similar cards with no annual fee.
Redeeming rewardsRedeeming rewards with the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is straightforward. You can redeem for a check, statement credit or direct deposit, and you can also withdraw from a Wells Fargo ATM. Your points are also easy to redeem whenever you want since there is no minimum redemption requirement, and your rewards never expire.
With the Citi Double Cash, you can redeem your cash back rewards as a statement credit, transfer it to a linked Citi checking or savings account or request a check. For each of these options, you must have a minimum of $25 in rewards to redeem.
Where the Citi Double Cash card shines is the ability to transfer your cash back rewards to ThankYou points. You can convert the cash back you earn with the Double Cash card to Citi ThankYou points at a rate of 1 cent per point. ThankYou points are incredibly valuable, especially for travel. See our complete Citi ThankYou Rewards guide for more information about how you can maximize your rewards.
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.
Both the Wells Fargo Active Cash card and the Citi Double Cash card offer introductory 0% APRs. The Double Cash card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months of account opening (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable). The Active Cash card has an introductory 0% APR for only 15 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable), but offers it on both purchases and qualifying balance transfers. You will pay a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3 in both cases%, whichever is higher.
One great feature of the Wells Fargo Active Cash card is cellphone protection, as long as you pay your monthly bill with your card. Many credit cards are starting to offer this protection at various levels. The Active Cash offers up to $600 in cellphone protection with a $25 deductible (see terms for details).
Wells Fargo Active Cash: Best for a welcome bonus
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card is recommended for people looking for a card with no annual fee, a simple rewards structure and a welcome bonus. If you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months, you’ll get a $200 cash bonus.
Citi Double Cash Card: Best for travelers
One disadvantage of the Citi Double Cash card is that there’s no welcome bonus. This puts it a step behind the Active Cash card and other no-fee credit cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠.
Still, the ability to transfer the cash back rewards you earn with the Citi Double Cash to valuable Citi ThankYou points is extremely attractive. Transferring your ThankYou points to Citi’s airline travel partners offers real value, with the potential to earn more than 1 cent per point. That can really supercharge your rewards earnings.
See related: Why the Citi Double Cash is my favorite credit card
Both of these cards feature a flat 2% earnings rate on all purchases. The Active Cash card offers a solid welcome bonus, but the Double Cash card offers the ability to transfer rewards to valuable Citi ThankYou points. Which one is right for you will depend on how much you value some of the ancillary perks like a sign-up bonus, cellphone protection and the ability to transfer your cash back into travel rewards.