The Citi Double Cash card offers competitive rewards rates without the burden of an annual fee or rotating rewards categories.
There is a Catch-22 situation with credit in the U.S. – in order to get a credit card you need a good credit score, but in order to get a good credit score, you need credit history. If you are young and just starting out, this can feel like an insurmountable barrier.
When I graduated from college in 2019, I didn’t know all the “rules” and best practices for finding a credit card. So, with little research (and misplaced confidence), I applied for a premium credit card.
And I was rejected.
So, I applied for another credit card. Rejected.
And another … rejected again. At this point, I was so frustrated and confused that I called my father, who quickly explained that I shouldn’t have applied for multiple credit cards in one day. Who knew?
This unfortunate experience was the beginning of my journey to learn about credit and my own personal finances. Over the next few months, I researched cards and checked my credit score for the first time.
Once I felt like enough time had passed, I applied for a starter credit card with a limit of just $300. It wasn’t a lot, but it gave me the opportunity to build a credit history of on-time payments.
Roughly a year later, I felt confident enough to apply for a credit card that offered rewards. I decided to apply for the Citi®Double Cash Card and I’ve never regretted it. Here’s why the Citi Double Cash is my favorite cash back card in my wallet.
See related: Tips for getting that first credit card
Flat-rate cash back rewards
Many credit card experts tout the benefits of credit cards with cash back multipliers, and I don’t disagree with this method of earning rewards. But when you’re just starting out, all those rotating categories can feel confusing and overwhelming.
With the Citi Double Cash card, you earn 1% back on everything you buy, and you get another 1% back on all your purchases after you pay your balance. It’s as simple as that.
For me, this was one of the biggest selling points of the card. As a busy dog mom with a job and too many hobbies, I love that I can use my card anywhere without having to stop and plan how to get the best rewards rate.
To date, I’ve earned $187 in cash back on everything from hair appointments to grocery shopping and gas. While that may not seem like a lot of money, I look at it as free cash because I already planned to make my purchases.
I redeemed my cash back in the form of statement credits, but card owners are eligible to get their cash back deposited in a Citi checking or savings account. You must have at least $25 in rewards in order to get a statement credit or direct deposit.
No annual fee
When I was looking for a rewards credit card, I knew that I didn’t want to pay an annual fee. Annual fees on popular rewards credit cards typically range from $95 to more than $500.
The rewards you earn on these cards can offset the annual fee, but I wanted a simple card that wouldn’t become a financial burden if I didn’t use it often enough.
With the Citi Double Cash card, you don’t get rewards through a sign-up bonus like you may see with other rewards cards. Despite this, the Citi Double Cash credit card is seen as one of the most lucrative cash back cards available.
See related: Best cards with no annual fee
The Citi app
I now have four different credit cards from three different issuers, and I can easily say that Citi has the best online banking app.
My app gives me alerts when payments are due, it allows me to see my credit score anytime and it even tracks my spending by category. It’s user-friendly, and its notifications have saved me from a late payment more than once.
None of the perks I mentioned above are exclusive to Citi’s app, but its sleek design and intuitive interface make for a great user experience.
See related: Citi launches redesigned mobile app
Citi ditched the bells and whistles with its Double Cash credit card, and that’s a good thing! If you’re looking for a card that will consistently reward you for shopping – without having to remember rewards categories – this card could be perfect for you.
On top of its competitive rewards, the Citi Double Cash card is easy to use and great for first-time and veteran card users alike.