Now that the Citi Double Cash Card allows you to convert the 2 percent cash back you can earn on your everyday spending to Citi ThankYou points, I’m thinking of signing up. Here’s what to consider before you do the same.
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The Citi® Double Cash Card has long been considered one of the top cash-back credit cards available, and it’s easy to see why.
This card offers a flat 2 percent back for each dollar they spend — 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off.
Considering you should be paying your balance in full if you’re pursuing rewards anyway, the Citi Double Cash makes it easy to earn 2 percent back with no annual fee.
Until recently, the card’s primary downside was that you could only redeem rewards for checks or statement credits. But all of that changed when Citi announced that, as of this fall, the Citi Double Cash will let cardholders convert cash back to Citi ThankYou points.
Specifically, $1 in cash rewards earned with the Citi Double Cash card turn into 100 Citi ThankYou points, representing a sweet 1:1 transfer ratio.
And that’s why I may be signing up.
Citi Double Cash is the perfect companion for the Citi Premier
Citi ThankYou points are a lot more versatile than statement credits since they can be used in a ton of different ways. You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for gift cards, merchandise and travel through the Citi ThankYou portal, for example.
But the Citi Double Cash becomes immensely more valuable if you have a Citi travel credit card that lets you transfer points to airlines. This option would let you earn 2X points on all your expenses with the Citi Double Cash, then pool all your points in your Citi Premier or Citi Prestige account for airline transfers.
While my favorite flexible rewards program by far is Chase Ultimate Rewards, I’ve received a lot of value from points accrued with my Citi Premier Card. This is mostly due to the fact that I’ve transferred hundreds of thousands of Citi ThankYou points to Air France/Flying Blue for cheap flights to Europe. However, I’ve transferred Citi points to JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic for various redemptions as well.
I’ve also taken advantage of the fact that the Citi Premier gives you 25 percent more travel for free when you use points to book airfare through its portal – most recently when I booked American Airlines flights to Aruba for my 40th birthday.
By signing up for the Citi Double Cash card, I’ll gain another strong credit card combination to use in conjunction with my other favorite credit card combo — Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom.
I could use my Citi Double Cash for a ton of my regular spending to earn 2X points on everything I bought, then pool points in my Citi Premier account until I’m ready to transfer to airlines.
The Citi Premier℠ card offers 3X points on travel including gas and 2X points on dining and entertainment, but it only offers 1 point per $1 on regular purchases. The Citi Double Cash would let me double the rewards I earned on everyday spending — and with no annual fee to boot.
To be honest, this really puts the Citi Double cash in a league of its own for regular, non-bonus purchases made with a credit card. My Chase Sapphire Reserve card only earns 1 point per $1 on regular purchases like the Citi Premier does, for example.
My only top-of-wallet card that offers comparable rewards is my Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, but this card doesn’t let you transfer miles to airlines.
What to consider before you sign up
If you’re considering signing up for the Citi Double Cash, there are a few things to be aware of before you pull the trigger.
For starters, this card is probably best if you have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige and the desire to transfer points to airline partners. Without that component, having access to the Citi ThankYou program really just opens the door to redemptions like gift cards, merchandise and travel through the Citi portal — all redemptions you could easily accomplish with statement credits.
Meanwhile, you should be aware of Citi ThankYou transfer partners and whether or not they would be useful to you. The current selection includes:
- Asia Miles
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air
- Flying Blue/Air France
- Jet Privilege
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Also, note that the Citi Double Cash doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus. That’s understandable for a 2 percent cash back card without an annual fee, but it may take you a while to build up rewards without that initial rush of points.
See related: 6 credit cards offering a $500 sign-up bonus
The bottom line
Personally, I love the fact that the Citi Double Cash is offering 1:1 transfers to the Citi ThankYou program, and I plan to sign up. I may start using the card for bills I have on auto-pay, but I plan to slowly transition this card to the top of my wallet next to my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Since it’s a Mastercard, I may even use it to pay the mortgage on one of our rental properties through Plastiq.com.
With 2 percent back on everything and no annual fee, the Citi Double Cash was a good deal anyway. But now that I can transfer points to airline partners and even get 25 percent more free travel through the Citi travel portal with the Citi Premier, it’s become a no-brainer for all non-bonus spending.
Information about the Citi Premier Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.