Citi® Double Cash Card review

Citi® Double Cash Card review

Published: October 20, 2020

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Published: October 20, 2020

Partner Offer: Citi is an advertising partner

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Introductory Offer:3.8
Net Value:2.5
Features:3.0
Issuer Customer Experience3.3

In a Nutshell:

One of the best cash back cards on the market, the Citi Double Cash card also offers one of the longest 0-percent balance transfer deals around.

Learn more about this card

0% Introductory Period
18 months

Excellent

Transfer Fee
3% or $5 (whichever is higher)

Excellent

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Poor

Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% (variable)

Fair

Annual Fee
$0

Excellent

Citi Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 801 (50% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.6/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.9/5
Very Good

Other Notable Features: Purchase protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions, damage and theft protection, lost wallet service, free concierge services, Apple Pay

Cash Back Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value:3.0
Annual Percentage Rate:0.9
Rewards Flexibility:4.7
Features:3.0
Issuer Customer Experience3.3

In a Nutshell:

If you regularly pay off your card in full each month, it’s hard to beat the cash back rewards on the Citi Double Cash card: It offers 2 percent cash back (1 percent when you buy and an additional 1 percent as you make payments for those purchases), making it an ideal card for purchases that don’t qualify for larger bonuses.

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Rewards Rate

  • 1% cash back on general purchases (excludes gift cards)
  • 1% additional cash back as you pay off those purchases
Excellent

Sign-up Bonus
None

Poor

Annual Bonus
None

Poor

Annual Fee
$0

Excellent

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$318

Very Good

APR
13.99%-23.99% (variable)

Poor

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No category restrictions.
  • Redeem points for check, statement credit, gift card or checking or savings account.
  • Transfer your cash back to Citi ThankYou points at a rate of $1 cash back to 100 ThankYou points.

Cons

  • Awards expire if card is not used over 12 months.
  • $25 minimum redemption.
Excellent

Customer Experience

Very Good

Other Notable Features: Purchase protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions, damage and theft protection, lost wallet service, free concierge services, Apple Pay

Low Interest Rating:
1.4 rating
1.4 rating
1.4 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties:1.0
Rewards:3.5
Features:4.0
Issuer Customer Experience3.3

In a Nutshell:

Though the Citi Double Cash card features a relatively low APR and a very long 0-percent introductory period for balance transfers, it lacks a 0-percent introductory APR for new purchases.

Learn more about this card

Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% (variable)

Poor

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Poor

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 18 months

Excellent

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is larger)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% cash advance fee (or $10, whichever is larger)
Very Good

Penalties

  • up to $40 late payment fee
  • up to 29.99% variable penalty APR
  • up to $40 returned payment fee
Average

Citi Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 801 (50% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.6/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.9/5
Very Good

Other Notable Features: Purchase protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions, damage and theft protection, lost wallet service, free concierge services, Apple Pay

Citi Double Cash Card Review: More Details

For cash back enthusiasts, you can’t ask for a better rewards rate than the Citi Double Cash Card. It awards cardholders up to 2 percent cash back: 1 percent cash back on everything they buy and an additional 1 percent cash back as they pay off those purchases. Thanks to this unconventional rewards scheme, the Double Cash card is one of the most lucrative cash back cards available.

One of the highest earning cash back cards

To earn the full 2 percent cash back on the Citi Double Cash Card, you first need to make purchases to earn 1 percent cash back. Then, you need to make your minimum payment on time. After that, you’ll earn an additional 1 percent cash back on your payments – adding up to 2 percent cash back on each purchase amount (once you’ve paid in full).

When compared to our most popular cash back cards, the Citi Double Cash is one of the highest earning options available. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorite cash back cards and how the Citi card stacks up:

The Citi Double Cash can even compete with cards with lucrative bonus categories, such as the Savor card. With a flat rate of cash back on every purchase (excluding gift cards), racking up rewards with the Double Cash card is easy. This makes it a great addition for any cash back lover, especially those who juggle several cards to boost rewards.

Tip:To get the most value out of the Citi Double Cash Card, be sure to pay your bill on time each month. Any month you don’t meet the due date, you will only earn 1 percent cash back for your purchases.

How does the Citi Double Cash Card compare to other cash back cards?

The Citi Double Cash Card offers a top-tier rewards rate with little hassle. You won’t need to keep track of rotating categories or differing bonus rates. While it is simple to use, smart spenders might be able to get more out of another cash back card. Here’s a quick look at a few popular alternatives.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex
Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
  • 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back at restaurants and on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • Terms apply
Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you must activate each quarter (on up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
  • 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back at restaurants and on drugstore purchases
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
Welcome bonus

$200 cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Welcome bonus

  • $200 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Terms apply
Welcome bonus

$200 if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Other things to know

  • Easily transfer rewards to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
  • Redeem for travel, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and more
  • Rewards don’t expire
Other things to know

  • Rewards don’t expire
  • 0% intro APR on purchases  for 15 months (13.99-23.99% thereafter)
  • Exclusive access to presale tickets
Other things to know

  • Includes cell phone protection
  • Easily transfer rewards to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
  • Redeem for travel, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and more
  • Rewards don’t expire

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The general rewards rate on the Chase Freedom Unlimited is not quite as high as the Citi Double Cash Card – only 1.5 percent cash back on general purchases. However, the card does include a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. You can redeem for cash back, travel purchases or even transfer points to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – which offers a higher point value when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express

Unlike the Citi Double Cash Card, the Blue Cash Everyday offers bonus categories rather than a flat cash back rate. This means savvy spenders who weigh their purchases carefully can earn more out of the card by using it primarily for purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations.

Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex takes a bit more effort than the Citi Double Cash Card to eke value out of, but it does come with some great perks. You’ll have to enroll each quarter to receive 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1%). For cardholders who don’t want to put a lot of thought into their spending, this can be a big drawback, but if you are willing to do a little extra work, however, you can earn significant rewards by maxing out the cap on bonus categories each quarter.You also get bonus cash back on Ultimate Rewards travel and dining and drugstore purchases.

In addition, Freedom Flex rewards are much more flexible and can be redeemed for travel, cash back or merchandise. Like with the Freedom Unlimited, you can transfer Freedom Flex points to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card to potentially stretch their value.

No sign-up bonus

The biggest downside to the Citi Double Cash Card is its lack of a sign-up bonus. While many cards offer more than $100 for meeting a certain spend threshold in the first few months of card ownership, the Citi card doesn’t have any such promotion.

If you are seeking some extra pocket change in the first year, this can be a big drawback. However, the Double Cash card comes with great long-term value that can help make up for its lack of an intro offer. With a generous rewards rate, you can make up the value of a typical sign-up bonus over the first few years.

For example, consider the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase and comes with a $200 introductory bonus for spending $500 in the first three months. Thanks to the intro offer, the Quicksilver can outpace the Citi Double Cash Card in the first year.

Potential earnings in first year ($15,900 annual spend)

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardCiti Double Cash Card
($15,900 x 1.5 percent cash back) + $200 sign-up bonus = $438.50$15,900 x 2 percent cash back = $318

However, in the following year, the Citi Double Cash Card maintains the same value – while the Quicksilver can’t bring in quite as much.

Potential earnings in second year ($15,900 annual spend)

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardCiti Double Cash Card
$15,900 x 1.5 percent cash back = $238.50$15,900 x 2 percent cash back = $318

In fact, in the third year, you will have earned enough more in rewards from the Double Cash Card to beat the sign-up bonus with the Quicksilver.

Redeeming cash back

Once you’ve racked up rewards with the Citi Double Cash Card, redemption is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to have earned a minimum of $25 to redeem, but once you do, you can opt for a check, statement credit or direct deposit into a Citi checking or savings account.

Tip:You can also set up a direct deposit into a non-Citi checking account, but you must have paid your Citi credit card bill from that account at least two times to qualify.

Unfortunately, the Citi Double Cash Card does not have an automatic reward redemption option, so you’ll have to put in a request for each check or statement credit online or by phone. Rewards earned on the Citi Double Cash Card can also expire if you haven’t earned any cash back in the last 12 months. So if you stop using your card, be sure to cash out to avoid losing your rewards.

Convert rewards to ThankYou points

If you’re not set on receiving your rewards as cash back, you can convert them to Citi ThankYou points.

ThankYou points are very versatile, and can be redeemed for travel, gift cards and more. They’re especially valuable when redeemed in the Citi ThankYou Travel Center for airfare. Starting Sept. 22, 2019, you can convert cash back to ThankYou points at a rate of $1 cash back to 100 ThankYou Points, which is effectively a 1:1 rate. This is great news, as the Double Cash card’s 2 percent cash back rate gives you an effective earning rate of 2 ThankYou points per dollar on all purchases.

Transferring a balance

As an added perk, the Citi Double Cash Card comes with a lengthy balance transfer offer. Cardholders receive a 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months of account opening (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable thereafter). Just keep in mind that you’ll be charged a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3 percent, whichever is higher.

See Related: How to transfer a balance to a Citi credit card

For cardholders looking to pay down some debt, this is one of the longer balance transfer offers available. However, the Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t include an introductory APR for new purchases. If you are hoping to finance a larger purchase and avoid interest charges for a few months, you might be better off with a card that includes an intro APR on both qualifying balance transfers and new purchases – like the Wells Fargo Platinum card*.

That being said, the Citi Double Cash Card is a great option for users who want to make a balance transfer to pay down some debt, but still enjoy a great rewards rate once they’ve paid down their balance.

Other features

Like many cards without an annual fee, the Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t have many extra benefits. Nevertheless, it does come with a few perks that can help you save money. These include damage and theft protection, which gives you the opportunity to get reimbursed up to $10,000 per incident (up to $50,000 per year) if an item you purchased with your Citi Double Cash card is damaged or stolen in the first 90 days. You can also extend a manufacturer’s warranty by an additional 24 months for qualifying items paid for with your Citi card.

While the Citi Double Cash Card does include some nice perks, it also comes with a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent.

Customer service

Cardholders may find Citi’s customer service lacking compared to other major issuers, such as American Express or Discover. In a recent customer satisfaction survey from J.D. Power, Citi ranked squarely in the middle of 11 other issuers with a satisfaction score of 801. On the plus side, Citi offers 24/7 customer service and an online chat feature that connects you to a live representative, helping you to get a quick response from customer service when you have a problem or question.

Pairing the Citi Double Cash Card with other rewards cards

Since the Citi Double Cash Card earns a flat rate of cash back, it is an ideal choice for pairing with other rewards cards – especially those that offer generous bonus points on certain categories of spending. The ability to convert cash back to ThankYou points also makes pairing with another Citi rewards card, like the Citi Prestige (which offers a great rewards rate on air travel, restaurants, hotels and cruise lines) a no-brainer.

If you’d rather stick to cash back, consider the rewards you could earn if you paired the Citi Double Cash with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which earns a whopping 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent). If you use the Blue Cash Preferred for all purchases that earn bonus points and the Citi Double Cash Card for general purchases, you can earn a top-tier rewards rate.

Potential rewards rate: Blue Cash Preferred + Citi Double Cash Card

Combined earning categoriesAverage earning rateCash back earned ($15,900 spend)
  • 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchase (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent)
  • 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3 percent cash back on U.S. gas station purchases and transit
  • 2 percent cash back on general purchases (1 percent when you buy, 1 percent when you pay on time)
3.07%$488

We estimate the overall rewards rate for this pairing at around 3.07 percent cash back, which brings in around $488 a year on a $15,900 spend.

Tip:The Citi Double Cash Card also makes a great pair for cards that earn rewards on rotating bonus categories – like the Chase Freedom. By staying on top of rotating categories and enrolling each quarter, you can earn a higher rate of cash back on certain purchases. Then, you can use the Citi Double Cash Card to boost your rewards rate on all other purchases.

Approval odds

The Citi Double Cash Card is recommended for users with excellent credit (a credit score of 740-850) so you’ll want to ensure you meet those requirements before you apply. Citi also allows applicants to see if they pre-qualify for any credit card offers without a hard pull on their credit.

Why get the Citi Double Cash Card?

  • You prefer cash back over travel rewards.
  • You have another card that earns Citi ThankYou points and want to maximize your rewards on everyday spending.
  • You want a simple card that earns a great cash back rate without keeping track of rotating bonus categories.
  • You have a large balance to transfer and want 18 months to make payments with no interest.
  • You are looking for a good flat rate cash back card to pair with another rewards card.

How to use the Citi Double Cash Card:

  • Be sure you pay your bill on time each month to earn the full rewards rate.
  • Use the card at least once every 12 months to keep cash back from expiring.
  • If you transfer a balance, make a plan to pay it down in the first 18 months to avoid interest charges.
  • Pair the Citi Double Cash Card with another rewards card that earns bonus points or cash back in particular categories to maximize rewards.
  • If you’re interested in travel, consider converting your cash back to ThankYou points.
  • Put your major purchases on the card to insure them with Citi’s purchase protections, including theft, damage and price protection and extended warranty.

Is the Citi Double Cash Card worth it?

For fans of cash back, the Citi Double Cash Card is one of the best, no-hassle options available. You can choose to use it for all of your purchases to earn a highly competitive rate or pair it with another rewards card to boost your rewards even further.

*The information for the Wells Fargo Platinum card and Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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