Citi Double Cash Review Summary
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a very good credit card for people with a good credit score or better. Citi Double Cash Card has a $0 annual fee and offers two rounds of cash back rewards with every purchase: 1% cash back when you buy and another 1% when you repay Citibank.
The Double Cash Card from Citi does not offer an initial rewards bonus, which puts it at a $205.48 disadvantage compared to the average cash back credit card. But Double Cash makes up for it with an ongoing earning rate that’s nearly twice the market average. So, it’s an especially good card for people who plan to use it for years.
Citi Double Cash is more than just a rewards card, too. It can also help new applicants save on existing credit card debt with attractive balance transfer terms.
And with all of that in mind, it’s no wonder why Citi Double Cash is among the most popular credit cards on the market.
Citi Double Cash Highlights
Clearly Lucrative Ongoing Rewards
The beauty of this offer is that while rewards are its calling card, there isn’t much explanation needed to convey the deal. Cardholders earn 1% cash back on what they spend and another 1% on what they pay. So if you charge $500 to your Citi Double Cash card in a given month and then pay off the entire balance by the due date, you will earn a total of $10 in cash back. If, on the other hand, you only pay half your balance by the due date, you’ll earn only $7.50. These amounts might not seem like much, but most people who have the credit standing needed to qualify for this card don’t spend just $500 per month. Someone who charges $3,000 to their card and pays their bill in full each month, for example, would accrue $720 in cash back over the course of a year.
What’s more, in direct contrast to many points- and miles-based credit cards, cash back rewards cannot be devalued by issuers, and you won’t have to wait for a vacation that may be months away to benefit from redemption. Keep in mind, however, that you will not accrue earnings on interest payments – yet another reason to always pay in full!
Lack Of Annual Fee Takes A Load Off Your Wallet (And Mind)
Many of the best rewards credit cards require users to pay annual membership dues in return for their elevated earning rates. Citi’s Double Cash isn’t one of them. And that’s all you really need to know.
Cash Back Redemption Flexibility
Cardholders may redeem cash back earnings for a:
- Statement credit
- Gift card
- Direct deposit to a Citi savings or checking account
Citi Double Cash Lowlights
Where’s The Bonus?
Double Cash’s biggest weakness is its lack of a sign-up bonus. While many issuers front-load their offers to catch the eye of applicants in search of instant gratification, Citi appears to be interested in promoting long-term relationships with the new customers it acquires with this product. This is certainly something to take into account, considering how lucrative initial bonuses have become. But it’s also important to remember that an initial bonus’s value diminishes the longer you plan to keep your account open.
Welcome Home To A Bill
Double Cash assesses a 3% surcharge on transactions processed internationally. While this is common among credit cards, it’s also a deal breaker if you regularly travel outside the U.S. In such a case, you'll want to get a Visa or Mastercard with no foreign transaction fee.
Redemption Is Not Without Restriction
Cash back earnings can only be redeemed once you’ve accrued at least $25.
Other Things To Consider About Citi Double Cash
Potential For A Very High Regular APR
If you get approved for the Citi Double Cash Card, you will be assigned a regular APR in the range of 13.99% - 23.99% (V), depending on your creditworthiness. For context, the average card for people with fair credit charges “just” 23.13%. That should underscore how important it is to always pay your monthly bill in full with a rewards card like Double Cash.
Balance Transfer Fees Are Lurking
Don’t get tricked into using this card to reduce the cost of existing debt. Despite offering 0% intro rate on transferred balances for the first 18 months, this card wasn’t built for finance-charge minimization. Its 3% (min $5) balance transfer fee is proof of that.
Citi Double Cash vs. The Competition
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
|Rewards Rate||2% Cash Back||1.5 - 5% Cash Back||1.5% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||0% for 15 months||0% for 15 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 18 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||13.99% - 23.99% (V)||14.99% - 23.74% (V)||15.49% - 25.49% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||5.0 / 5||4.7 / 5||4.4 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
Bottom Line: Is Citi Double Cash a Good Card?
We love Citi® Double Cash Card because it offers the powerful duo of simplicity and great value. There are no bonus categories or annual fees to worry about. You just have to pay your bill in full every month, and you’ll receive a handsome reward for your trouble.
That said, some people might be able to earn more rewards with another card, particularly those who travel a lot. And Double Cash may or may not be the answer if you want to transfer a balance. You can use our balance transfer calculator to find out.