2019 Citi Double Cash Review – WalletHub Editors
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Citi Double Cash Review Summary: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer 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 pay Citi back. That’s why Citi Double Cash is an excellent flat-rate rewards option for anyone with good credit or better, whether it’s for everyday use or to pair with other credit cards offering standout terms on specific types of transactions.
The Double Cash Card from Citi (a WalletHub partner) does not offer an initial rewards bonus, which puts it at a $165 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, assuming you pay your bill in full every month. 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, though. It can also help new applicants save on existing credit card debt, offering 0% for 18 months* on balance transfers. Just make sure to account for the card’s 3% (min $5) balance transfer fee and regular APR: 15.99% to 25.99% (V), depending on creditworthiness.
With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder why Citi Double Cash is among the most popular credit cards on the market. You can learn more about the offer below.
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
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
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 15.99% - 25.99% (V), depending on your creditworthiness. For context, the average credit card for people with the good credit needed to qualify for Double Cash charges 20.93%. And the average card for people with fair credit charges “just” 23.25%.
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% interest 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.
Compared To The Competition
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Discover it® Cash Back
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||Double Cash Back||N/A|
|Rewards Rate||2% Cash Back||1.5% Cash Back||1 - 5% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 15 months||0% for 14 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 18 months*|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
|0% for 14 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
|Regular APR||15.99% - 25.99% (V)||17.24% - 25.99% (V)||14.24% - 25.24% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||5.0 / 5||4.7 / 5||3.9 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
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.
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