Review Summary: The Citi® Double Cash Card is a great credit card for people who just want to earn plain old cash back rewards — not any kind of points or miles. It offers you 1% cash back on each purchase and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of up to 2% cash back with no limits.
How the Citi Double Cash credit card works
This is a simple card with no annual fee that offers you up to 2% cash back on all purchases with no limits. If you use your card to spend $1,800 a month, then after one year you’ll have earned a total of $432 in cash back by the time you’ve paid off all of those purchases.
Citi Double Cash also includes 18 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers completed within four months of account opening, with a 3% balance transfer fee. Just note that you don’t earn cash back on balance transfers. There’s no annual fee for this card, but there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the U.S.
Citi Double Cash review: Table of contents
How to earn rewards
This card offers you a total of up to 2%, which you get in two installments. First, you get 1% cash back when you make a purchase, then you get another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of up to 2% cash back. This kind of rewards system isn’t a big deal if you always pay your statement balance in full, but it can affect those who carry a balance. Just keep in mind that Clark doesn’t recommend using rewards cards if you carry a balance. For more information, see Clark’s credit card philosophy
How to redeem rewards
To redeem your Citi Double Cash rewards, you first have to log in to your account on the Citi website or mobile app, where you’ll be able to view your rewards balance. As long as you have earned at least $25 in cash back, you can redeem it as a gift card, a statement credit, a direct deposit or as a check that’s mailed to you.
Additional cardholder benefits
This card comes with a few basic cardholder benefits including:
- Late fee pass: Have your first late fee waived automatically.
- Citi® Private Pass®: Offers special access to presale tickets and VIP packages for concerts, sporting events, and dining experiences, plus complimentary movie screenings.
- The Lost Wallet® Service: If you lose your card, Citi will replace it (usually within 24 hours) and provide you with emergency cash subject to your available cash advance limit.
- Citi® Identity Theft Solutions: Citi will assist you should you become a victim of identity theft.
- Citi® Concierge: This service provides specially trained experts who are ready to assist you with your travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs.
Alternatives to the Citi Double Cash card
- Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®: This card offers you two miles for each dollar spent on all purchases, and these can be redeemed for statement credits toward nearly any travel expense. Barclays also gives you 5% of your miles back every time you redeem them. This means that you’re earning a 2.1% return on all of your purchases. While the Citi Double Cash doesn’t have a sign-up bonus, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers you 70,000 bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases within 90 days. That’s worth $735 in travel statement credits once you account for the 5% rebate on miles redeemed. Miles don’t expire, provided the account is open, active and in good standing. There’s an $89 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, premium benefits and no foreign transaction fees.
- Capital One® Venture®: This card offers double miles on all purchases, which can be redeemed for travel statement credits or transferred to airline partners. New applicants earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year and no foreign transaction fees.
Citi Double Cash is an extremely competitive rewards card, and one of the top cash back credit cards. Nevertheless, you have to weigh the simplicity and value of this card against the fact that it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, has fairly basic cardholder benefits and will still charge you foreign transaction fees. If you value a simple cash back card above all else, you have to consider this card.