Citi Double Cash Card Benefits & Review (January 2023)
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Cash back credit cards usually don’t have the same allure as travel credit cards yet the Citi® Double Cash Card might break the mold. This card has one of the highest earning rates and also provides the flexibility of transferring your rewards points to participating airlines.
Here is a closer look at how you can leverage the Citi Double Double Cash for award travel or maximize cash rewards. You can also Learn How to Apply Here.
Who is the Citi Double Cash Card For?
The Citi Double Cash Card is best for those wanting a high flat-rate cash back rate or a generous balance transfer offer.
This card is also suitable for those with a Citi travel credit card desiring to earn more on non-bonus purchases. It’s possible to earn 2x ThankYou® Points per dollar spent (1 point at the time of purchase and 1 point on payments) on purchases instead of 1 point per dollar spent.
You may also enjoy this card as its annual fee is $0. Unfortunately, it’s not great for international travel as a 3% foreign transaction fee applies.
With no foreign transaction fees, travel credit cards are more likely to offer complimentary travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. You may use these cards for expensive trips and big-ticket purchases but earn the 2% cash back (1% back on purchases and 1% back on payments) on your daily spending.
Featured Citi Double Cash Benefits
Here are some of the best reasons to consider the Citi Double Cash Card.
No Signup Bonus:
Typically, this card only offers an introductory balance transfer but not cash back. The lack of an ongoing cash rewards signup bonus is one of this card’s most glaring downsides. Unfortunately, there is not currently a signup bonus offer.
Up to 2% Back on Purchases
This card’s most valuable benefit is earning an unlimited 2% back on all purchases. This is an above-average rate for flat-rate rewards cards, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited® – (Learn How to Apply Here), that make 1.5% back, on average.
It’s essential to distinguish that you won’t earn the entire 2% rewards upfront at the time of the purchase. Instead, you receive 1% (1 point per $1) at the time of purchase and the remaining 1% back when making your balance payment.
This card doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases. As a result, you will need to pay your balance in full before the due date to avoid interest charges.
Earn ThankYou Points
Since March 28, 2022, the Double Cash now earns Citi ThankYou Points instead of cash back credits like a traditional cash rewards card.
This card is still a cash back card at heart but it’s now easier to redeem your points for award travel, such as transferring to the Citi airline partners.
So, the 2% back translates to earning 2 ThankYou points per $1 after making a payment (1 point on purchase and 1 point at payment). As a quick example, $100 in purchases can be worth up to 200 points or $2 back. You get to decide which redemption is more valuable.
0% Balance Transfer Offer
You may also initially use this card for its 0% APR introductory balance transfer offer. It is one of the best offers available but you must have good credit to be eligible.
The initial balance transfer APR is 0% during the first 18 months. You must transfer these balances within the first 4 months of the card opening. After the 18 months, you will have a 18.24% – 28.24% variable APR based off your creditworthiness.
Additionally, the balance transfer fee is only 3% ($5 minimum) during the first 4 months and then 5% ($5 minimum) on each transfer after the first four months.
This card allows you to pay off credit card debt interest-free while earning one of the best cash back credit card rates. Even if you only decide to use this card for the introductory 0% APR initially, you can continue using it long-term for the robust rewards program.
$0 Annual Fee
The generous cash back rate, balance transfer offer, and flexible redemption options make this one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards.
This card is best for domestic spending as non-United States purchases incur a foreign transaction fee.
Other Citi Double Cash Card Features
You won’t experience a lot of fringe benefits such as extended warranty coverage or trip cancellation/interruption. Citi stopped offering most of these benefits in 2019 but you can still find some additional value.
Cardholders can access presale tickets and exclusive experiences through Citi Entertainment. The possibilities include arts, cultural, entertainment and sports events.
World Elite Mastercard Travel Benefits
The Citi Double Cash Card is a World Elite Mastercard product and can offer several benefits that can help you enjoy a few extra perks available to Mastercard accounts.
The most valuable travel benefits include car rental elite status to participating agencies like Avis and National. You can also receive a monthly $5 Lyft credit after three paid rides.
Several online reports from active cardmembers indicate that you enjoy the full suite of World Elite perks that accompany travel credit cards with an annual fee.
Further reading: Best Credit Cards for Car Rentals
ID Theft Protection
You can enroll in complimentary identity theft protection benefits, courtesy of Mastercard. This service provides real-time monitoring and can help restore your identity if you encounter this nightmare situation.
The Lost Wallet® Service
You can receive a replacement card within 24 hours after losing your card. It’s also possible to receive emergency cash up to your cash advance limit to pay for expenses until your replacement arrives.
Redeeming Citi Double Cash Rewards
You have several redemption options with cash back being the easiest.
Your cash redemption options include:
- Statement credits
- Direct deposit
There isn’t a redemption minimum for statement credits or bank account deposits. However, a $5 minimum applies to paper checks by mail.
Additionally, you can redeem your points for gift cards and Amazon.com purchases. As is typical with other credit card rewards programs, the redemption value may not be as high as one cent per point for shopping redemptions.
Unlike most cash rewards credit cards, you can also redeem your purchase rewards for travel. One option is booking award travel through Citi.
A more enticing option can be transferring them to these airline and hotel travel partners:
You won’t be able to transfer your rewards to all of the Citi ThankYou transfer partners.
Travel redemptions can be worth 1 cent which is on par with cash back so you’re not losing money. However, it can be worth comparing the redemption value for point transfers as you may be better off paying with cash and redeeming your points as a statement credit.
Thankfully, it’s possible to combine points with other ThankYou accounts for more expansive options. Therefore, you may also carry the Citi Premier® Card – (Learn How to Apply Here) which is the best Citi credit card for travel.
Here is a rundown of the Citi Double Cash Card fees:
- Annual Fee: $0
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
- Purchase APR: 18.24% – 28.24% variable (no special intro APR rate is available for purchases)
- Balance Transfer APR: 0% for the first 18 months (on transfers made in the first 4 months), then 18.24% – 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% ($5 minimum) during the first 4 months and then 5% ($5 minimum)
- Cash Advance APR: 29.49% variable plus a one-time fee of $10 or 5% (whichever is higher)
- Late Payment: Up to $41
Citi Double Cash Compared to Similar Cards
These cards can provide competitive perks and enjoy some of the best cash rewards.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card:
All purchases earn 1.5% back along with 5% back on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One Travel. There is no redemption minimum for cash statement credits or account deposits but you cannot redeem your rewards for travel like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card – (Learn How to Apply Here) or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – (Learn How to Apply Here) are able to do.
It’s possible to earn $200 bonus cash after spending $500 in the first 3 months. A 0% introductory APR applies to eligible purchases and balance transfers during the first 15 months.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® gives you the flexibility of redeeming your rewards for cash back or directly for travel. You will earn at least 1.5% back on purchases:
- 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% on drugstore purchases
- 1.5% back on all remaining purchases
It’s possible to redeem your rewards for cash back, travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, gift cards, and shopping credits. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t support points transfers to airlines or hotels, but you can combine your rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® – (Learn How to Apply Here) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – (Learn How to Apply Here). After transferring points to either Sapphire card, you can then transfer to a partner airline or hotel.
There is no annual fee but a 3% foreign transaction fee applies. A 0% introductory APR for 15 months applies to purchases and balance transfers.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card:
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card lets you earn American Express Membership Rewards. You can enjoy the benefits of having no annual fee while earning credit card points that are most valuable for award travel.
You will earn 2x Membership Rewards on the first $6,000 in annual spending at U.S. supermarkets (then 1x). All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.
Making at least 20 card purchases per billing cycle lets you earn 20% bonus points.
Your most valuable redemption options are booking award flights through American Express Travel or transferring to an airline or hotel travel partner.
While you won’t pay an annual fee, there is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card:
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card earns unlimited 2% back at the time of purchase. You can redeem cash statement credits with as little as $1 but there are no travel redemption options.
Other notable benefits include up to $600 in cell phone protection and special perks through the Visa Signature Hotel Collection.
New applicants can be eligible for a $200 signup bonus after making $1,000 in the first 3 months. There is also a 15-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.
The annual fee is $0 but the foreign transaction fee is 3%.
You earn 1% back on purchases and 1% back on balance payments for a total of 2% back. There is no redemption minimum for cash statement credits and bank account deposits.
It’s also possible to redeem your rewards for travel through Citi or transfer to select partners.
The annual fee is $0 for the primary card and authorized users.
A 3% foreign transaction fee applies to all purchases outside the United States.
No, your rewards remain active as long as your account remains active. They will expire 60 days after closing an eligible account unless you transfer to another ThankYou account.
No, the Double Cash doesn’t offer credit card travel insurance, car rental insurance, or baggage insurance like most rewards credit cards.
Good credit with a score above 700 can have the best approval odds.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the best options for a flat rate rewards card as you can earn 2% back (1% on purchases and 1% on payment) instead of the more common 1.5% back.
Not having to pay an annual fee and the multiple redemption options also make it an excellent option as your primary card or to transfer ThankYou points to a participating Citi travel credit card such as the Citi Premier® Card.
While the earning potential is optimistic and you don’t have to worry about an annual fee, it lacks the cardholder protection benefits that many similar cards offer. Other cards are more likely to provide built-in trip cancellation/interruption and purchase protection but you’ll earn slightly less.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
All information about the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card have been collected independently by The Vacationer. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card are no longer available through The Vacationer.
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