Citi Double Cash Card: Rewarding No Annual Fee Cash Back Card

Filed Under: Citi, Credit Card Reviews
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Many of us go to great lengths to maximize our credit card strategy. For example, I have over two dozen credit cards — I have some cards for the perks, while I have other cards for the bonuses they offer when I spend money on them.

While I know many of you enjoy the art of maximizing rewards through credit card spending, the reality is also that there’s something to be said for having a really straightforward credit card strategy, and that’s what a vast majority of people are looking for.

So in this post I wanted to talk about the Citi® Double Cash Card. Should this be your go-to card if you want to go great lengths to maximize your rewards? No, probably not.

However, I’d say that a vast majority of people in the US would be achieving a significantly better return on their spending by getting this card. The card offers cash back rewards, so you don’t have to deal with airline miles or travel redemptions that have limitations. You’re just earning cold hard cash, and who doesn’t like that?

So here’s what you need to know about this card:

Citi Double Cash has no annual fee

The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee, which you can’t beat. A lot of people sacrifice credit card rewards because they don’t want a card with an annual fee, so here you’re getting a valuable card that won’t cost you anything.

Citi Double Cash offers 1% + 1% cash back

The Citi Double Cash offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase. So after paying for your purchase, you’ll earn rewards worth two cents back on every dollar spent, which is great. A lot of people earn 1-1.5% cash back on their credit cards, so this is much better.

As far as I’m concerned, earning at least two cents back on every dollar is the golden standard for credit card rewards.

How to redeem Citi Double Cash rewards

As explained above, the Citi Double Cash offers a return of two cents on the dollar for your spending (after paying your bill), but how does the actual process of earning cash back work?

The cash back will show in your Citi account after logging in, and will appear in two columns — the 1% cash back you earn from spending, and then the 1% cash back you earn from paying for your purchase.

You’ll need a minimum of a $25 cash back balance to redeem your Citi Double Cash rewards, which is earned after $1,250 of spending. You have four redemption options for Citi Double Cash rewards:

  • You can redeem for a gift card from a variety of retailers
  • You can redeem for a statement credit, which will post to your account within 2-3 days
  • You can redeem for a direct deposit, which can be to a Citi account, or an account with another bank
  • You can redeem for a check, which will be mailed to you within 7-10 days

Personally, I wouldn’t redeem for a gift card (why limit yourself?), but either a direct deposit or check seems like the ideal way to redeem Citi Double Cash rewards.

Citi Double Cash 0% intro APR for 18 months

The Citi Double Cash has an offer for 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74-25.75%, based on your creditworthiness.

This won’t be for everyone, but I know that this is something that some people take advantage of.

As always, in general I only recommend getting a credit card if you’ll be able to pay off your balance in full every month and use it responsibly, or else the rewards won’t outweigh the cost.

Citi Double Cash is a Mastercard

The Citi Double Cash is a Mastercard, which is worth mentioning because Mastercard has excellent acceptance with merchants. The same is true of Visa, though this is an area where American Express is still improving. So there is something to be said for getting a Mastercard that will be accepted virtually everywhere.

Who shouldn’t get the Citi Double Cash

I want to make sure I’m being clear here about who I think the Citi Double Cash is right for. I think for a vast majority of consumers who either aren’t earning credit card rewards, or who are earning rewards that are worth less than 2%, this is an excellent option.

However, this card isn’t for everyone, including:

  • Those looking for a big credit card welcome bonus, since this card doesn’t have one (then again, it’s a rewarding no annual fee card, so doesn’t need one)
  • Those who travel a lot internationally, since the Citi Double Cash has 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Those who spend a lot in categories that would be eligible for bonuses on other cards (like dining, travel, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.)
  • Those who want to earn travel rewards, and are willing to put in the time to learn how to efficiently redeem miles

Alternatives to the Citi Double Cash Card

If you’re looking for another card (or combination of cards) that can potentially earn you a better return, here are a few options to consider, just to give an example of the variety of options that exist:

Those are just a few options, but I wanted to provide a good selection of options.

Bottom line

The Citi Double Cash is a great no annual fee option for someone looking to earn cash back rewards. Earning up to two cents back per dollar is worthy of consideration, and much better than the return on credit card spending that most people are getting.

If you’re big into maximizing points then this card isn’t for you, but if you’re someone who is just a casual credit card user, or if you’re looking for a card to recommend to a family member or friend who wants a simple strategy, this is an excellent option.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. Hi Lucky.. Do you know if I product change from a TYP to the DC, if the 0% for 18 months applies? Since Alliant upped their annual fee, I am seriously considering doing this.

  2. With the new World/World Elite MC benefits that rolled out, Double Cash got a lot more interesting for me. Mine happens to be a World Elite and I already earned the new $10 Lyft credit from last month. Come July I’ll start using it for the $800 mobile phone insurance. I already used Double Cash as my primary non-bonus card, but now it’s going to get even more use.

  3. I use our Double Case for a lot of non-bonus spend. It’s great to use cash back to offset costs where other points and miles won’t work or don’t make sense, such as activities, etc.

    This card also has two features that are as good or better than just about every other card out there.

    The first is a 60 day price rewind, and the second is a 24 month extended warranty. When our fridge quit working last spring, I bought a new one with the Double Cash & registered it for price rewind. Within that 60 day period, the price of that fridge had dropped about $200 for a short time during a July 4th sale, so Citi cut me a check for the difference, plus I now have an additional 2 year warranty on the new fridge.

    Pretty darn good for a card with no annual fee.

  4. I would like to know your thoughts on Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa Platinum Plus. It’s a non annual fee card that I opened while ago to go with my checking, that I never use. They recently made chance to it to earn 3% cash back on certain categories, you choose. It is kind like Chase Freedom with less cash back, but you choose the categories yourself. The categories are gas, dining, drug stores, home improvement an furnishings, online shopping and travel.

  5. @Roni

    If you product change from the Preferred to Double cash you will not get the benefits of the DC promotion unless you already had it under your existing preferred.

  6. How come ALL the ‘Alternatives’ for a no-annual fee card are with an annual fee ? ..and no mention about Fidelity Rewards at all

  7. Just downgraded the Prestige to the double cash card as my annual fee came up and I wasn’t getting any value with the Prestige. Probably not using the double cash card at all but as someone who’s a fast paced traveler, the Prestige benefits offered nothing.

  8. @Tomj presumably no affiliate commission on the Fidelity Rewards.

    That card, incidentally, is superior to the Double Cash in the sense that it’s a true 2% rebate, not 1% and 1%. But it’s inferior in that you need to spend a chunk of money before you get any of it back.

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