Why The Citi Double Cash Card Is Worth It

Why The Citi Double Cash Card Is Worth It

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Link: Apply now for the Citi® Double Cash Card

There are all kinds of different strategies you can take with maximizing your credit card rewards. Some people like to earn cash back, while others like to earn travel rewards. In most situations, you’ll want to decide what kind of rewards you want to earn before applying for a card, so that you can be rewarded as efficiently as possible.

That’s something that’s pretty remarkable about the Citi® Double Cash Card (review) — the card offers an exceptional return on spending, whether you’re looking to earn cash back or travel rewards. There has never been a better time to consider this card, between the recent changes that were made to the card, plus the fact that the card finally has a welcome bonus.

Why the Citi Double Cash is so valuable

The Citi Double Cash is possibly the most versatile no annual fee credit card out there. It’s one of the credit cards that I use most for my everyday, non-bonused spending, and it’s one I recommend regardless of whether you want to earn cash back or travel rewards. Below are five reasons that the Citi Double Cash should be in your wallet.

Welcome bonus of 20,000 points ($200) for a limited time

Historically the Citi Double Cash hasn’t offered a welcome bonus. That has changed for a limited time (though we don’t know when this offer will be pulled). At the moment you can earn 20,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,500 within the first six months.

You could redeem those 20,000 points for $200 cash back, which is great for a no annual fee card. However, you can potentially do much better than that (as I’ll discuss below), as these rewards can be converted into Citi ThankYou points that can be transfered to airline & hotel partners. I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents/point, which, for me, puts this bonus value at $340.

Citi’s standard credit card application rules apply, though eligibility for this bonus is unrelated to having any other Citi cards.

Redeem Citi ThankYou points for some awesome travel experiences

No annual fee

Okay, I kind of hinted at this above — the Citi Double Cash has no annual fee, so it doesn’t get better than that. Need I say more?

Earn cash back at a rewarding rate

The Citi Double Cash has a phenomenal rewards structure if you’re looking to earn cash back. Cash is king, as they say, and it’s hard to beat the rewards structure of this card. The Citi Double Cash offers:

  • 1% cash back when you make a purchase
  • 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase

The cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou points, and each ThankYou point earned with the card can be redeemed for one cent cash back. There are no minimum redemption amounts, and you can be rewarded in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit.

By the time you’ve paid for your purchase, you’ll get two cents back on every dollar spent. This is more rewarding than a vast majority of cash back credit cards, and is in line with the best cash back return you’ll find on a credit card.

There’s not a single card I can think of that offers a return of better than 2% cash back without any major strings attached.

Use cash back earned on the Citi Double Cash for everyday expenses

Flexibility to turn cash back into travel rewards

This is why the Citi Double Cash gives you the best of both worlds. Not only can you earn the equivalent of two cents on the dollar, but those points can also efficiently be converted into travel rewards points:

What really makes this so awesome is that you can earn rewards on the Citi Double Cash even without having the Citi Premier. Then in the future, you can decide to apply for the Citi Premier Card, and all the rewards you’ve earned on the card can be pooled with your other ThankYou points and transferred to partners.

This means for every dollar you spend (and subsequently pay the bill for) you’re getting your choice of either two cents or two transferrable points, which can be converted into airline miles.

Use ThankYou points for some incredible travel experiences

0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers*

This is something I’d recommend avoiding if possible, but understandably this is something that some people looking for credit cards value. The Citi Double Cash is offering a 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Keep in mind that there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

You’ll want to do everything you can to pay off the balance during that period, since the interest after that can be high. But 18 months is a long period — some other cards offer 12 months, but 18 months is rare.

How I’ve maximized rewards with the Citi Double Cash

I picked up the Citi Double Cash in 2019, so how am I using this card? Essentially it’s one of the main cards that I use for my personal spending within the United States when there’s not otherwise a bonus category. For example:

  • I’ve paid my rent with the card through Plastiq
  • I’ve paid my taxes with the card
  • I’ve used the card for most online shopping

Those are just a few examples, but this is one of my go-to cards for any domestic purchases not at supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, etc. Nowadays I also put some of my everyday spending on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review), as the card offers 2x Venture miles on all spending.

Amazing combo: Citi Premier + Citi Double Cash

If you’re looking to earn travel rewards in the long-term, I think it’s specifically worth talking about the value of having the Citi Double Cash in conjunction with the Citi Premier Card, which is one of the best card combos out there:

To me, this is a valuable and straightforward approach to take in order to maximize credit card rewards, as you’ll earn 2-3x points on all purchases.

Earn 3x points on dining with the Citi Premier Card

Bottom line

The Citi Double Cash has been the single card that I’ve spent the most on since 2019, and I love it. Personally, I use the card for the ability to earn ThankYou points that can be transferred to airline partners.

The flexibility this card offers is unrivaled. The no annual fee card can earn you the equivalent of two cents or two transferrable points for every dollar you spend (after paying the bill). Being able to efficiently earn either cash back or travel rewards is the kind of flexibility that consumers should be looking for nowadays, and there’s no other card as well rounded as this.

Furthermore, when you combine the Citi Double Cash with the Citi Premier Card, you’re looking at one of the best card combos out there with one low annual fee.

This is an ideal time to pick up the Citi Double Cash, given that the card is offering a welcome bonus for a limited time.

Anyone else love the combo of the Citi Double Cash and Citi Premier?

Conversations (3)
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  1. Joe Guest

    “ If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.”

    So does this mean don’t use the double cash card at all until transferred balance is paid off?

  2. Daniel B. Guest

    When I transfer the TY points earned from the Double Cash card to my own Citi Premier card, then the 90 day period of needing to use it up doesn't count, is that correct?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Daniel B. -- Presumably this would only become an issue if you closed your Citi Double Cash? In that case you'd have to use your points within 60 days.

      Otherwise you can just keep your accounts linked, and then transfer points when you're ready to redeem. I'm actually not 100% sure if making a transfer from the Citi Double Cash to Citi Premier would cause some clock to start without an account being closed, but maybe someone else has experience with that?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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.

Joe Guest

“ If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.” So does this mean don’t use the double cash card at all until transferred balance is paid off?

0
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Daniel B. -- Presumably this would only become an issue if you closed your Citi Double Cash? In that case you'd have to use your points within 60 days. Otherwise you can just keep your accounts linked, and then transfer points when you're ready to redeem. I'm actually not 100% sure if making a transfer from the Citi Double Cash to Citi Premier would cause some clock to start without an account being closed, but maybe someone else has experience with that?

0
Daniel B. Guest

When I transfer the TY points earned from the Double Cash card to my own Citi Premier card, then the 90 day period of needing to use it up doesn't count, is that correct?

0
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