Citi Double Cash Card Review: 2x Points Everywhere

Citi Double Cash Card Review: 2x Points Everywhere

Citi® Double Cash Card $0
Apply Now Terms Apply.
Citi® Double Cash Card $0
Earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase, earn 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase
2
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

In this post I wanted to take a look at the Citi® Double Cash Card, which I consider to be the single most valuable no annual fee credit card out there for everyday spending. It’s a card that I have, and it’s the card that I’ve spent the most money on in the past couple of years.

If you don’t yet have this card, you probably should. This card is in a league of its own among no annual fee cards, both in terms of how rewarding it is, and in terms of how flexible it is.

Citi Double Cash Card Basics For January 2022

The Citi Double Cash offers amazing flexibility whether you’re looking to earn cash back or travel rewards. It’s fantastically rewarding as a cash back card, and with a bit of effort it can be an industry-leading travel rewards card as well.

Below I’ll cover what you need to know about the card, starting with some basics, followed by what makes this card so awesome.

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 to hold onto.

0% Intro APR

The Citi Double Cash has an offer for 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers from the date of first transfer, when transfers are completed within four months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be 13.99% to 23.99%, 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 four months of account opening.

This won’t be for everyone, but I know that this is something that some people take advantage of. While some cards offer 12 months 0% APR, 18 months is quite a long time.

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.

Mastercard Benefits

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. There is something to be said for getting a Mastercard that will be accepted virtually everywhere.

3% Foreign Transaction Fees

The Citi Double Cash isn’t a card you’re generally going to want to use for international purchases. The card has 3% foreign transaction fees, so the rewards you earn wouldn’t compensate for the fees you’re paying. Fortunately, there are lots of other great cards with no foreign transaction fees.

Citi Application Restrictions

Every credit card issuer has different policies for approving new cardmembers. With Citi, the main restriction to be aware of is that you’ll be approved for at most one card every eight days, and at most two cards every 65 days. Since the Citi Double Cash doesn’t have a sign-up bonus, the 24/48 month restrictions don’t apply.

You Can Product Change To The Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. While it can make a lot of sense to apply for the card directly (that’s exactly what I did), there are potentially some other pathways by which you can acquire this card.

Citi is among the most generous issuers in letting people product change between cards:

  • You can downgrade any personal Citi credit card to the Citi Double Cash; this even includes co-brand cards
  • You can generally only product change if you’ve had a card for at least 12 months, so you can’t do this with a new card
  • You’ll want to call Citi to see all the options available to you

The benefit of product changing rather than applying outright is that you can maintain your credit line, and also that it often won’t count as a further inquiry on your credit report. Whether you apply for the card outright or product change to it, you have options.

Citi Double Cash rewards offer incredible flexibility

Citi Double Cash Rewards Structure

This is where the Citi Double Cash gets truly incredible. When you spend a dollar on the Citi Double Cash (and pay the bill), you’re potentially looking at earning two cents of rewards, and those rewards can even be transferred to Citi ThankYou points at a ratio of one cent per point. Let’s talk more about how exactly that works.

Earning Cash Back With The Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase.

After making a purchase and paying your bill, 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 gold standard for credit card rewards.

Earn valuable cash back with the Citi Double Cash

How To Redeem Citi Double Cash Rewards As Cash

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 rather would choose either a direct deposit or check, which gives you the most flexibility.

Earning ThankYou Points With The Citi Double Cash

In addition to being able to redeem Citi Double Cash rewards for cash back, you can also convert Citi Cash Rewards into Citi ThankYou points at the rate of 100 ThankYou points per $1 of Cash Rewards. In other words, 100 cents cashback converts into 100 ThankYou points.

See this post for everything you need to know about the process of transferring Citi Double Cash rewards to Citi ThankYou.

There are lots of ways you can redeem your Citi ThankYou points. You can redeem them for one cent each towards gift cards and other purchases, though that isn’t worth it. At that rate you’re just better off earning cash back outright rather than gift cards.

Where this gets really valuable is if you have the Citi Double Cash in conjunction with a card earning ThankYou points, like the incredible Citi Premier® Card (review) — more on that below.

If you have the Citi Premier and Citi Double Cash, you can transfer all points to Citi’s airline and hotel transfer partners, including Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Singapore KrisFlyer, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and more.

This is a fantastic way to redeem for international first & business class experiences.

Redeem Citi Double Cash rewards for travel in Singapore’s A380 Suites

Points potentially transfer at the following rates to the following programs:

Transfer Partners
Transfer Ratio
Aeroméxico Club Premier
1000 : 1000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
1000: 1000
Avianca LifeMiles
1000 : 1000
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
1000 : 1000
Emirates Skywards
1000 : 1000
Etihad Guest
1000 : 1000
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
1000 : 1000
Malaysia Airlines Enrich
1000 : 1000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1000 : 1000
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
1000 : 1000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1000 : 1000
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
1000 : 1000
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
1000 : 1000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
1000 : 1000
Choice Privileges
1000 : 2000
Wyndham Rewards
1000 : 1000
Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners and Ratios

This is the only no annual fee credit card out there to offer an uncapped return of 2x transferable points per dollar spent. I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s like a return of 3.4% on spending.

In some cases, you can do even better than that. Citi frequently has transfer bonuses, so you can potentially take advantage of those while earning 2x points on this card.

There are only a couple of cards that can potentially compete with the return on spending offered by the Citi Double Cash:

Is The Citi Double Cash Right For You?

The Citi Double Cash is industry-leading whether you’re looking to earn cash back or travel rewards. The best part is that you don’t have to decide which you want — you can earn rewards, and then later decide how you want to redeem them.

After you spend a dollar on the card and pay the bill you’ll have your choice of earning:

Earning 2x transferable points per dollar spent with no caps is unbeatable. What makes this card even more valuable is the flexibility it gives you — you can efficiently earn cash back, and then in the future you can always transfer points to ThankYou partners, should you want to redeem for outsized travel rewards.

Redeem Citi Double Cash rewards for travel in Air France 787 business class

Amazing Combo: Citi Premier + Citi Double Cash

There are some fantastic credit card duos out there, and I’d argue one of the best is to have the Citi Premier and Citi Double Cash:

Having these two cards really is an unbeatable combo. Between the two cards you’ll pay less than $100 in annual fees, and you’ll get an industry-leading rate of return on your spending.

Redeem Citi Double Cash rewards for travel in Emirates A380 first class

Citi Double Cash Card Alternatives

The Citi Double Cash is as good as it gets, though there are still some other cards that may be worth considering:

Those are just a few of the options…

Bottom Line

The Citi Double Cash is a no annual fee card that offers unparalleled flexibility, whether you’re looking to earn cash back or travel rewards points. Not only can the card potentially earn up to two cents back per dollar spent, but in conjunction with the Citi Premier you can potentially earn 2x ThankYou points per dollar spent, which can be transferred to airlines or hotels.

I’ve had this card for over two years, and during that period it has been my primary card for everyday, non-bonused spending. This should be the card that many others use as well.

If you want to learn more about the Citi Double Cash Card or apply, follow this link.

Conversations (2)
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.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Jill Guest

    wow
    Thank You Mr. Ben Schlappig

  2. Frank Valentino Guest

    If I transfer some of my double cash to my Citi prestige to get thank you points do those points expire shortly in my prestige account ?

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.

Jill Guest

wow Thank You Mr. Ben Schlappig

0
Frank Valentino Guest

If I transfer some of my double cash to my Citi prestige to get thank you points do those points expire shortly in my prestige account ?

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published