Citi Double Cash Credit Card Review

Complete Citi Double Cash Credit Card Review


  • Exceptional flat rate cash back on unlimited purchases

  • Generous introductory APR on balance transfers

The inconvenients

  • No single offer

  • $25 minimum for redemption

The benefits explained

  • Amazing cashback on unlimited purchases: This card offers unlimited 1% cash back on purchases, plus an additional 1% when you pay your bill, with no restrictions or spending caps. This rate is hard to beat, especially for a card with no annual fee. Competing cards with a flat rate on all purchases only earn 1.5% cash back.
  • Generous introductory APR on balance transfers: This card has an attractive introductory offer if you transfer the balance from one or more other cards during your first four months with the card. You get 0% APR for the first 18 billing cycles, which is longer than many such offers. It is not uncommon for there to be a fee of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. After the 0% introductory period, the variable APR varies with a normal range of 16.24% to 26.24%.

Disadvantages Explained

  • No single offer: Most competing cards have a single cash offer, but the Citi Double Cash does not. Granted, the typical cashback card bonus tends to be lower than other types of cards, but it’s still substantial, usually ranging from $150 to $250.
  • Miss a payment, lose half the cash back: This is not an ideal rewards card if you occasionally miss a payment, whether due to a memory lapse or tight finances. If you don’t pay at least the minimum due on your card within a month, you will forfeit the corresponding 1% cash back which is paid after payment is received. (Of course, as usual, you’ll also be penalized with a $41 late payment fee and interest on your balance.)

The Citi Double Cash credit card is most appealing to those looking for a no-fee card that’s easy to use and offers great cash rewards. If you’re not one to master point systems or sign up for quarterly rewards categories, this card’s exceptional cash back rate offers effortless and reliable rewards on everyday spending.

It’s also a good choice if you’re a more motivated consumer who wants a very rewarding default card to use alongside others that offer higher rewards on certain purchases. You will then choose the most rewarding card per transaction. For example, you can withdraw American Express Blue Cash Preferred at supermarkets and pay for streaming services, which both earn 6% cash back, as well as gas and public transit purchases, which earn 3% cash back. You would then charge everything else to your Citi Double charge card.

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Reward Earnings Details

Cardholders can finally earn 2% cash back with this card. You get 1% unlimited cash back when you make a purchase. You then earn an additional 1% cash back when you make payment for those purchases.

You can make payments all at once or over time to earn cash back, but you must make at least the minimum payment on each bill to keep the extra 1% cash back. Payment is due no later than the first day of your next billing cycle. To help you track the Cash Back you earn, Citi maintains a “purchase tracker” for your card account. You only earn money on the balance shown on your purchase tracking.

Reward Redemption Details

Cardholders have three main redemption options with this card:

  • Request a check
  • Redeem the cash back balance for a statement credit
  • Redeem cash back for a credit to your linked Citi checking or savings account, or to a checking account you’ve used to pay your Citi credit card bill at least twice
  • Convert to points

However, a few minor caveats apply to redemptions, compared to some other cards. Competitors like the Capital One Quicksilver, which pays out 1.5% lower cash back, allow you to redeem rewards for any amount at any time. However, with Citi Double Cash, your rewards balance must reach at least $25 to request redemption. It might take some cardholders a while because you need to charge and repay $1,250 to reach that rewards balance.

Also, while rewards with many cards never expire, the ones with this card do, so if you don’t earn cash back on purchases or payments for 12 months.

How to maximize your rewards

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Getting the most out of this card is quite simple as there is no need to worry about spending caps or category rotation. You’ll earn the most with the Citi Double charge card if you simply use it for all the expenses you can, from groceries to major household expenses. The only exceptions might be for purchases where you have another card that pays a better rate on a particular purchase.

Loading purchases onto the card earns you 1% cash back. When these purchases are paid for, you automatically receive the remaining 1% in cash back, for a total of 2%. The cashback you earn for any month stays in your account as a future reward, as long as you make at least the minimum payment each month.

Paying your balance in full each month maximizes how quickly you receive rewards. And adding authorized users to the card can also help maximize rewards overall.

Average case

If you’re the average American household, we estimate you’ll earn at least $264 in cash back on this card every year. Here’s how we did the math to arrive at that number.

Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Spending Survey, we assume that you would use this card to pay for purchases in five spending categories: food, clothing, fuel, entertainment, and personal care. Assuming your expenses were indeed typical, those combined expenses would translate to $13,230 per year on your credit card.

Assuming you paid off your balance in full each month, incurred no interest charges, and received all of your repayment immediately, you would earn just over $264 during the year just on these five basic expense categories.

Ambitious case

Using this card for other major expenses, whether necessary or for indulgences, can naturally help boost your rewards even further. Suppose that in addition to the expense scenario in the example above, you also charge several large expenses to the card, totaling $10,000 for the year. Maybe you choose to landscaping or undertake a home renovation, or you incur a major home maintenance bill, such as replacing your HVAC system.

The extra $10,000 would add $200 to your cash back for the year, again assuming on-time full balance payments. Added to the $264 in cash back from everyday expenses, your rewards for the year would total $464.

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Outstanding Benefits of the Citi Double Cash Credit Card

  • Lost wallet service that replaces your card and provides you with cash in case of emergency
  • Contactless smart card

Standard Benefits

  • 24/7 customer service
  • 24/7 fraud protection
  • Impersonation Solutions
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Ability to add the card to a digital wallet
  • Privileged access to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more

Cardholder experience

According to the 2021 JD Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study, Citi ranked sixth out of 11 card issuers. Its score was 805, just a few points below the national average for credit card issuers.

As a Citi customer, as with most other card companies, you can get help with your card or account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Simply dial 1-800-347-4934.

Security functions

Card security features are pretty standard and not extensive, but they include the ability to lock your card if it’s lost or stolen with Citi QuickLock.

Our opinion

The high flat rate rewards and simplicity of this card make it an attractive option for those who want easy-to-earn cash back on everyday spending. Its combined 2% cash back rewards help make up for its lack of a single offer. It’s one of the best flat-rate cashback cards available, especially since there’s no annual fee.

It can be a solid companion for a card that offers a high rate on bonus or rotation categories in areas where consumers typically spend the most. The Discover It Cash Back card, for example, offers 5% cash back on various categories every quarter, including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more. Using both cards together would maximize cash back earnings.

While the Citi Double charge card is a great choice for anyone looking for cash back, it’s not the best option for international travelers. There are 3% foreign transaction fees on purchases, and it lacks the higher rewards and benefits of cards that focus on travel.