Citi Double Cash® Card
vs. American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Updated: June 15, 2024

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Both the Citi Double Cash and the Amex Cash Magnet card offer appealing cash back rewards and no annual fees, making them good for anyone seeking straightforward rewards. However, the Citi Double Cash Card edges ahead with its higher overall cash back rate of 2% on all purchases, which is effectively more rewarding than the 1.5% offered by the American Express Cash Magnet Card.

While the Amex Cash Magnet Card does provide a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 15 months, the Citi Double Cash Card's longer 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months may be more beneficial for those looking to manage existing debt. Both cards are accessible to those with good to excellent credit, but the Citi Double Cash card's acceptance of fair credit widens its appeal.

Credit Card logo for Citi Double Cash® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card
Credit Card logo for American Express Cash Magnet® Card
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
MoneyGeek Rating
4.4/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
4.4/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    19.24% - 29.24% variable
    19.24%–29.99% variable
    0% APR Offer
    -
    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening
    Intro Offer
    Earn $200 Cash Back
    $150 statement credit
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1%–5% cash back
    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% for 18 months on balance transfers
    0%, introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening.
    Balance Transfer Fee
    5% of each transfer ($5 minimum)
    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    Up to 29.99% (Variable)
    29.99%
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Citi Double Cash if you're focused on maximizing cash back with 2% on every purchase and have an eye on balance transfers, thanks to its lengthy 0% intro APR offer. This card is helpful for those who pay off their balances and want to see their rewards grow as they spend and repay.

You might prefer the Amex Cash Magnet if you're planning significant purchases soon and could benefit from a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months. It's also a solid choice if you prefer a simple cash back program with a flat rate on all purchases and value the added perks that come with American Express cards.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and other features side by side clarifies which card aligns with your financial habits. For instance, if you plan to carry a balance, the Amex Cash Magnet's introductory APR offer might be appealing. If maximizing cash back is your goal, the Citi Double Cash provides a higher rewards rate. Assess each card's details here to determine the best fit for your wallet.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Citi Double Cash

    The Citi Double Cash card offers a slightly better regular APR, capping at 29.24% variable, compared to the Amex Cash Magnet card's APR that can go as high as 29.99%.

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    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Citi Double Cash and the Amex Cash Magnet Card have no annual fee, making them equally appealing for those looking to avoid extra costs.

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    Introductory 0% APRs: Tie

    Both cards offer valuable introductory 0% APR deals, but for different uses. The Amex Cash Magnet provides a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, with a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount. Conversely, the Citi Double Cash does not offer an introductory APR for purchases but extends a 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, albeit with a higher balance transfer fee of 5% ($5 minimum).

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    Rewards: Citi Double Cash

    The Citi Double Cash offers better rewards, providing 2% cash back on every purchase (1% when you buy plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases), compared to the Amex Cash Magnet's unlimited 1.5% cash back. Citi Double Cash features a limited-time offer of 5% cash back on travel booked through the Citi portal. Both cards offer non-expiring rewards, but Citi's higher cash back rate and special category bonuses make it more rewarding for most spending.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Citi Double Cash

    The Citi Double Cash card offers a better welcome bonus, providing $200 cash back after a $1,500 spend in the first six months, compared to the Amex Cash Magnet's $150 statement credit for a $1,000 spend in the first three months. With a higher ROI (return on investment), the Citi Double Cash leads in this category.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Citi Double Cash card and the American Express Cash Magnet require a credit score range of 670 to 850, categorized as good to excellent.

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    Penalties and Fees: Amex Cash Magnet

    For penalties and fees, the American Express Cash Magnet is slightly better due to its lower foreign transaction fees at 2.7% compared to the Citi Double Cash's 3%, and a marginally lower late fee. Both cards have similar cash advance fees and penalty APRs.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Amex Cash Magnet

    American Express has a higher issuer satisfaction with a rating of 5, compared to Citibank's rating of 4.1.

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    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both cards offer unique perks. Amex Cash Magnet provides car rental loss and damage insurance, a Global Assist Hotline, and exclusive Amex Offers. Citi Double Cash offers ThankYou Points redeemable for cash back and access to Citi Entertainment.

Rewards Comparison

The Citi Double Cash Card edges out the Amex Cash Magnet with an effective 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you buy and another 1% as you pay for those purchases. This straightforward approach makes it a strong contender for those who value simplicity and higher cash back rates across the board.

While the Amex Cash Magnet offers a consistent 1.5% cash back on purchases, it falls short of the Citi Double Cash's overall reward potential. However, its lack of rotating categories or spending caps still makes it a reliable option for cash back.

The Citi Double Cash also offers a limited-time 5% cash back on travel bookings through the Citi Travel℠ portal, adding a valuable category for frequent travelers. This additional perk, along with its higher general cash back rate, positions the Citi Double Cash as the better option for rewards.

Please refer to the table below to compare the bonus categories offered by each card.

Category
Citi Double Cash
Amex Cash Magnet

All Purchases

1% when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay

Unlimited 1.5% cash back

Travel Booked Through Issuer Portal

5% through 12/31/24

1.5% cash back

All Other

1% when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay

Unlimited 1.5% cash back

Redeeming Rewards

The Amex Cash Magnet offers the simplicity of redeeming rewards for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards, with the added benefit that cash back never expires. The Citi Double Cash provides the flexibility to redeem cash back directly to your bank account, as a statement credit, or by check. Additionally, Citi's ThankYou Points broaden your options to include gift cards and travel, though redemption values may vary. Importantly, rewards on the Citi Double Cash also do not expire as long as the account remains open.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Citi Double Cash and Amex Cash Magnet using a tailored scoring system. In this comparison, both cards are assessed based on their performance in the cash back category.

The largest factors influencing their scores are the effective reward rate and the return on investment for offers. These elements, along with other considerations such as annual fees and issuer satisfaction, contribute to a comprehensive score that reflects the card's value. For a deeper understanding of our scoring process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Citi Double Cash vs. Amex Cash Magnet Card

What are the cash back rewards for each card?
Do either of the cards offer a 0% intro APR on purchases?
Are there any annual fees for these cards?
Can I benefit from balance transfers with these cards?
What are the foreign transaction fees for each card?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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