Citi Double Cash® Review: Earn Cash Back and Pay Off Debt

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ByDoug Milnes, CFA
Edited byCasie McCoskey
ByDoug Milnes, CFA
Edited byCasie McCoskey

Updated: June 11, 2024

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MoneyGeek’s Take

The Citi Double Cash® caters to consumers looking for easy cash back rewards. With 2% cash back on all purchases, it offers above-average returns compared to other flat-rate cards. It also has a lengthy 0% intro APR on balance transfers, which is helpful when managing debt. However, the card lacks a no-interest period for purchases and carries a hefty penalty APR. Still, the Double Cash® is a card you can set and forget as long as you pay your monthly balances.

Citi Double Cash® Card
Credit Card logo for Citi Double Cash® Card
MoneyGeek Rating
4.5/ of 5

Rewards RateEarn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash b...
Balance Transfer Offer0% for 18 months on balance transfers
Annual Fee$0
Recommended Credit670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Citi Double Cash® Card Overview

The Citi Double Cash® Card is a stand out choice if you value simple rewards on your everyday expenses, offering 2% cash back on all purchases.

Beyond the cash back, the card boasts a generous, 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, making it an attractive option for those looking to consolidate and pay down existing debt from non-Citi cards. Its $200 welcome bonus and no annual fee further enhance its appeal as a cost-effective choice.

However, the card does not offer a no-interest period on new purchases. If you’re using it for debt management, the smart strategy is to not put any new purchases on the card, even if that means you’re missing out on the 2% cash back.

And if you spend heavily on certain categories and want bigger rewards, this card may not work for you.

>>MORE: MoneyGeek's Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Features
Details

Card Uses

  • Balance Transfer
  • Cash Back

Annual Fee

$0

Introductory Offer

Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 in the first six months

Introductory APRs

0% for 18 months on balance transfers

Rewards

  • Earn 2% cash back on every purchase: 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay
  • Earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi Travel℠ until December 31, 2024

Rewards Program Overview

The Citi Double Cash® simplifies earning rewards with a flat 2% cash back on every purchase. You get half of your rewards when you buy and half as you pay off those purchases. This straightforward approach means every swipe or tap can contribute to your cash back earnings without the need to track spending categories or sign up for rotating bonuses.

For travelers, the card offers a special incentive: 5% cash back on hotel stays, car rentals and attractions booked through the Citi Travel℠ portal, valid through the end of 2024. This limited-time perk adds an additional 3% cash back to the 2% cash back that normally comes with the card.

Your cash back comes in the form of Citi ThankYou Points, which don't expire as long as your account is active. Each point is worth a penny when redeemed for direct deposit, statement credit or check. However, they can be worth more if you use them for travel — especially through Citi's various travel partners like JetBlue, Wyndham and Choice Privileges.

Why You Might Want This Card

Earn rewards effortlessly with the Citi Double Cash® Card's simple cash back program and other perks.

2% Cash Back: With a flat 2% cash back rate on all purchases — 1% when you buy and another 1% as you pay off those purchases — this card simplifies earning rewards. There's no need to track spending categories or sign up for quarterly bonuses. Few cards can match this cash back rate since most flat-rate cards offer 1.5% cash back

Balance Transfer Opportunity: If you're juggling debt on other cards, the 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months can provide a reprieve from interest charges. Just remember that there's a balance transfer fee to consider, and you can only transfer balances from non-Citi cards.

Introductory Offer: Jumpstart your savings with a $200 welcome bonus after spending $1,500 in the first six months. The lengthy redemption period means you won’t have to increase your spending just to get this offer. You can treat this as a 13% discount on your purchases or use it to offset the initial 3% balance transfer fee, covering balance transfers of up to $6,666.

Why You Might Want a Different Card

Before you get the Citi Double Cash®, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

No Intro APR on Purchases: Unlike other cash back cards, this card does not offer a 0% introductory APR on new purchases. This means any new purchases will accrue interest at the regular rate, which could be as high as 29.24% variable. If you’re looking for 2% cash back on all purchases and want a no-interest period on purchases, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® may be an alternative.

Penalty APR: If you miss a payment, the card's penalty APR can go up to 29.99% variable, which could significantly increase the cost of carrying a balance. This is a critical factor for those who may not always be able to pay their balance in full.

No Bonus Categories: The Citi Double Cash®’s best feature can be its biggest drawback for some people. Because of its flat 2% rate, it lacks the higher cash back rate that other cards have for certain categories. This means you may be missing out if you spend heavily on everyday categories like restaurants, groceries or gas, where cards like the Blue Cash Everyday® or the Capital One SavorOne provide 3% cash back. You can even find cards like the Discover it® Cash Back or the Citi Custom Cash® that offer 5% cash back on bonus categories.

That being said, because the Citi Double Cash® is a no-annual-fee card, you can pair it with cards that offer bonus categories at no additional cost and get the best of both worlds.

How Citi Double Cash® Compares

To help you decide if the Citi Double Cash® is right for you, we have compared it with similar cash back cards.

Citi Double Cash® vs. Citi Custom Cash®

The Citi Custom Cash® card provides 5% cash back in your top spending category for up to $500 spent, then 1%. If you tend to spend heavily on one category or are looking for a card with high rewards to complement your flat-rate card, the Citi Custom Cash® may work for you.

Citi Double Cash® vs. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

With the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards, you get unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and grocery stores. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Although its base rate is half Double Cash’s, it offers higher rewards on popular everyday categories. If you’re a foodie and spend heavily on SavorOne’s bonus categories, it’s a strong alternative.

Cards to Pair With Citi Double Cash®

Pairing the Citi Double Cash® with a card with bonus categories can be a strategic move. You can use the Double Cash® to pay for purchases that don’t fall into the other card’s bonus categories. Meanwhile, you can use the other card for purchases that qualify for its higher cash back rate.

For example, gas station and supermarket purchases get 3% cash back with the Blue Cash Everyday®. This combination ensures you're getting more cash back on your most frequent purchases and 2% cash back on everything else.

If you carry other Citi cards, you can also maximize rewards by pooling the ThankYou Points you earn. While the Citi Double Cash® Card has a limited number of transfer partners, cards such as the Citi Premier® have a broader network of airline and hotel partners. Doing this can significantly increase the value of your points.

Is Citi Double Cash® Cash Back Right for You?

The Citi Double Cash® is a solid choice for people who want easy cash back on their purchases. If you regularly pay off your balances and want to earn consistent rewards across all purchases, the card's 2% cash back is hard to beat. It's also a smart pick for those with existing credit card debt, thanks to its 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months.

However, suppose you're planning significant new purchases and need time to pay them off or are prone to occasional late payments. In that case, the lack of an intro APR for purchases and the potential for a high penalty APR might be deterrents. Cards with bonus categories may be a better fit if you want higher rewards in categories where you spend the most.

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BEST CASH BACK CARDS OF 2024

Still not sure about the Citi Double Cash®? Check out our list of the best cash back credit cards to help you find a card that matches your financial needs and goals.

How We Evaluated the Citi Double Cash® Card

Our evaluation of the Citi Double Cash® Card involved a comprehensive analysis of its features against a set of weighted criteria. We reviewed a total of 77 cards, with the following weights applied in our assessment, listed from highest to lowest percentage:

  • Effective Reward Rate (50%): A 5 rating represents the most rewarding cash back rate.
  • Balance Transfer Offer (50%): A 5 rating indicates an exceptional balance transfer option.
  • Issuer Satisfaction (5%): A 5 rating reflects the highest customer satisfaction, according to industry studies.
  • Recommended Credit (5%): A 5 rating denotes broad accessibility across credit scores.
  • Intro Purchase APR (5%): A 5 rating signifies an excellent 0% intro APR offer on purchases.
  • Penalties (5%): A 5 rating means no penalty rates or fees.

These factors were carefully considered to ensure our review aligns with the card's benefits and limitations as observed in the market.

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.


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