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Sometimes, a cash back credit card can be your best option if you travel infrequently. But do you know which credit card to use instead? This Citi® Double Cash Card review will show you how you can earn 2% back on purchases. Cardholders earn 1% cash back when they buy plus 1% cash back once they pay for the purchase. This is one of the highest rates for a flat rate cash rewards credit card.

Citi Double Cash Review
This Citi Double Cash Review shows you how you can earn 2% back on all purchases and your redemption options. Photo by Alicia Zinn from Pexels

The Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t charge an annual fee which makes this a hassle-free way to earn cash rewards. However, this card may not be the best cash back option for every person because of the high redemption minimums, lack of a signup bonus, and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

In-Depth Citi Double Cash Card Review

A flat-rate rewards programs like the Citi Double Cash has are easy to understand. In fact, you may think they are boring. With the Double Cash, every purchase earns 2% back that you can redeem for statement credits or mailed checks.

Earn 5% back on the first $1500 on quarterly bonus purchases (once activated) like groceries, gas stations, and department stores with the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Cardholders also earn:

  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • 3% on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on non-bonus purchases (1.5% for the Chase Freedom Unlimited)

There isn’t an annual fee. New cardholders can earn a $200 cash bonus by spending $500 in the first 3 months. Supermarket purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) earn 5% back on the first $12,000 you spend during the first 12 months.

However, you may earn more with 2% back instead of getting up to 5% back.

Earn Unlimited 2% Back

You might say the Citi Double Cash gets its name from earning double cash back. Although you earn 2% back, there’s a “catch” with how you earn it.

Citi awards you the first 1% when you make the purchase. The second 1% comes when you pay the balance on time. You only need to pay the minimum monthly payment to keep your account in good standing.

With any credit card, we recommend to only make purchases you can pay in full to avoid interest charges.

You don’t earn cash rewards on balance transfers, cash advances, interest payments, account fees, or returned items.

Redeeming Cash Rewards

You have three ways to redeem your cash rewards:

  • Cash statement credits
  • Mailed check
  • Bank account deposit

For all three options, your minimum rewards balance must be $25. That means you must spend and repay $1,250 to get $25 cash back. This high redemption is one of the largest downsides of the Citi Double Cash. However, if you use this card for daily purchases, you should be able to request cash back every month.

The easiest redemption option can be the cash statement credit. It automatically reduces your current balance. But it won’t count as payment for your current balance due.

Using the direct bank deposit can also be effortless. You can have the rewards deposit in your Citi savings or checking account. Non-Citi bank accounts qualify once you have paid a Citi credit card bill from that account twice.

Additional Benefits

The Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t offer many additional benefits. This is one tradeoff for not paying an annual fee. Citi does offer the Citi Entertainment service to get special access to ticket pre-sales and exclusive events though.

You also get complimentary Mastercard World Elite benefits including free 2-day ShopRunner shipping and travel discounts.

Credit Score Needed

You will need to have an excellent credit score for the Citi Double Cash. If your credit score is above 700 and you currently carry a balance, this card can be a valuable tool for improving your credit.

No Signup Bonus

Another downside of the Citi Double Cash is no introductory cash bonus.

Although you don’t earn a one-time cash bonus, the Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the highest-paying flat rate rewards cards. Most cards award between 1 and 1.5% back. You can make up the lack of a signup bonus by earning more on every purchase.

Fees

There is no annual fee but you will pay a 3% foreign transaction fee. The Double Cash isn’t a good option for foreign purchases because of the 3% fee.

Tip: Use one of the best credit cards for international travel when traveling abroad.

Pros

  • Can earn unlimited 2% cash back
  • Can redeem for cash statement credit, mailed check, or bank deposit
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No signup bonus
  • Minimum $25 balance to redeem rewards
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Citi Double Cash Alternatives

Earning 2% back is impressive for a flat rate cash rewards credit card. But you benefit more from one of these credit cards.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card also is a flat rate cash rewards credit card. You earn unlimited 1.5% back on every purchase. It too has no annual fee and doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Another difference is that you get a $200 cash bonus by spending $500 in the first 3 months. You can learn more in our in-depth review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Chase Freedom Flex

Earn 5% back on the first $1500 on quarterly bonus purchases (once activated) like groceries, gas stations, and department stores with the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Cardholders also earn:

  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • 3% on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on non-bonus purchases (1.5% for the Chase Freedom Unlimited)

There isn’t an annual fee.

New cardholders can earn a $200 cash bonus by spending $500 in the first 3 months. Supermarket purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) earn 5% back on the first $12,000 you spend during the first 12 months.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

The information for the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you spend a lot of money on restaurants, groceries, and entertainment, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a better fit. You get 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back for everything else. Vivid Seats purchases earn 8% back through May 2020.

The signup bonus is $300 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $0 for the first year and then $95 after that. There isn’t a foreign transaction fee. It is also one of the best credit cards for restaurants and dining.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

If flat-rate rewards credit cards are your best option you may also like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It earns 2x miles on every purchase, though, Uber Eats purchases earn 5x miles per $1 spent through Jan. 31, 2021. Your miles can be redeemed for travel statement credits, booking future travel, and transferring miles to airline and hotel partners.

One benefit you may also enjoy is up to $100 fee credit for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. The annual fee is $95.

New cardholders can earn a 100k mile bonus by spending $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Learn more: Rewards Credit Cards

Summary of Citi Double Cash Review

Very few cash back credit cards give unlimited 2% back and don’t have an annual fee. The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of those cards. If you’re comfortable with only earning cash rewards and having a 3% foreign transaction fee doesn’t affect you, you might consider this card. Otherwise, one of the best travel credit cards or a tiered cash rewards credit card are other notable alternatives.

Josh Patoka
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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