Citi® Double Cash Card

Pros

  • Up to 2% cash back for all purchases
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR
  • Free FICO® Score

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus

Updated 7/21/17

Citi® Double Cash Card carries one of the highest base cash-back rates available, the card rewards users for paying off balances, and includes a $0 annual fee, among other valuable perks. We Fools prefer these sorts of low-fee, flexible credit card solutions, which is why we think Citi® Double Cash Card is not only one of the best cash-back credit cards but also one of the best credit cards of 2017.

What we like about Citi® Double Cash Card 

  • Up to 2% cash back – Citi® Double Cash Card’s cash-back rewards rate of 2% for all purchases is unmatched among competing cards we know of. Citi® Double Cash Card introduced an innovative cash-back program paying 1% on new purchases, plus 1% more when balances are paid off. Not only is this one of the highest all-in cash-back rates available for all purchases, but it also incentivizes a credit card behavior we Fools believe in – paying off balances regularly to avoid interest. There may be no quicker way to delay investing in your retirement than when carrying credit card debt and this card takes actions to keep cardholders on target.
  • $0 annual fee – The card carries no annual fee which helps to harvest the most cash back value.
  • 0% intro APR – The card offers a longer-than-average 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made within four months. But keep in mind, the card does carry a standard transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. A $5,000 balance transfer would incur a $150 fee, which is modest, when accounting for potential interest charges on that balance, held on a different card.

What could be improved for Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Sign-up bonus – Many cash-back credit cards on the market offer lucrative sign-up bonuses, but Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t. We recognize this is a trade-off that comes with the card’s high 2% cash-back rate. If a sign-up bonus is a must-have, then review our picks of the best credit card sign-up bonuses for some suggestions.

How to best use Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Cash-back cardholders will generally be better off paying balances by the due date every month to avoid interest charges. It’s a losing strategy to rack up debt for the sake of earning rewards at single-digit rates only to watch as they get eaten up by far higher double-digit interest charges.
  • Transfer high-interest credit card debt to chip away at debt balances faster. We Fools always encourage smart use of debt, and transferring balances to a 0% intro APR card can help avoid costly interest charges. In fact, paying down a $5,000 tab over 18 months will cost a whopping $703 in interest charges at an 18% APR.
  • Leverage free access to your FICO® Score. Citi provides you with free access to your FICO® Score, and we think this perk is a huge value! In fact, myFICO charges upwards of $350 each year to receive, track, and monitor your comprehensive credit history.

0% intro APR and a $150 sign-up bonus

Citi® Double Cash Card offer sticks to its guns and doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, which may leave some disappointed. That’s not the case with Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM, which dishes out a $150 bonus for new cardholders who spend at least $500 on purchases within three months of account opening. Choosing between the two cards ultimately comes down the sign-up bonus and 0% intro APR, which spans 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Nailing down your one to two primary credit card needs should help determine which would be a better fit. Read our full Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM review to learn more.

How to earn up to 5.25% cash back on gas and a $150 sign-up bonus

Cardholders searching for bonus-category cash back may find Citi® Double Cash Card falls short, whereas the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card picks up the slack. Notably, Bank of America® Cash Rewards earns 3% bonus cash back for gas and 2% at grocery stores and at warehouse clubs (on the first $2,500 of combined spending quarterly), plus 1% on all other purchases. Bank of America® Cash Rewards also doesn’t charge an annual fee, and it includes a $150 cash rewards bonus offer after spending $500 within 90 days, on top of giving existing Bank of America Preferred Rewards banking clients 25% to 75% bonus rewards. For top-tier members, that bonus equates a fully-baked cash-back rate of up 5.25% on gas purchases (albeit capped), which is perhaps unmatched by other $0 annual-fee credit cards on the market. See our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards review to learn more.

Final take

We believe Citi® Double Cash Card is best-in-class for many cardholders who just want a combination of convenience and a high, flat cash-back rate. It's value is in its high-rewards simplicity. Hands down, it’s one of our favorite credit cards for these reasons. Further, few credit cards incentivize paying off balances, a welcome feature for us Fools who believe $0 is the precise amount of credit card debt to carry.


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. See our advertiser disclosure policy for additional details. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool's alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. Review The Motley Fool’s ratings methodology to uncover how we pick the best credit cards. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MasterCard.