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Citi Double Cash Review: Best-In-Class Cash Back

Refreshed Review Updated Dec. 20, 2022
Lyle Daly
By: Lyle Daly

Our Credit Cards Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.  Citi is an advertising partner of The Ascent.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer packs in up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay), which is the highest unlimited cash back rate we've come across. Plus, the card includes a long 0% intro APR for 18 months for balance transfers to help you pay off debt faster. This Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer review will take a detailed look at this cash back credit card to help you determine if it is worthy of your wallet.

Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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Credit Score:
Good/Excellent (670-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Intro APR Circle with letter I in it. N/A

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months

Regular APR

18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

Rewards Circle with letter I in it. 2% cash back: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay

Up to 2% cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Welcome Offer

N/A

  • Earn up to 2% on purchases - 1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay the minimum each month. Add that to no annual fee and an 18 month 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers and this card is a winner.

    • Industry-leading cash back
    • 0% intro APR balance transfer offer
    • No annual fee
    • Free credit score monitoring
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • No 0% intro APR on purchases
    • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
    • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
    • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
    • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
    • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Full Citi Double Cash review

This card is a good fit for: Cardholders wanting either a standout, high-earning option for a one-card wallet, or people wanting to pay off debt faster with a long balance transfer offer.

Top perks

Unlimited 2% cash back

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has the highest potential flat rate for cash back. “Potential" is the operative word here, because you receive 1% cash back when you make a purchase, then receive the other 1% when you pay the bill by its due date (you just need to make the minimum payment). If you pay late, you lose the second half of your cash back. It's an interesting quirk that motivates you to pay your bill on time.

0% intro APR on balance transfers

The card has a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers. That's among the longer intro offers available, even compared to some of the best balance transfer credit cards. That makes this card perfect for paying off debt using balance transfer strategies

No annual fee

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has a $0 annual fee. Many cash back cards have no annual fee, so this isn't a major advantage for this card. But it's still nice for your budget when you don't have to pay anything for your credit card.

Flexible redemption options

If you also have an eligible Citi travel card, such as the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card, you can convert all the cash back you earn to Citi ThankYou points. You can then use those points for travel redemptions, including transfers to Citi's many travel partners.

This option makes the credit card a fantastic complement to a Citi travel rewards card. You can use the travel card for any purchases where it will earn you bonus points. For all your non-bonus spending, you can take advantage of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and essentially earn 2 ThankYou points per $1 spent. It's a simple, effective way to maximize your credit card rewards.

This card also offers the flexibility of redeeming cash back rewards for statement credits, direct deposit, and even mailing a check. 

Learn more: Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Other benefits

The following Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer perks won’t make big headlines like the flagship features listed above, but they do add value for cardholders.

  • Free FICO® Score: Citi credit cards include free access to your FICO® Score, which is a standout feature. While most credit cards offer credit score monitoring of some sort, Citi goes the extra mile to provide access to an official FICO® Score, which is what most credit lenders use to make a credit decision and will cost you money to review directly with MyFICO.
  • Increase your credit limit in the mobile app: Cardholders can answer a few quick questions in the app to see about potential approval for a higher credit limit.
  • Contactless payment: This valuable feature has become more important throughout the 2020 pandemic. The card is also available to use for services like Apple Pay and Google Pay

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want a 0% intro APR for balance transfers and purchases: The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card includes a long 0% intro APR for both balance transfers and purchases. While it doesn’t earn rewards, the card does have a $0 annual fee.
  • If you want to consider other cards with sign-up bonuses: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a solid one-card wallet alternative that includes a 0% intro APR offer for purchases and balance transfers and a lucrative cash back program, in addition to a big sign up bonus.
As of Jan. 24, 2023
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Image for
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Welcome Offer:

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Up to $300 cash back

Rewards Program:

N/A

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

1.5% - 5% cash back

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0%, 12 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 21 months

Intro APR: Circle with letter I in it. 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers, 15 months

Purchases: 0% Intro APR on Purchases, 15 months

Balance Transfers: 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers, 15 months

Regular APR:

17.24% - 27.99% (Variable)

Regular APR:

19.24% - 27.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee: Circle with letter I in it. N/A

$0

Highlights:

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.24% - 27.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

Highlights:

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 19.24% - 27.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
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What could be improved

Balance transfer fee

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer includes an introductory 3% ($5 min.) balance transfer fee on transfers made within four months of account opening, 5% ($5 min.) thereafter. Worth noting, while it is a fee we’d rather see not charged, it is a competitive fee that beats many other competing balance transfer cards.

$25 cash back redemption minimum

You can only redeem cash back when you have $25 or more. That can be frustrating, especially since so many rewards credit cards have no redemption minimum. To be fair, Citi allows you to convert as little as $1 in cash back to ThankYou points, but that also makes you wonder why it also doesn't lower the minimum for cash back redemptions.

No 0% intro APR on purchases

Purchases aren't eligible for that intro APR offer, making other 0% intro cards a better choice if you need to finance anything. Potential applicants will want to consider the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card or Citi Simplicity® Card if wanting a 0% intro APR for purchases as well.

3% foreign transaction fee

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. While the card certainly isn't alone in charging this fee, it will increase your travel expenses if you go out of the country and don't have another card to use.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

Applicants for the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer should aim for a FICO® Score of at least 670. Citi might approve you with a lower score, as that's not the only criteria the issuer uses when assessing your application. But a score over 670 will be a big help.

This credit card is right for you if:

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of the best credit cards when you want your finances to be as uncomplicated as possible. It doesn't have much in the way of benefits, but the benefits it does have are very good and make it a standout among Citi credit cards. You should consider it if you're looking for any of the following in a cash back card:

  • An unlimited flat rate of up to 2% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • A generous 0% intro APR period of 18 months for balance transfers

Read more: Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

FAQs

  • This cash back credit card earns a total of 2% cash back. But it’s important to understand how the rewards are earned. Cardholders receive 1% back for purchases and another 1% back when those purchases are paid off. We like that this structure gives cardholders a reason to pay off balances fast and before the due date to avoid interest charges. Keep in mind that if you pay late, you lose the second half of your cash back.

  • Approved Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer applicants will secure a credit limit of at least $500. But there’s no cut and dry credit limit that applies to every cardholder. In fact, many cardholders report approved credit limits upwards of several thousand dollars. Your approved credit limit will differ, based on Citi’s underwriting criteria, your income, your current debt, and other personal financial information.

  • The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is marketed to people with excellent credit, meaning a credit score of at least 700. There are reports of applicants securing approval with lower scores, it just becomes more of a roll of the dice the lower your score. Citi also tightened its accepted credit score range in 2020 for many of its cards, and shifted away from more readily approving applicants with good credit.

  • The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT is a Mastercard.

Our Credit Cards Expert