Citi® Double Cash Card Review: Best-In-Class Cash Back
Carries one of the highest base cash-back rates available, the card rewards users for paying off balances, and includes no annual fee, among other valuable perks.
Great for: Cash back and balance transfers Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
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.
Our Bottom Line
One of the top cards on the market with up to 2% cash back on all purchases, no annual fee, and an 18-month 0% APR on balance transfers
Credit Rating Requirement:
What we Like:
- Up to 2% cash back
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR for balance transfers
- Annual Fee: $0
- Regular APR: 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)
- Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months*
- Earn cash back TWICE. 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 Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% – 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.
- Click “Apply Now” to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
- Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.*
While cash back seems like a simple enough benefit, banks have found plenty of ways to make it more complicated. There’s an assortment of cards offering different cash-back rates in certain spending categories, and sometimes the bonus categories even change every three months. If that’s more than you’d like to handle, the Citi® Double Cash Card, an advertising partner of The Ascent, keeps it easy for you. All you need to do is use the card and pay the bill, and you’ll be earning the highest flat rate on the market.
It isn’t all good news, though, as the card has a couple drawbacks you’ll want to be aware of. To help you figure out if the Citi® Double Cash Card is worthy of your wallet, I’m taking a detailed look at it.
What I like
Up to 2% cash back -- Among personal credit cards, the Citi® Double Cash Card has the highest potential flat rate for cash back. The word “potential” is included because you receive 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and then you 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 can obviously be annoying if you slip up, but it does motivate you to pay your bill on time.
0% intro APR on balance transfers -- Has one of the longest 0% intro APR offers for balance transfers, as that rate lasts for 18 months. Even though there’s a 3% balance transfer fee, this card remains a smart choice for consolidating all your debt with a balance transfer credit card. Once you do, you’ll have those 18 months to pay it off without incurring any more interest. By the way, you don’t earn any cash back on balance transfers, which is a standard term of cash-back cards.
No annual fee -- Many cash-back cards have no annual fee, so this isn’t a big advantage for this card. But it’s still nice for your budget when you don’t have to pay anything for your credit card.
Multiple cash-back redemption options -- You can use your cash back for a statement credit or request it as a check, and the redemption minimum for both methods is $25. You can also have your cash back deposited in either a Citi bank account or any checking account that you’ve used at least two times to pay your Citi credit card bill. With deposits, there’s no redemption minimum.
Why you can trust me
Finding the best credit cards has been a subject of interest for me since early adulthood. I’ve never had a loan, so credit cards have been the main way that I’ve built and maintained my credit score. While I originally had credit cards solely for that purpose, I progressed to using them for rewards and seeking out the best credit card offers.
Now, you could say that credit cards are an obsession of mine. I read card benefits and bonus offers to figure out how much value a card has. Whether I love a card, think it’s alright, or absolutely hate it, I’ll tell you that and why I feel that way.
What could be improved
Sign-up bonus -- Sign-up bonuses have become commonplace, even for cash-back cards. The fact that the Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t have one is a handicap.
0% intro APR on purchases -- Purchases aren’t eligible for that intro APR offer, making other cards a better choice if you need to finance anything.
3% foreign transaction fee -- The card certainly isn’t alone in charging a 3% foreign transaction fee, but that will increase your travel expenses if you go out of the country and don’t have another card to use.
Suggested credit score
We recommend getting your score in the 700 to 750 range before applying for the Citi® Double Cash Card. Citi might approve you with a lower score, as that’s not the only criteria they use when assessing your application, but a score over 700 will be a big help.
This card is right for you if...
The Citi® Double Cash Card is the card you choose 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. You should consider it if you’re looking for any of the following in a cash-back card:
- Prefer the simplicity of a one-card wallet
- 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