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TPG reader Zach messaged me on Facebook to ask:

“I’ve been considering switching to the Citi Double Cash card; this would replace my Fidelity Investment Rewards card that earns two percent cash back. Since the Citi card is MasterCard and the Fidelity one is American Express, I thought maybe the Citi card would be accepted in more places. What are you thoughts on switching?”

They say cash is king, and many people prefer cash back to points and miles. Personally, I prefer to maximize my points—they don’t call me The Points Guy for nothing—because I think it’s less lucrative (and kind of boring) to get just one or two percent back when I can be earning many times that. Of course, it all depends on what you value, and I place high value on first class and last-minute travel, where points and miles clearly come in handy.

If you really want to stick with your cash back card, there are a few differences between the Citi Double Cash Card and the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express. While the Fidelity card offers two percent back, the Citi card offers one percent back up front and then another one percent as you pay, so you really have to pay in full if you want to earn two percent back. You’ll receive that second one percent after the statement closes.

Which cash back card works for you? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Which cash back card works for you? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’ll get your rewards faster with the Fidelity Amex, but as Zach mentioned, it may not be accepted in as many locations. However, Amex has really worked to increase their presence, especially globally, over the last couple of years. If you’re frequently having trouble making purchases at places that don’t accept Amex, than it may make sense to go with the Citi card; just make sure you can pay the balance in full to earn your extra 1% cash back.

One other key difference is that the Amex Fidelity card has a a 2% foreign transaction fee, and the Citi Double Cash has a 3% foreign transaction fee. Therefore, I don’t recommend using either card abroad, but if you absolutely must, the Amex Fidelity is a better bet.

All things considered, I would probably prefer to have the Citi Double Cash card and the MasterCard benefits and not have to deal with opening up a Fidelity account in order to get the Fidelity Amex. That said, I don’t currently have either card, and I have no plans to get them, since they don’t offer sign-up bonuses and I prefer other rewards.

If any of you TPG readers out there has experience with either card, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

For more info, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Chase Freedom®

It's a stellar cash back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchase for 15 months
Regular APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.