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Citi Double Cash card review: simple rewards and a limited-time welcome bonus

Aug. 13, 2022
11 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information. Citi is a TPG advertising partner.


Citi® Double Cash Card overview

The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the simplest and most rewarding cash-back rewards cards. With up to 2% earnings on all purchases — 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off — and an enticing limited-time welcome offer, it’s difficult to beat this no-annual-fee card. Plus, you have the option to convert your rewards to fully-transferable ThankYou points with another card. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the best cash-back cards because it earns up to 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you make a purchase, plus 1% as you pay that purchase off) with no annual fee.

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And for a limited time, the Citi Double Cash Card comes with a $200 cash-back sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening

Cash back is automatically earned in the form of ThankYou points, allowing for more flexible usage of your hard-earned rewards. Furthermore, if you also hold a Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available to new applicants), you can redeem your points for higher value.

Let’s take a closer look at the Citi Double Cash.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Who is this card for?

If you value cash back, simplicity and no annual fee, then the Citi Double Cash Card is likely the card for you. There’s no need to fumble through which card to use for every type of purchase, since you’ll earn 2% cash back on everything — 1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay your bill.

Although you can use the Citi Double Cash Card as a cash-back card, you can also convert your cash back to fully transferable ThankYou points with the Citi Premier Card or the Citi Prestige Card. This unlocks the ability to transfer your points to the full array of airline and hotel partners (more on that below).

If you’re looking for a card to use for purchases outside the U.S., however, this won’t be the card for you, since it carries a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Related: The best credit cards for everyday spending

Sign-up bonus

For a limited time, the Citi Double Cash Card comes with a $200 cash-back sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening — a straightforward and solid value proposition, considering this card usually doesn't have any welcome offer at all.

The card also offers an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) for the first 18 months from account opening for balance transfers. With the introductory 0% APR, and you’ll need to pay an introductory balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5). After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5). After the introductory APR period, the variable APR is 16.99%-26.99% based on your creditworthiness.

Note that you won’t earn cash back on balance transfers. 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.

Related: The top no-annual-fee credit cards with a 0% intro APR

Main benefits and perks

Unfortunately, the Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t offer many other standout benefits or perks. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Contactless payment with your contactless-chip enabled Citi card.
  • Access to Citi Entertainment, which provides special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events.
  • ID theft protection that helps eliminate the worry of identity theft by monitoring and alerting cardholders if suspicious activity is found.
  • The free services of Citi Identity Theft Solutions if your personal information has been stolen to commit fraud or theft.

How to earn

The Citi Double Cash Card is popular with many cardholders because its earning rate is consistent. There are no category bonuses and no limit on the cash back you can earn.

As mentioned, cardmembers earn 1% cash back when they buy and 1% when they pay for their purchases. However, cash back will be automatically earned in the form of ThankYou points (with limited transferability).

Your card account must be current to earn rewards. This means you must pay at least the minimum payment due by the first day of each billing period — although it’s best practice to always pay your statement in full, if possible. Also, your cash rewards balance will expire if you have not earned any cash back on purchases or cash back on payments for 12 months. Note rewards won’t expire as long as the account is open.

Related: The best cash-back credit cards

How to redeem

Historically, the Citi Double Cash Card only earned cash-back rewards, with three options to obtain cash back once your cash rewards balance reached at least $25; now, cardmembers don’t need to hit that minimum amount to redeem.

Furthermore, the value of this card increased in March 2022 when Citi announced that it would earn ThankYou points automatically. That opens up a number of options, which are detailed below.

Redeem for cash back

If you want the simplest redemption option, this is the one to go for. 1 ThankYou point equals one cent in cash back. You can request this cash back in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit (no minimum) or a check in the mail ($5 minimum).

Transfer to loyalty partners

If you don't have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card, you'll only have the option to transfer to three loyalty partners — Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue and Wyndham Rewards — none of which offer very high value.

However, if you also have the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, you can combine the ThankYou points from your Citi Double Cash Card with the ThankYou points from one of these cards. When you do this, you'll be able to use your ThankYou points as if they were earned by your Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, including transferring your points to Citi’s 18 airline and hotel transfer partners.

Based on TPG’s valuation of Citi ThankYou points at 1.8 cents each, this means you can earn an effective 3.6% return when you buy and pay with your Citi Double Cash Card. This is the best way to get value out of points earned on this card.

(Screenshot courtesy of Citi)

Related: Redeeming Citi ThankYou Points for maximum value

Other redemption options

You can also redeem your ThankYou points for gift cards or use them to shop through Citi's online shopping and travel portals.

Finally, if you want to share your ThankYou points, you can do so by sharing them with another ThankYou points user or redeeming them for a charitable contribution.

Which cards compete with the Citi Double Cash Card?

The Citi Double Cash Card competes with other no-annual-fee, fixed-rate cards such as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. Although the latter earns at a lower 1.5% cash-back rate, the Quicksilver comes with a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening — the same value the Double Cash, but with a lower spending threshold.

You can also now convert the cash back you earn with it into Capital One miles if you hold a credit card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and then transfer them to that program’s airline and hotel partners. The two cards stack up in interesting ways, especially after the first year.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

For the purposes of this comparison, I used the pre-pandemic 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer spending data for the average consumer (stats from 2021 onward aren't yet available). I assumed that the only expenses payable with a credit card are food ($8,169), apparel and services ($1,883), fuel ($2,094), entertainment ($3,050) and personal care products and services ($786). If all these expenses are paid with a credit card, then the average consumer would put $15,982 on their credit card annually.

Citi Double Cash CardCapital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Sign-up bonus$200 after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months from account opening.$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Annual fee$0$0
Earning rate2% on all purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay)1.5% on all purchases
Year 1

Year 1 when converted to points and transferred to travel partners

$320

$543

$440 (including the sign-up bonus)

$748

Year 2 (net)

Year 2 (net) when converted to points and transferred to travel partners

$320 ($640)

$543 ($1,086)

$240 ($680)

$408 ($1,156)

Year 3 (net)

Year 3 (net) when converted to points and transferred to travel partners

$320 ($960)

$543 ($1,629)

$240 ($920)

$408 ($1,564)

Year 4 (net)

Year 4 (net) when converted to points and transferred to travel partners

$320 ($1,280)

$543 ($2,173)

$240 ($1,160)

$408 ($1,972)

Year 5 (net)

Year 5 (net) when converted to points and transferred to travel partners

$320 ($1,600)

$543 ($2,716)

$240 ($1,400)

$408 ($2,380)

As you can see, the Citi Double Cash Card outpaces the Quicksilver Cash Rewards by the third year, and the gap continues to widen after that. However, if you plan to travel internationally with your credit card, the Quicksilver Cash Rewards card may be the better choice, since it has no foreign transaction fees.

Another option worth comparing is the Chase Freedom Unlimited, offering 5% back on travel booked through the Chase travel portal, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% on everything else. The Freedom Unlimited also offers the opportunity to convert your cash-back rewards to transferable points if you also hold select cards.

If you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card — the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card — then you can effectively earn 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent when using the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

Based on TPG’s latest valuations, this means you’d be getting a 3% return on everyday spending with the Freedom Unlimited. You may want to consider the Freedom Unlimited instead thanks to its more robust earning rates on bonus categories, though you’d have to keep track of your spending.

Related: Best no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a cash-back credit card where you don’t have to worry about category bonuses and figuring out the best credit card to use for each purchase, the Citi Double Cash Card may very well be the right card for you.

Getting this card is also a great way to round out your Citi Quadfecta if you already have the Citi Premier Card, Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and Citi Rewards+® Cards to maximize your Citi ThankYou points.

Apply here for the Citi Double Cash Card.

Additional reporting by Emily Thompson, Ryan Wilcox, Chris Dong, Stella Shon and Benét J. Wilson.

Photo by Isabelle Raphael for The Points Guy.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases