What credit score do you need to get the Citi Double Cash Card?

Apr 15, 2020

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Now that many of us are stuck at home with little immediate use for travel rewards, you may be looking to switch your spending to a cash-back rewards card. The Citi® Double Cash Card provides up to 2% cash-back rewards — 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay — on every purchase with no limits, and can also fit nicely into a larger Citi ThankYou® Rewards-earning portfolio.

If you’re considering applying for the Citi Double Cash Card, you may be uncertain whether you have a high enough credit score to be approved.  Of course, your credit score is one of many considerations issuers take into account when deciding whether to approve you for a card. So, let’s look at what it takes to get approval for the Citi Double Cash Card.

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In This Post

Credit score required for the Citi Double Cash Card

(Photo by Getty Images)
(Photo by Getty Images)

Citi doesn’t publish specific credit scores needed to be accepted for its cards. And, other factors go into Citi’s qualification decision beyond your credit score, include your income and the age of your accounts. But, you should expect to need an excellent credit score of around 760* to be approved for a rewards card such as the Citi Double Cash Card.  This being said, you may still be approved with a lower score if other aspects of your credit portfolio look appealing to Citi.

Related reading: Why the perfect credit score isn’t necessary

Is the Citi Double Cash a good card?

The Citi Double Cash Card earns up to 2% cash-back rewards on all purchases — 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay your statement — without charging an annual fee and without a limit on the cash-back rewards you can earn. If you’re looking for a cash-back rewards card to use on all your purchases, or a cash-back rewards card to use on purchases outside the bonus categories on your other cards, the Citi Double Cash Card is a great choice.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

You can even convert the cash-back rewards earned on your Citi Double Cash Card to Citi ThankYou® Points via a linked ThankYou account. And, if you also have a premium Citi ThankYou card such as the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier® Card, you can then transfer your rewards to book flights with any of the Citi ThankYou program’s airline partners.

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.

There are a few downsides to the Citi Double Cash Card: a 3% foreign transaction fee, no sign-up bonus and minimal perks. But, considering the earning rate and the lack of any annual fee, the Citi Double Cash Card is still an appealing option for many consumers.

Related reading: Citi Double Cash Card review

How many card accounts can I have open?

Citi generally doesn’t limit the overall number of credit cards you can have open. However, Citi does seem to have a maximum credit line that it is willing to extend across all of your Citi cards. So, if you get an “application pending” notice when you apply for the Citi Double Cash Card and you have at least one other Citi credit card, it may be worth calling Citi’s reconsideration line at 1-800-695-5171 to see if you can get approved by shifting some credit from one of your current cards to open the new card.

Related reading: How many credit cards should I have?

How to check your credit score

There are many ways to check your credit score for free. For example, many credit cards let you check your FICO score for at no charge. This makes it easy to track your score’s progress over time, especially if you’re actively working to improve your credit score.

Related reading: 8 biggest factors that impact your credit score

Factors that affect your credit score

Before you start applying for any credit cards, it’s important to understand the factors that make up your credit score. According to myFICO, 90% of top lenders use FICO scores to make lending decisions. The formula for calculating your credit score isn’t exact, but FICO is transparent about the different factors they assess and how much weight each is given:

Your length of credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score.
(Photo courtesy of FICO)
  • Payment history (35%): Whether you’ve paid past credit accounts on time.
  • Amounts owed (30%): The relative size of your current debt and the ratio of your current debt to your available credit.
  • Length of credit history (15%): How long your credit accounts have been established (including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account and an average age of all your accounts), how long certain credit accounts have been established and how long it has been since you used certain accounts.
  • New credit (10%): How many new accounts have you opened recently.
  • Credit mix (10%): How many different types of credit accounts you have, such credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.

Related reading: How credit scores work

What to do if you get rejected

If your application is rejected, you should receive a letter in the mail that states why Citi turned down your application. Depending on the reasons given for the rejection, you may want to use this information to improve your credit score before applying again. Or, if you believe you can provide additional information that might lead to approval of your application, you can call Citi’s reconsideration line at 1-800-695-5171 and make your case.

If you call the reconsideration line, explain that you recently applied for the Citi Double Cash Card, were surprised to see that your application was rejected and that you’d like to speak to someone about getting that decision reconsidered. Once the agent pulls up your application, be prepared to present a compelling argument for why Citi should approve your application. You may have a better chance of success if you’re able to address Citi’s stated reason for rejection such as having closed an account — if the reason was that you had too many open accounts.

Related reading: How bad is it to get denied for a credit card?

How long to wait before applying again

It’s best to avoid applying again for a Citi card until you’ve addressed the reasons Citi gave for rejecting you. But, if you want to apply again, the consensus is that you can only apply for one Citi card (personal or business) every eight days and no more than two cards in a 65-day window.

Related reading: The ultimate guide to credit card application restrictions

Consider other cash-back cards with no annual fee

There are many cash-back credit cards with no annual fee. The best card or cards for you will depend on many factors, but if you spend a lot in a specific category, you may want to get a card that earns a higher rewards rate in that category. Here are some of the most popular options, including the Citi Double Cash Card.

Card Sign-up bonus Rewards rate Foreign transaction fee
Citi Double Cash Card None Up to 2% (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay) on everything 3% of each purchase
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within three months from account opening 1.5% on everything None
Chase Freedom Unlimited $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening 5% on Lyft (through March 2022)

5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards

3% on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants

1.5% on Purchaes

3% of each purchase
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card $150 bonus after you spend $500 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening 5% on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose

2% on one everyday category

1% on everything else

3% of each purchase
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening 3% in your choice of one category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in a combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%)

1% on everything else

3% of each purchase
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership. Cash back received in the form of statement credits 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1%)

2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores

1% on everything else

2.7% of each purchase (see rates & fees)
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases None

The information for the US Bank Cash+ has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Related reading: Credit card showdown: Citi Double Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Related guides

Apply here for the Citi Double Cash Card

For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, click here.

Featured photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy.

*The Points Guy credit ranges are derived from FICO® Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. If you apply for a credit card, the lender may use a different credit score when considering your application for credit.

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