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Why the Citi Double Cash Card is an integral part of my strategy to beat inflation

August 25 2022
5 min read
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Like many people say about their children, I can't choose a favorite when I look at the credit cards in my wallet. Each one has brought me something special: a sign-up bonus I used for some great trips, cash-back rewards that made me feel less guilty about an occasional splurge or some unique perks that were fun to use.

However, some are extra special to me, and the Citi® Double Cash Card is one of them. With inflation rates impacting the spending habits of many people and Citi's recent announcement of the limited-time offer of a $200 cash-back sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account spending, now might be a great time for you to fall in love, too.

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Why I got it

When I was fresh out of college with my teaching degree, I had dreams of exotic travel made possible by points and miles earned from a wallet full of the best cards. My parents had used credit card rewards to travel for years, and I was excited to learn from them and put together my own strategy. During my first year as a teacher, I was eager to get started in my points and miles credit card journey.

But, as it often does, reality hit pretty hard. During that first year, I struggled with the challenges of being a new teacher as well as the normal, but new to me, responsibilities of adulthood. I could barely remember to buy groceries and pay my electric bill, so keeping up with multiple cards felt impossible. By the time I got to my second year, I knew I needed a simpler credit card strategy.

Like a credit card fairy godmother, Citi released the Double Cash card at almost the exact moment I realized I needed to simplify. With its no annual fee and a solid 2% back on all spending (1% when you purchase, 1% when you pay), I thought it sounded perfect and got it immediately.

I was right: It was the perfect card for me that year. It offered the simplicity I needed and, as I learned the limitations of my teacher budget, the cash back was a very welcome perk.

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

Why I love it

Since that year, I have continued to love my trusty Citi Double Cash Card. Even after I emerged from my new teacher fog and now as a former teacher, I have found the Double Cash card to be a great card for me in a few different scenarios:

  • Part of a cash-back strategy. When I felt ready to manage a few different cards, I wanted to maximize my cash-back earning opportunities. I used my Chase Freedom card (no longer open to new applicants, replaced by the Chase Freedom Flex) for its 5% back on rotating categories each quarter, and then I used my Citi Double Cash Card to earn 2% back for everything else. With higher prices for travel and everyday purchases due to inflation, having cards that earn cash back has become even more important to my strategy.
  • Part of a travel strategy. As I fully settled into adulthood, I was amazed by how expensive everything was, and travel was no exception. I quickly began using cobranded cards to build up airline miles and hotel points, but I continued using my Double Cash card for certain things to keep a balance of earning cash back. I then used this cash to pay for what my points and miles didn't: gas for a road trip, my share of a house rental on a girls' trip with my friends and airport snacks. With this strategy, I managed to make almost all of my travel free.
  • A safe go-to. As I built my card portfolio and learned to maximize my spending, I inevitably needed to pay for something and was unsure which card I should choose. In these instances, I felt safe using my Double Cash card because I knew I could trust it to give me that reliable 2% cash back on whatever I bought. My motto became, "When in doubt, use Double Cash."
  • Part of a ThankYou points-earning strategy. Though the card has been great for cash back over the years, since it now earns ThankYou points, I will probably get the Citi Premier® Card soon and use both cards to build up my ThankYou points stash.

Related: Citi Double Cash card review

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Why I recommend it

Whether you're a beginner looking for simplicity or a veteran shifting your rewards card strategy due to inflation, the Citi Double Cash Card is an ideal option. With the ability to redeem its ThankYou points in multiple ways, including getting cash back and booking travel, this no-annual-fee card is a great one to have in your wallet.

Bottom line

The Citi Double Cash Card is an excellent card to get if you're looking to beat inflation with a simple and reliable cash-back card. With the current limited-time offer of a $200 cash-back sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account spending, now is the perfect time to get it.

Featured photo by Getty Images
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 Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

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 Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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 Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees