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

Aug. 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.

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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?

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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.

Featured image by OLEG BRESLAVTSEV/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.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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 Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023