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The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is fairly unique among rewards credit cards.
It provides 2% cash back for every purchase you make, instead of rewarding you more for certain bonus categories. You’ll get 1% back when you make purchases with your card, then another 1% when you pay those purchases off.
There’s no annual fee, and it comes with an excellent intro APR offer: 0% APR for 18 months. After that you’ll get a regular rate of 15.99% – 25.99% (Variable).
These are the main attractions of the Double Cash. It might be the right option for you, if you don’t want to worry about which card to use for which types of purchases.
A few interesting extra features are included, like the Citi Concierge and quick access to customer support. You can also monitor one of your FICO credit scores for free.
The Citi Double Cash is a pretty simple card, but it has a powerful rewards program. Keep reading to see how you could use it to save a little bit on everything you buy.
Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Citi Double Cash 5 out of 5 Stars because if you want a credit card for earning decent cash back on every purchase you make, this is about the best you could do.
Why we like this card
- 2% cash back for every purchase, with no limit
- Long 0% intro rate for balance transfers
- No annual fee
- Quick access to customer service
- Monitor one of your FICO credit scores and track it over time
Why this card could be better
- The intro rate only covers balance transfers, not purchases
- It doesn’t come with the most valuable extra benefits, like access to a retailer shopping portal
- Limited rewards value compared to cards with bonus categories
This is probably the best cash back credit card for all-around spending, but there are some other options that can also reward you no matter where you spend. Check out some of those other cards below.
Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy
- Use this card to earn 2% cash back no matter where you shop. It would also pair well with another card with bonus reward categories.
- Take advantage of the 0% APR balance transfer offer to pay down a balance without extra interest charges. After that your regular rate will be 15.99% – 25.99% (Variable).
- Say “representative” when calling customer support to speak with a customer support rep more quickly.
- Call the personal concierge to locate gifts, make travel reservations, find somewhere to eat, and more.
- Keep tabs on one of your FICO scores, based on your Equifax credit report.
This is a unique offer, both the 2% back and the fact that it comes 1% at a time. Rewards cards usually provide 1% cash back for purchases, except for some bonus reward categories where they provide more. But this card just offers a flat 2% with no categories.
You’ll get the full 2% cash back whether you pay off purchases immediately, at the due date, or after revolving a balance. But we recommend always paying your balance in full every billing period, as this will let you avoid interest on purchases.
It’s rare to find a flat 2% cash back rate on a credit card. A maximum of 1.5% is more common, like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review), Chase Freedom Unlimited (Review), or Discover it Miles (Review). That makes this one of the best credit cards for flat-rate cash back.
This is a very simple rewards program. If you don’t want to worry about figuring out which card to use for which purchases, the Double Cash makes it easy to earn decent rewards with no hassle.
The flexibility of this rewards program makes the Double Cash a great card to use in combination with other cards. For example, say you have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review) to get 6% cash back at U.S supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and select U.S. streaming services, as well as gas and transit (3%). You could use the Double Cash for every other purchase, and that would ensure that you get a good reward rate no matter where you shop.
Cash back can be redeemed in increments of $25. You’ll have a few different redemption options:
- Statement credit
- Direct deposit
- Gift card
You’ll usually get the full value of your rewards no matter how you redeem ($1 for every $1 earned). But in some cases you may find a gift card offer that provides less value.
We recommend using the statement credit or direct deposit methods, because they’ll be the quickest and easiest. Your rewards will simply arrive in whichever account you pick.
Checks will take about 7–10 business days to arrive, and gift cards will take 1–3 weeks to ship.
The Double Cash card comes with some additional benefits and protections that apply when shopping and traveling. There are also a few that are meant to provide a better overall experience with the card.
Personal Concierge Service
You can call up Citi’s concierge service to get personal assistance with all sorts of non-emergency tasks. For example, you can call for:
- Restaurant suggestions and reservations
- Travel arrangements and advice, like searching for hotels with available rooms
- Shopping research of various kinds, like the best spot to buy that new car you want or good ticket prices
- Help finding lost items, like baggage at an airport or hotel
- Event planning and meeting room reservations
The concierge will probably be most useful when traveling, especially to a new city. If you’re not sure where to eat or what sights to see, you can call for some advice.
Occasionally, people put concierge services like these to the test with some pretty interesting requests. There was a guy who used the Citi concierge to find the same exact earrings that Britney Spears wore in one of her music videos, as a gift for his girlfriend. And also the infamous case of searching for giant tubs of nacho cheese and booking a flight to outer space.
You can call Citi to book your own flight to space, or just a restaurant reservation, at 1-800-508-8930. Or you can email them at [email protected]
Concierge services aren’t typically found on a general rewards card like the Double Cash, so this is a nice find. Usually they’re reserved for certain cards with annual fees, or travel credit cards.
Citi Private Pass
The Citi Private Pass service provides preferred access and presale tickets to certain events and experiences. The main categories are:
- Theater & More
Most of the offers are in the music and sports categories. One example, at the time of writing, is presale tickets to the 3 Doors Down & Collective Soul: Rock & Roll Express Tour (the price varies by venue). Another, a $75 offer from the Dining category, is an exclusive daily ticket package to The World’s Fare food festival in NYC.
Free FICO Bankcard Score 8
Citi provides cardholders with free monitoring of their FICO Bankcard Score 8, based on their Equifax credit reports. The score will be updated once per month, and the analysis will include the key factors affecting your score. If you have too many accounts with balances, for example, it will let you know.
You’ll also be able to see how your score has changed over time. And there are resources to help you understand where FICO scores come from and how lenders make use of them.
Many credit card issuers today offer a service like this, although they don’t always calculate your FICO score based on Equifax data. Other cards will use TransUnion, for example, or Experian.
Quick Customer Service
Call customer support and say “representative” to be connected to a real human. This is a great feature to have because most people don’t want to deal with a phone menu (we don’t, at least).
However, we’ve found that you’ll actually need to say “representative” a few times before you’ll actually be connected to someone. Apparently Robo-Sally doesn’t believe you until you repeat it a few times. And you’ll also have to enter the last digits of your card number, if you’re a cardholder. So it’s not quite as simple as they make it out to be, but it’s still pretty easy.
Some other issuers offer a similar feature as well, for some of their cards, but it’s not always the case. Even though it may not work immediately the first time, this is still a handy feature to have.
The Double Cash comes with some more benefits as well. They’re mostly basic security and travel protections, along with some perks. They include:
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Free two-day shipping and returns from participating online retailers
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions to help if your identity is compromised
- Fraud Protection so you won’t be held accountable for unauthorized charges
The Costs & Fees
|Intro Balance Transfer APR||Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 18 months||15.99% – 25.99% (Variable)||15.99% – 25.99% (Variable)||27.24% (Variable)|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0||3%||3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.||5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Up to 29.99% Variable||None||Up to $39|
The Double Cash card has a great intro APR offer, of 0% APR for 18 months only. You can use this to transfer a balance away from a card with a high interest rate, and pay it off over time without incurring more interest charges. You will have a transfer fee to pay, however. Transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening to be eligible for this offer.
Just divide the balance you transfer by 18, and that will tell you how much you’ll need to pay each month. It might be a good idea to divide by 17 and aim to pay it off a month early, just in case.
You can then set up an automatic payment for that amount each month, and you won’t have to worry about it.
Take note that there is no 0% APR offer for purchases, only balance transfers. Any purchases you make will start accruing interest at the rate above, unless you avoid interest by paying off your balance in full by the due date each billing period.
This card has no annual fee. So if you don’t use it very much it won’t be burning a hole in your pocket, forcing you to make that cost worthwhile.
You’ll get your first late payment fee waived, which is a nice gesture on Citi’s part. But you shouldn’t be making late payments anyway, of course.
|Apply for a Credit Card||
Citi doesn’t typically do very well in consumer satisfaction surveys. According to J.D. Power’s latest Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, from 2017, Citibank was ranked 8th out of 11 major card issuers. And the year before that they were even lower, in 9th place. Clearly, credit card users are not overly fond of Citi and their credit cards.
However, we’ve usually had a decent experience when contacting their customer support. We called them to learn a bit more about the Double Cash, and how Citi handles applications.
We kept repeating the word “representative,” and eventually we were connected with a rep who could help us. Citi seems to claim that it’s as easy as just saying it once, but that’s not exactly what we found.
Our first question was about Citi’s retailer marketplace, called Citi Easy Deals. We learned that the Double Cash card does not provide access to Citi Easy Deals, and it only comes with the Citi Diamond® Preferred® (Review) and Citi Simplicity® Card (Review).
For our second question, we asked which credit reports Citi will check when you apply for one of their cards. This was a bit harder to answer, apparently. We had to be transferred to their application team, but they couldn’t help either so we were transferred again to their credit bureau team. Here, we found the answer we sought: Citi will check your credit with one of the three major credit bureaus, but there’s no way to tell which one it will be before you apply.
This was not a bad customer support interaction overall. We’ve found that it’s pretty normal to be transferred around when asking about credit bureaus, so this wasn’t unusual. But the quality of the call kept getting worse as we were transferred, for whatever reason. The last rep we reached sounded like he was speaking underwater, but it all worked out OK.
|Twitter Customer Support||@AskCiti|
It’s pretty easy to research the Double Cash card and the benefits you’ll get from it. As a cardholder, you’ll be able to explore all your features an organized menu, clearly showing everything your card can do. This is a better presentation than some other issuers.
Citi account holders of any kind can access their live web chat, which could be easier than calling them if you just have a simple question.
There’s also a Twitter customer support account that anyone can send a message to, whether you’re a cardholder or not: @AskCiti. Don’t ever reveal personal or account information on Twitter or other social media platforms.
The Bottom Line
The Citi Double Cash is one of the top cash back credit cards on the market today. It’s probably the most rewarding general rewards card you can get, as no other card issuer can match this unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
The extra benefits are pretty basic for the most part, and the personal concierge, which is rare to find on card like this, could come in very useful in certain situations.
There’s also that balance transfer offer, which is one of the longest currently available on a credit card. That could potentially save you from spending hundreds of dollars on interest, or more.
If you’re looking for a card for all sorts of different purchases, this could definitely be the one for you. At no annual fee, it doesn’t have to cost you anything at all as long as you avoid interest. You’ll get a little discount on everything you buy, and you won’t need to think about which card to use for what purchases.
However, a good strategy could be to use the Double Cash along with another card that does have bonus rewards categories. Using those cards together, you could earn a good rate in the reward categories and then get 2% back on everything else with the Double Cash. That would be a pretty simple strategy too, because you only need to remember a few bonus categories.
There are some other cards that offer a flat cash back rate for every purchase you make, although none of them quite compare to the Double Cash. If you can’t get the Double Cash, check out some of those alternative cards below, along with another way to get 2% cash back or more for every purchase — but only for your first year.
How to Apply for the Citi Double Cash Card
You can apply for the Citi Double Cash Card by clicking the Apply Now button below. You’ll go to Citi’s website to apply, where they’ll check your credit report from any one of the three major bureaus.
Most applicants will get an instant decision, but in some cases it may take some time. Citi might also request more information from you.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal identifying information, including SSN, email address, and phone number
- Total annual income, and source of income
- Monthly mortgage payment/rent
- Account information if you want to transfer a balance
Alternatives to the Citi Double Cash Card
- Discover it® Credit Card (Review): No annual fee, 5% rotating reward categories, double cash back in the first year
- Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review): No annual fee, 1.5% cash back for all purchases, $150 intro bonus for spending $500 in first 3 months
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card: No annual fee, 1.5% cash back, $150 signup bonus for spending $500 in first 3 months
- Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card: No annual fee, 2% cash back but must redeem in a Fidelity account
The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review) has rotating bonus reward categories, that offer 5% cash back on a variety of different purchases throughout the year. It provides 1% back for all other purchases.
But this card made the list, because in the first year Discover will double the total amount of cash back you earn. That means you’ll be getting 10% back in the bonus categories, and 2% back for every other purchase. That’s even better than the deal you get with the Double Cash, but only in the first year.
- 5% cash back in categories that rotate throughout the year, up to $1,500 in spending per quarter (see calendar below)
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Cashback Match: new cardmembers get double the cash back earned in the first year
So in your first year you’ll be earning 10% back in the following bonus categories, and 2% back everywhere else. That’s an excellent offer, one of the most rewarding on the market right now.
The 5% cash back calendar for the Discover it for 2019 is:
|Quarter||5% Cash Back Category|
|January – March||Grocery Stores|
|April – June||Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft|
|July – September||Restaurants, PayPal|
|October – December||Amazon.com, Target, Walmart.com|
Even though you’ll have a quarterly spending limit, you’ll still be able to earn $150 in cash back per quarter for the bonus categories during your first year with the card. After that first year you won’t be getting as much cash back, but this is still a pretty rewarding card even after the Cashback Match is over.
Discover cards come with a pretty basic set of extra benefits. Most of them are similar to what you’ll get with the Double Cash.
Every Discover card comes with the FICO Credit Scorecard feature, which provides your FICO 8 Credit Score based on your TransUnion credit report. That’s different than the Double Cash, which provides a FICO score based on your Equifax report.
Discover no longer offers a price protection service, but you’ll get that with Citi’s Price Rewind.
You won’t get a concierge service with the Discover card. But this isn’t a huge decision point either way, in our opinion. For the most part the benefits are the same between these cards.
Costs & Fees
There’s no annual fee for using the Discover it. It also has a 14-month 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers. After that your regular rate will be 14.24%–25.24% Variable.
Compare that to the Double Cash, which offers 0% APR for 18 months only. So if you want a way to pay off new purchases over time at zero interest, the Double Cash won’t be the card for you.
The Discover it card could be an excellent choice to use alongside the Double Cash. You can use the Discover it for any purchases in the reward categories, and then the Double Cash for everything else. The Double Cash is also a Mastercard, so you can use it wherever Discover cards are not accepted.
Read more in our Review of the Discover it Credit Card
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) is a bit less rewarding, but it has a signup bonus you might like.
- 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- Signup bonus: $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
So you won’t earn quite as much as you would with the Double Cash. The signup bonus is quite easy to get, however, compared to the thousands of dollars you need to spend with some other cards. This bonus is $50 more than what you’ll get with the Double Cash, however.
The Quicksilver Cash Rewards allows you to redeem your cash back for any amount, at any time. There are a few credit card issuers that offer this feature these days, Discover being one of the others.
For the most part you’ll get the same benefits with the Quicksilver and Double Cash cards, although some of the details will differ. But there are a couple differences to note.
- The Quicksilver card does not include a price protection feature, like Citi’s Price Rewind.
- The Quicksilver card comes with Visa Signature benefits if you’re approved with a credit line of $5,000 or more (otherwise, it has Visa Platinum benefits)
Visa Signature cards come with an upgraded set of benefits, but the most valuable one to be aware of is probably the Luxury Hotel Collection. This perk provides complimentary services at participating hotels, like VIP guest status, room upgrades when available, and a $25 food and beverage credit.
So travelers will have a bit of an edge with the Quicksilver card. But if you travel very often you’ll probably be better off with a travel rewards credit card.
Costs & Fees
The Quicksilver Cash Rewards has no annual fee, just like the Double Cash. But it also has no foreign transaction fees, making it a better choice for traveling outside the country (the Double Cash charges 3%).
You’ll also get a 15-month 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers with the Quicksilver (then 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)). That intro rate covers purchases along with transfers, while the Double Cash doesn’t, but it’s not quite as long.
The Quicksilver is designed for people with excellent credit, so not everyone will qualify. But there’s another version of this card designed for average credit, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review). It also offers 1.5% cash back, but it has an annual fee of $39 and doesn’t come with any 0% intro rates.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is another simple card, a bit less rewarding than the Double Cash. It’s pretty similar to the Quicksilver card above.
- 1.5% cash back for all purchases
- Signup bonus: 1.8% cash back when using an eligible mobile wallet during the first 12 months (like Apple Pay or Android Pay)
- Signup bonus: $150 cash rewards bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
So you can earn almost 2% back with this card if you pay with a mobile wallet in the first year. Not every retailer accepts mobile wallet payments, but many big merchants do. After that first year you’ll be getting 1.5% back.
Wells Fargo will actually give you the option to use a Wells Fargo debit or ATM card to get your cash back at an eligible ATM, in increments of $20. This is a pretty rare feature to find on a credit card, and Wells Fargo may be the only issuer to offer this. You could also redeem your cash back as a statement credit as normal, or it can be deposited into a Wells Fargo bank account.
The benefits provided by the Wells Fargo are very basic. For the most part you’ll only get some simple shopping and travel protections.
But it also includes Cell Phone Protection, an insurance benefit we’re seeing pop up on some credit cards lately. This will provide up to $600 to cover the damage or theft of a cell phone under eligible conditions. You must pay your cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo card for this benefit to apply.
Costs & Fees
You won’t have to pay an annual fee for the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa. And you’ll also get a 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers, which will last 15 months. After that your regular rate will be 15.99%-27.99% Variable.
So you won’t be earning as much cash back with this card as you would with the Double Cash. But the Cash Wise Visa comes with a signup bonus and an intro rate for purchases, while the Double Cash does not.
The Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card can also offer the equivalent of 2% cash back, but you won’t be as free to use your rewards.
- 2X points per dollar for all purchases
And that’s about it. Your points will be worth a maximum of 1 cent each, but only when you redeem them into an eligible Fidelity account. That will provide a cash back equivalent of 2%. If you redeem points in any other way, like for statement credits, they’ll be worth less.
The types of eligible Fidelity accounts include:
- Brokerage accounts
- Fidelity Cash Management accounts
- Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plans
- Fidelity Go accounts
- Fidelity Charitable Giving accounts
- Retirement accounts
So if you don’t already have a Fidelity bank account and you’re not planning to get one, this card should probably be off-limits. But if you are a Fidelity member, this card could definitely be a good choice to earn cash back on every purchase, without concern for bonus reward categories.
You won’t get a price protection benefit with the Fidelity card. But it does come as a Visa Signature, which means there are a few enhanced perks.
These include the Luxury Hotel Collection, which provides a variety of complimentary services at participating hotels. Be sure to look into this when traveling. There’s also a concierge service you can use, which will be about the same as the Citi concierge.
Other than that, the benefits on these cards are pretty similar. There will be some differences in the details, however, because the Fidelity card is a Visa while the Double Cash is a Mastercard.
Costs & Fees
The costs and fees of this card are almost the same as the Double Cash. There’s no annual fee, but there’s also no 0% intro rate, either for balance transfers or purchases.
You may get a lower APR with the Fidelity card, however, as it’s set at 15.99% Variable instead of a range like the Double Cash. This isn’t much of a concern either way as long as you pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest.
Do you use the Citi Double Cash Card to earn cash back everywhere? How do you like it? Let us know by leaving your own review!
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
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