Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Citi Double Cash Credit Card Review

overall rating
4.0

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

The Citi Double Cash credit card offers unmatched flat-rate cash-back rewards on all purchases. It's a simple card with no annual fee and a straightforward rewards structure: You earn 1% in cash back when you use the card and an additional 1% when you make payment. There's no one-time offer, but this card's high rewards and flexible redemption options make it a potentially lucrative option nonetheless.

Citi® Double Cash Card

overall rating
4.0
Citi® Double Cash Card
On Citi's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Citi Double Cash Credit Card

Pros
  • Outstanding flat-rate cash-back rewards on unlimited purchases

  • Generous intro APR on balance transfers

Cons
  • No one-time offer

  • $25 minimum for redemption

Pros Explained

  • Outstanding Cash Back on Unlimited Purchases: This card offers unlimited cash back of 1% on purchases plus another 1% when you pay your bill, with no restrictions or spending caps. That rate is hard to beat, especially for a card with no annual fee. Competing cards with a flat rate on all purchases pay just 1.5% in cash back.
  • Generous Intro APR on Balance Transfers: This card has an attractive introductory offer if you're transferring a balance from another card or cards within your first four months with the card. You get a 0% APR for the first 18 billing cycles, which is a longer period than many such offers. Not uncommonly, there's a fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater. After the 0% introductory period, the variable APR varies with a normal range of 13.99% to 23.99%.

Cons Explained

  • No One-Time Offer: Most competing cards provide a cash one-time offer, but the Citi Double Cash offers none. True, the typical bonus for a cash-back card tends to be lower than those for other card types, but it's still substantial, generally ranging from $150 to $250.
  • Miss a Payment, Lose Half the Cash Back: This is not an ideal rewards card if you occasionally skip a payment, whether due to a memory lapse or tight finances. If you don’t pay at least the minimum due on your card in any month, you'll lose the matching 1% in cash back that’s paid after payment is received. (Of course, as is customary, you’ll also get dinged with a $40 late-payment fee and interest on your balance.)

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Minimalist Persona
    Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
    Minimalist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse

The Citi Double Cash credit card is most appealing to those in search of a no-fee card that's simple to use and earns excellent cash-back rewards. If you’re not the type to master points schemes or register for quarterly bonus-rewards categories, this card's outstanding cash back earning rate offers effortless and dependable rewards on everyday spending.

It's also a fine choice if you're a more motivated consumer who wants a highly rewarding default card to use in concert with others that offer higher rewards on certain purchases. You'd then pick and choose the most rewarding card by transaction. For example, you might pull out the American Express Blue Cash Preferred at supermarkets and to pay for streaming services, both of which earn 6% cash back, as well as for gas and transit purchases, which earn 3% cash back. You'd then charge everything else to your Citi Double cash card.

Rewards Earning Details

Cardholders can ultimately earn 2% cash back with this card. You get unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase. You then earn an additional 1% cash back when you make payment on those purchases.

Payments can be made all at once or over time to earn cash back, but you must make at least the minimum payment on every bill in order to preserve the extra 1% in cash back. The payment is due no later than the first day of your next billing cycle. To help you keep track of the cash back rewards you're earning, Citi maintains a "Purchase Tracker" for your card account. You only earn cash back on the balance shown on your Purchase Tracker.

Rewards Redemption Details

Cardholders have three main redemption options with this card:

  • Request a check 
  • Redeem cash-back balance for a statement credit 
  • Redeem cash-back for a credit to your linked Citi checking or savings account, or to a checking account that you have used to pay your Citi credit card bill at least twice

A couple of minor caveats apply for redemptions, though, compared with some other cards. Competitors like the Capital One Quicksilver—which pays a lower 1.5% cash back rewards—allow you to redeem rewards for any amount at any time. With the Citi Double Cash, however, your rewards balance must reach at least $25 in order to request redemption. That could take some cardholders a while—since you need to charge and pay off $1,250 to reach that rewards balance. Also, where rewards with many cards never expire, those with this card do so If you don't earn cash back on purchases or payments for 12 months.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Getting the most out of this card is pretty straightforward, since there’s no need to worry about spending caps or rotating categories. You’ll earn the most with the Citi Double cash card if you simply use it for every expense you can, from groceries to major household costs. The only exceptions might be for purchases on which you own no other card that pays a better rate on any particular purchase. 

Charging purchases to the card earns you 1% in cash back. When those purchases are paid off, you automatically receive the remaining 1% in cash back, for a total of 2%. The cash back you earn for any month remains in your account, as a future reward, as long as you make at least the minimum payment every month. 

Paying off your balance in full every month, then, maximizes how rapidly you receive rewards. And adding authorized users to the card can also help maximize rewards as a whole.

Average Case

If you're the average American household, we estimate you’d earn at least $318 in cash-back rewards on this card each year. Here's how we did the math to reach that figure.

Using the Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we assume that you would use this card to pay for purchases in five expense categories: food, apparel, fuel, entertainment, and personal care. Assuming your spending was indeed typical, those expenses combined would result in $15,892 per year on your credit card.

Assuming you pay off your balance in full each month, and so incur no interest charges and immediately receive all your cash back, you'd earn $318 over the course of the year, merely on those five core spending categories.

Aspirational Case

Using this card for other major expenses, whether necessary or indulgences, can naturally help boost your rewards still further. Let's assume that in addition to the spending scenario in the example above, you also charge several major expenses to the card, totaling $10,000 for the year. Perhaps you elect to have landscaping done or undertake a home renovation, or you incur a major home-maintenance bill, such replacing your HVAC system.

The additional $10,000 in spending would add $200 to your cash back for the year, again assuming on-time payments of the full balance. Added to the $318 in cash-back from everyday expenses. your rewards for the year would total $518.

Citi Double Cash Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Lost Wallet Service that replaces your card and provides you with emergency cash
  • Contactless-chip enabled card

Standard Benefits

  • 24/7 customer service
  • 24/7 fraud protection
  • Identity theft solutions
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Ability to add the card to a digital wallet 
  • Special access to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, and more

Cardholder Experience

According to the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction study, Citi ranked sixth out of 11 card issuers. Its score was 799, just a few points below the national average for credit-card issuers. 

As a Citi customer, as with most other card companies, you can get help with your card or account 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just call 1-800-347-4934.

Security Features

The card's security features are fairly standard and are not extensive. They include: 

  • Ability to lock your card if it's lost or stolen with Citi QuickLock
  • Free access to your FICO credit score

Our Verdict

The high flat-rate rewards and simplicity of this card makes it a valuable option for those who want easy-to-earn cash back on everyday spending. Its combined 2% cash-back rewards help make up for its lack of a one-time offer. It’s among the best flat-rate cash-back cards available, especially since it lacks an annual fee.

It can be a strong companion to a card that offers a high rate on bonus or rotating categories in areas where consumers typically spend the most. The Discover It Cash Back card, for example, offers 5% cash back on various categories each quarter, including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more. Using the two cards together would maximize cash-back earnings.

While the Citi Double cash card is a great choice for anyone seeking cash back, it isn't the best option for international travelers. There's a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases and it lacks the higher rewards and perks of cards that focus on travel.

Apply Now
For Citi® Double Cash Card
on Citi's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
CURRENT CARD
Citi® Double Cash Card
overall rating
4.0
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.