Citi recently launched its newest and possibly most rewarding cash back credit card, the Citi Double Cash Card. The card has a unique rewards earning structure that allows you to earn up to 2% back across the board. You will earn 1% cash back on every dollar spent, plus an additional 1% cash back when you pay off the charges on your statement.
To earn the second 1% you need to make a payment of at least the minimum amount due, but of course you should always pay off your balance in full every month. The earning structure of the card essentially provides an extra incentive to cardholders to pay off their balance.
One of the biggest draws to this card is that it does not have an annual fee, making it an incredible card to keep year-after-year to earn straight cash back on purchases that fall into non-bonus spend categories. It is also among the top cards for anyone looking for a no annual fee straight cash back credit card instead of a miles and points earning card.
On the other hand the biggest drawback of the card is that it does not currently offer a sign-up bonus, so comparatively to other 2X earning cards such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® it is a lot less lucrative to sign-up for.
Full card details:
- Earn 1% cash back on purchases (no limit on earnings).
- Earn another 1% cash back on payments you make toward charges (must pay minimum amount due).
- No category restrictions, no Caps, no Enrollments in rotating categories
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (after that, 12.99-22.99% based on your credit worthiness).
- Get a pass on your first late fee.
- Other standard Citi benefits like Price Rewind.
- No annual fee
Link: Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card offers a flat 2% back on all spending and there are no bonus spending categories. The cards earning potential may be capped at this earning rate, but when matched with other credit cards that offer 5% bonus categories it makes for a great card to fill in the gaps. For strictly a cash back card this could be a great option if you are not interested in earning airline miles or hotel points.
The ‘cash rewards’ earned with the card can be redeemed as statement credits, gift cards, or a check at a value of 1 cents per reward point. Similar to other cards there is a minimum reward redemption of 2,500 points or $25 in cash back. Likely the easiest option for redemptions is the statement, which can easily be requested online. There are no details as to how long the check cash back option takes to received and going there is little reason to go the gift card route unless there are redemption bonuses offered in the future.
How Does It Compare?
One thing you probably noticed is that the Double Cash does not offer a sign-up bonus. For anyone looking for a quick boost in miles or points (or cash back) this is major drawback. Comparatively, from the start the card is a lot less valuable than other 2X earning cards like the the Barclays Arrival Plus card, which offers 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Without a lucrative sign-up bonus the case for this card is it’s no annual fee and flat 2% cash back vs. earning points that can be used for travel.
No annual fee on the Citi Double Cash card means you can earn close to what the Arrival Plus earns without paying an annual fee. The other drawback on the on the card is that it has foreign transaction fees, so it won’t be the best card option for international charges if you travel overseas often.
However, for anyone looking for straight cash back and spends a lot in categories that don’t offer bonuses from other cards this may be a great option in the long run.
The Bottom Line
The no annual fee and 2% back on all purchases makes this an attractive card to keep in your your wallet as a catch-all for any non-bonus spending. However, if you’re looking for a card that offers a sign-up bonus to jump-start your reward, then you may have to look elsewhere. If Citi decides to introduce a bonus offer for this card then it will be clear choice for a no annual fee straight cash back card to keep alongside a 5X bonus category card.
Will I get this card? Probably not. I currently have and prefer the Barclays Arrival Plus card that earns higher rewards (2.27% back) and cash out Arrival miles for travel. There is simply no need for two 2X earning cards.
In either case it is good to see Citi offer a very solid card with no annual fee, and hopefully Chase will take notice. Between this card and the Barclays Arrival Plus I would imagine that Chase would be inclined to introduce a new competitive 2X all purchases card in the future.