The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.
The appeal of the Citi Double Cash Card lies entirely in its simple easy-to-earn rewards plan: receive 2% rewards from every dollar spent and every dollar paid off.
The card’s combined 2% rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and 1% after your bill is paid – boasts a mass appeal to general consumers with strong credit scores (above 700). Since it doesn’t offer rewards for any particular category of spending, the Citi Double Cash Card lets you accrue cash rewards on everything you charge with very little hassle.
But what the card offers in easy rewards it sorely lacks in excitement. The card doesn’t offer many of the perks typically known to appeal to new customers. These include a sign-up bonus and rewards bigger than 2%, which is low compared to category-specific credit cards.
Let’s weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the Citi Double Cash Card – and determine whether or not it’s the right fit for your wallet…
Citi Double Cash Card
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Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Citi Double Cash Card – Benefits
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Citi Double Cash Card – and whether or not it’s right for your wallet.
The card boasts a lengthy 18-month period of 0% fees on all balance transfers. This means that if you want to keep all of your debt on one card to avoid interest repayments on multiple cards, you can transfer your balances from other lenders onto your Citi Double Cash Card for no charge within the first 18 months.
After this period each transfer requires paying a variable APR between 13.99% to 23.99%. That’s a fair range among general-spending cards like the Citi Simplicity Card, which boasts a similar yet slightly higher range of 14.74% to 24.74%.
If you accidentally make your first credit card payment late, you won’t be charged a late fee on your Citi Double Cash Card.
This is extremely generous, as all lenders have the authority to charge fees at the maximum federal level of $27 on the first delinquent payment.
Another highly competitive benefit is the card’s $0 annual fee, meaning you don’t have to worry about swiping your card enough to cover a fixed yearly payment.
This is an enormous and unique benefit, as the average annual credit card fee sits near $147.
It’s particularly unique among Citi credit cards since their average annual fee is $190, the highest of all major U.S.-based issuers.
Citi Double Cash Card – Drawbacks
Here are the most important cons you should consider before apply to the Citi double cash card:
The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, a common perk often used to attract customers to a new card. Many cards offer sign-up bonuses as high as $500 once you surpass a certain amount of spending within the first few months.
Other cards can provide sign-up bonuses in forms other than cash, including the travel-specific Capital One Venture Rewards Card, which offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles.
Despite an intro 0% APR on balance transfers, the Citi Double Cash Card doesn’t offer an intro 0% APR on actual purchases.
Instead, all purchases from the sign-up period onward endure the variable APR between 15.99% and 23.99%, with the low end of the range still below the 15.96% national average across all U.S. credit cards.
This is uncommon among similar cards since several offer an intro 0% APR on both balance transfers and purchases. For example, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which also targets general spenders, provides an intro 0% APR period of 15 months for both balance transfers and purchases.
The fee is incurred when you transfer debts from one or more credit cards to your Double Cash card. This fee is $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is bigger.
This fee is upfront and will be added to your debt load when transferred.
Citi Double Cash has a 3% fee for each transaction in another country. If you are traveling outside of the US you may want to leave this card at home.
Alternatives to Citi Double Cash Card
Several other credit cards provide similar rewards to the Citi Double Cash Card while also offering the enticing sign-up bonuses and intro APR periods on purchases that the Citi Double Cash Card lacks.
The Wells Fargo Propel card boasts a similarly easy and generous rewards program. Customers earn 3% rewards (or 3 points) for every dollar spent across most major purchase categories, including dining, entertainment, flights, hotels, car rentals, gas station purchases, and even media streaming like Hulu and Netflix.
The Wells Fargo Propel card doesn’t have an annual fee it and comes with an 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, your APR will be 13.99% to 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness
It also offers one of the most competitive sign-up bonuses out there: 20,000 bonus points (or $200 in cash back) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
The Quicklsilver cash rewards card’s earns 1.5% rewards on every dollar spent everywhere. While that’s lower than the Citi Double Cash Card’s 2% rewards on every purchase, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card makes up for it with exciting perks.
In addition to the aforementioned intro 0% APR periods on both balance transfers and purchases, this card offers a sign-up bonus of $150 once you spend $500 in the first three months, as well as a lower variable APR range between 15.49% and 25.49% after the intro period. The Quicksilver cash rewards card does not come with an annual fee.
However, there is 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months.
Bank of America Cash Rewards is a cashback rewards card that allows card holders to pick their own bonus category for the 3% cashback rewards. It also offer 2% back on groceries and 1% back on all other spending.
Bank of America Cash Rewards does not have an annual fee and you’ll get $200 cashback bonus after you spend $1,000 on your new card within the first 90 days on eligible purchases. If you are looking to save money on interest, the Bank of America Cash Rewards offers a 0% introductory rate for 15 months on balance transfers. However, there is a 3% balance transfer fee required if you want to take advantage of the introductory 0% APR rate.
The APR for the Bank of America Cash Reward is a 13.99%-23.99% variable rate.
Is the Citi Double Cash Card Right for You?
The lack of a sign-up bonus and intro APR period for purchases may make the Citi Double Cash card a “boring” choice among a sea of competitors.
But for the average consumer who makes purchases across all categories, the Citi Double Cash Card can’t be beat.
The combined 1% on the front end and 1% on the backend add up to a strong 2% rewards system that not only offers a consistent stream of cash back, but also offers an incentive to build a strong credit score.