By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

* Editorial Disclaimer

This post may contain references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The content or opinions contained within this post come from third party journalists or members of the Editorial Team and are not supplied by any of our partners.

If you enjoy the freedom that comes with simplicity, you need a credit card that delivers straightforward, uncomplicated features and rewards. The Citi Double Cash card is one choice that will have you earning maximum rewards with little effort. While this card lacks some of the bells and whistles of other premium cards, it has two outstanding features that attract people who want a reliable everyday card. The Citi Double Cash card has no annual fee. That's right, no yearly fee. Also, the potential cash back rewards rival any premium card out there.

The Citi Double Cash card is exactly what its name suggests. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on every purchase. That's double the rewards of most cards on the market. The Citi Double Cash card pays 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay. Even better, there are no categories to track like some other cards. You will receive a consistent 2% on every purchase, every day, with no caps on the amount you can earn.

Citi also makes balance transfers easy when using your Citi Double Cash card. While Citi does not offer cash back on balance transfers, they do have an attractive 0% APR for 18 months. The balance transfer fee is also reasonable at $5 or 3% of each transaction, whichever is greater. All balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of opening the account, and the APR increases to 13.99% - 23.99% variable after the first 18 months. However, cardholders can lose the 0% APR benefit for balance transfers by paying late. In this case, the card holder will acquire the penalty APR fee, which can be quite punishing at the potential rate of 29.99%.

With some of the best cash back rewards available, Citi has to put some stipulations in place. For instance, you cannot earn cash back on cash advances, account fees, or returned items. However, Citi gives Double Cash card owners one late fee pass. Cardholders can also receive cash advances on their Citi Double Cash card for a 5% fee with a $10 minimum. The APR for cash advances is a steep 25.24%.

Comparatively, the terms attached to the Citi Double Cash card are reasonable and competitive. Still, some will argue this card is not nearly as sexy as other premium cards. But let’s remember, this is the card that offers simplicity. The Citi Double Cash card is for people who don’t need all of the extravagant features of a specialty card. Likewise, this card is for people who simply want the most for their money, and the 2% cash back delivers. Because this card requires a 690+ credit score, making late payments is probably not going to be a problem, so no late fees. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee. However, if you typically don't travel abroad and you pay your bill on time, you are gaining the benefit of double cash on every purchase with no extra fees. Now that’s simple!

Some people might argue that by not offering bonus points at sign-on, the Citi Double Cash card is missing out on customers. Citi Double Cash cardholders would respond that instead of bonus points, their Citi card has no annual fee, which is an attractive lure. So, while the Citi Double Cash card lacks sex appeal, it does live up to its straightforward reputation. Customers receive two huge benefits not found in most other premium credit cards: double cash back and no annual fee.

There are a few details you need to know about the double rewards, however. Because you earn the additional 1% when you pay, the sooner you pay, the faster those rewards become available. This concept is quite an ingenious incentive on Citi’s part to get cardholders to pay on time. Additionally, Citi Double Cash cardholders must pay the minimum on time to receive this additional 1%.

Cardholders can redeem their rewards once they have earned at least $25. Also, be aware that cash back rewards expire in 12 months. So, while you can redeem rewards any time after earning $25, you must redeem every 12-months, or those rewards will be lost.

Citi Double Cash cardholders also need to know the best way to maximize their cash back rewards. If you redeem your rewards for statement credit, you will not earn the 1% cash back on that amount. Citi does not consider using your cash back towards your balance as paying for your purchases, and the extra 1% is not applied. Better ways to get your rewards are to have them sent direct deposit to a linked account, to have Citi send you a check, or to take advantage of Citi’s ThankYou Points option.

Citi’s Thank You Points program is relatively new to the Double Cash card. Like many other card companies, Citi offers its customers the benefit of converting cash back rewards into points to purchase hotel reservations or airline tickets from partnering companies. There is a catch. To gain the ability to turn cash into Thank You points, you must own another Citi credit card. The 2x the rewards feature of the Double Cash card works as an added benefit to complement the benefits of the second card. This means if you own a Citi Premier card, for instance, and a Citi Double Cash card, your potential earnings are maximized even further. Thank You points can also be used to purchase gift cards from hundreds of popular retailers and used as charitable contributions.

Protection Features

When looking for the right credit card, most people value superior protection options and choose a card that makes them feel secure about their purchases and account. The Citi Double Cash card offers some competitive features that will leave customers feeling protected.

If Citi detects unusual activity on your Citi Double Cash card, the 24-hour fraud protection provided will send you alerts.

The Citi Double Cash card has Purchase Protection, providing the cardholder with $0 liability on unauthorized charges.

If your card is lost or stolen, Citi will replace your Citi Double Cash card, usually within 24 hours. If needed, Citi will provide you with a cash advance up to your available cash advance limit.

Citi Double Cash cardholders can feel confident with access to a customer service representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Citi realizes that identity theft can happen to anyone, and it is devastating. Should you incur the difficulties and stresses of identity theft, as a Citi Double Cash cardholder, Citi will help you solve the matter and get your life back.

Tap & Go Contactless Pay

The initial reasoning behind contactless pay with the Tap & Go feature was speed; however, another notable benefit now applies. The new circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced society to think differently regarding our contact with others. Credit Cards are among the items most likely to carry disease-causing germs. In one day, most people hand their card to a multitude of others, and most people never clean them or even wipe them off.

Chip readers and chipped cards have helped limit contact from others. Still, Citi now provides an even easier option to limit contact: Tap & Go. While the concept of Tap & Go is not original, it is relatively new to the Citi Double Cash card. Where available, Tap & Go gives the cardholder the ability to keep the card away from others during transactions, and it eliminates contact with the card reader as well. Chipped cards usually require the owner to hold the card reader with one hand and press buttons with the other, making the person susceptible to germs. Tap & Go allows the cardholder to tap the card on the Tap & Go logo, and they are done. This method of payment is fast, easy, secure, and much healthier for everyone.

Wrap It Up

The Citi Double Cash card is a premium credit card that requires very good to excellent credit. It offers its owners excellent protection and 24/7 customer service by Citi. It may not provide an attractive sign-up bonus or lots of additional perks, but this card targets a distinct market. Citi Double Cash cardholders enjoy a card with modest extras but maximum rewards and no annual fee, making the Citi Double Cash card one of the best everyday cards available.

Table of Contents