Citi® Double Cash Card review: Cash back with a balance transfer bonus

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In a Nutshell

The Citi® Double Cash Card offers 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% as you pay for it. This card can also hold its own as a balance transfer card — but if you’re making use of the intro balance transfer offer, we suggest you hold off on charging new purchases to the card.

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The Citi® Double Cash Card is a great option for a cash back credit card that also comes with an intro offer for balance transfers.

This gives you the unique benefit of both cash back rewards and an intro balance transfer offer in one card — all with no annual fee. But if you use this card to complete a balance transfer, we suggest you wait until your balance is completely paid off before you swipe the card for new purchases, cash back or no — or you may end up paying more in interest than you bargained for. Keep reading to learn more.


What we like Heads up
APR
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months from the date of the first transfer, then a variable APR of 15.49% - 25.49% after that. To take advantage of the offer you must complete any balance transfers within 4 months of account opening.
  • No intro APR offer on purchases. There is 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR on purchases.
  • Interest will be charged on purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month
Fees
  • $0 annual fee
  • 3% (minimum $5) balance transfer fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
Rewards
  • 2% cash back: 1% when you make a purchase and 1% as you pay for it
  • No sign-up bonus
  • $25 minimum for redeeming your rewards

 

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Citi® Double Cash Card

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  1. The rundown: Everything we like about the Citi® Double Cash Card
  2. Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Citi® Double Cash Card
  3. Do the math: How to get the most out of the Citi® Double Cash Card
  4. The competition: How the Citi® Double Cash Card stacks up against similar cards
  5. Bottom line: Is the Citi® Double Cash Card right for you?

The rundown: Everything we like about the Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card might not have a seductive sign-up bonus, but it can offer benefits for the long haul, in addition to a pretty good intro balance transfer offer.

The card is a standout among the cash back crowd with great rewards on everyday purchases, which may also act as an incentive to keep your balance low. To get at total of 2% cash back on your purchases, you’ll earn 1% when you make the purchase, but you only get the other Citi® Double Cash Card 1% cash back once you pay for those purchases.

Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Citi® Double Cash Card

We do consider the Citi® Double Cash Card one of the best cash back credit cards on the market, but nobody’s perfect.

First of all, there’s no sign-up bonus. Many other cards offer some kind of incentive for signing up, so that’s one downside to this card.

Also, travelers should pay attention to the foreign transaction fee of 3%. Many other cards don’t have that fee, so it might be worth looking into another option — like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card — if you’re planning to use the card for travel.

Which Citi balance transfer card is best for you?

Do the math: How to get the most out of the Citi® Double Cash Card

You should pay special attention to how you use the Citi® Double Cash Card if you’re looking to make use of the balance transfer offer. It doesn’t have an intro APR for purchases, which means that any new purchases you add to the card while you’re working on paying that transferred balance down could be charged interest.

The way to avoid paying interest charges for purchases is to pay the full balance on your statement — including the amount of any balances you transferred. So if you’re still working on paying off that balance transfer, consider saving the cash back earnings until you’ve paid it off in full.

The competition: How the Citi® Double Cash Card stacks up against similar cards

Great for no-hassle cash back Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Great for travel Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Great for sign-up bonus Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another great option for super-simple cash back earnings with a $0 annual fee. You earn a little less on this card than with the Citi® Double Cash Card. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, automatically. But it’s got a sign-up bonus, which the Citi® Double Cash Card is missing. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® you can earn $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Note the foreign transaction fee of 3%, though.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Like Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns you 1.5% cash back on every purchase, has a $0 annual fee and gives you a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. But unlike Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and the Citi® Double Cash Card, it has no foreign transaction fee, making it a decent cash back contender if you’re a frequent international traveler.

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The  Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express  earns you rewards well above what the Citi® Double Cash Card offers — a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). It also earns you 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% back on other purchases.

And while there’s a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% and an annual fee of $95, it has the highest welcome bonus of the cards on this list: a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

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Bottom line: Is the Citi® Double Cash Card right for you?

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a top-of-the-line choice for solid cash back rewards. This card is a good option if you don’t want to monitor cash back categories. If you’re more interested in the balance transfer offer, just make sure you wait until your transferred balance is paid down before you start charging new purchases to the card.

Either way, the Citi® Double Cash Card is a strong contender that could be a long-term wallet favorite.


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