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The Citi® Double Cash Card is a straightforward cash back credit card that offers a lot of value. While it doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, the card's ongoing rewards rate is one of the best in the business without requiring you to be savvy about maximizing your rewards.
The card also offers upfront value through a 0% APR promotion that can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in interest. Here's what you need to know before you apply.
|Customer service contact information for CitiBank|
Citibank Customer Service
P.O. Box 6500
|Lucrative and easy-to-understand rewards program||Expensive if you carry a balance|
|Potential interest savings for new cardholders||No introductory cash back offer|
|No annual fee||Foreign transaction fees|
The Citi® Double Cash Card offers simple but valuable rewards, giving you 2% cash back on every purchase you make—that's 1% back when you make a purchase, then another 1% back when you pay it off.
The card doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, which many of the best cash back credit cards do. But if you're planning to hold on to the card for a long time, you'll likely achieve more total value with it than with a card with an annual fee and a lower ongoing rewards rate.
While there's no rewards incentive for signing up for the card, you will get a decent introductory 0% for 9 months on purchases and balance transfers APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers. If you've racked up a balance on another credit card, this one can potentially save you a lot of money in interest as you work on paying it down.
What's more, there's no annual fee, so as long as you don't carry a balance from month to month, you get to keep all the value you gain from the card's rewards program and 9-month introductory 0% APR offer.
Like many cash back credit cards, though, the Citi® Double Cash Card isn't one you want to bring on a trip abroad. It charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, which doesn't sound like a lot but can add up over the course of a trip.
2% Cash Back Is One of the Best Rates Around
You'll have a hard time finding a credit card that offers a better rewards rate without requiring you to pay an annual fee or have a special relationship with the card issuer (such as having a checking or savings account with the issuing bank).
For example, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers 3% back during the first year, then 2.5% back after that, but it also charges a $99 annual fee after the first year. And the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card makes it possible to earn up to 2.62 points per dollar on every purchase, but you need to have at least $100,000 in combined balances between Bank of America banking and Merrill investment accounts.
The Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on every purchase you make, then another 1% back when you pay them off, giving you a total of 2% back. While that catch means you'll need to pay off your balance quickly to maximize the card's rewards rate, it's a good incentive to use the card responsibly and pay your balance in full each month.
It's also important to note that there's no limit to how much cash back you can earn. Some other rewards credit cards offer bonus cash back, points or miles on certain spending categories but may put a cap on how much you can earn.
One limitation to the card's rewards program is that you can't redeem your rewards until you've accumulated at least $25 in cash back. Some other cash back cards allow you to access your cash back any time and for any amount.
Also, keep in mind that if you haven't used the card and earned cash back rewards for 12 months, your existing rewards balance will expire.
Once you're ready to redeem your rewards, however, you can choose between a statement credit, a paper check, or a deposit into a Citi checking or savings account or an account with another bank that you've used to pay your bill at least twice.
No Sign-Up Bonus, but You Do Get an Introductory 0% APR
As a new cardholder, you'll get an introductory 0% APR for 9 months on purchases, as well as on balance transfers made during the first four months. After that, your APR will be 25.49% (Variable).
If you have a big balance on another credit card, moving it to the Citi® Double Cash Card could save you a lot of money and give you some time to pay down at least a good chunk of it interest-free. The main thing to keep in mind is that the card charges a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transfer amount with a $5 minimum. Even with the fee, though, you stand to save money.
As an example, let's say you have $4,000 on a credit card with a 20% APR. If you set a goal to pay down that balance in nine months, your monthly payment would be $482.30, and you'd pay $340.68 in interest.
In contrast, moving the balance to the Citi® Double Cash Card and paying it off within the same time period would give you a monthly payment of $444.44 and a $150 balance transfer fee. The higher the balance you're hoping to pay down, the higher the potential savings you can achieve.
If you don't have any other credit card debt, you can also use the card to make a large purchase and pay it off interest-free over the 0% APR promotional period. Try to avoid leaving a balance at the end of the period, though. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with a high interest rate on the leftover debt.
Preferred Ticket Access With Citi Entertainment
As a Citi cardholder, you can utilize Citi Entertainment, which offers special access to thousands of events every year. That includes presale tickets and exclusive experiences to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
Through the Citi Entertainment website, you can search for specific events and artists, or you can filter your options by the type of event, as well as dates and locations.
In some instances, Citi may offer complimentary tickets and VIP packages. This service is free and included as a benefit for your card. Also, the bank doesn't charge a fee when you purchase tickets. That said, the agency that processes the purchase may choose to charge fees for processing and shipping and handling.
Extra Protection and Mobile Features
The Citi® Double Cash Card doesn't offer any other significant benefits, but it does provide some perks that add value to your experience.
For example, you'll get the benefit of 24-hour fraud protection and zero liability if someone does use your credit card without your permission. And if you lose your card, Citi will send you a replacement within 24 hours, and even provide you with some emergency cash if you lost your whole wallet.
Just keep in mind that the emergency cash disbursement is considered a cash advance, which means that it's subject to your card's cash advance limit and will start accruing interest immediately instead of having a grace period like with normal purchases.
For a more convenient and secure way to pay, the card works with digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. What's more, it offers contactless payment, which provides the same level of security as a digital wallet. Just tap your card to a compatible card reader instead of swiping or inserting it, and you're good to go.
Another security-related perk Citi offers is the ability to create virtual credit card numbers to use online. While the temporary number is tied to your account, it keeps potential fraudsters from accessing your actual account number. If someone does steal your virtual card number, you can simply cancel it instead of needing to cancel the entire card and get a new one.
Once you get the card, download the Citi mobile app, which comes with several features, including:
- Citi Quick Lock, which allows you to lock and unlock your card if it's lost
- Card replacement if yours is lost or stolen
- A snapshot of your account information without requiring you to log in
- General account management and payments
|Purchase APR: 0% APR for the first 9 months, then 25.49% (Variable)||Grace Period: At least 23 days after the close of each billing cycle|
|Transfer APR: 0% APR for the first 9 months, then 25.49% (Variable)||Annual Fee: $0|
|Cash Advance APR: 26.74% variable||Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount or $5, whichever is greater|
|Minimum Interest Charge: $0.50||Cash Advance Fee: 5% of the advance amount or $10, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%|
|Late Payment Fee|
|Returned Payment Fee|
Based on the Citi® Double Cash Card cardholder agreement, the card doesn't charge a fee to add an authorized user to your account. As the primary account holder, however, you are responsible for any purchases an authorized user tied to your account makes with their card.
In addition to making purchases, authorized users can:
- Report lost or stolen cards
- Request statement copies
- Initiate billing disputes
- Make payments
- Change the billing address for your account
- Request refund checks
- Obtain account information such as transaction histories
Is This Card Right for You?
If you're looking for a no-fuss cash back credit card with potential savings on interest and entertainment, the Citi® Double Cash Card could be an excellent choice for you. Despite its lack of a sign-up bonus, the card packs a punch over the long run and won't complicate your shopping experience.
However, it's best suited for credit card users who don't plan to carry a balance. Even with its solid rewards program, paying interest after the promotional APR period could reduce the value you gain from the card, or neutralize it altogether.