Why the Citi Double Cash card is worth it
There are all kinds of different strategies you can adopt to maximize your credit card rewards. Some people like to earn money, while others like to earn travel rewards. In most situations, you’ll want to decide what kind of rewards you want to earn before you apply for a card, so you can be rewarded most effectively.
That’s something pretty remarkable about the Citi® Double Cash Card (review) – the card delivers an exceptional return on investment, whether you’re looking to earn cash or travel rewards. With the changes that were made to the map earlier this year, it’s even more lucrative than before.
Why Citi Double Cash is so valuable
The Citi Double Cash is probably the most versatile no-annual-fee credit card out there. It’s one of the credit cards I use the most for everyday spending without a bonus, and it’s the one I recommend whether you want to earn cash or travel rewards. Below are four reasons why Citi Double Cash should be in your wallet.
No annual fee
Ok, I kind of alluded to this above – Citi Double Cash doesn’t have an annual fee, so it doesn’t get any better than that. Need I say more?
Get cash back at a great rate
Citi Double Cash has a phenomenal rewards structure if you’re looking to make some serious cash. Cash is king, as they say, and it’s hard to beat this card’s reward structure. Citi Double Cash offers:
- 1% cash back when you make a purchase
- 1% cash back when you pay for this purchase
Cashback is earned in the form of ThankYou points, and each ThankYou point earned with the card can be redeemed for one penny cashback. There is no minimum redemption amount and you can be rewarded in the form of statement credit or direct deposit.
By the time you’ve paid for your purchase, you’ll get two cents back on every dollar spent. It’s more rewarding than the vast majority of cash back credit cards and is the best cash back you’ll find on a credit card.
There isn’t a single card I can think of that yields more than 2% cash back without any major strings attached.
Flexibility to turn cash back into travel rewards
That’s why Citi Double Cash gives you the best of both worlds. Not only can you earn the equivalent of two cents on the dollar, but those points can also be effectively converted into travel rewards points:
What really makes this so great is that you can earn Citi Double Cash rewards even without having the Citi Premier. Then, in the future, you can decide to apply for the Citi Premier card, and any rewards you’ve earned on the card can be pooled with your other ThankYou points and transferred to partners.
This means that for every dollar you spend (and then pay the bill), you have the choice of two hundred or two transferable points, which can be converted into airline miles.
0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers*
This is something I would recommend avoiding if possible, but understandably some people looking for credit cards appreciate. Citi Double Cash offers an introductory APR of 0% on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% to 25.49%, depending on your creditworthiness. Keep in mind that there is a 3% balance transfer fee for each transfer (minimum $5) made within the first four months of account opening.
You’ll want to do everything you can to pay off the balance during this time, as interest after that can be high. But 18 months is a long time – some other cards offer 12 months, but 18 months is rare.
How I Maximized Rewards with Citi Double Cash
I picked up Citi Double Cash in 2019, so how do I use this card? It’s basically one of the main cards I use for my personal spending in the US when there isn’t otherwise a bonus category. For instance:
- I paid my rent with the card via Plastiq
- I paid my taxes with the card
- I used the card for most online purchases
These are just a few examples, but it’s one of my favorite cards for all household purchases other than supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, etc. These days, I also spend a portion of my daily spending on the Capital One Venture X Rewards (review) credit card, as the card offers 2x Venture miles on all spend.
Incredible combo: Citi Premier + Citi Double Cash
If you’re looking to earn long-term travel rewards, I think it’s worth talking about the value of having the Citi Double Cash in conjunction with the Citi Premier card, which is one of the best combos in cards:
- The Citi Premier offers a massive welcome bonus of 80,000 thank you points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, which will really kick-start your rewards earnings
- You are eligible for both cards as long as you follow Citi’s general credit card application rules.
- The Citi Premier offers 3x points on meals, gas, groceries, air travel and hotels, and has no foreign transaction fees
- The Citi Premier offers a $100 annual hotel credit, which could cover your annual on-site charges
- You can earn all of this with a one-time annual fee of $95 on the Citi Premier because the Citi Double Cash has no annual fee
For me, this is a valuable and simple approach to take to maximize credit card rewards because you’ll earn 2-3x more points on all purchases.
At the end of the line
The Citi Double Cash is the card I’ve spent the most on since 2019, and I love it. Personally, I use the card to be able to earn ThankYou points which can be transferred to airline partners.
The flexibility offered by this card is unmatched. The no annual fee card can earn you the equivalent of two hundred or two transferable points for every dollar spent (after paying the bill). Being able to effectively earn cashback or travel rewards is the kind of flexibility consumers should be looking for these days, and there’s no other card as comprehensive as this one.
Plus, when you combine the Citi Double Cash with the Citi Premier card, you’re looking at one of the best card combos with low annual fees.
Anyone else love the Citi Double Cash and Citi Premier combo?