The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Citi Double Cash® Card Review

Choncé Maddox

By: Choncé Maddox

Choncé Maddox
Choncé Maddox

Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and a nationally recognized personal finance and budgeting expert. She's paid off $50,000+ of personal debt and her debt story has been highlighted in Essence Magazine and on "Good Morning America" as part of its 2020 Debt-Free Decade series. Her work has been featured on sites, including Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, Barclaycard, and The New York Post. Choncé was named one of the top financial experts to follow on Instagram by Black Enterprise.

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Editor: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Reviewer: Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin
Danielle Spurlin

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle Marshall has a deep understanding of many financial disciplines, including personal and commercial lending, retirement annuities, financial forecasting, and general bookkeeping. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for the parent company of CardRates.com. She works directly with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance expectations and regulatory standards.

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Disclosure: When you apply through links on our site, we often earn referral fees from partners. For more information, see our ad disclosure and review policy.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Citi Double Cash® Card Review

Rated 4.8 /5.0 ★★★★★

Do you want to get more cash back on your everyday purchases? The Citi Double Cash® Card is an excellent option for unlimited cash back and no complicated spending categories to memorize. This card offers competitive cash back rates and other benefits that make it a great option for those looking to maximize their rewards.

Continue reading to learn about the card’s main benefits, drawbacks, and suggested alternatives, as well as some important details like credit score requirements and how to redeem your rewards.

Main Benefits of the Citi Double Cash® Card

This card offers cash back rewards for purchases in two different ways: it pays 1% cash back on every purchase and another 1% when you pay off that purchase. What’s best about this card is there are no spending category restrictions, and you don’t have to enroll to start earning cash back.

Your cash back rewards also aren’t capped to a certain amount as other cards impose, so you can earn as much as you want with no limitations.

Let’s discuss each benefit of the Citi Double Cash® Card in more detail:

      • No annual fee. Sometimes a card’s annual fee can eat into the rewards you earn, but it doesn’t have an annual fee to worry about.

      • Additional cash back offers. The Citi Double Cash® Card always offers up to 2% cash back on all transactions but there may be some occasional offers where you can earn a higher cash back rate on select purchases.

      • Signup bonus. This card periodically offers a signup bonus that allows you to earn an extra cash back amount when you spend a certain amount on the card during your first few months. The welcome bonus is not always the most competitive offer compared to other cards, but it’s still a nice offer to take advantage of when available.

      • Intro APR for balance transfers. It has an introductory 0% APR for balance transfers, after which the regular APR 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) applies. A balance transfer fee applies to each transfer.

      • Multiple redemption methods and other rewards. Rewards are earned as Citi ThankYou Points, where 200,000 points are equivalent to $200 cash back. You can redeem your rewards as a statement credit, direct deposit, or a paper check. You can also redeem your rewards through the Citi Travel Portal to book hotels, flights, car rentals, and other accommodations. Additionally, you can also redeem Citi ThankYou Points for gift cards or to shop with points on Amazon.com.

    How to Qualify & Apply

    Citi specifies applicants need fair, good, or excellent credit to qualify for this card. That’s a wide range, encompassing credit scores between 580 and 850, according to FICO. However, it’s safe to say people with scores toward the lower end of that range will have a harder time qualifying for this card.

    When you apply for the card, Citi will run your credit, resulting in a hard credit inquiry. It will also review details like your annual salary and wages as well as the debts listed in your credit reports. You should find out whether you’re approved in just a few minutes when applying online, which you can do on Citi’s website by clicking the Apply Now button below:

    Disclosure: When you apply through links on our site, we often earn referral fees from partners. For more information, see our ad disclosure and review policy.

    Advertiser Disclosure

    CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★★

    4.8

    OVERALL RATING

    • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
    • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
    • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
    • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
    • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    N/A
    0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
    19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
    $0
    Excellent, Good, Fair

    Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

    If you’re approved, Citi will inform you of your credit limit immediately. Initial credit limits can be as low as $500 and are based on your credit history and income. If you are not approved, Citi is required to send you the reasoning in writing, known as an Adverse Action notice, and you can request a copy of the credit report on which it based the decision.

    Potential Drawbacks to Consider

    While the Citi Double Cash® Card does offer some great benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One potential drawback of this card is that it doesn’t offer any bonus reward categories as some other cash back cards do, which can limit its overall usefulness for certain types of purchases.

    If you’re looking for a no-frills cash back credit card that is easy to use for everyday spending, this may not be a problem for you. But if you want to maximize your cash back earnings, you could be missing out on some higher rewards with this card.

    This card also doesn’t have a 0% intro APR for new purchases, and it charges foreign transaction fees, so it’s not the best card to use when you’re traveling abroad.

    Comparable Cards to the Citi Double Cash® Card

    If you’re still not sold on the card, there are some great alternative cash back credit cards you may want to consider.

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★★
    4.9

    OVERALL RATING

    • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
    • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
    • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
    • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
    • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
    • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
    • Member FDIC
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
    0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
    20.49% - 29.24% Variable
    $0
    Good/Excellent

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and offers unlimited cash back in tiered amounts based on spending categories like groceries, gas, dining, and travel purchased through Chase. This card also comes with a signup bonus that is comparable to the welcome bonus being offered with the Citi Custom Cash® Card and the Citi Double Cash® Card. However, you don’t need to spend nearly as much to earn this bonus during the first few months so it’s easier to obtain.

    This card also offers a 0% APR for new purchases and balance transfers. Although a balance transfer fee applies to the transferred balance. Cash back rewards don’t expire, and you can redeem them as a statement credit or direct deposit to your bank account. Other redemption options include gift cards, Amazon purchases, and travel booked through the Chase Travel portal.

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★★
    4.9

    OVERALL RATING

    • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
    • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
    • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
    • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
    • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
    • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    0% for 15 months
    0% for 15 months
    19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
    $0
    Excellent, Good

    The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers cash back at a flat rate for all purchases and additional cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Cash back rewards are unlimited and don’t expire. This card is geared toward people who have excellent credit, but there is also the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card that is geared toward people with fair credit.

    This card also offers 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers, followed by a variable APR afterward, and has no foreign transaction fees. You can redeem your cash back rewards in a number of ways, including for a statement credit, PayPal transfers, and gift cards, among other options.

    Citi Custom Cash® Card Review

    at the issuer'ssecure website

    BEST OVERALL RATING

    ★★★★★
    4.7

    OVERALL RATING

    • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
      Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.
    • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
    • No Annual Fee
    • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.
    Intro (Purchases)
    Intro (Transfers)
    Regular APR
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
    0% 15 months Purchases and Balance Transfers
    0% 15 months Purchases and Balance Transfers
    19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
    $0
    Excellent, Good, Fair

    Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

    The Citi Custom Cash® Card has no annual fee and a different rewards structure from the Citi Double Cash® Card. It also offers an introductory 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers, followed by a variable APR based on the current market rate. Rewards are denominated as Citi ThankYou points, and there are no enrollment requirements to start earning.

    The Citi Custom Cash® Card would be a great option for someone who wants to earn a competitive cash back rate but doesn’t want to worry about remembering which categories earn the most and when. This card is unique in that it offers a higher cash back in whichever category you spend the most, so it adapts to your needs. But the high cash back rate is limited each billing cycle.

    FAQs: What is the Card’s Credit Limit?

    The credit limit varies depending on the applicant’s creditworthiness and other factors like your debt-to-income ratio. Citi does not disclose the highest credit limit it offers for the Citi Double Cash® Card, but it does share that the minimum credit limit you can be approved for is $500.

    Here’s a breakdown of how these three factors can impact your credit limits, along with tips to increase your credit limit even after you’ve been approved for a credit card.

      • Credit score. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to receive a higher credit limit on your credit card. This is because individuals with higher credit scores are considered less risky by banks and lenders. On the other hand, if you have a low credit score, you may receive a lower credit limit or even be denied a rewards credit card altogether.

      • Income level. Your income provides an indication of how much money you have available to repay any debt incurred on your rewards credit card. Individuals with higher incomes are more likely to have a higher credit limit as they have more disposable income to pay off their credit card balance.

      • Spending history. Your spending history also plays a significant role in determining your credit limit. If you have a track record of responsible spending habits and paying off your debts on time, you are more likely to receive a higher credit limit. On the other hand, if you have a history of late payments or maxing out your credit cards, this may negatively impact your credit limit.

    The good news is that you can request to increase your credit limit even after you’ve been approved for a credit card. If you’ve been making payments on time or your credit score has improved, it could be a good time to request a credit limit increase.

    What Credit Score is Needed For Approval?

    The bank says it accepts people with excellent, good, and fair credit scores. That encompasses FICO credit scores of between 580 and 850, though scores toward the bottom of that range are unlikely to be approved. We’d guesstimate you need a score of at least 620 to get approved for the Citi Double Cash® Card.

    There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score before applying for a new credit credit:

      • Make timely payments. Payment history is the most critical factor in calculating your credit score. Making timely payments on all your accounts, including loans and credit cards, shows that you are a responsible borrower and can manage your debts. If possible, set up automatic payments to ensure that you never miss a payment. Even one late payment can significantly impact your credit score, so it’s essential to stay on top of your bill payments.

      • Keep a low credit utilization. Credit utilization is the percentage of available credit that you are currently using. It is another crucial factor in calculating your credit score, with a lower utilization ratio signaling responsible credit management. Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30%, but the lower, the better.

      • Check your credit report regularly. Your credit report contains all the information used to calculate your credit score. It’s essential to check it regularly to ensure that there are no errors or fraudulent accounts in your name. You can get a free copy of your credit report every week from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

      • Keep old credit accounts open. The length of your credit history is another, albeit less important, factor in calculating your credit score. Keeping old accounts open shows that you have a long-standing relationship with creditors and can help boost your credit score over time.

      • Diversify your credit mix. Having a mix of different types of credit, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages, can positively impact your credit scores. It shows that you can handle various types of debt responsibly. However, this doesn’t mean you should open multiple accounts just for the sake of diversification. Only take on new debt if you can afford it and make timely payments.

    Which Purchases Don’t Earn Cash Back?

    You’ll earn 1% cash back with every purchase you make with the card. There is no rewards cap, and rewards don’t expire. The Citi Double Cash® Card is unique in that it rewards cash back for every dollar spent, then an additional 1% back when you pay off that purchase by paying your credit card bill. It is one of the only 2% flat-rate cards available, other options being the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card and SoFi Unlimited 2% Credit Card.

    How Do I Redeem My Rewards?

    Citi offers multiple reward redemption methods including receiving a statement credit, cash to your bank account via direct deposit, and receiving a paper check in the mail. You can also opt to redeem your rewards for purchases on Amazon.com, as a gift card, or to book travel through the Citi travel portal.

    Rewards are currently paid as Citi ThankYou Points, and you must have a minimum value of $25 to redeem them for cash back. Here’s how:

    1. Log into your account online.
    2. Click on the “Rewards” tab.
    3. Select the amount of rewards you would like to redeem, starting at $25.
    4. Choose how you would like to receive your rewards, either as a statement credit or a direct deposit into a checking or savings account.
    5. Confirm your redemption, and you’re done!

    How Does a Balance Transfer Work With the Card?

    Once approved for the Citi Double Cash® Card, you can log into your Citi account online or call the customer service number on the back of your card to initiate a balance transfer. You will need to have the account information for the credit card you want to transfer a balance from, including the name of the issuing bank and your account number.

    Next, you will enter the amount that you want to transfer from your other credit card. It is important to note that there may be a limit on the amount you can transfer, depending on your available credit limit and any promotional balance transfer offers.

    Once you have submitted the request, Citi will process the balance transfer and pay off the balance on your other credit card. This means that you will now owe that same amount to Citi instead. It is important to continue making payments on your other credit card until you receive confirmation that the transfer has been completed.

    Citi states that balance transfers take “between 2 and 21 days to process.”

    This Card May Be For You If You…

      • Want to earn cash back rewards in the simplest way possible without activating offers or paying attention to specific categories.

      • Like the idea of earning more cash rewards when you pay your card balance off.

      • Don’t want to pay an annual fee.

      • May be considering a balance transfer card that also offers rewards. But note that transferred balances do not accrue rewards.

    All in all, the Citi Double Cash® Card is a simple cash back card with an industry-leading flat rate, and it is accessible to a large swath of consumers, given its generally lenient credit requirements.

    About the Author

    Choncé Maddox
    Choncé Maddox Finance Expert

    Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and a nationally recognized personal finance and budgeting expert. She's paid off $50,000+ of personal debt and her debt story has been highlighted in Essence Magazine and on "Good Morning America" as part of its 2020 Debt-Free Decade series. Her work has been featured on sites, including Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, Barclaycard, and The New York Post. Choncé was named one of the top financial experts to follow on Instagram by Black Enterprise.

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