Citi Double Cash Card Review - 18 month Balance Transfer Offer
In the market for a credit card that rewards you for spending and for paying off your balance? This one may just right for you. Read our review below.
- Balance transfer offer
- 2% cash back
- Easy rewards redemption
- No annual fee
- Late fee pass
If you’re looking for a credit card with one of the longest 0% APR balance transfer offers available among any credit card, you’ll be interested in the Citi® Double Cash Card. But in addition to the extended introductory offer, this card also provides one of the simplest rewards programs in the industry. Not only can you get 2% cash back on all your activity, but it also offers the easiest ways to redeem your rewards–all in cash or cash equivalents.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is issued by Citibank, which is the third largest bank in the U.S., with more than $1.9 trillion in assets. It’s also one of the leading issuers of credit cards in the country.
The Citi® Double Cash Card comes with a long list of generous benefits:
0% APR on Balance Transfers: The transfer offer is good for 18 months. If you transfer $10,000 in credit card balances, averaging 19.99% APR, you’ll save nearly $3,000 in interest over the year and a half that the 0% APR applies.
The offer applies to balance transfers completed within four months of opening the account. The balance transfer fee is the lower of $5 or 3% of the amount transferred. That’s at the lower end of the balance transfer fee range of 3% to 5% that credit card issuers typically charge, and another good reason to take advantage of this offer.
Unfortunately, the 0% APR applies only to balance transfers, and not to purchases.
Sign Up Bonus: If the Citi® Double Cash Card has a weak spot, it’s that it doesn’t offer this bonus. But with the 18 month 0% APR introductory offer, you’ll likely save more money on a balance transfer than you can earn with sign-up bonuses for most other credit cards.
Cash Back Rewards: The cash back rewards with Citi® Double Cash Card are unique in the industry. You’ll earn 2% cash back, but it’s split in two parts. First, you earn 1% when you make purchases. You then make an additional 1% when you make payments.
For example, if you make $1,000 an eligible purchases in a month, you’ll earn 1%, or $10. But if you pay the balance in full when the statement comes in, you’ll earn an additional 1%, or $10, for the payment.
Not only does that give you effectively a 2% cash back reward, but it also serves as an incentive to pay your balance in full each month. That’s the best way to maximize cash back rewards with this card. But it will also enable you to avoid paying interest on outstanding balances, making the cash back rewards a pure benefit in your favor.
The cash back rewards are unlimited.
Credit required: Good/excellent.
Redeeming Your Cash Back Rewards
One of the major advantages of the Citi® Double Cash Card cash back rewards program is its simplicity. Many credit card rewards programs pay higher rewards for certain purchase categories, then 1% on all other purchases. Still other cards offer rewards in the form of points or miles, which can be complicated to calculate.
Many cards also restrict how your rewards can be used. For example, cards that offer points or miles often limit redemption to travel related purchases. Citi® Double Cash Card has no such purchase category restrictions, and offers several ways to redeem your rewards.
Redemption options include:
- A statement credit toward your card balance
- A check in the amount of your cash reward balance (which could take up to 10 business days to receive)
- Direct deposit into a linked Citibank checking or savings account
- Through a gift card (which could take up to three weeks to receive)
Redemption in any form requires a minimum cash back rewards balance of $25 or more. As you can see from the above list, Citi® Double Cash Card redemption options are ultimately all in actual cash form, making the redemption process incredibly straightforward.
Recommended strategy: Have a credit card that pays higher rewards, like 5%, on revolving quarterly categories you’re likely to buy. Examples include the Chase Freedom Visa, with 5% cash back on rotating categories, and Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, with 6% at U.S. supermarkets,
Then use the Citi® Double Cash Card to earn 2% cash back on all other purchases. This will work to your advantage, because most cards offering higher rewards on revolving categories only provide 1% on general purchases.
Citi® Double Cash Card provides generous features and benefits, in addition to the 18 month 0% APR introductory offer on balance transfers and 2% cash back rewards. Those features and benefits include:
Free FICO score: Get your monthly FICO score just for being a member. The score is provided by Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus. The FICO score provided is FICO Bankcard Score 8, which is commonly used by credit card lenders.
Late fee pass: The normal $39 late fee is waived on your first late payment. Citi understands when you make a mistake!
Citi Private Pass: You’ll get special access to purchase tickets for thousands of events each year. These include presale tickets and VIP packages for concerts, sporting events, dining, and even complementary movie screenings. You can access these at citiprivatepass.com.
Citi Concierge: Citi has a staff of specially trained experts who can assist you with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and even everyday needs.
Worldwide Car Rental Insurance: Covers up to $50,000 toward the cost of repairs or the cash value of the car, whichever is less. Applies to a covered accident or theft to a vehicle you rent using the card. It applies to all vehicles, and requires that you waive the rental car company’s collision damage waiver.
Travel services: Citi® Double Cash Card comes with numerous travel services, including trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, lost baggage protection, roadside assistance, travel and emergency assistance, and worldwide travel accident insurance.
Purchase protection: Covers you for damage or theft of up to $10,000 per claim for new purchases for up to 120 days. (Or up to $50,000 per year). Also offers extended warranty protection, adding up to 24 months to the U.S. manufacturer’s warranties.
Fraud protection: Citi® Double Cash Card provides 24 hour fraud protection to alert you of any unusual activity on your account. They also offer Citi Identity Theft Solutions to provide assistance should you become a victim of identity theft.
Lost Wallet Service: If you lose your card, Citi will replace it, usually within 24 hours. They can also provide you with emergency cash, based on your available cash advance limit.
$0 liability for unauthorized charges: If an unauthorized charge shows up in your account, you won’t be responsible to pay for it. The fraud protection service will alert you of possible unauthorized activity, enabling you to act quickly on any suspicious activity.
Customer service: Available by toll-free phone or live chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For faster customer service, just say “representative” when you call, and you’ll get through quicker.
Apple Pay and PayPal: You can pay in-app at more than 200,000 stores with the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini. You can also link your credit card to a PayPal account, giving you all the convenience and security features that come with PayPal purchases (protects you by eliminating the necessity to provide your credit card number, particularly for online purchases).
Account access: You can access your credit card account using either the Citi website, or the Citi Mobile App. It’s available on the App Store for iOS devices, 10.0 and later, and is comparable with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s also available on Google Play, for Android devices, 5.0 and up.
Citi Price Rewind
Make a purchase using your Citi® Double Cash Card, and Citi Price Rewind will search for the lowest price at hundreds of online merchants on the registered items you paid for using the card. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference in price.
The maximum benefit per item is the lesser of the amount charged to your card, or $200. The maximum benefit per calendar year is $1,000 per account.
You must register your purchases at citipricerewind.com. But if you find a lower published price yourself, you can request the difference in price.
You must be at least 18 years old and have both a U.S. mailing address and a Social Security number. The application can be completed entirely online or by phone. You will be required to provide the following information:
- Your name
- Physical address (you must have a U.S. address)
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Your annual income
- Your bank account (checking, savings, or money market account)
- Monthly house payment
You’ll be given an opportunity to add an authorized user. If so, plan to have that person’s information available for the application.
In addition, have a list of the credit card accounts you want to pay off, if you intend to take advantage of the 0% introductory offer on balance transfers.
- Annual Fee: None
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 15.74% to 25.74% variable APR based on creditworthiness
- Cash advance APR: 27.49% APR
- Cash advance fee: The greater of $10 or 5% of the amount transferred
- 0% Introductory APR: Applies to balance transfers completed within four months of opening the card, and is effective for 18 months. It does not apply to purchases.
- Balance transfer fee: The greater of 5% of the amount of each transfer, or $5
- Foreign transaction fees: 3%
- Late payment or return payment fee: $39 (waived on your first late payment)
Citi® Double Cash Card Pros and Cons
- Balance transfer offer — The 0% APR on balance transfers offer is one of the most generous in the industry, extending to 18 months. It’s made even better by the low balance transfer fee, which is the lower of $5 or 3% of the amount transferred. This is much lower than the 5% many competing cards charge.
- 2% cash back — This applies to all purchases and can provide more rewards than higher percentage offers on revolving quarterly categories.
- Easy rewards redemption — Cash rewards redemption is one of the simplest in the industry. Rewards are unlimited, and can be redeemed in cash and cash equivalents. You’re not limited to using your rewards for a narrow set of redemption options.
- No annual fee — The Citi® Double Cash Card has no annual fee.
- Late fee pass — Citi offers a late fee pass on your first late payment.
- Citi Price Rewind — Offers the opportunity to get a lower price on an item within 60 days of purchase using the card.
- 0% APR is for balance transfers only — The 0% APR introductory offer extends only to balance transfers, and does not include purchases.
- No sign-up bonus — Citi® Double Cash Card does not provide a sign-up bonus of any type.
- There are no higher rewards categories — You won't see higher rewards like 5% for groceries or gas. However, this is largely offset by getting 2% cash back on all purchases, all the time.
- 3% foreign transaction fee — You may want to consider using another card for international travel or purchases.
If you’re looking for credit cards with comparable balance transfer offers, BankAmericard and Wells Fargo Platinum card also offer 0% APR for 18 billing cycles. Wells Fargo Platinum card even extends the 0% APR to purchases.
You can check out other balance transfer cards at Dough Roller’s Guide to the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2020. And while Citi® Double Cash Card isn’t on that list (yet), it’s equal to the best.
Citi® Double Cash Card is the perfect card to sign up for if you have high interest credit cards and you’re looking to consolidate through a balance transfer. The 0% introductory APR on balance transfers extends to an industry-leading 18 months, and the balance transfer fee of the lower of $5 or 3% of the amount transferred is at the low end of the industry range.
This is also an excellent card to have if you’re looking for consistent above average cash rewards. Citi® Double Cash Card pays 2% on all purchases, unrestricted. Though this isn’t as high as the 5% offers on some cards on revolving categories, it’s both consistent and easy to manage. There’s no need to worry about matching your card use with the category of the quarter.
The card also offers complete simplicity in redeeming your rewards. They can be redeemed for statement credits against your card balance, checks issued you personally, gift cards, or even transferred directly into a linked Citibank account. There are no redemption restrictions requiring you to redeem your cash back, points, or miles for select spending categories.
The fact that Citi® Double Cash Card also offers late fee forgiveness on your first late payment, and has no annual fee, are just bonuses on an already generous credit card package.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to sign up for the card, visit the Citi® Double Cash Card website.