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The Citi® Double Cash Card is a no-frills, no annual fee cash back card that doesn’t offer any big impressive benefits or headline-grabbing earning rates in a select spending category, but is still one of the very best cash back cards that you can hold. For the miles & points enthusiast as well as for someone just looking for a good cash back card, this is a card that offers a compelling proposition.
The Citi® Double Cash Card
This card is not currently offering a welcome bonus.
- 2% cash back on all purchases with no cap on earnings*
*The card pays 1% cash back when an eligible purchase appears on your monthly statement and further 1% cash back upon paying, a the very least, the minimum amount due on the statement.
This card does not offer any notable benefits.
What’s so special about this card
The Citi® Double Cash Card has always been a popular card because it allows users to earn 2% back on purchases on spending in categories in which other credit cards don’t generally offer bonuses.
While spending in categories like dining, travel, gas, and groceries are easily covered by cards like the card_name (review), the card_name, and the card_name it’s hard to get more than 1 point/dollar (1.5%/dollar) on spending in a number of other popular shopping categories (big box stores, department stores, etc…) and that’s where the Citi® Double Cash card comes into play.
The big enhancements
Back in 2019, the Citi® Double Cash Card got a huge boost when Citi introduced one very important change to how the card’s cash back can be used.
Up to 21 September 2019, this was a pure cash back card in that the most that you could extract from it was 2% cash back.
From 22 September 2019, however, Citi allowed the cash back that the Citi® Double Cash Card earns to be converted to its ThankYou points currency when a cardholder also holds either the Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants) or the card_name.
Then, on 28 March 2022, the Citi® Double Cash Card got even better:
- The historic requirement to earn $25 cash back before the cash back can be claimed was removed.
- The card started to earn ThankYou points rather than cash back (which meant that cardholders started to earn one ThankYou point when they made a purchase and one ThankYou point when they paid for that purchase).
- ThankYou points earned by the Double Cash Card continued to be redeemable for cash back at the original rate (1 point = 1%) but the option to redeem them for other things like gift cards, flights, and hotels was also added.
The ThankYou Points earned by the Citi® Double Cash Card continue not to be transferable to most of the Thank You program’s transfer partners unless a cardholder also holds a premium ThankYou credit card, but transfers to JetBlue, Choice Privileges, and Wyndham Rewards are possible.
For those who hold a premium Citi ThankYou card as well as the Citi® Double Cash Card, the ThankYou Points earned by the Double Cash Card can be converted to any one of 16 airline loyalty currencies so, effectively, the Citi® Double Cash Card can earn 2 miles (or points) per dollar in any of the following airline loyalty programs:
- Aeromexico – Club Premier
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Etihad Guest
- Emirates Skywards
- Eva Air Infinity MileageLands
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
It can also earn 2 points/dollar in either of the following hotel loyalty programs:
- Choice Privileges
- Wyndham Rewards
I value Citi ThankYou points at 1.5 cents each (based on the value that I know I can get out of them without much effort) so when paired with a card_name, the Citi® Double Cash Card could be said to effectively earn a cardholder a rebate of 3% on all purchases.
A cardholder who transfers ThankYou Points to one or more of Citi’s airline partners, who’s prepared to put in a bit of work, and who exercises a bit of patience, can often extract considerably more than 1.5 cents out of each ThankYou point used (usually by booking premium cabin awards) and it’s this that makes the Citi® Double Cash Card’s earnings considerably more valuable than the headline 2% rate would suggest.
A great pairing
As I’ve already mentioned, as a standalone card the Citi® Double Cash Card is a great card to hold because it allows a cardholder to earn a minimum of 2% cash back wherever they shop, but, as I’ve also explained, the card gets even better if it’s paired with one of Citi’s more premium cards.
With that in mind, here are the earning rates a cardholder would have access to if they held the Citi® Double Cash Card alongside the card_name (which comes with a annual_fees annual fee):
- 3 points/dollar – Dining
- 3 points/dollar – Supermarkets
- 3 points/dollar – Gas stations
- 3 points/dollar – Air Travel & Hotels
- 2% cash back or 2 points/dollar – Spending in all other categories
Based on my valuation of Citi ThankYou Points (1.5 cents each), the earning rates listed above represent effective rebates of between 3% and 4.5% on all of a cardholder’s spending. That’s fantastic for an annual outlay of just annual_fees.
Also, as the card_name gives cardholders a $100 rebate on a hotel stay costing a minimum of $500 (and booked through ThankYou.com), used wisely, the Citi® Double Cash Card/card_name pairing could pay for itself.
The Citi® Double Cash Card has always been a strong cash back card, but ever since Citi started to allow the cash back that it earns to be converted to ThankYou points, it has been one of the best cash back cards on the market.
On its own, this is a great card to hold, but when held alongside the card_name, it forms a fantastic credit card pairing.