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Citi Double Cash Card Review

Dayana Yochim

Written by Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Andrea Coombes

March 12, 2024

Why trust us? has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.

The Citi Double Cash Card rewards goody-two-shoes cardholders who pay down balances by doubling the cash back rate to 2%.

If the specter of shelling out double-digit interest on outstanding balances doesn’t scare you into paying off your debt, perhaps some positive reinforcement in the form of earning extra scratch will.

The Citi Double Cash Card pays out 1% cash back upfront on every dollar you spend, and another 1% cash back on every dollar that goes towards paying down your balance. A credit card that encourages customers to avoid debt? Color us impressed, which is why the Citi Double Cash Card is our 2024 Annual Awards pick for Best Healthly Habits Rewards Card.

Keep this in mind: The Citi Double Cash Card has been joined recently by a spate of 2% cash back credit cards, many of which don't attach strings to the bonus rate. My standing recommendation to rewards card maximizers is to pair a flat-rate cash back card with a bonus-category card that pays 3% to 5% or more on a select few spending categories.

Citi showdown: Flat-rate 2% cash back vs. 5% on one of 10 spending categories each month: Citi's got you covered. See our Citi Double Cash vs. Citi Custom Cash comparison.

The basics: Earn 2% cash back on everything — 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay off your balance, no caps on cash back earned. 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. Limited time offer: Earn 5% total cash back on hotel and car rentals booked on the Citi Travel portal through 12/31/24. Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of your Citi Double Cash card account opening

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Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card Logo
Cashback Per Year
Annual Fee
Welcome Bonus
Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Citi Double Cash Card pros and cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • 2% unlimited cash back on everything (eventually)
  • Rewards good financial behavior
  • Welcome bonus and 0% intro APR on balance transfers
  • No annual fee

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • This is a 1% cash back card if you don't pay off your balance
  • No bonus rewards spending categories = limited rewards potential
  • Charges a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% balance transfer fee after intro period

Citi Double Cash Card cashback rewards spending categories

The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.

Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (aka the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g., $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”

Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 2.00% - - -
Travel 2.00% - - -
Dining 2.00% - - -
Entertainment 2.00% - - -
Pharmacy 2.00% - - -
Groceries 2.00% - - -
Other Purchases 2.00% - - -

Note: The unlimited 2% cash back rewards rate applies only to purchases as they are paid off (either in full or over time). You earn 1% cash back when you buy, and the other 1% when you pay. The credit card calculator assumes readers have the best intentions and and uses the 2% cash back rewards.

Special Citi Double Cash Card promotion: Through 12/31/24, earn 5% total cash back on hotel and car rentals booked on the Citi Travel portal.

What we like

A 2% cashback rate with no annual fee? Next you’re gonna tell me that the Citi Double Cash Card also does dishes and remembers to put down the toilet seat. Who doesn't love a no-hassle, flat-rate rewards card?

Although half (1%) of the cashback rate is withheld until you pay off the purchase, that’s a hurdle we can get behind. The alternative is shelling out double-digit interest on unpaid balances.

A welcome bonus and no-interest balance transfer offer are up for grabs for new cardholders. (Be mindful of balance transfer fees, however. More on that below.) I've noticed that welcome bonuses and 0% intro APRs are few and far between among 2% cash back cards. The Citi Double Cash Card and the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card are two exceptions.

Earn 5% cash back total on Citi-booked travel ... for a while. Currently on offer, an extra 3% cash back (on top of the 2% available on all purchases) for hotel and car rentals booked on the Citi Travel portal through 12/31/24.

No spending categories to track or quarterly opt-in thingamajigs to deal with? We likey.

Multiple reward redemption options available. The Citi Double Cash Card pays out rewards in the form of ThankYou Points (e.g., 10,000 ThankYou Points = $100 cash back). They're redeemable for a direct deposit, statement credit, check or for gift cards, travel and more, although the redemption value on the latter may vary.

Offers a whopping 18 months at a 0% APR on balance transfers made during the first four months. Keep in mind that new purchases will incur interest.

What we don't like

There are 2% unlimited cash back cards available with no strings attached, meaning ones that pay cardholders the entire rewards rate regardless if you carry a balance or not. (See our picks for the Best 2% Cash Back Credit Cards.)

the 0% intro APR applies only to balance transfers, not purchases. On the topic of balance transfers ...

The 3% balance transfer fee applies only to amounts transferred within the first four months of card ownership. After that, you'll pay 5%. Ouch.

Cash advances are a costly 5% ($10 minimum) of the amount of each cash advance. In other words, try not to do that, okay?

The 3% foreign transaction fee doesn't make for a good travel buddy for cardholders venturing outside of the U.S.

p.s.: Redeeming cash back as a statement credit doesn’t count as paying off purchases. You’ve got to cough up your own money to earn the second 1%.

The bottom line

Is the Citi Double Cash Card the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.

Citi Double Cash Card fine print

Everything above, written in dense paragraphs (and a few tables) by handsomely paid lawyers. Plus, here's the suitable-for-printing Thank You rewards brochure for your files.

Does the Citi Double Cash Card charge an annual fee?

No, there is no annual fee for the Citi Double Cash Card.

tips_and_updates Trivia time!

How common are annual fees? Roughly 17% of the consumer cash back cards we review charge an annual fee. They range from $39 to $99, with an average annual fee of $67.

Does the Citi Double Cash Card offer a welcome bonus?

No, the Citi Double Cash Card card does not currently offer a welcome bonus.

tips_and_updates Fun fact

More than half (55%) of the consumer cash back credit cards we track in the database offer a welcome bonus, ranging from $30 up to $300. The average sign-up bonus for new cardholders is $197, with the median being $200.

How much cash back can I earn with the Citi Double Cash Card?

The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $240.00 in cash back per year using the Citi Double Cash Card. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.

These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Citi Double Cash Card depends entirely on your unique spending habits.

Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Citi Double Cash Card by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.

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The results of the Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.

To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:

  • Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
  • Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
  • Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
  • Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
  • Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.

What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)

About the Editorial Team

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool,, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on "Today," "Good Morning America," CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Andrea Coombes
Andrea Coombes

Andrea Coombes has 20+ years of experience helping people reach their financial goals. Her personal finance articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications, and she's shared her expertise on CBS, NPR, "Marketplace," and more. She's been a financial coach and certified consumer credit counselor, and is working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner. She knows that owning pets isn't necessarily the best financial decision; her dog and two cats would argue this point.