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Citi Double Cash Card—Get Rewarded for Purchases and Payments!

Updated: May 6

Most credit cards that offer rewards are one-sided—you only earn rewards when you make a purchase. The Citi® Double Cash Card adds an additional way to earn rewards—as you pay your balance!

An unexpected reward is an occasion for joy
An unexpected reward is an occasion for joy! Image courtesy of Unsplash

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Citi® Double Cash Card

If you are looking for an easy-to-use, no-nonsense credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card is the card for you! You can earn 2% cashback on purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay. There are no special categories, caps, or annual fees. This makes it a great card to use on your non-category spend—purchases that typically do not result in bonus multipliers. You can apply for this card here!

Although the welcome bonus does not come with a cashback bonus for spending a certain amount within a specified timeframe, it does come with an intriguing balance transfer offer: 0% intro APR balance transfer for 18 months with a transfer fee of 3% if completed within the first 4 months of account opening.

This could be a great way to lower your interest rate on an existing credit card by taking advantage of this balance transfer offer. Feel free to use our Credit Card Calculator to determine how much money you could save by lowering your interest rate or increasing your monthly payments!

Although the Citi® Double Cash Card is marketed as a cashback card, you are allowed to covert your cash rewards to ThankYou® Points at a 1:1 ratio. This could easily double the value of your rewards by using Citi's transfer partners. In other words, with strategic redemptions, the actual value could be 4X on non-category spend! We will dive more into that a little later.

2% Cashback Rewards!

As mentioned previously, you can earn 2% on every purchase—an unlimited 1% when you buy and an additional 1% as you pay. Receiving rewards from paying your balance is rare for credit card products. It provides an incentive to pay your bill—although most individuals in the Award Travel space already understand the importance of paying their balance off in full every month. You don't want interest eating away your rewards. You can apply for this card here!

One of the biggest competitor of the Citi® Double Cash Card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is also a great credit card that offers 1.5% on all non-category purchases. However, it does offer 3% on dining and drug store purchases, and 5% on Chase Travel purchased through Chase's Travel Portal. You can learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in the following post: Chase Freedom Unlimited—Don't Miss Out on This Card!

Adding Even More Value

2% cashback—or 2X—can be a good outcome for non-category spend. However, there is a way to get even more value! By having one of Citi's travel cards—Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card—the door to one of Citi's transfer partners opens! (The Citi Prestige® Card has been removed from the products of Citi; they are, however, servicing existing cardmembers.)

Flexible Points Currencies—such as Citi ThankYou® Points—are extremely valuable. I personally utilize Flexible Points Currencies as opposed to cashback. I would rather get additional value from a redemption—even though it does require some extra work. But, if the "extra work" results in hundreds or thousands of dollars of extra value, it is a win in my book.

Citi currently has 19 transfer partners. Perhaps the least understood but, often, the most valuable method of utilizing your existing points is to transfer your existing points to a transferrable partner. You are transferring your points to a partner of Citi, and redeeming those points with that partner for an award flight.

Although the transfer rate is fixed—1:1 point transfer to any airline partner—the end value is not. When done strategically, it is possible to get a value of MORE than 2 cents per point! Partners such as Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Avianca Airlines LifeMiles can be leveraged for some amazing redemptions!

ThankYou® Points

You can earn ThankYou® Points from other Citi credit cards and pool your points together. This includes the Citi Premier® Card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, and the Citi Rewards+® Card. You can combine all of your ThankYou® Points earned using the aforementioned credit cards and have one large "pot" to store your points. You can compare and apply for one of these credit cards here!

Citi has an interesting policy when it comes to being able to "share" your ThankYou® Points with other ThankYou® members. Not only are you able to transfer your ThankYou® Points to family members living within your own household—aka Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points—but you can transfer them to just about anyone else who also has a ThankYou® account with Citi.

Some stipulations are important to understand before you make this move. For example, the most ThankYou® Points you are allowed to transfer to another ThankYou® member per calendar year is 100,000. Shared ThankYou® Points expire 90 days after they are received. It also is against Citi's policy to sell or barter your ThankYou® Points.

The Citi Trifecta

The "Citi trifecta" is strategically combining three Citi credit cards to boost your rewards earning potential. Not all Citi-branded credit cards "qualify" for this special designation.

One potential setup for the Citi trifecta includes (1) the Citi Premier® Card, (2) the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, and (3) the Citi® Double Cash Card.

To learn more about the Citi Premier® Card, see the following post: Citi Premier Card—Don't Underestimate This Workhorse!

To learn more about the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, see the following post: Citi Custom Cash Card—How to Use It & How to Not Use it.

Each of the aforementioned credit cards that make up the Citi trifecta earns rewards in various categories and at different multiplier rates. To maximize the points earned, it is important to select the credit card that has the best multiplier rate for the item you intend to purchase. This method will yield more ThankYou® Points that lead to the desired outcome—more money in your pocket!

"Citi's trifecta is a very powerful combination in the Award Travel space."

The Citi Premier® Card is the only credit card with an annual fee—$95. You will need this card to transfer your ThankYou® Points to one of Citi's 19 transfer partners.

Calculate "Your" Value of Citi® Double Cash Card

Everyone has their own spending habits. Therefore, selecting the right credit card is a personal decision. Wouldn't it be great if there was a calculator that generated a value based upon your spending habits?

There is! AwardYourMiles has developed a Miles & Points Calculator. Select the credit card and enter the amount of money you spend on average per month in the corresponding category. It will calculate the following:

  1. The monetary value of your first and second years using the credit card; and

  2. The miles/ points generated from your spend.

AwardYourMiles has also developed a Credit Card Selector Calculator. It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of each credit card in your first year of use!

Annual Fee

The Citi® Double Cash Card does not have an annual fee.

Final Thought

Citi® Double Cash Card is a great card to have! With Citi and Chase competing with each other consumers get to reap the benefits! Right now is a golden opportunity to apply for credit cards. Sign-up bonuses have increased and it has resulted in making it easier than ever to accumulate miles & points which can be redeemed for Award Travel! You can apply for this card here!

Do you want to learn how to avoid common mistakes that are made with a credit card? Read about this in the following post: Avoid These Five Mistakes With a Credit Card!

Do you feel overwhelmed with all the options available when it comes to redeeming your miles & points? Would you like some assistance to get you started in the right direction? You will benefit from the services of a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. You will be assisted with regards to earning miles & points through credit card use and redeeming those miles & points for Award Travel. Or, feel free to use any of our Award Travel Tools online. Get started today!


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