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Citi Double Cash Card: 2% Cash Back + More ThankYou Point Options + New $200 Limited-Time Offer

New $200 limited-time offer.The Citi® Double Cash Card is a popular rewards credit card as it offers 2% flat cash back on all purchases, not just specific categories. As of March 2022, $1 in cash back rewards is also 100 Citi ThankYou points for potentially even better reward redemptions (details below). For example, if you value a Citi ThankYou point at 1.5 cents per point (by using the Citi Premier card and redeeming them as airline miles for free flights), then that is effectively get 3% value back! I’ve had this card for years. Right now, there is a $200 limited-time offer for new cardholders, which is the highest that I’ve seen.

  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • 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.
  • No annual fee.

There is a 0% APR balance transfer offer available, but I must warn you that 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.

  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% – 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • 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).

Cash back details. Imagine you make a $100 purchase. 1 point per $1 spent is 100 points. You pay the $100 bill from your bank account, and get an additional 100 points. Final tally: 200 points = $2.00 back on $100 in purchases. In other words, still 2% cash back.

There is no longer a minimum redemption amount of $25 for direct deposits into your bank account or statement credit ($5 minimum for paper check). You can redeem as little as 1 point for 1 cent, cashing out down to the penny.

You can redeem for cash via statement credit, direct deposit to your bank account, or a paper check. The direct deposit works with any Citi bank account or verified non-Citi bank account. In the past, this just meant that you made two successful credit card payments from your non-Citi bank account.

Citi ThankYou point details. Since $0.01 in cash back rewards is the same as 1 Citi ThankYou point, it is very valuable that Citi lets you combine Citi Thankyou points across cards. From their FAQ:

Can customers combine points from multiple Citi accounts?
Absolutely, as long as all the Citi Accounts are owned by the same person. If they have one (or more) Citi credit cards participating in ThankYou® Rewards, Citibank consumer checking account and other linked banking products and services, an enrolled Citi Corporate Travel & Entertainment Card, they can combine the associated ThankYou® accounts into 1 ThankYou® Account. Please note that if they combine their ThankYou® Accounts, points are not separated based on which Citi Account they were earned and are displayed as a total among all Citi Accounts.

If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card AND the Citi Premier Card:

  • By having the Citi Premier Card, you can transfer the ThankYou points earned on the Citi Double Cash to participating airline mileage programs on a 1:1 basis including JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Etihad, Flying Blue by Air France and KLM, and Thai Airways.
  • By having the Citi Double Cash, you can cash out the ThankYou points earned on the Citi Premier Card (which has the special feature of paying 3X points at Supermarkets, Restaurants, Gas Stations, Air Travel, and Hotels).

If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card AND the Citi Rewards+ Card:

  • By having the Citi Rewards+ Card, you get 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year. For example, if you earn and redeem 20,000 ThankYou points, you’ll get 2,000 points rebated back to your account.
  • The Citi Rewards+ Card automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, so for example a $1 parking charge or $2 cup of coffee can earn 10 points. ).

If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card AND the Citi Custom Cash Card:

  • By using the Citi Custom Cash Card, you get 5% cash back (5X Thank You points) on your top eligible spending category up to $500 spent each monthly billing cycle. (The Citi Double Cash card does not have any special categories.)
  • By using the Citi Double Cash, you get 2% cash back (2X Thank You points) on all other purchases. (The Citi Custom Cash card only earns 1% cash back on all other purchases.)

You can combine all of your various ThankYou points account into one account by calling Citi ThankYou at 800-842-6596 or the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, you can try it online by logging into your ThankYou account and clicking on “Points Summary” in the top right corner where it says “Hi [Your Name]”. See below:

As you can see, Citi has been steadily improving their ThankYou point program to make it more rewarding to hold multiple Citi credit cards. It is good for the consumer to have competition with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards points, and Capital One Miles.

Bottom line. The Citi® Double Cash Card lets you earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. Everyone should have a 2% cash back card in their purse/wallets, even if they have other cards with higher cashback in specific categories. I’ve had this card for several years now. You can also convert $1 in cash back into 100 Citi ThankYou points, which offers additional flexibility and potentially more valuable redemption options when combined with other Citi rewards cards.

Vanguard Cash Deposit Program: New Cash Sweep Option (Currently Invitation Only)

Vanguard has been gradually rolling out a new option for the cash settlement sweep in your Vanguard Brokerage Account. The Vanguard Cash Deposit is FDIC-insured via partner banks and is currently available to select customers on an invitation-only basis:

Currently, enrollment in the Vanguard Cash Deposit program is by invitation only to existing clients who have at least one Vanguard Brokerage Account. Mutual fund accounts, 529s, or other accounts are not eligible for Vanguard Cash Deposit.

Here is a quick comparison of the interest rates from the two available options:

Banking Partners (as of 8/10/2022)

  • Valley National Bank (FDIC cert. 9396)
  • NexBank (FDIC cert. 29209)
  • Synovus Bank (FDIC cert. 873)
  • Bank of Baroda (FDIC cert. 33681) (coming soon)
  • Synchrony Bank (FDIC cert. 27314) (coming soon)

Commentary. Vanguard’s existing cash sweep fund, the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX), already invests “at least 99.5% of its total assets in cash, U.S. government securities, and/or repurchase agreements that are collateralized solely by U.S. government securities or cash (collectively, government securities).” In other words, everything inside is also fully backed by the US government. I am a big fan of FDIC insurance, but even I don’t lose any sleep at all about the safety of VMFXX, not to mention I’ve found VMFXX historically tracks short-term interest rates quite well. As of this writing (8/10/22), VMFXX is yielding about 35 basis points more than the Cash Deposit sweep.

I don’t know if this new cash sweep option is in response to consumer demand, or if it will serve as a profit source for Vanguard. I’m sure that some people out there will prefer having FDIC insurance, even it means less interest income. (Be sure not to exceed the FDIC limits at any of the partner banks, such as having separate account held there.) For now, I’ll pass. If the Cash Deposit sweep does start earning a lot more, I would consider switching.

If you wish to opt in to this option, you can try to check if you are “invited” by visiting the product page, clicking on “Choose Vanguard Cash Deposit”, and logging into your Vanguard brokerage account. I was also repeatedly greeted by a pop-up window upon login.

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