Citi® Double Cash Card Review: 2% Cash Back on ALL Purchases, No Annual Fee

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If you want simplicity, the best rewards card for most people that pay their balance every month is the Citi® Double Cash Card. It offers a flat 2% cash back with no points or miles to redeem, no categories to remember, and no bank affiliation required. Even the highlights are short:

  • 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. (Balance transfers do not earn cash back.)
  • No annual fee.

This all comes with no caps, no tiers, no category restrictions, no quarterly enrollment hoops, no rotating categories. The only way you don’t get your 1% + 1% total is if you default on your bill and don’t even make the minimum payments. You can redeem your cash rewards in full as soon as it totals $25 or more, via check, direct deposit, or statement credit (i.e. if you have $31.44, you can get a check for $31.44). The New York Times, CNBC, and Wirecutter have also rated this the best cash back rewards credit card.

Care about the math details? How exactly does earning cash back twice work? First, imagine you put $100 on the charge, 1% is earned so you have $1. Then you redeem that $1 (ignore minimums for this example) for a paper check or direct deposit (not statement credit). You pay the $100 bill from your bank account, and get an additional 1% or $1 back. Final tally: $2.00 back on $100 in purchases. In other words, 2% cash back.

Alternatively, imagine you charge $100 on the card and again 1% is earned so you have $1. Then you redeem that $1 (ignore minimums for this example) for a statement credit (as opposed to paper check or direct deposit) which means Citi actually “paid” for $1 of the $100. So you pay the remaining $99 and get an additional 1% or $0.99 back. Final tally: $1.99 back on $100 in purchases. 1.99/100 = 1.99%. Just pointing out a technicality here. If you charged $1,000 per month, the difference between 1.99% and 2% per month would be a whopping 10 cents per month, or $1.20 per year.

Obviously, you’ll want to pay in full every month as to not rack up interest charges which can quickly offset your cashback rewards. Note that you are only allowed to redeem cash rewards in the form of an electronic funds transfer into a linked bank account if it is a checking account from any bank from which you have paid a Citi Credit Card bill at least two times, or any Citi savings/checking account.

There have been similar cards in the past but they either closed to new applicants or require additional relationship accounts. If you have another Citi card, you can call in and try to convert to this card with varying success. Converted cards are not eligible for the 0% interest offer.

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. No categories to track. This is indeed double what many other cash back credit cards offer, and comes with no annual fee. 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.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

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  1. I have a Citi Dividend MasterCard, think they’ll let me convert to the Double Cash?

    • I just called and converted my citi dividend mastercard. It took less than 5 minutes.

    • I have had the Priceline 2% card for ten years. Any new accounts that are opened now only get 1%. But I have been GrandFathered and still get 2% cash back. I also have the Citi Double Cash card, but I carry a balance on it….so I use the Priceline card now for the 2%.

      For restaurant and fast food I use US Bank GO card and get 4%. For grocery stores, I use American Express and get 6% back.

  2. Cool, but one question: in the past (or even currently for some customers) Citi runs a tiered point system in that it considers some of its cards (often those with annual fees) to be “premium” cards that give you the standard 1% cash redemption options at 1 pt = 1 cent, and other cards non-premium cards that only provide a devalued 1 pt = 0.625 cent. Does that tiered system apply here?

    • This is a cash back card Cody, not a rewards card; so you’ll earn the 1% cash immediately after the purchase posts, and another 1% after you make the payment on your statement.

      No ThankYou points of any kind.

  3. This card doesn’t give you thank you points. It is cashback, like the Dividend card.

  4. This beats the Fidelity AMEX and the hoops I’m jumping through for their 2%. As soon as I cancel this BarclayCard the week before the free year ends and the annual fee begins, this will be my card. Thanks for the info.

    • Which hoops? You mean the fee-free checking account it requires to redeem the full value of the points? I agree that this new Citi card is easier to use since it’s a MasterCard but on the flip side, Citi is known to categorize certain transactions as cash advance which no other card does…

  5. My card gives me 2% back on all purchases but you can only do a statement credit or get giftcards with it. This one sounds a little easier to get your money back. However, I just wanted to put it out there that there are other options as well.

    • @Eric – The 2% cash back card is no longer available for new applicants/customers, and hasn’t been since early to mid 2013.

      • Oh really? I didn’t know that… I think this card might be easier to get your money anyway as that one you have to have so many points and a charge that it works with etc. – still a good card though. I might grab this one too since good cards are hard to come by. Thanks for the info though as I didn’t know that about the Priceline card.

  6. Rob Austin says

    Where does it say Mastercard? It doesn’t say any thing Visa or any thing

  7. This is why I come here. Great news!

  8. If you have a Chase Ink card, you can purchase Visa GC online and earn about 2.7% cash back on everything you spend.
    $200 VGC with $6.95 Fee but you get 206.95*5 = 1035 Chase UR points or $10.35 plus you get 1% back on every purchase $200 or more at Staples from signing up for Visa Savings Edge program.
    So $10.35 + $2.07 – $6.95 = $5.42
    $5.42/$200 = 2.71%

  9. My oldest credit line is with Citibank, but I rarely use it anymore. If I call to convert the card to this one would I keep the original opening date?

  10. Applied and got approved. 4500 CL with 12.99% interest. I already have a grandfathered 5x Citi Forward card with 10k CL.

  11. I called to convert my divdend card to the new double cash. “Oh the product is too new, and our systems are not updated. Sorry, I cannot convert it now. Call us in a few months.” Really?

    • You can call to verify, but I believe everything stays the same except for the name change along with new terms and conditions, which include rewards/cash back.

  12. OK. 1% back on purchases and 1% back on payments. Could the statement credit option negatively affect your total cash back since you are reducing the amount of your payments toward the credit card bill?

    • Funny you should ask that, Citi just contacted me and said it shouldn’t be called a 2% cashback on everything because if you ask for your cash back by statement credit, you actually get 1.99% cash back. Imagine you put $100 on the charge, 1% is earned so you have $1. Then you redeem that $1 (ignore minimums for this example) for a statement credit which means Citi actually “paid” for $1 of the $100. So you pay the remaining $99 and get an additional 1% or $0.99 back. Final tally: $1.99 back on $100 in purchases, or 1.99% back.

      If you ask for your cash rewards in the form if a statement credit, you’ll get 1.99% effective cash back.
      If you ask for your cash rewards in the form of a check, you’ll get the full 2% total cash back.

      • Just FYI but your math is wrong, it is actually less than 1.99%.
        Month 1) You spend 100$. You get back the 1$ and apply it. When you pay the bill you get back .99$
        Month 2) You spend 100$. You apply the .99$ from last month bill pay AND the 1$ from the purchases for this month. That gives you 100-1.99=98.01$. Then when you pay the 98$ bill you only get back .98$ cents. So the rewards for that second month of 100$ spend is only 1.98%.

  13. Thank you! Wonderful tip. I have to currently carry not just the Fid 2% card but also the CapOne QuickSilver 1.5% card for the many times AmEx is not accepted. Now I can carry one fewer card and get 2% always. 🙂


  14. @ Danh & Jonathan Ping

    I have the ink and am aware of the 5% back at staples but not of the 1% extra for $200 purchase . Is that form Staples or chase ? Can you provide me a link.

  15. Sounds like a great card but I’ll wait until they come out with a signup bonus

  16. Jonathan, any thoughts/predictions on if/when there will be a sign up bonus for this card?

    • I don’t have any info on that, but my guess would be that (1) if there is a sign-up bonus, it won’t be for a least 6 months and (2) if there is one it will be on the order of $50 to $100. Usually these high cashback % cards with no annual fee offer smaller sign-up bonuses, like the Capital One Quicksilver with 1.5% cash back. The Fidelity American Express didn’t offer any sign-up bonus at all for years, then after a few years there was a brief $75 offer. So it could be a while (and it might never come) and you’ll be losing % back while you wait, so it depends on your patience, spending amounts, and what existing cards you have as backup.

  17. 783 credit score.. Got DENIED.. funny imagine that.

    • My recommendation would be to call the Citi reconsideration line at 800-695-5171 to see exactly why they denied you and see if you can do something to change their mind. Perhaps you already have more than 3 Citi cards, as they do have a limit on the number of simultaneously open Citi cards at a time. You may just have to close an old card and maybe reallocate some credit limits.

  18. I know people could get net 4% cash back with the old blue from Amex if buying $500 giftcards from groceries and drugstores (after spending 6.5k that year on them) and using them everywhere else. And then there is that ink card…

    Honestly, I would rather get only 2% and make things a lot more simple and secure -( I. E. What if someone snatches that gift card from you in the parking lot for example? ) . Also being able to track transaction details in mint (you can’t auto import transactions from GCs) is priceless.

  19. This is the only website to recognize that this is not a 2% cash back card. If you collect 1% on charges and 1% on payments for 11 months and then apply the 11 months of rewards to reduce your payment in the 12th month, the cash back return is 1.982% for the twelve month time period. A similar calculation over a 4 month time period yields 1.985% return. Interesting that the advertised card terms imply achieving the actual 2% return with a higher cost mailed check. It will be interesting to see the final details.

  20. If only it weren’t with Citi. I loathe their customer “service” reps…

  21. Hmm… Here’s the thing.

    I can almost always get 5% back on gas with one of the rotating cards. (Though good luck figuring out how much you spent on gas at the end of the year…)

    I also get 5% on Restaurants (Grandfathered Citi Forward) and I eat out A LOT.

    I have another card to get 3% back all the time on groceries from BBVA Compass. (They let you choose a few categories to get 3%).

    So my 3 main categories (Gas, Groceries, Restaurant) each require their own card. I also have to carry the CostCo Amex for when I go there, Target Red and Lowes card also give 5% back….

    I’m up to 6 cards! Adding this card to get an extra 1% on other purchases is a bit cumbersome.

    That said, it would be nice to scrap it all and just have one 2% card for everything… I’d be leaving some money on the table, but tracking spending would then finally be possible. (I’m not even attempting to track spending with so many rotating categories on different cards..) I’d still probably use Costco, Red card, Lowe’s etc for the added benefits they provide.

    Oh for a simple solution… Alas it doesn’t look like my “coin” card will get here anytime soon. (And even then it might not work for long with chip and pin around the corner.)

    • Why not just track your expenses with

      • Mint always puts things in weird categories. I’ll spend hundreds of dollars on a medical bill and then get worried when mint emails me saying my spending on “shopping” is unusually high.

  22. You can apply for Fidelity 2% card still right? I see their AD all the time when I login to my 401k account at Fidelity…

    • Fidelity used to have a Mastercard that offered 2% flat cash back with no tiers. That card is not longer available, but existing users have been grandfathered in for many years, not sure how long that will last though.

      The current Fidelity AmEx is still 2% as they have higher merchant fees, but the current Fidelity Visa is 1.5% until you reach $15,000 in purchases for the year and then 2% on purchases over $15,000.

  23. This is unrelated but its the first time I saw the Math regarding statement credit. Very interesting!

    For this card its clear that you get 1.99 as opposed to 2%, but what about other cards like Spark Business and Barclay that also let you redeem for statement credit. I would think they are still fine and would net you full 2% as those cards flat out earn 2% and NOT 1% + 1% (for what you pay which is already reduced by 1%).

    Am I right in assuming that? I have never really paid attention to redeeming for a check vs statement credit cuz its always easier to get a credit than go to bank or use banking app to deposit the check, until NOW.


  24. @ Prince Barclay Card when redeemed for cash or statement credit is only worth 1/2 of the reward value, ie 5000 points is worth on 25$ unless redeemed for travel.

    @ Sconi my wife also denied the card with score in the 780’s also, the letter said information provided could not be verified, whatever that means. We have been using the same info for 20 years. We could call as Jonathon suggests and I am sure get approved but with no bonus I dont think we feel like the effort, I might apply

  25. Just called and converted my ThankYou card into this one, so I guess they’ve gotten their act together since KD tried a couple of weeks ago.

    • Mary Anna,

      Were they able to retain your original Thank You opening date? I have a Citi card that I’d like to convert, but it’s my oldest credit line and I need to retain that date.

      • Ethan,

        It appears so. It’s actually the same card number, and I just checked and it still appears as the same item on my credit report, with the same opening date. I think it’s just an internal change of type, doesn’t change the way it reports.

  26. Thanks for the updates. I’ve also read other reports from outside blogs and forums and edited my review to include that information.

  27. This is my experience. I have been a 10+ years customer for Citi cards. I called and asked to convert, and the lady was cordial. Since mine was Dividend visa card, she said number will change. She suggested that if I convert my dividend mastercard, number will stay the same. I wasn’t interested in 0% so I did not check. But, I asked about any incentives or cash for spending $X in Y months and she said that any promotions are not available for conversion. I was assured that my cash rewards pending balance would transfer over.

    • Cooper's Dad says

      @Saagar, you’re not able to keep your existing Dividend Visa account number because the first four digits indicate what type of card it is (VISA or MC) and you’ll be changing interchange companies to Mastercard for this account. I called a couple days ago to convert my Citi Dividends MC to DoubleCash MC and no problem. Changeover was instantaneous, but new card will take 10-14 days to arrive.

  28. My Citi AAdvantage card was due for annual fee/renewal and I wasn’t interested in renewing so I converted it to a Double Cash card end of Sept or beginning of Oct.

  29. I just converted my Citi Dividend American Express card (which has been collecting dust) to the Citi Double Cash card over the phone.

  30. Just converted my Citi Dividend Mastercard to the Double Cash. No credit check required, will get a new card and number, and can keep my unredeemed rewards dollars. I have to wait for the new card to arrive to start getting the benefits. Super easy!

  31. just called Citi to convert my Mastercard Platinum Dividend card. Unfortunately my credit card number will change. Looking forward to the 1.99% (or 2%) cash back though, from the flat 1% (I rarely use the rotating categories)

  32. Quick question, do you still get the 1% back on the payment if you pay down a portion of your balance before the statement is generated?

  33. @Ross, I just called to convert my Citi Dividend MasterCard to Double Cash and they said it could not be done and a new account would be necessary. What did I do wrong?

    • You probably didn’t do anything wrong, I just called and the guy checked if I could convert. Not sure why they wouldn’t let you convert. How long have you had the card? I would call back, sometimes getting a different CSR helps you get what you want…

      • I’ve had my card since 2005. You would think they would want to get me into a new, shiny card so I start actually using it again. But I long ago stopped trying to reason with Citi using business logic. I’ll call again here shortly and see if I have better success.

      • Well, I’m not sure if it was who I talked to or something I said that made the difference, but my call today got the card converted no problem. Good to go now!

        • Good deal, I had a feeling talking to someone else might do the trick

          • If you convert a dividend card to the double cash card do you keep the history? I would like to convert my dividend card, but it’s the oldest credit card I have and I don’t want to lose it on my credit report.

  34. Betsy Peterson says

    I would like to get the double back Citi Card but I do not want to post my social security online…please advise

    • If you’re saying you don’t want to apply for it online – just call them and apply for it that way. You will have to give them your SS number, however, it’s how they’ll check your credit.

  35. It should also be mentioned that you can get your cash back by Direct Deposit after two payments, instead of a check. They payments have to be form the same bank account, but I see no reason not to get the full 2%.

  36. As Nobody mentioned, direct deposit of the rewards is available as an option. Works great – the amounts are cleared in two business days from when I request them on the website.

  37. Thanks for confirming what I’ve suspected all along! (So citi is in communication with you?) I’ve wondered for a while if the cash back percentage changes with whether the customer uses cash back as statement credit vs electronic fund transfer to bank account. To be safe, I’ve always gotten cash back as electronic deposit to bank account rather than statement credit. I think CITI is a great card for misc charges (utilities, dry cleaning, USPS etc) that aren’t covered by other special categories in cash back reward cards.

  38. Amarjit Sharma says

    Hi Jonathan,

    I am great fan of your blog and pretty much read all your articles. How does this beat the Amex Blue Preferred which gives 5% cashback on grocereis, 3% on gas , 2% on travel and 1% everything else? Ofcourse its has 75$ annual fee, but i feel its worth it


    • There are definitely better cards for specific spending categories, but I’m saying that these cards are great to put a 2% baseline when other cards always give 1% for “everything else”. I have an AmEx Blue Cash Preferred for groceries too, but I also have the Citi Double to get me 2% on the rest. People spending $200,000 a year on their cards definitely have a lot of “everything else” and so do the rest of us.

  39. Just a note that I called to convert my Citi Dividend card to the Citi Double Cash and had no problems… I picked the option to close my account and then explained my goal to the attendant. I can confirm:

    1. My current rebate of $3 will be moved to my new account
    2. New account number
    3. Some various changes mostly in favor of the new card
    4. My history as far as credit bureaus etc. are concerned will show that I’ve been a member all along since the opening of the source Divident card.

    Very easy 5 minute phone call here. Good luck-

    • i converted my card also last week. Came from the Dividend World MasterCard, to the Double Cash card. Anybody know if you can get the PayPass added to this card, along with the chip it comes with? I requested it, but the card that arrived did not have it. I called back and they reordered it, but im waiting for it to arrive.

  40. Nathan Berlin says

    Card was awesome and the rewards were unmatched for my purchases. I am a business owner and used this card for several thousands of dollars a month. THEN….. MY CARD WAS HACKED! It has been 14 months since the unauthorized activity was spotted on my account. I have not even received a call from their fraud department. There have been many excuses but the main frustration is that there is no way to get a hold of the fraud department. You can fax them papers and information, but there is no number or email in order to talk to anyone. Worse yet, they did not report the fraud case correctly on my credit report. Therefore, I have had to call all 3 credit bureaus in order to correct the problem because you can’t talk to anyone at CITI Bank Fraud Department. I will never get a credit card or anything from this company.

  41. Joshua Katt says

    Passing along a comment to watch all Citi cards for unexpected cash advance and interest fees, with no warning, if you use certain apps like Jpay & Venmo to make “peer to peer” payments. Gave my son a card who linked it to Venmo and in addition to paying Venmo a 3% upcharge on everything, I’ve been hit with 50$+ in charges so far for a few relatively minor transactions. Going to to call and lower my cash advance limit down to zero to stop this. Does not happen with other banks like Synchrony, another 2% back card.

    BTW, my Citi 2% card is hacked twice per year, easily, and it is a major hassle each time but at least they are quick to issue a new card. Synchrony is horrible and took 2 weeks to resolve and re-open an account. The price you pay for 2% I guess…

  42. joshua Katt says

    Oops, spoke to soon about Synchrony Banks, was hit with fees and interest because of Venmo. Otherwise can be another good 2% cash back card on everything and the give the credit back on the statement IMMEDIATELY at the close of the month. Small signup bonus of $100 IIRC. Does not play well with Quicken, manual downloads possible only at the end of the month.

  43. Greg Shipp says

    Best card for simplicity. Yes not technically 2% with the statement credits but not a material difference. Jonathan you rock!

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