I’ve always loved earning travel rewards, but the travel ban pushed me to apply for Citi’s best cash-back card and I couldn’t be happier

citi double cash cardciti double cash card

The Points Guy

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Earning travel rewards with credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Platinum Card® from American Express has helped me book some amazing flights and hotel stays, from business-class flights on ANA and United to several nights at the beautiful Park Hyatt in Paris.

Even though travel isn’t an option for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, I’ll continue to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with my Sapphire Reserve and Amex Membership Rewards points with my American Express® Gold Card on dining purchases, especially because both of these cards offer bonus rewards and special benefits for food delivery. However, I have altered my credit card rewards strategy in one way: by adding the Citi Double Cash Card to my wallet, and using it for most of my non-dining and non-grocery spending.

Here’s why I decided to add this card to my credit card lineup, and why I think earning cash back is a smart way to diversify credit card rewards right now.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Why I finally applied for the Citi Double Cash card

The Citi Double Cash card earned the top spot in Business Insider’s list of the best cash-back credit cards. Not only does it earn 2% cash back (1% back when you buy, and another 1% back when you pay your bill), but it also has no annual fee. It’s a great option if you want to get a good return on all your spending, without having to worry about bonus categories such as restaurants, grocery stores, or gas stations.

I’ve always known the Citi Double Cash is a great card, but I’ve held off because my favorite credit card rewards are Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can transfer them to Hyatt, United, British Airways, Marriott, and other partners to book flights and hotels, and you can also redeem them directly through Chase for travel. 

I’m lucky enough to have a lot of Chase points in my account currently, and while I want to put them to use whenever it’s safe to travel again, I’m not in any rush to earn more points for a specific redemption like a flight to Hawaii. And given that travel is on hold, I realized that this was a perfect time to earn cash back instead of travel rewards.

Read more: 3 reasons why now is a perfect time to open a cash-back card

So, I finally applied for the Citi Double Cash card, and I’ve started using it for all my “miscellaneous” purchases — basically anything that wouldn’t earn my bonus points with another card. The immediacy of earning cash back is refreshing, as I’m used to racking up points and miles that may sit in my loyalty program accounts for months (if not years) before I redeem them.

Plus, because I also have the Citi Prestige® Credit Card, which earns transferable Citi ThankYou points, if I decide I want to redeem my rewards from the Citi Double Cash for travel down the line, I’ll have the option to transfer my rewards over to the Prestige and use them to book flights or hotels. But for now, I’m more than happy to earn 2% cash back on every purchase.

Regular APR

13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn cash back twice. 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.
    • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
    • 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.
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
    • No annual fee
    • Simple earning structure
    • Some cards earn higher rates of cash back on rotating categories

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    The information related to the following cards has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer: Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom®, Chase Slate®, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
    Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, United ClubSM Infinite Card, United℠ Business Card, British Airways Visa Signature® Card, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, Citi Diamond Preferred Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Citi Rewards+ Student Card, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite™ Mastercard, American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card, Citi Secured Mastercard, Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi, Citi Prestige Credit Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Simplicity® Card

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.


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