The Citi Double Cash Card Has Become Absolutely Essential

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The Citi® Double Cash Card has no annual fee and earns 2% cash back (1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay for the purchase). That makes it one of the best value cards (strong rewards with no or low annual fee) and one of the very best cash back cards.

So far so good, it’s been a strong value card for awhile. However they made a change that turns the card from a top cash back card into a top card, period. The Citi® Double Cash Card‘s earnings transfer to Citi ThankYou Points at 1:1 (so $1 in cash rewards becomes 100 ThankYou Points).

On their own these points can’t transfer to most of Citi’s airline partners however if you combine points from a Citi® Double Cash Card into a Premier or Prestige card account you’ll be able to effectively use the card to earn 2 transferable points to airline miles per dollar spent. That means the minimum you’d ever earn is 2 miles per dollar with your choice of:

  • Star Alliance: EVA Air, Avianca LifeMiles, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines
  • oneworld: Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas, Qatar
  • SkyTeam: Air France KLM, Aeromexico
  • Non-alliance: Etihad, Emirates, JetBlue, JetPrivilege, Virgin Atlantic

This becomes the single best personal card for unbonused spend since (paired with a Citi card whose points transfer to miles) it earns 2 airline miles per dollar spent without any category bonuses.

Citi Double Cash Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — I will sign up when they offer a good signup bonus. Until then, this card is useless to me.

  2. My Amex Blue Business card gives me 2X on everything and I don’t need to pair it to another card that has fees.

  3. @Alan – There are a few reasons to get this one as well:
    Different transfer partners
    Personal spend, not business
    The Amex 2X has annual limits.
    I use the Amex for my business expenses as well but the Citi card will be useful as well. Another tool in the tool box.

  4. Citi TY gets 3x on supermarkets and restaurants as of 6/2, using the Cash-Back means you are leaving pts on the table and 5x on other items

  5. I got an offer, which may have been targeted, for an extra half-point on all Citi DC purchases if I set up a checking account with a $30 monthly fee. I put much more than $6000 a month on the card, so the math worked out for me. But if I pair it with Premier or Prestige, that will be 2.5 miles per dollar (or, with a 30% transfer bonus, 3.25 miles per dollar). I don’t know of any other way to get 2.5 miles per dollar on everyday purchases. The only other card I know of that comes close to that is the Virgin Mastercard, which gives you 2.1 miles per dollar if you get the bonuses just right (and, of course, the aforementioned Amex Blue for Business Plus, at two points per dollar up to $50K).

  6. Remember, you can not get a CItipoint signup offer for two years from time you last got one or two years from time you closed a Citipoint card.

    When Citi sends you product change offers their objective is to block eligible customers from getting another sign up bonus . City considers a product change closing an account.

    Rather then admitting this they tell you that you have too many credit cards and decline your application.

    To transfer points to airlines (best use of Citi Points) you must have a Prestige or Premier card. If you also can get a Rewards + you get 10% back on transfer.

    At first glance Citi’s frequent points promotions look fantastic, but in fine print there is usually a small point earning limit .

    Citi rarely if ever post their promotions points without having to fight for them.

    Either intentionally or due to incompetence Citi’s phone agent often give incorrect information. Document anything you are told on the phone by initiating a chat conversation on website and save the dialog via screen print. Doing business with Citi is like going to a whorehouse . It has its pleasures but do not expect ethical treatment.

  7. @Jon – does this mean that if you have the Double Cash card and the Prestige or Premier card and the Rewards+ card, you get 10% back on 100K in point transfers to airline programs each year earned with the Double Cash card, or is that only for points earned on the Rewards+ card?

    I agree about Citi customer service. Every call I make gets answered in Manila, and they simply repeat whatever you say, rather than actually helping.

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