One of the best cash back cards available today just got even more valuable.
The Citi® Double Cash Card this week gained a welcome offer of $200 after spending $1,500 within the first six months of account opening, available for a limited time. Already, the card also earns unlimited 2% cash back (1% as you make purchases, 1% as you pay them off) which you can get on all purchases with the card — and all for no annual fee.
“The Citi Double Cash has rarely offered a sign-up bonus,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com (which like NextAdvisor is owned by Red Ventures). While the card’s biggest value is its great flat cash back rate, Rossman says $200 upfront is a “nice sweetener.”
Here’s a closer look at how to maximize the offer, how long it may last, and why we think Citi Double Cash is one of the best cash back cards today:
- Intro offer:$200 Cash Back
- Annual fee:$0
- Regular APR:16.24% – 26.24% (Variable)
- Recommended credit score:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
- Great limited time welcome offer
- Flat cash back on every purchase
- 18-month 0% intro APR for balance transfers (16.24% to 26.24% variable APR thereafter)
- No annual fee
- 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5)
- Delayed cash back rewards if you carry a balance
Additional Card Details
- Extra incentive to pay down your balance in full: You’ll earn only 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and the other 1% when you pay it off
- 18-month 0% intro period on balance transfers, 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR thereafter
- Redeem cash back for statement credits, direct deposit, check, or convert cash back value to Citi ThankYou points
- Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening and a 3% ($5 minimum) fee applies, After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5)
How to Use the Citi Double Cash $200 Welcome Offer
To earn the Citi Double Cash limited-time welcome bonus, you’ll need to spend $1,500 in six months. That’s equal to about $250 each month. Once you’ll earn the bonus, you’ll receive it in the form of Citi ThankYou points, like all the cash back you earn with the card.
If you want the cash value of your bonus, you can redeem for a statement credit, bank account deposit, or check. Or you can redeem points for travel, gift cards, or shop with points at select retailers. There’s no redemption minimum for statement credits or direct deposit, but you’ll need a minimum to redeem in other ways (which can vary depending on redemption).
Here are some current Citi retail partners you can shop with points:
- Gas at participating BP, Amoco, and Shell stations
- Online purchases to 1-800-Flowers.com, Best Buy, Amazon, PayPal, and more
- In-store purchases at CVS
Keep in mind that your points will expire after three years, unlike other credit card issuers that don’t have an expiration on rewards. You can check your points balance and any info on expiring points using your Citi Thank You Rewards online account.
How to Maximize the Citi Double Cash Card
You’ll get unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy, plus an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases. The card doesn’t have an annual fee, so you can automatically start maximizing the card without offsetting any fees.
The best way to maximize the Citi Double Cash’s value is to use it for all of your regular spending, especially for purchases that fall outside common rewards categories you may already have on other rewards cards. If you pair this card with another rewards credit card that offers higher rewards for your top spending categories — such as dining or gas — then you can use the Citi Double Cash for all other purchases to earn a minimum 2% cash back on everything you buy (1% as you make purchases, 1% as you pay them off).
The other way to maximize this card is by practicing good credit habits, like only spending what you can afford and paying your bill in full each month. Not only will this help you maintain good credit, but you’ll also reap the full benefit of your rewards. You won’t earn the second percentage back until you pay off each purchase, so paying your balance in full will help guarantee you earn 2% back on everything.
The card also comes with an 18-month introductory offer for balance transfers, then a variable 16.24% to 26.24% APR. You’ll have four months to transfer your balance for a 3% balance transfer fee, but after that, you’ll pay a 5% balance transfer fee.
How Long Will the Citi Double Cash Welcome Offer Last?
We don’t know how long the limited-time Citi Double Cash welcome offer will be around yet. But based on other offers we’ve seen, it may not be long.
“The trend this year seems to be shorter-lived bonuses,” says Rossman. For instance, the increased welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earlier this year (to a sky-high 80,000 points) only lasted for a couple of months before ending in June.
Card issuers are also thinking about long-term value instead of pushing sign-up bonuses now, compared to a few years ago, Rossman says, predicting: “If I had to guess, I’d say this offer will last two to three months.”
In the meantime, the Citi Double Cash has long ranked among our favorite cash back cards, thanks to its easy-to-use rewards structure and great value. If you’re considering a new cash back card, this limited time bonus could offer even more value, if the spending threshold is within your regular budget.