Wells Fargo Active Cash Card vs. Citi Double Cash Card: Greater First Year Value with Active Cash

A photo to accompany a story about the Wells Fargo Active Cash cards and the Citi Double Cash Cards Illustration by NextAdvisor
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One of the simplest tools you can have in your wallet for extra savings is a flat 2% cash back credit card. Whether you prefer earning cash back over other types of rewards, or you’re looking for a card that’ll help maximize spending excluded from the categories you already earn bonus rewards in, a flat cash back card can help you save on everything you buy.

Two of the most popular options on the market today are the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card. Both are among our top cash back credit cards and offer great cash rewards in addition to introductory APR offers.

Despite the similarities, there are a few important differences that set these cards apart and can help you choose the best 2% card for you. Here’s what you need to know:

Side-by-Side Comparison

Wells Fargo Active Cash CardCiti Double Cash Card
Annual Fee$0$0
Welcome Offer$200 bonus cash when you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of account openingNone
Cash Back RewardsEarn 2% back on all purchasesEarn 2% back on all purchases — 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay your purchases off
Other Benefits• 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99%

• Cell phone protection

• Redeem rewards for statement credits, transfers to a Wells Fargo bank account, ATM withdrawals or gift cards
• 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%

• Citi Entertainment benefits

• Redeem rewards for statement credits or cash back or convert to Citi ThankYou points

Bonus Comparison

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is the clear winner in this category. You’ll get $200 in bonus cash when you sign up and spend at least $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. That’s equal to about $334 in purchases per month for three months in a row. 

By contrast, the Citi Double Cash doesn’t offer a cash welcome bonus of any kind.

Rewards and Benefits Comparison

Both cards offer the same 2% cash back on everything you buy. These rewards can look a bit different in practice, though. 

You’ll only get the full 2% rewards with the Citi Double Cash Card when you pay your balances in full. You earn 1% when you make a purchase, and the other 1% when you pay it off. However, if you pay your card balance in full and on time each month, this shouldn’t affect you.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is more straightforward: you’ll earn the 2% cash back rewards when you make each purchase. While you should still pay your balances in full and on time each month, this can be a benefit if you take advantage of this card’s introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases (followed by a variable APR of 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%). You’ll earn your rewards upfront, even as you work to pay off the balance within the intro period. 

Pro Tip

If you are looking for a credit card specifically to transfer existing debt and aren’t looking for ongoing rewards, the best balance transfer cards available today offer 0% APR for up to 20 billing cycles.

Another difference is redemption options. With the Citi Double Cash Card, you can redeem rewards for statement credits or cash back in amounts of $25 or more, but you can also convert your cash back to Citi ThankYou points. This second option can be particularly lucrative if you have a Citi travel rewards card like the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Credit Card, which can unlock the potential to transfer your points to Citi’s airline and hotel partners.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card also has a few options, including redemptions for gift cards, statement credits, transfers to eligible Wells Fargo bank accounts, payments toward a Wells Fargo mortgage or ATM withdrawals with a Wells Fargo debit card.

APRs

Both of these cash back credit cards come with an introductory APR offer, but they are geared to different types of consumers. 

The Citi Double Cash offers 0% APR on balance transfers only for a lengthy 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%. If you have existing high interest debt you want to consolidate, this could be the better option. 

Meanwhile, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card comes with 0% intro APR on both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99%. This makes it a good option for debt consolidation (though you’ll have less time to pay down your balance than with Citi Double Cash) or for paying down an upcoming large purchase over time.

Fees

Both of these cards have no annual fee. If you transfer a balance, you’ll pay the same 3% (minimum $5) balance transfer fee with both cards for a limited time. With Citi Double Cash, this fee applies for four months after account opening, then goes up to 5% (minimum $5). With the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, the 3% fee applies for 120 days after account opening, then goes up to 5% (minimum $5).

Both cards also charge the same 3% foreign transaction fee, 5% (minimum $10) cash advance fee, and up to $40 in potential fees for late or returned payments.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

Editor’s Score: (4.6/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200 cash rewards
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99%-24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Editor’s Score: (4.4/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site

Deciding Between Wells Fargo Active Cash Card and Citi Double Cash Card

Flat 2% rewards are a great way to maximize every dollar you spend, and both the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card and Citi Double Cash Card excel in this category. But thanks to its welcome bonus and broader 0% intro offer, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers greater value for most cardholders, especially in the first year.

On top of the 2% rewards, you can earn a $200 bonus if you spend at least $1,000 on purchases within the first three months, and the 15-month 0% introductory offer on this card extends to both new purchases and balance transfers. Neither card comes with many added benefits, but the Active Cash cell phone protection (worth up to $600 against damage or theft) is another solid perk.

However, some people may find more value from Citi Double Cash. For example, if you’re consolidating debt, you’ll get an extra three months with this card’s 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers. Or if you already have a Citi travel rewards card, you might benefit more from the option to transfer your cash back to Citi ThankYou points. 

At the end of the day, either one of these cards are a great choice. As 2% flat cash back cards with no annual fee, they even make great pairs for other cash back or rewards cards you might already have in your wallet. Before you apply, just make sure to compare all the cards you may qualify for with your spending habits, redemption preferences, and credit goals to find the right card for you.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.