Learn How the Biggest Cash Rewards Credit Card Works

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

The new Citi® Double Cash Card offers the biggest cash rewards credit card — a 1% rebate when you make purchases and then 1% more when you pay off the purchases (which you should do always do, and not carry a balance).

Yesterday I wrote that I like this better than the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express because — while that card has been the benchmark, offering 2% real cash back — this new Citi cash rewards credit card product is a MasterCard and so gets you the great rate of return while also giving greater acceptance.

It’s simply a straight play on earning the highest possible cash back for ongoing purchases. It’s not a card for signup bonuses (it doesn’t have one), and it’s not a card for benefits (no lounge access, no waived foreign transaction fees). But it looks like the new standard in that space bar none.

My post yesterday shared that the product is a MasterCard (although the card’s landing page is silent on this).

A few folks asked in the comments about the mechanics of the rebate on the card.

So I connected up with a Vice President at Citi who explained some details that turn out to be interesting.

The rewards are provided in the form of your choice of statement credit, check, or gift card. Redemptions can be done online, or over the phone.

There is a $25 minimum for redemption. You can redeem for $25 or any amount over that.

Some folks have asked about downgrading or exchanging other Citibank cards to this one, something to consider since there’s not a signup bonus you would be foregoing in order to get it. Doctor of Credit says that Citibank will start allow cardmembers with other cards to switch or downgrade to this product starting September 7.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. @john – I was called out earlier for not providing information like the above, so I followed up with it thinking some kvetchers would find it actually helpful. As opposed to being one more excuse to kvetch! 😉

  2. Geez…I don’t quite understand all the hate. He clearly says that he is compensated for some of his links, which is better than many other site on the internet who never disclose that.

  3. Thanks for the info. With no sign up bonus to worry about losing, this seems like a great card to convert one of my existing Citi AA MC over to. I’ll give them a ring on 9/7.

  4. @Adam K – what part of my argument do you disagree with? Effectively same rebate but one is a MasterCard and the other an Amex. And I’ve been touting the Fidelity card for a long time.

  5. It looks like Citibank finally is stepping up into the 2% area. Amex Fidelity, Amex Everyday, Barclays Arrival and Priceline, Capital One (certain cards) (travelocity via travel rebates can be 2%)This will keep pressure on Chase and others to stay competitive in the game. For me I dont always need pure cash back. Gift cards and statement credits work fine for me.

  6. It’s also worth noting that your cash back expires after one year if you don’t earn any cash back during that time, so you’d need to put at least one purchase on per year to keep the cash back you’ve earned active.

  7. Gary,
    Already two posts about this card! You weren’t joking when you mentioned how trilled you were. With this kind of product excitement I can’t imagine you haven’t applied already. Has your application been approved yet? Was it instant?

  8. @ABC see above for the reason for this post. Questions asked about the card, I’m even called out for not posting about this detail, so I do. Damned if I do damned if I don’t.

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