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Besides being one of the best flat-rate cash back cards on the market, the Citi Double Cash can help keep your spending habits in check with its earn-as-you-pay rewards structure.
In order to receive an additional 1 percent cash back rewards for your purchases (on top of the automatic 1 percent cash back you earn), you must pay off the balance you owe.
Earning cash back
The value you extract from the Citi Double Cash depends on how wisely you use it. In other words, make sure you’re paying at least the minimum due on time each month or, ideally, the full amount. You’ll only earn the full potential cash back if you pay off what you owe.
There’s no cap on the amount of cash back rewards you can receive with the Citi Double Cash, so feel free to swipe and earn as you please.
Redeeming cash back
Redemption options for your cash back rewards include statement credits, direct deposit, check and ThankYou points.
Check, statement credit and direct deposit redemptions start at $25, meaning you must have at least $25 in cash back rewards in your account to redeem. Converting your rewards to ThankYou points requires a much lower $1 cash back rewards balance.
If you choose to redeem your rewards for points, a ThankYou Account is automatically created for you. This allows you to further redeem your points for gift cards, travel through Citi or Shop with Points on Amazon or PayPal.
You can redeem rewards by logging into your online account or calling Citi at 1 (855) 473-4583. Cash back rewards expire after 12 months of card inactivity, meaning you haven’t earned cash back on purchases or payments for one year.
How much are points worth?
Generally, you can expect credit card cash back to be worth 1 cent per piece. In the case of the Citi Double Cash, if you spend $500 a month with the card and pay off the full amount, you’ll earn $120 in cash back rewards by the end of 12 months.
The Citi Double Cash isn’t marketed as a ThankYou point-earning Citi credit card, considering you earn cash back, not points. You can, though, easily convert your cash back rewards to ThankYou points as a redemption option. However, The Points Guy discovered that ThankYou points earned from Citi’s no annual fee cards are considered “basic” and can’t be transferred to travel partner programs for a rate higher than Citi’s base 1 cent value. In order to transfer “basic” points, you can pool them with one of Citi’s premium travel cards, like the Citi Premier® Card, to reach TPG’s latest valuation of up to 1.7 cents each