Currently, the Citi Double Cash Card is our top pick for best cash back card for 2016 so far. The main winning feature of the card is it's 2% cash back. The system is simple and straightforward. You get an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, and then you get paid the second 1% back when you make the monthly payment. You will get this second 1% regardless of whether you carry a balance, as long as you are making the minimum payments. What makes this 2% cash back so nice for the cardholder is that there are no spending limits or spending categories to worry about. You also get 1% cash back on all monthly payments, regardless of whether you carry a balance, as long as you keep up with your minimum payments.
Is there a spending cap?
That is one of the things that makes the Citi Double Cash Card great. There is no spending cap at all. You can collect 2% on all your purchases that you pay back. There are higher percentages around, but they are usually attached to a spending limit or the high return (typically 5%) category changes each quarter.
Collecting Cash Back
The minimum redemption amount is $25 and you are free to collect in a number of different manners such as: statement credit, paper check or gift card. Currently direct deposit is not available. But, in all honesty, if you are using this card and maximizing your cash back rewards, you will always have a statement balance that you can apply your rewards toward. After all, to get the 2% back, you have to spend on this card and pay it back.
Introductory APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases AND balance transfers – This is another feature we love.
APR: After the 15 month introductory period, the APR varies between 13.24% and 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
Cash Advance APR: 25.49%
Penalty APR: 29.99% – Ouch. So, make those payments on time.
Cash Back Rate: 2% (just in case you missed it from above) – Unlimited 1% cash back at time of purchase and 1% when you pay it off
Sign-up Bonus: There’s currently no sign-up bonus.
Minimum Redemption Amount: $25
Annual Fee: $0
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the total amount transferred, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
Items of Note:
Citi Price Rewind: Basically, this is a form or purchase price protection. If Citi finds a lower price on an item you purchased within 60 days of purchase, Citi refunds up to $300 per each individual purchase and up to $1,200 per year.
First Late Fee is Free: Citi waives your first late fee. This is a nice feature and very helpful as life happens and we sometimes can't make that payment on time, but we still do not recommend making late payments.
Who is this card for?
This card is mainly for people with excellent credit who pay off their balance each month.
Who is this card not for?
Savvy shoppers with time and strategy: This card is not ideal for savvy shoppers who are willing to spend some time employing a more planned purchasing str: ategy. For those types of consumers, they might prefer cards with rotating bonus categories such as the Discover it® card which offers double cash back your first year and can really add up via their quarterly bonus categories which pay back 5%. Double that and see 10% come year end. which offers 5% cash back bonus categories quarterly, and will double your cash back at the end of the first year – which can mean up to 10% cash back.
Those carrying a balance: This card is not really designed for people who carry a balance, at least after the intro period. After the 15 month 0% APR, the relatively high interest rate will reduce the benefit gained by the 2% cash back.
International travelers: With it's 3% foreign transaction fee, this card is better used on U.S. soil. If you are a frequent international traveler, you may want to carry another card with lower fees for those trips.