New Citi Double Cash Card Benefits

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Update: This offer for Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within first 90 days of having the card. Learn more about the special offer here.

Links: Citi® Double Cash Card

While not a travel card, Citi has just introduced a new cashback credit card which is worth taking a look at.

The new Citi® Double Cash Card is a no annual fee credit card that offers 1% cash back on every purchase, and then an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. There are no limits to the amount of cashback you can earn.

Citi-DoubleCash

The downsides of the card are that there’s no sign-up bonus, and it does have 3% foreign transaction fees.

To put this card into perspective compared to the other most compelling cashback credit cards:

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

I’d argue the most compelling travel cashback credit card is the The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™. It offers:

  • 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within first 90 days
  • Two miles per dollar spent on all purchases
  • You get a 10% refund on miles when you redeem them
  • Each mile can redeemed for one cent towards the cost of travel, meaning you’re getting a return of ~2.22 cents per dollar spent

So the major advantages of this over the Citi® Double Cash Card is that the card has a hefty sign-up bonus, doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, and has a return that’s slightly higher.

The downside is that while the annual fee is waived for the first year, it’s $89 per year after that. After the first year you’d need to spend ~$4,000 just to break even on the annual fee, and a lot more than that to come out ahead.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is well worth it for the first year, but beyond that everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves based on their spend patterns to decide if it makes sense for themselves or not.

The Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card

This card is in many ways similar to the Citi® Double Cash Card. It offers 2% cashback without an annual fee, and it doesn’t have a sign-up bonus either. I’d say that the Citi® Double Cash Card has the slight edge since it’s a MasterCard, which is much more widely accepted at retailers.

It is worth noting that the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card foreign transaction fee is “only” 1%, should you want to use it internationally (that being said, hopefully you have a better credit card for international travel which waives foreign transaction fees altogether).

Bottom line

Personally I prefer doing what I can to maximize category bonuses with various cards so haven’t jumped onto the cashback credit card bandwagon too much.

But if you want a simple credit card which gives you a great return without an annual fee, the Citi® Double Cash Card is worth considering.

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Comments

  1. Actually, to break even in the second year on the annual fee of the Arrival Plus compared to the Citi card, I think you’d need to spend over $40,000 on the Arrival Plus, not $4000. That’s because taking away the 2% you get from the Citi card, the Arrival Plus only offers the 0.22% extra (when redeeming for travel). Doing the math, you’d need to spend over $40,000 to get that $89 annual fee back. Since I don’t spend $40k in non-bonused spend, I’d get the Arrival Plus for the first year with no annual fee, then cancel it and get the Citi card. Actually, I don’t plan on doing either, because I put my non-bonused spend on the SPG Amex, but if I wanted cash, that’s what I’d do.

  2. Everyone going an analysis forgets to bring up the 0%FTF and what that is worth with the Arrival card. You go international two or three times and the 0%FTF covers the AF.

  3. There’s a chip on the card in the file pic. If every card comes with a chip, that’s huuuuge for me, I’ve had to run to an ATM or use my German EC card at times at merchants that merchants only accept chip. (Happening much more often now)

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