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Double Your Cash Back With These Credit Cards

Double Your Cash Back With These Credit Cards

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Apr 24, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

You’ve decided that you want to get a credit card that offers double cash back. So which cards are out there, and how can you use them to maximize getting as much double cash back as possible?

Two good options to double your cash back are the Discover it® Cash Back and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer.

Technically, neither card is a true 2% card but both give you the option to double your 1% cash back in different ways. The Discover it® Cash Back will match all the cash back you earn — but only during the first year you have it. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer allows you to Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay..

We’ll break down the good and the bad of these two popular cashback credit cards so you can choose the card that’s best for you.

The first-year cashback match option: Discover it® Cash Back

The big draw for the Discover it® Cash Back, is that Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.* After your first 12 consecutive billing periods, your rewards will be applied to your account following one or two billing periods. You get 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

The rotating quarterly categories are:

  • January-March 2019: Grocery stores
  • April-June 2019: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
  • July-September 2019: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October-December 2019: Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com

You must register for the categories each quarter. Let’s say you earned $300 under 5% cash back and $100 under 1% cash back. You will have earned a total of $400 during your first year, and the Discover it® Cash Back will match that, totaling $800.

The Discover it® Cash Back has an intro APR of 0% for 14 months on purchases, which can save a lot in interest charges if you pay the card off before the end of its term. After that, it goes to 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. There’s also an intro 0% for 14 months on balance transfers that goes to 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR when the intro period ends. Note it comes with a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*. There is a quarterly maximum of $1,500 for the 5% cashback categories, but after you hit it all other purchases earn 1% cash back. There’s also no limit on the overall amount of cash back you can earn.

Other benefits offered by the Discover it® Cash Back are:

  • Access your FICO® Score on monthly statements, online and on the mobile app for free
  • Use the Freeze it® on/off feature that stops purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers if you misplace your card
  • Get free Social Security number alerts

The Discover it® Cash Back has its Discover Deals website, which gives you the chance to earn even more cashback bonuses when you shop for deals from top brands. You can also get discounts on the Discover Travel Deals site for flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises.

The no-fuss double cashback option: Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

  • 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers

  • 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)

Highlights
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases:  1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer

More Info

Our second cashback credit card option is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer, which has a $0 annual fee. Unlike the Discover it® Cash Back, you Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.. While there is no sign up bonus, you don’t have to worry about signing up every quarter to get cash back on your purchases. You also get cash back for making your monthly card payments on time. Your cash can be redeemed for checks, statement credits or gift cards.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer has the most generous 0% intro APR period between the two cards. After that, it goes to 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable). You get intro 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers; then it goes to 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable). Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening, and the fee to do it is 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

There are no caps on the total amount of cash back you can receive when spending or making payments with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer, as long as you make your minimum payments.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer benefits include:

  • Citi Private Pass. You get special access to buy tickets to thousands of events a year, including presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, plus free movie screenings and more.
  • Citi Concierge. Get access to a staff of specially-trained experts who can help you with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs.

Discover it® Cash Back vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer

Both cards are viable options if you’re looking for cashback options. Neither has an annual fee and neither has limits on how much cash back you can earn. Neither card offers regular higher points in the popular travel and dining categories.

The Discover it® Cash Back has the best introductory cashback deal because the spending it matches it is unlimited — but only for the first year. After that, it goes to 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. That makes it easier to compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer, which is also unlimited.

The Discover it® Cash Back offers higher cash back on certain retail categories each quarter, but you must register for it each time. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer, on the other hand, keeps it simple, where you Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay., with no need to register.

If you want perks to go with your cash back, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer comes out ahead, offering purchase protection, auto rental insurance, Citi Private Pass and Citi Concierge. The Discover it® Cash Back has the Discover Deals website, where you can get discounts and bonus cash back when you shop with retailers on the site.

In the end, you have to decide if the Discover it® Cash Back’s initial match is worth it once the cashback match goes away after the first year.

Discover it® Cash Back Citi® Double Cash Card – 21 month BT offer
Annual Fee $0 $0
Purchase Intro Rate 0% for 14 months N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 0% for 14 months 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Fee 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)* 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Regular Purchase APR 13.99% - 24.99% Variable 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)
Rewards 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Sign-Up Bonus Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.* No bonus
Foreign Transaction Fee None 3%


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