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Citi Premier Card vs. Double Cash Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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The Citi Premier® Card and Citi Double Cash® Card are 2 of the most well-known Citi credit cards in the U.S. Both of these credit cards can be incredibly rewarding (and in fact, there’s actually a pretty strong case for having both of them in your wallet).

But if you had to pick between the 2 cards, which one should you choose?

In this guide, we’ll break down what you need to know about both of these cards so you can make an educated decision about which one to add to your wallet.

Citi Premier Card vs. Double Cash Card — Overview

Check out this table we put together comparing each of the 2 credit cards:

SCROLL FOR MORE
BenefitCiti Premier® CardCiti Double Cash® Card
Welcome OfferEarn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months.
Earning
  • 3x points on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
  • 1x points on other purchases
2% cash-back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay)
Redemption Options
  • Transfers to all Citi travel partners
  • Citi Travel Center bookings
  • Statement credits
  • Cash-back/direct deposits to Citi bank account
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Charitable donations
  • Amazon.com purchases
  • Limited transfers to JetBlue, Wyndham Rewards, and Choice Privileges
  • Citi Travel Center bookings
  • Statement credits
  • Direct deposit
  • Checks
  • Gift cards
  • Amazon.com purchases
Statement Credits$100 annual hotel savings benefit on eligible reservations booked through thankyou.comNone
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • World Elite Mastercard travel perks
  • Take 3 rides with your card in a month and earn $5 in Lyft credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • World Elite Mastercard travel perks
  • Take 3 rides with your card in a month and earn $5 in Lyft credit
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • Citi Entertainment
  • Citi Merchant Offers
  • DoorDash and ShopRunner benefits
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases
  • ID Theft Protection by Mastercard
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Citi Entertainment
  • Citi Merchant Offers
  • DoorDash and ShopRunner benefits
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases
  • ID Theft Protection by Mastercard
  • Select World Elite Mastercard benefits
Annual Fee$95$0
Authorized UsersNo additional annual fees for authorized usersNo additional annual fees for authorized users

The Citi Premier card is better suited than the Double Cash card for bonus category-centric spending habits. If you spend a lot of money on eating out, groceries, travel, and so on, you’ll come out ahead with the Citi Premier card.

But, if you spend lots of money on different types of seemingly random purchases, the Double Cash card will set you up for success.

Also, the Double Cash card tends to offer a balance of both rewards and benefits for consolidating high-interest credit card debt, thanks to its introductory balance transfer offers.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

Credit card welcome offers are great — if you’re someone with great cash flow and the ability to pay off all balances in full every month, you’ll probably want to look for a card with the largest welcome offer.

However, if you’re in need of low fees and interest, you might have a totally different perspective.

Here are each of the card’s welcome offers, compared:

Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros

  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

A Great Welcome Offer

One of the best reasons to add the Citi Premier card to your wallet is the hefty welcome offer it offers. With the ability to earn a solid chunk of transferrable rewards points in the first few months, it’s easy to justify adding this card to your wallet. The Citi Premier card’s welcome offer can be worth hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, towards travel when transferring your ThankYou Points to Citi’s travel partners.

Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Introductory 0% APR

The Double Cash card is one of the few credit cards that offer a special promotion for balance transfers to help you consolidate any high-interest debt.

As part of its welcome offer, you’ll enjoy a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%. If you’re carrying a large balance from month-to-month on a card with a high interest rate, taking advantage of this balance transfer offer could save you a ton on interest fees and allow for more repayment flexibility.

Citi ThankYou Points

The Citi Premier card and Double Cash card actually both earn ThankYou Points, even though the latter is advertised as a cash-back card.

The key difference is that the Citi Premier card’s ThankYou Points can be transferred to a long list of airline and hotel partners, while the Double Cash card’s ThankYou Points can only be transferred to limited partners.

Additionally, both the Double Cash card and Citi Premier card have the ability to redeem points for cash-back, travel through the Citi Travel Center, gift cards, statement credits, and more.

Earning Potential

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Earning CategoryCiti Premier CardDouble Cash Card
Air Travel3x points2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay)
Hotels3x points2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay)
Gas Stations3x points2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay)
Restaurants3x points2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay)
Supermarkets3x points2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay)
Other Purchases1x points2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay)

* Remember that for the Double Cash card, the 2% cash-back is always 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay

We value ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents a piece, so earning 3x points with the Citi Premier card translates to a 4.8% return on spending. Earning 1x points translates to a 1.6% return on spending.

Since you can earn 2% cash-back (1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay) on all purchases with the Double Cash card, so you’ll effectively be earning a 2% return on all spending.

Redemption Options

The Citi Premier card’s ThankYou Points can be redeemed with 14 airline transfer partners and 2 hotel transfer partners, including Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Choice Hotels, Singapore Airlines, and more.

Although you can redeem your points for economy flights and budget hotels, the most valuable avenue for your points will inevitably be when using them for opulent first class flights and luxury hotels.

Suppose you do not also hold a premium ThankYou Point-earning card like the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier card. In that case, your only transfer partner options as a Double Cash cardholder will be Choice Privileges, Wyndham Rewards, and JetBlue TrueBlue.

Hot Tip: Read our guide on the best ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou Points and how to get maximum value from them.

The Case for Having Both Cards in Your Wallet

As mentioned above, one of the little-known secrets about Citi ThankYou Rewards is that you can combine certain “cash-back” credit cards with the Citi Premier card to earn a lot more points. That way, you can earn 3x points on bonus categories through the Citi Premier card and 2% cash-back (earned as 2x points; 1% at time of purchase and 1% when you pay) on all other purchases using the Double Cash card.

By pairing your Double Cash card with a premium ThankYou Rewards card, you can access all of Citi’s transfer partners.

Statement Credits

The Citi Premier card has a $100 annual hotel savings benefit, which gets you $100 back on an eligible, single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when booked through thankyou.com.

The Double Cash card does not offer any statement credit benefits.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Hotel Benefits

Both the Citi Premier card and Double Cash card offer access to the Mastercard Luxury Hotel and Resorts Collection, which gets you complimentary daily breakfast for 2, an amenity credit of $100, and more at a collection of 3,000 hotels and resorts around the world.

Rideshare Benefits

If you use the Citi Premier card or Double Cash card to book 3 Lyft rides in a month, you’ll get $5 in Lyft credits in that month.

Bottom Line: Compared to other high-end travel cards, neither the Citi Premier card nor the Double Cash card offer amazing travel perks. 

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Citi Premier Upgraded Points LLC
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Now, let’s take a look at the shopping benefits and protections offered by these 2 products.

Cell Phone Protection

Even though both these cards are World Elite Mastercard products, you get access to cell phone protection with the Citi Premier card, which reimburses up to $600 per claim with a $50 deductible per claim and up to $1,000 in coverage every rolling 12-month period. You can be approved for up to 2 claims per rolling 12-month period.

The Double Cash card does not have cell phone protection.

Access to Citi Entertainment

When you use either the Citi Premier card or the Double Cash card, you can utilize Citi Entertainment to get special access to buy tickets to thousands of events around the world, including presale tickets and experiences.

Access to Citi Merchant Offers

Both cards have access to Citi Merchant Offers, cash-back deals that can save you money on shopping, dining, and travel purchases when using your Citi card.

DoorDash Benefits

Because both the Citi Premier card and the Double Cash card are World Elite Mastercards, cardholders will get 3 free months of DoorDash DashPass, as well as a $5 credit every month upon activating their complimentary DashPass membership.

Complimentary ShopRunner Membership

Both cards’ World Elite Mastercard status gets you a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which gets you free 2-day shipping and free returns at dozens of popular retailers. ShopRunner-eligible merchants include Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Allbirds, Coach, and more.

Purchase Protection

The Citi Premier card gets you purchase protection by virtue of its World Elite Mastercard status, and it covers eligible purchases of up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year on covered incidents that occur within 90 days of the purchase date.

This could come in handy if your items are damaged or stolen shortly after buying them.

The Double Cash card has the same purchase protection benefits.

Extended Warranty

When you have extended warranty, you can cover yourself in the event that there’s a significant defect in an item you purchase, usually with gadgets or other tech items.

In the case of the Citi Premier card, you can get amazing extended warranty protection that lengthens eligible warranties by up to 24 extra months, with a maximum aggregate coverage length of 7 years.

The Double Cash card doesn’t offer this benefit.

$0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases

Both the Citi Premier card and Double Cash card have $0 liability on unauthorized purchases, which ensures that you don’t pay for unauthorized charges and that you’re protected against fraud.

Virtual Account Numbers

Also, while you’re shopping online, you might find a lot of value in using temporary credit card numbers instead of your real credit card number.

To help address this concern, Citi credit cards have access to virtual account numbers, and this includes both the Citi Premier card and the Double Cash card.

That way, if fraudsters hack the merchant you made a purchase at, they won’t get access to your primary credit card number.

ID Theft Protection

ID Theft Protection is an enrollment-required program offered by Mastercard to monitor and alert you if any suspicious activity occurs on your credit card account and help you if your identity is stolen.

You can access this through both the Citi Premier card and the Double Cash card.

Contactless Payments

Both the Citi Premier card and Double Cash card have contactless payments technology built into them so you can hygienically shop around the world.

Digital Wallets

Also, the Citi Premier card and Double Cash card can both be added to digital wallets, enabling you to add your card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more.

That way, you don’t need to carry your physical card with you while shopping.

Foreign Transaction Fees

The Citi Premier card has no foreign transaction fees, while the Double Cash card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Annual Fees and Adding Additional Users

Citi Double Cash Upgraded Points LLC
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

In this last section, we’ll walk you through pertinent annual fees, plus what authorized users should know.

Annual Fees

The Citi Premier card has a $95 annual fee, while the Double Cash card has a $0 annual fee.

Authorized Users

Neither the Citi Premier card nor the Double Cash card have additional annual fees for authorized users.

If you’re an authorized user on the Citi Premier card, you’ll enjoy all of the same benefits as the primary cardholder except for your own welcome offer and the $100 annual hotel savings benefit.

That being said, you can use the primary cardholder’s annual hotel savings benefit for a stay booked under the authorized user’s name without any issues.

Similarly, if you have the Double Cash card, you can enjoy almost all of the same benefits as the primary cardholder, except for any welcome offers or introductory APR offers.

For example, if Jane Smith is the primary cardholder and John Doe is the authorized user, balance transfers can only be done for Jane Smith, not John Doe.

Final Thoughts

The Double Cash card is a simplistic rewards credit card that also offers balance transfer benefits to those who want to consolidate high-interest debt.

The Citi Premier card is a great travel card for people with good credit and the ability to pay off monthly balances in full. If you spend a lot with airlines, hotels, supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants, the Citi Premier card may be best for you, as you’ll earn a ton of valuable transferrable rewards points.

However, you should actually consider getting both cards to optimize your spending across both cards to earn even more rewards.

Still, the decision of which one to pick is highly personal and depends on your own financial standing.

The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to the Double Cash card?

The Double Cash card is still being offered and is open for new applications.

What card is better than the Double Cash card?

There are many rewards credit cards out there, and the Double Cash card is one of the better cash-back options. Better cards may exist, it just depends on what type of rewards, benefits, and perks you’re looking for.

Some argue that the Citi Premier card is better than the Double Cash card. However, there’s a case to be made that you should have both of them in your wallet!

Is the Double Cash hard to get?

Generally, if you have a credit score of 700 or higher, you have a good shot at getting approved for the Double Cash card. It’s probably a little easier to get approved for the Double Cash card than the Citi Premier card.

What is the highest limit on the Double Cash card?

There isn’t a published maximum — it’s ultimately a function of your credit score, your income, and many other things. However, we’ve seen credit limits on the Double Cash card from $30,000 to $60,000.

Is Double Cash card actually 2%?

Yes, you’ll earn 2% cash-back on purchases! But just remember that you get 1% cash-back when you buy and 1% cash-back when you pay your bill.

Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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