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Earn 5% Back on Select Travel for Citi Double Cash Card Members

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Carissa Rawson
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Carissa Rawson

Senior Content Contributor

269 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 51U.S. States Visited: 36

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business ...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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The Citi Double Cash® Card is already a great deal with $0 annual fee and 2% back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay).

Now, Citi has sweetened the deal for cardholders by offering 5% cash back on select travel when booking through the Citi travel portal during a limited-time promotion.

Let’s take a look at the details.

Offer Details

Note that Citi Double Cash card holders are earning an additional 3% back on their purchases through Citi’s travel portal for a total of 5% back. Here’s the deal:

  • September 17th, 2023 to December 31st, 2024: Earn an additional 3% cash back
  • Earned through purchases for hotels, car rentals, and attractions (not flights)
  • Only eligible for bookings made through the Citi travel portal
Citi travel portal
Image Credit: Citi

5% cash back is a significant return for your dollars spent, but let’s keep in mind we are limited to earning this only through Citi’s travel portal, which has been using Booking.com as their hub since early 2023.

Though the 5% cash back is limited to hotels, rental cars, and attractions on the travel portal, you won’t earn the additional bonus on flights. If you hold any elite status with rental car companies or hotels, you likely won’t earn any elite credits or benefits when booking through a third-party website.

Is It Worth It?

Let’s compare this to a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns 5x Capital One miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One travel portal.

Though these miles aren’t a legal tender like cash is, your earnings can go much further with miles. We value Capital One miles at 1.8 cents each, meaning your 5x miles comes out to a 9% return.

Compare this to the 5% cash back the Citi Double Cash card offers, and it looks like the Capital One Venture Card comes out ahead. However, you’ll want to note that if you also hold the Citi Premier® Card, the cash back earned via the Citi Double Cash card can be converted into transferable Citi ThankYou points.

Since we value Citi points at 1.6 cents each, this nearly doubles their value and gives you a return of 8% on your spending.

When comparing cards and their offers, it’s vital to take into account where you’ll be using your earned rewards. Take inventory of what’s most important to you — will you get the most of your money by saving up points for the trips you have planned, or would you prefer the flexibility to take your cash anywhere? Will you be comfortable with the elevated cash-back offer expiring in December 2024 versus a more static baseline of 5x miles indefinitely?

Final Thoughts

5% cash back is a tempting carrot, an improvement to the existing rewards rate that the Citi Double Cash offers. If you’re looking at this card, the ultimate question you should ask yourself is how you’d like to use your rewards.

Is the freedom of cash more valuable than the redemption value of points? This one’s for you to decide!

The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Double Cash® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Premier® Card has expired and the card is no longer open to applicants.

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About Carissa Rawson

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

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