When it comes to cash back credit cards the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Citi® Double Cash Card are usually at the top of the list. The Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash battle is one that is worth reading because there is a lot to look at when it comes to these two cards and finding out which one is best for you. Cash back rewards are an excellent choice because you can pretty much use them any way you want. And both of these cards give you the opportunity to do just that.
By Matthew Coan
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Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Breakdown
What makes both of these cards so great is that you get all the rewards and benefits that they offer with no annual fee. Which is one less thing to worry about as far as how far and how much cash back you can earn. In the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Card battle it will come down to the wire because they are both that good.
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited you can earn a $200 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months after you open your account. After that you get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases for your first year (excluding Target® and Walmart® up to $12,000 in spend).
The continuing bonus cash back categories are 3% cash back on dining purchases, including takeout and delivery, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases, 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. And to finish it all off you get 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
With the Citi Double Cash Card you will get 1% cash back on all purchases that you make and then another 1% cash back when you pay it off. If you are looking for a balance transfer then you are in luck because the Citi Double Cash Card offers an intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (after that 18.49% – 28.49% variable APR based on creditworthiness). Making it one of the longest options available for balance transfers.
It’s also important to note that both of these cards require a good to excellent credit score. This is something that everyone should double check before they apply to make sure they have the best chance of getting approved. So let’s dive right in to find out which one is the best cash back credit card for you from these two great credit card companies.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- $200 signup bonus when you spend $500 in your first 3 months
- 5% cash back on grocery store purchases for your first year (excluding Walmart and Target and up to $12,000 in spending)
- 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and delivery), and drugstore purchases
- 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
- Intro 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
- No annual fee
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a great cash back credit card that offers bonuses in certain categories that are on par with the other top cash back credit cards in this tier. You can use these categories to maximize your cash back earning potential and there is no limit or cap on the amount of cash back that you can earn in these categories.
After that you will earn a base cash back rate on everything else that you buy that is again equal to the industry standard for other cash back cards in the same category. There is also the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus after your first year, which is great for getting a huge bump in the amount of cash back that you earn. You also have access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal that is stocked full of great redemption options and travel deals. All of this with no annual fee makes it a great option in the battle between the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Card.
Citi Double Cash Card
- 1% cash back when your purchase and an additional 1% cash back when you pay it off
- Intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (after that 18.49% – 28.49% variable APR based on creditworthiness)
- No annual fee
Next up we have one of the top cash back cards from Citi. This Citi Card makes earning cash back as simple and as easy as possible. And you are earning a base cash back rate that is nearly double that of all other cash back cards in the industry. While there are no bonus categories you can more than make up for it because of the awesome cash back rate you are earning on everything that you buy.
You get this simple and straightforward awesome cash back rate all for no annual fee. Be sure to check the current up to date offer to se if there are any signup bonus offers available and they come and go with the Citi Double Cash Card. All in all a strong competitor in the the face off of the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Card.
Another credit card comparison to consider if the Capital One Quicksilver vs Citi Double Cash
When it comes to earning straight forward and simple cash back from a credit card the last thing you want to do is pay an annual fee. What is great about both of these cards is that they have no annual fee. that means all of the cash back that you earn can go straight towards what you want it to.
There are some cash back credit cards that do come with an annual feee. And while it can be justified based on the bonus rewards that you earn along with some added perks, it does make things more complicated. but if you take the time to figure out how to maximize their value it may be worth considering a cash back card that dos come with an annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Winner
Both of these cards offer a lot and just like every credit card offer is different, so is every person who wants to use them. This is what makes choosing a clear winner between two great cash back credit cards so difficult. If you are someone who likes to take advantage of bonus categories then the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good choice. If you want to keep things simple than the Citi Double Cash card is a great choice because of it’s simplicity and elevated cash back rate on your everyday purchases.
Either way you are making a great choice and you should be happy with which ever card you go with. If you want to expand your search even more then here are a few alternative cards to consider for other credit card issuers.
Other Cash Back Card To Think About
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
- Earn amazing elevated cash rewards on every purchase you make
- Excellent sign-up bonus opportunity
- Intro APR period on new purchases from account opening and qualified balance transfers
- No annual fee
- And more
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is right on par with the Citi Double Cash Card but it has a much better signup bonus offer. There are no bonus categories to juggle and no annual fee as well. Def. a card worth considering if you are looking for something in the cash back category.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
- Great welcome bonus offer available
- Elevated cash back rewards in certain categories
- Standard cash back rewards on all non-bonus spending categories
- Introductory offer APR period on balance transfers and new purchases
- No annual fee
- And more
The Bank of America Custom Cash Card allows you to choose a category (including certain grocery stores) where you want to earn the most cash back. there is a cap on the rewards you earn on that category, but still a great perk. It would mainly be a competitor to the Chase Freedom Unlimited because of the bonus category features it has. Not bad for a non annual fee credit card.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Huge rewards earning potential on purchase in the dining and entertainment category (eligible delivery service may also qualify)
- Other categories have generous cash back rate, with base cash back rate on everything else
- Great signup bonus offer
- Introductory APR period on new purchases and balance transfers
- No annual fee
- And more
If you like dining out and going to entertainment events then the Capital One SavorOne might be the better choice. These categories are where it shines but it also come with some other great bonus categories along with a great signup bonus offer. All of this with no annual fee means it is right up there with the other cards mentioned in this article depending on what your main spending habits are.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Key Features (see rates and fees)
- $250 welcome bonus after $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of having your new card
- 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spend per year, then 1% cash back after that)
- 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services
- 3% cash back on spend at U.S. gas stations and transit
- Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, after that annual fee is $95
- And more
If you are looking for elevated cash back rewards and a ton of added benefits over many other cash back cards then the Blue Cash Preferred Card should be on your list. It does come with an annual fee but if you can take take advantage of all the extras that it comes with then you can more than make up for it. While it is one of the few cash back credit cards that comes with an annual fee Amex tries to justify it with these great benefits. So be sure to check the up to date current offer to see what is included because it might be worth taking advantage of.
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Conclusion
When it comes to the battle between the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash you have a lot to consider. Both making earning cash back easy and you have plenty of redemption options too. From a statement credit, to travel redemptions, straight cash back, gift cards and more, you are certain to find value in the cash back rewards you earn. When looking into the best credit cards for cash back rewards these two should be on everyones list because of their popularity and the features that they come with. You want to be able to maximize your everyday spending and both of these cards can do just that. It’s just a matter to deciding which one does it better.
The cash back credit card market is fiercely competitive and that is why there are so many choices. Each one is different and, like we said before, every person that is looking for a new credit card spends differently. This is why we added some alternative options to this breakdown of the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash Card. We want to make sure that you get the most out of the money you spend and if cash back is what you want then you can find some great options here.
About the author: Matthew Coan is the founder of Casavvy and a credit card expert. He has appeared in various media outlets including Yahoo Finance, Credit Karma, Market Watch, Mens Journal, and more. Continue reading
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