Why the Citi Double Cash Card is an integral part of my strategy to beat inflation

Citi is TPG advertising partner. 

Like many people say about their children, I can’t choose a favorite when I look at the credit cards in my wallet. Each one has brought me something special: a sign-up bonus I used for some great trips, cash-back rewards that made me feel less guilty about an occasional splurge or some unique perks that were fun to use.

However, some are extra special to me, and the Citi® Double Cash Card is one of them. With inflation rates impacting the spending habits of many people and Citi’s recent announcement of the limited-time offer of a $200 cash-back sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account spending, now might be a great time for you to fall in love, too.

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In This Post

Why I got it

When I was fresh out of college with my teaching degree, I had dreams of exotic travel made possible by points and miles earned from a wallet full of the best cards. My parents had used credit card rewards to travel for years, and I was excited to learn from them and put together my own strategy. During my first year as a teacher, I was eager to get started in my points and miles credit card journey.

But, as it often does, reality hit pretty hard. During that first year, I struggled with the challenges of being a new teacher as well as the normal, but new to me, responsibilities of adulthood. I could barely remember to buy groceries and pay my electric bill, so keeping up with multiple cards felt impossible. By the time I got to my second year, I knew I needed a simpler credit card strategy.

Like a credit card fairy godmother, Citi released the Double Cash card at almost the exact moment I realized I needed to simplify. With its no annual fee and a solid 2% back on all spending (1% when you purchase, 1% when you pay), I thought it sounded perfect and got it immediately.

I was right: It was the perfect card for me that year. It offered the simplicity I needed and, as I learned the limitations of my teacher budget, the cash back was a very welcome perk.

Related: What credit score do you need to get the Citi Double Cash Card?

Why I love it

Since that year, I have continued to love my trusty Citi Double Cash Card. Even after I emerged from my new teacher fog and now as a former teacher, I have found the Double Cash card to be a great card for me in a few different scenarios:

Part of a cash-back strategy. When I felt ready to manage a few different cards, I wanted to maximize my cash-back earning opportunities. I used my Chase Freedom card (no longer open to new applicants, replaced by the Chase Freedom Flex) for its 5% back on rotating categories each quarter, and then I used my Citi Double Cash Card to earn 2% back for everything else. With higher prices for travel and everyday purchases due to inflation, having cards that earn cash back has become even more important to my strategy.
Part of a travel strategy. As I fully settled into adulthood, I was amazed by how expensive everything was, and travel was no exception. I quickly began using cobranded cards to build up airline miles and hotel points, but I continued using my Double Cash card for certain things to keep a balance of earning cash back. I then used this cash to pay for what my points and miles didn’t: gas for a road trip, my share of a house rental on a girls’ trip with my friends and airport snacks. With this strategy, I managed to make almost all of my travel free.
A safe go-to. As I built my card portfolio and learned to maximize my spending, I inevitably needed to pay for something and was unsure which card I should choose. In these instances, I felt safe using my Double Cash card because I knew I could trust it to give me that reliable 2% cash back on whatever I bought. My motto became, “When in doubt, use Double Cash.”
Part of a ThankYou points-earning strategy. Though the card has been great for cash back over the years, since it now earns ThankYou points, I will probably get the Citi Premier® Card soon and use both cards to build up my ThankYou points stash.

Related: Citi Double Cash card review

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Why I recommend it

Whether you’re a beginner looking for simplicity or a veteran shifting your rewards card strategy due to inflation, the Citi Double Cash Card is an ideal option. With the ability to redeem its ThankYou points in multiple ways, including getting cash back and booking travel, this no-annual-fee card is a great one to have in your wallet.

Bottom line

The Citi Double Cash Card is an excellent card to get if you’re looking to beat inflation with a simple and reliable cash-back card. With the current limited-time offer of a $200 cash-back sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account spending, now is the perfect time to get it.

Featured photo by Oleg Breslavtsev/Getty Images.