Archives for January 8, 2015

Citi® Double Cash Card Review: 2% Cash Back on Purchases: 1% When You Buy + 1% As You Pay

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

citidouble200Our partner Citi has a solid cash back credit card that offers a flat 2% cash back on purchases. No categories to track, nothing to remember. Here are the details on the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 Month BT Offer:

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy 1% as you pay.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% – 25.24% based on your creditworthiness.*
  • Balance transfers do not earn cash back.
  • No annual fee.

This all comes with no caps, no tiers, no category restrictions, no quarterly enrollment hoops, no rotating categories. The only way you don’t get your 1% + 1% total is if you default on your bill and don’t even make the minimum payments. You can redeem your cash rewards in full as soon as it totals $25 or more, via check, direct deposit, or statement credit (i.e. if you have $31.44, you can get a check for $31.44).

How does earning cash back twice work? First, imagine you put $100 on the charge, 1% is earned so you have $1. Then you redeem that $1 (ignore minimums for this example) for a paper check or direct deposit (not statement credit). You pay the $100 bill from your bank account, and get an additional 1% or $1 back. Final tally: $2.00 back on $100 in purchases. In other words, 2% cash back.

Alternatively, imagine you charge $100 on the card and again 1% is earned so you have $1. Then you redeem that $1 (ignore minimums for this example) for a statement credit (as opposed to paper check or direct deposit) which means Citi actually “paid” for $1 of the $100. So you pay the remaining $99 and get an additional 1% or $0.99 back. Final tally: $1.99 back on $100 in purchases. 1.99/100 = 1.99%. Just pointing out a technicality here. If you charged $1,000 per month, the difference between 1.99% and 2% per month would be a whopping 10 cents per month, or $1.20 per year.

Obviously, you’ll want to pay in full every month as to not rack up interest charges which can quickly offset your cashback rewards. Note that you are only allowed to redeem cash rewards in the form of an electronic funds transfer into a linked bank account if it is a checking account from any bank from which you have paid a Citi Credit Card bill at least two times, or any Citi savings/checking account.

There have been similar cards in the past (Fidelity MasterCard, Sallie Mae, Priceline) but they either closed to new applicants or require additional relationship accounts. If you have another Citi card, you can call in and try to convert to this card with varying success. Converted cards are not eligible for the 0% interest offer mentioned below.

Bottom line. The Citi Double Cash card lets you earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy 1% as you pay. No categories to track. This is double what many other cash back credit cards offer, and comes with no annual fee. I think everyone should have a 2% cash back card in their purse/wallets, even if they have other cards with specialized perks.

“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.”

Pointshound Promo: 100 Free American Airlines Miles

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

PointsHound is a new hotel reservation site that lets you earn frequent flier miles and other loyalty currencies when making a hotel booking. For example, you could earn American Airlines miles by staying at a small boutique hotel. It seems basically like a little rebate on your purchase like Expedia+ points, but be careful if you are trying to rack up hotel-specific elite stays.

Right now, they have a promotion where you can get 100 free American AAdvantage miles just for signing up at PointsHound.com/AAdvantage and linking up your American Airlines account number. No booking required for the 100 miles, but you can also get an additional 2,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after your first booking.

100 miles is maybe worth a buck or two, but it does present a good way to reset your miles expiration date at no cost. AA miles currently expire after 18 months of inactivity.

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