Yes, the new Citi Double Money Card is getting a lot of attention for its attractive cash back program. However, how does it compare to among the most popular money back charge card presently on the marketplace (Discover it ®)?

I’ll dissect these cards to see which is actually much better for you.

Citi Double Cash Card vs. Discover it: Which One is Better?, debt

Using the following requirements, I break down the Citi Double Cash Card vs. Discover it ®:

  • Cash back program
  • Online shopping portal
  • Annual fee
  • Interest rates
  • Card coverages
  • Perks
  • Customer service

At completion, I’ll tally up the winners for each of the classifications to differentiate the much better card.

CASH BACK PROGRAM

Citi Double Cash: Unlimited 1 % cash money back on all purchases and afterwards make 1 % money back on balances that you pay off

Discover it®: 5 % cash back in classifications that alter every 3 months on approximately a limit in consolidated purchases in these categories (normally $1,500 in integrated purchases), 1 % money back on everything else

Here we are: the cash money back program. The star of the program. You clearly wish to maximize the cash money back that you can earn on your spending, however to do that, you should first comprehend the nitty gritty details that make up each card’s money back program.

The Citi Double Cash Card generally provides 1 % back on everything you purchase and 1 % back on the payments that go toward your card balance. In your head, you need to be thinking that it is, efficiently, a 2 % cash back card. At first, I thought that too. But, there’s a factor that Citi didn’t just market it as a “2 % money back” card.

The means that Citi captures you off-guard is the cash back redemption program. You can gather your money back in the form of a check, gift cards and … statement credits. Statement credits typically entail the least headache to redeem. Nevertheless, statement credits will reduce your balance, meanings you are making smaller sized payments to Citi. Remember that you make 1 % cash back on your payments to Citi? Smaller sized payments to Citi mean less cash money back for you.

To ensure that you get the optimum of 2 % cash money back, you must redeem the cash back as checks or gift cards – not statement credits.

On the other hand, with Discover it ®, you’ll aim to take full advantage of the cash back by taking advantage of the 5 % cash back classifications during the proper quarters. Here’s a look at the 2014 money back calendar for Discover it ®:

Citi Double Cash Card vs. Discover it: Which One is Better?, credit problems

The catch with the 5 % cash money back program is that there’s no assurance that the exact same categories will certainly show up from year to year. And, the card has limitations on how much eligible spending will make the 5 % cash back. In the past year, I’ve seen the limit at $1,500 in combined spending in the 5 % cash back categories – so you can get a max of $75 cash back on those classifications during the quarter. (Do not forget that you’ll still make the base 1 % cash back if you go beyond the limitations.)

Now, comparing the money back programs would be hard due to the fact that it depends entirely on your spending patterns.

If you max out Discover it ® 5 % cash back program, you’ll make $300 in money back- from $6,000 in spending – with those 5 % cash back categories. This doesn’t count all the other purchases that earn a base 1 % money back.

To earn that exact same $300, you ‘d have to invest $15,000 on those very same purchases through the Citi Double Cash money Card (assuming that you get an efficient 2 % money back by not redeeming as statement credits).

But, if you don’t take advantage of Discover it ®’s 5 % money back classifications, you ‘d be making simply 1 % cash money back. Then, Citi Double Money would end up providing more money back.

Since each card has its merits depending on your spending, I’ll call it an even match in between the two cards.

WINNER (Cash back program): Tied

ONLINE SHOPPING PORTAL

Citi Double Cash Card vs. Discover it: Which One is Better?, debt reduction

Citi Double Cash: Citi Bonus offer Cash money Center offers about 5 % reward cash money back at select online retailers

Discover it®: ShopDiscover provides 5-20 % extra cash money back at partnered online retailers

Both cash money back cards offer a rewarding means for cardmembers to gather even more cash back: an online shopping website. With these shopping portals, you finish an online purchase as you typically would, but you simply need to get in the retailer’s website with a special link. You’re going to make that purchase anyway – simply invest an additional minute to go through the online shopping portal for some benefit money back.

The Citi Incentive Money Center and ShopDiscover are working with much of the very same merchants, though there are slight distinctions occasionally. To show you which online shopping website is much better, I have actually compared the incentive cash back amounts for some of the greatest online retailers:

Online retailer Citi Bonus Cash Center ShopDiscover (Discover it®)
Apple 1% bonus cash back 5% bonus cash back
Best Buy 1% bonus cash back 5% bonus cash back
Macy’s 2% bonus cash back 5% bonus cash back
Walmart.com 2% bonus cash back 5% bonus cash back

As you can see, ShopDiscover has the tendency to supply more bonus money back than the Citi Reward Money Center – this will increase the overall cash money back that you earn with Discover it ®, especially when incorporated with the regular 5 % cash money back program. For instance, in Q4 2014, Discover it ® cardmembers earn 5 % cash back on online shopping. Going with ShopDiscover to make purchase at Macys.com and you’ll get a total of 10 % cash back!

ShopDiscover wins it for Discover it ®.

WINNER (Online shopping website): Discover it®

ANNUAL FEE

Citi Double Cash: No annual fee

Discover it®: No annual fee

It’s uncommon for a cash back credit card to hit cardmembers with annual charges, probably because it is counterintuitive to the concept of earning cash back. If you’re investing to obtain cash money back to negate a yearly cost, there’s no point in getting a cash money back card – simply get any no-annual-fee card and be done with it.

With that in mind, it was anticipated of Citi Double Cash money and Discover it ® to have no yearly cost, so both cards tie for the classification.

WINNER (Annual fee): Tied

INTEREST RATES

Citi Double Cash: 12.99 % – 22.99 % variable APR (0 % intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers)

Discover it®: 10.99 % – 22.99 % variable APR (0 % intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers)

Don’t pay interest. Do not pay interest. Don’t pay interest.

Otherwise, all that cash money back that you made? You’re using it to pay off the interest, as opposed to using it for the things you really want.

However, in the odd possibility that you do need to bring a balance, you’ll discover relief in understanding that you have a low APR.

So, Citi Double Cash money has a slight longer 0 % APR initial duration – simply one more month. To me, that is not a huge offer. I believe that a lower APR will certainly be more impactful in the long-term than the additional Thirty Days of no interest.

Therefore, I’m giving this classification to Discover it ®.

WINNER (Interest rates): Discover it®

CARD COVERAGES

Although the money back programs are the shining points of the Citi Double Money and Discover it ® cards, they do carry substantial card defenses that could be useful under certain situations. They also offer some peace-of-mind when utilizing your cards to pay for purchase.

It’s a long list, so I have actually arranged them in a table for your easy food digestion:

Card Citi Double Cash Card Discover it®
$0 liability fraud protection Yes Yes
Purchase protection 120 days after the purchase (90 days in NY), $1,000 restriction per claim ($50,000 max. each year) 90 days after the purchase, $500 limit per claim
Price protection 60 days after the purchase, $300 limitation per item ($1,200 each year) 90 days after the purchase, $500 limit per item
Return protection 60 days after the purchase, $250 limit per product ($1,000 per year) 90 days after the purchase, $500 limit per item
Extended warranty One (1) extra year on eligible guarantees of 5 (5) years or less One (1) added year on qualified service warranties of 3 (3) years or less
ID theft protection/resolution Yes No
Travel & emergency assistance Yes Yes
Roadside Assistance Yes Yes
Auto rental insurance Yes (Worldwide – covers any rental car in any nation) Yes
Travel accident insurance Yes Yes (only on air travel)
Trip cancellation/interruption coverage Up to $1,500 per year No
Baggage delay insurance No Up to $500 if luggage is postponed at least three (3) hours

Not remarkably, the securities supplied by both cards are rather similar. The Citi Double Cash money Card, nevertheless, is simply somewhat much better – just since it has much better travel defenses.

WINNER (Card coverages): Citi Double Cash

PERKS

Citi Double Cash: First late-payment charge waived and EMV chip technology

Discover it®: No fine APR, no late payment fee for the very first late payment, no foreign transaction charges, and free FICO credit rating every month

The Citi Double Cash Card only has 2 standout advantages: a one-time “late pass” and EMV chip technology for card-payment approval overseas.

Discover it ® offers that exact same one-time late-payment cost waiver, however does not have that EMV chip. Instead, it doesn’t charge any foreign deal charges and you get free FICO credit scores each month (typically $19.95 per score).

I believe that Discover it ®’s advantages will be more useful for the typical individual. After all, everybody should be watching on their credit and the totally free FICO credit scores are the genuine offer, not some other credit rating that is not acknowledged by lenders.

WINNER (Perks): Discover it®

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Citi Double Cash Card vs. Discover it: Which One is Better?, personal finance

Citi Double Cash: State “representative” to get individual aid 1 Day a day, totally free 24/7 concierge service

Discover it®: 100 % U.S.-based customer care available any time

Citi’s case for its client service quality is that you can quickly reach a customer service rep on need. Based upon direct experience, I understand that Citi does contract out a minimum of a few of its customer service. Discover it ®, on the other hand, boasts U.S.-based customer support – it’s something that individuals appreciate when it concerns inquiries about their accounts.

However, Citi Double Cash money shines since it offers complimentary concierge service, which imitates an individual assistant to help you with travel reservation, dining reservations, shopping and a huge selection of other tasks.

That’s why Citi Double Cash money wins the client service category.

WINNER (Customer service): Citi Double Cash

VERDICT: Discover it®

With the most winning classifications, Discover it ® beats the Citi Double Money Card (3-2) by a slight margin.

Discover it ® has the much better online shopping portal, lower rate of interest and longer benefits than the Citi Double Cash money Card. Yes, Citi Double Cash has its place in the wallets of people who don’t actually have an identifiable spending pattern – suitable for its potential 2 % cash back program on all purchases.

However, many people will discover the Discover it ® to be the much better overall money back credit card – you are bound to discover a way to make the most of the 5 % cash money back classifications, in addition to the greater benefit cash back through ShopDiscover.