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Updated July 17, 2017

Chase Freedom vs Citi Double Cash

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card 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.

In your quest to get a cashback credit card, you may be torn between the Chase Freedom and the Citi Double Cash Card. Both are great everyday cards for people who want to be rewarded when they go shopping, but the way these cards calculate returns varies in a big way.

Which one is right for you? We’ll let these credit cards duke it out for your spending with this in-depth comparison.

 

Chase Freedom

Citi® Double Cash Card

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 monthsN/A
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0%* introductory APR for 18 months*
Purchase APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 
Cash Back RewardsCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Earn cash back twice on every purchase: 1% cash back when you buy; plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Categories for 2018:
January - March 2018: Gas stations, internet/cable/phone services and Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay
April - June 2018: PayPal, Chase Pay and Grocery stores
July - September 2018: Gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens
October - December 2018: Wholesale clubs, department stores and Chase Pay
 

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on October 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Citi Double Cash: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on October 2, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why Either Card Is a Good Choice

Pitting these two cards against each other, you’ll see that the choice isn’t easy at first. The Chase Freedom and Citi Double Cash have somewhat similar benefits.

With either card, you would get:

  • Cash back: Both these cards have fairly easy-to-understand rewards programs that give you cash back for your purchases. You can redeem the cash in the form of a check, a credit on your balance, or as a gift card with a list of retailers that have partnered with the credit card companies.

  • No annual fee: Neither card charges an annual fee.

Why Chase Freedom Is Superior

Here’s how this card’s cash back works: You earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Here is why you may prefer the Chase Freedom to the Double Cash card:

© losmininos (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

  • A sweet signup bonus: You can earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And you can get another $25 just for adding an authorized user who makes just one purchase in that three-month period.

  • You could get more in rewards: Take a look at the Chase Freedom cash back calendar, and see how the 5% cash back bonus categories match your spending habits. If you’re vigilant about how you use the card, you can rack up cash that may take you longer to earn under the Double Cash card. For example, say you spend $50 a week on gas. If you use the Chase Freedom every time you go to the gas station during the three months gas station purchases are eligible for the 5% bonus, you’ll get $30.

  • You get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers: After that, a 16.99% - 25.74% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.

  • You can redeem your cash anytime. However, with Double Cash, you can take the cash only in $25 increments.

Why Citi Double Cash Is Superior

Here’s how this card’s cash back works: Double Cash does away with the rotating categories and is the only card that gives you double cash. You get the first 1% back when you make the purchase and the second 1% back when you pay for it. There is no limit on how much you can earn.

Here is why you may prefer the Double Cash to the Chase Freedom:

© @sage_solar (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

  • The rewards are easier to grasp: All you have to remember is "Double Cash." You don’t have to think about what type of purchases you are making and whether the cash back will apply. All you need to know is that if you return an item, that purchase will not be considered eligible for cash back. That’s a fair deal.

  • There really is no thinking involved: As long as you use the card at least once a year, you will earn your double cash. You don’t have to go through the trouble of re-enrolling in a rewards program or getting familiar with purchase categories that change every few months.

  • No caps: There are no limits on how much you can earn in a quarter or during a year.

  • You get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers: While there is NO introductory APR on purchases, you do get a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, an APR of 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable). Keep in mind, since there's no introductory APR on purchases, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay off your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.

Both Cards Do Have Downsides

With Chase Freedom:

  • You will max out the 5% cash back when you spend $1,500 on purchases that fall under the rotating categories. But with Double Cash, you never have to think about such a threshold, as that card has no caps on its rewards.

  • The rewards system is more complicated. Every three months, you have to go through the trouble of enrolling in the 5% cash back program. You can set up alerts to remind yourself to do it, but every time you will need to have your card in front of you to enter in the digits for enrollment. And you have to remember which categories get the 5% and consider whether using another credit card in your wallet may be more beneficial. With Double Cash, there is no such thinking involved. The rewards are always the same.

With Double Cash:

  • There is no signup bonus with this card.

  • You could potentially earn more with Chase Freedom if the items you buy more closely match what the bonus categories are each quarter.

  • Your cash rewards will expire if you don’t use the card for 12 months straight.

Also Keep in Mind: Fees

Both cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee, which applies to all purchases you make when traveling out of the country.

As for balance transfers, the Citi Double Cash will charge you a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) while the Chase Freedom will charge you a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum).

Bottom Line

 

Chase Freedom

Citi Double Cash

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 monthsN/A
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0%* introductory APR for 18 months*
Purchase APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Earn cash back twice on every purchase: 1% cash back when you buy; plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Categories for 2018:
January - March 2018: Gas stations, internet/cable/phone services and Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay
April - June 2018: PayPal, Chase Pay and Grocery stores
July - September 2018: Gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens
October - December 2018: Wholesale clubs, department stores and Chase Pay
 

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on October 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Citi Double Cash: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on October 2, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

So, Should You Get the Chase Freedom or the Citi Double Cash Card?

Since the cards’ features are similar, the answer as to which one is right for you will likely come down to the details in the rewards programs. Do you like your rewards to be as simple as possible (then you may prefer Citi Double Cash), or do you like to feel like a deal hunter and have fun keeping up with a rewards program (Chase Freedom).

Sarah Johnson is the senior editor of CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Sarah Johnson at sarah@creditdonkey.com

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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