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August 14, 2017

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash

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Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you 1.5% cash back, while the Citi Double Cash earns 1% cash back twice. Which is better? Learn the surprising truth.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited and Citi Double Cash both offer above-average cash back rewards. Both have no rotating categories and no annual fee. Both make great options for everyday spending.

One card gives a flat 1.5% cash back for all purchases. The other card has the potential to earn more, but has some downsides you should not ignore.

Read on to find out which is better for you.

Overview: Chase Freedom Unlimited and Citi Double Cash

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited

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 APR16.49% to 25.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR16.49% to 25.24% 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 you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. 
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all 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
 Apply NowApply Now

Citi Double Cash: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on November 6, 2019 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the 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.

Before we get into the meat of the comparisons, let's do a quick rundown of how the cards work:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • Citi Double Cash: 1% cash back on all purchases, and another 1% cash back when you make payments. It does not offer an introductory bonus.

Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited Is Better

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is very tempting because of the $150 Cash Back offer. Here are reasons why you may prefer it.

  • Earn Ultimate Rewards points. You get your rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. On their own, the points are worth cash back at 1 cent each. However, if you have one of the premier UR cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred), you can pool your points. This will then allow you to transfer them 1:1 to an airline or hotel partner, or use points to purchase travel on the Chase travel portal at a discount.

    Even if you don't have one of the premier cards yet, think about if you'd eventually get one. This would get you in the Ultimate Rewards family, where you can later redeem for travel at greater value.

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. You get a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (and then the APR is 16.49% - 25.24% Variable). Citi Double Cash has no intro APR on purchases. So the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the better choice if you're planning on making some big purchases and need time to pay them off.

    However, if you need to transfer a balance from another card, the Double Cash may be better. We'll go over that below.

Why the Citi Double Cash Is Better

The Citi Double Cash can potentially give you more cash back. The perks include:

  • Ability to get rewarded twice. You receive 1% cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases.

  • No late fee for paying late, once. This is a small little perk that could come in handy. Most of us are guilty of forgetting to pay a bill from time to time. Citi Double Cash will give you a pass and not charge a late fee for the first late payment.

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. The 0% intro APR for balance transfer is longer at 18 months (and then the APR of 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)).

    Tip: If your priority is to pay back debt and you have a large balance to transfer, consider credit card with no balance transfer fee instead.

Downsides to Both Cards

Beware of these potential downsides for both cards.

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited:

With the Citi Double Cash Card:

  • No sign-up bonus. This could a major turn off for some.

    Thinking of signing up for a new card? Check out best credit card promotions.

  • $25 minimum for redemption. You can only redeem rewards after you have accrued $25 in rewards. There is no minimum for redemption with the Freedom Unlimited.

  • Rewards expire. They expire after 12 months if there is no account activity.

  • No intro APR for purchases. It's not ideal if you're planning on some large purchases (unless you can pay them off right away).

  • 3% foreign transaction fee.

When Does It Make Sense to Choose One over the Other?

Let's say you are able to pay off your balance each month. So which is better?

The 1% + 1% from the Citi Double Cash sounds like more than the flat 1.5% from Chase Freedom Unlimited. But remember that the Freedom Unlimited has a potential introductory cash back offer.

Bottom Line

© CreditDonkey

So, should you get the Citi Double Cash or the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

Both the Citi Double Cash and Chase Freedom Unlimited are good options when it comes to no annual fee, cash back credit cards.

If you have other Chase credit cards or want the sign-up incentive, then the Freedom Unlimited will probably be the better choice. Ultimate Rewards points are valuable as they have the potential to be worth more.

If you're a heavy spender and pay off your card in full each money, you may find the Citi Double Cash more rewarding. But remember that there's no sign-up bonus and rewards expire after 12 months of inactivity.

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited
At Chase's Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0

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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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$95

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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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