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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Citi® Double Cash are designed to offer flexible rewards for your everyday spending. Unlike many cards that have a primary focus for rewards, these cards allow you to maximize your rewards with your typical spending.
However, there are some important differences between these two cards. So, here we’ll delve into the Freedom Flex and Double Cash to help you decide which would be the best option for you.
Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?
While we’ve looked at various card features, in order to understand the real world benefits of the cards, a direct scenario comparison can be very helpful. Since both cards are designed for everyday spending, we will take a typical monthly spending list to see what rewards you could earn if you have a similar spending pattern.
However, keep in mind to adjust the numbers to your regular spending categories, which may be different – so the exact calculation depends on your personal habits.
* Since Chase Freedom Flex offer rotating categories up to $6,000/year, we calculated $6,000 under "U.S Supermarkets" category with higher cashback.
** The Citi Double Cash calculated according to 2% cash back - please keep in mind you'll get the additional 1% upon payment.
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
This first area of comparison highlights an obvious difference between the two cards. The Chase Freedom Flex offers a cash bonus of $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
In this area of comparison, the cards are actually very similar. Both cards are among the best no annual fee cards, and the APR rates are similar. However, while Chase offers 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then, 19.49% – 28.24% variable), Citi offers 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then, 18.49% – 28.49% (Variable)).
The other fees are also similar. Both cards charge a 3% fee for foreign transactions after conversion to dollars. Additionally, the balance transfer fee is usually $5 or 5% (the greater), with a promotional rate of $5 or 3% for 60 days and four months for Chase and Citi respectively.
Compare The Perks
Citi® Double Cash Card
- Special Ticket Access: Citi Entertainment provides special access to purchase tickets including exclusive experiences and presale tickets. This includes concerts, dining experiences and sporting events.
- Lost Wallet Service: If you lose your card, Citi will not only replace it within 24 hours but provide you with emergency cash.
- Protections – Citi offers protections such as 24 Hour fraud protection and $0 liability on unauthorized charges. If you suffer from an identity theft attack, the Citi team can help you to resolve the matter.
- No Caps and No Category Restrictions – Citi® Double Cash has no restricting categories to keep track of or to enroll in. There are also no caps on the amount of cash back you earn.
Chase Freedom Flex
- Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey – Credit Journey provides you with personalized insights to help you build, monitor and protect your credit health.
- Service & Protection – Chase offers protections such as zero liability protection, 24/7 Fraud protection, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, auto rental collision Damage Waiver and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Compare The Drawbacks
There are no perfect financial products, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks of a new credit card before you sign up.
Here we’ll highlight some of the possible negatives to help you make an informed decision.
Citi® Double Cash Card
While having a simple cash back structure can be a bonus, when we’re comparing the Double Cash with a card like the Freedom Flex, the lack of cash back bonuses is very obvious and makes the card a little uncompetitive.
The Citi Double Cash Card doesn't offer any sort of signup offer.
You’ll only obtain the second 1% cash back when you make your payments on time. So, unless you set up auto pay, if your bill is delayed in the post or you’re on vacation, you could easily miss out.
Chase Freedom Flex
Since the largest cash back percentages change every quarter, you do need to watch for the changes. Chase typically updates the rewards calendar early, but you will need to be on the ball to check what spending categories will be included in the next quarter or two or you could miss out.
The higher cash back rate will be given only on the first $1,500 spent every quarter. If you spend more, you'll get only 1% cash back.
Compare Redemption Options
Chase offers several ways to redeem your rewards. These include:
- Statement credit or a direct deposit: There is no minimum to redeem your rewards in this way and direct deposits to your Chase checking account or acceptable for most U.S checking and savings accounts.
- Amazon shopping: You can also use your rewards to pay for all or part of eligible Amazon.com orders when you link your card to your Amazon account.
- Gift cards: Chase has a variety of gift card options including for dining, entertainment and shopping.
- Travel rewards. You enjoy the varied options on Chase Ultimate Rewards portal such as ordering flights in many airline partners or pick up nights at Citi hotel network.
Citi also has a number of reward redemption options that include:
- Checks: You can request a check. You can also take a credit towards your Citi savings or checking account.
- Statement Credit: You can redeem your rewards for statement credit.
- Convert to ThankYou Points: If you have a minimum rewards balance of $1, you can convert your rewards to Citi ThankYou points. Then you can order your travel benefits from Citi ThankYou portal.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your Citi Double Cash , there are some tips to help you:
- Organize your balance transfers within the first six months: This will allow you to take advantage of the reduced balance transfer fee.
- Pay your bills on time: To earn your cash back you need to pay at least the minimum due on time, so don’t miss any payments. If you struggle to manage bills, set up an automatic payment with your Citi checking account.
- Check Citi Entertainment: If you enjoy concerts, sporting events, and other ticketed events, be sure to check Citi Entertainment first, as you could get exclusive experience and presale tickets as well as many other Citi benefits.
If you want to make the best use of your Chase Freedom Flex , there are some tips to help you:
- Plan your spending according to the quarterly bonuses: While this can be easier said than done, where possible try to keep your purchases at certain stores and in certain categories to months included in the bonus categories.
- Max out your quarterly bonus category: Each quarter you can earn 5% for purchases up to $1,500 in total. So, aim to max out each quarter, which could add up to hundreds of dollars each year.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
Satisfied customers report that this card has excellent support in the event of unauthorized charges. Just click the blue button to access Citi’s dedicated Identity Theft Solutions center that can help you. A lot of them claiming the Double cash is the best Citi credit card.
Negative reviews relate to payment holds. There are a number of review comments that report significant payment holds and as a consequence interest charges when the bill has been paid in full.
Satisfied cardholders report this card offers some excellent bonus cash back categories, which change each quarter. However, you must remember to activate them to qualify.
Negative reviews appear centered around the fact that many purchases only qualify for a 1% cash back rate. If the quarterly categories don’t appeal to you or you forget to activate, the cash back can be a little disappointing.
When You Might Want the Citi® Double Cash?
The Citi Double Cash is a great option that could be good if:
- You like a simple reward system that only requires that you pay your bills on time.
- You have a credit card balance to pay down with 0% for 18 months on balance transfers.
- You’re looking for a high limit, as many customers report high limits on approval.
When You Might Want the Chase Freedom Flex?
The Chase Freedom Flex Card is a solid choice if:
- You will maximize rotating categories by spending all $1,500 per quarter.
- You’re prepared to plan your purchases according to quarterly bonus categories.
- You enjoy dining out, as you’ll get higher cashback on your purchases.
Compare The Alternatives
Both cards offer some great rewards for your everyday spending, particularly as neither card charges an annual fee.
However, there are some differences between the two cards that will help you to determine which one is the best option for you.
In order to maximize the rewards that you are able to get through this type of card, you should make sure that you make your minimum due payments.
You will be able to redeem the cashback points through direct deposit, check, or as statement credit. You can also use them in other ways, such as spending on gift cards, Amazon.com, and on travel.
The initial credit limit varies, but can often be between $500 and $8,000. The average limit for this type of card is around the $3,000 mark.
There is a cap on the bonus categories whereby it will cover up to $1,500 of relevant purchases per quarter. After that point has been reached, you will no longer earn at the premium cashback rate.