Table of Content
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Citi® Double Cash cards are both designed for everyday use. Unlike many credit cards that may offer great rewards for travelers, these cards are designed to offer decent rewards on everyday items such as groceries and purchases with no categories.
However, there are some differences between the cards, so here we’ll examine both options in more detail to help you determine the best choice for you.
Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?
While we’ve looked at various card features, in order to understand the real 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.
While both cards included on our best no annual fee cards list, 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.
Spend Per Category
Citi® Double Cash Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$3,000 – Restaurants
$1,500 – Airline
$1,500 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Annual Value
* The Citi Double Cash calculated according to 2% cash back - please keep in mind you'll get the additional 1% upon payment.
As you can see, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers far more cash back rewards. However, two of these categories relate to short term offers. So, after one year, the total cash back for the above list would be down to a far more comparable level.
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
This is the first area of comparison and it highlights a crucial difference. While the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back.
While considered one of the best Citi credit cards, the Citi Double Cash card doesn't offer a sign-up bonus. There is an introductory offer, where you can enjoy 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. However, there is no promotional cash back offer for new cardholders.
Both of the card issuers have a foreign transaction fee and both companies have a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%. However, while Chase offers an introductory rate of $5 or 3% for the first 60 days, Citi offers the same reduction rate for the first four months.
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 – Chase 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 Unlimited
- Complimentary three month DoorDash DashPass. This subscription service provides unlimited $0 delivery fee deliveries on orders over $12. After this point, you’ll qualify for a DashPass at 50% off for the following nine months. However, you must activate this subscription before March 31 2022.
- Up to $500 cash back per year for referring friends. You’ll get $100 for each friend who gets a participating Freedom credit card.
- Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey – Credit Journey provides you with personalized insights to help you build, monitor and protect your credit score.
- 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 the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers quite a few additional card benefits, there are limited options with the Citi Double Cash.
While one of the advantages of the Citi Double Cash is its simplicity, it is also one of its potential negatives. The card only offers a flat reward rate, with no incentives for spending in particular categories.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Although Chase has reduced the balance transfer fee to 3% or $5 for the first 60 days, after this time, the fees go back up to $5 or 5%. So, if you want to take advantage of the 0% introductory offer, you’ll need to get your balance transfers organized quickly and you’ll still need to pay a fee.
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 as a statement credit and direct deposits are 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 can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform to access competitive rates for travel products including hotel stays and flights.
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.
- Convert to ThankYou Points: If you have a minimum rewards balance of $1, you can convert your rewards to Citi ThankYou points.
- Statement Credit: You can redeem your rewards for statement credit.
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 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
If you want to make the best use of your Chase Freedom Unlimited , there are some tips to help you:
- Budgeting: This credit card allows you to easily plan in advance as the cashback rates stay the same. Therefore, you can plan your purchases and figure out how much cashback you will receive when doing so.
- Introduce family and friends to Chase. You can earn $100 for each referral who gets a participating Chase credit card.
- Leverage 0% Intro APR – in case you plan a big purchase, need to payoff debt or getting a credit for anything – the long 0% intro APR can help you to save money on interest.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
Satisfied cardholders report that this card has excellent support in the event of unauthorized charges. Citi has a dedicated Identity Theft Solutions center that can help you in the event that you suffer from any fraud. You can freeze or lock your card easily and get quick help from experts.
Negative reviews mainly come from people who are looking for rotating categories – the average cash back rate is quite low compared to other cards.
Satisfied cardholders report the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers some great rewards for everyday spending. This means that you can maximize your rewards without needing to drastically change your spending habits. Cardholders also appreciate the 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then 19.49% – 28.24% variable).
Negative reviews report frustration at the lack of fee free balance transfers. While the card is set up to allow you to access a 0% rate on purchases and balance transfers, there are no fee free balance transfers. Also, there are some comments about the temporary nature of some of the card benefits.
When You Might Want the Citi® Double Cash?
The Citi Double Cash is a great option that could be good if:
- You don’t like messing with spending categories and reward tiers, since you’ll earn 2% cash back on all your purchases with no caps or categories – 1% at the time of purchase and 1% when you pay for those purchases.
- You want to pay down a credit card balance. You’ll enjoy 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 18.49% – 28.49% (Variable).
- You like the reassurance of fraud prevention support: Positive reviews praise the support team if you notice an unauthorized charge on your account.
When You Might Want the Chase Freedom Unlimited?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a solid choice if:
- You will spend $1,000 per month in groceries during your first year to maximize your cash back.
- You enjoy dining out, as you’ll get higher cashback on your purchases
- High Spender: If you have are a family or you exceed the rotating categories limit, you may prefer the Freedom Unlimited Card
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.
Compare The Alternatives
Both of these cards offer some excellent rewards for frequent travelers, particularly if you redeem your rewards on travel products. However, the differences between these two cards will determine which is the better choice for you. Another relevant comparison you may want to explore is the Double Cash vs Chase Freedom Flex.
Lastly, there are some alternatives that you may want to take a look before applying.
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
American Express EveryDay® Card
1-5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on selected categories each quarter and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Also, you can earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), drugstore purchases , and 1% on all other purchases
2X 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
1X – 2X 2X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 each year), then 1x on all purchases
$200 $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 miles 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
Foreign Transaction Fee
19.49% – 28.24% variable
20.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
17.49% – 28.49% variable
To maximize rewards, you should make the most of the signup bonus and also be aware of which of your credit cards have the best cashback for a particular type of purchase. You go to the Ultimate Rewards section that Chase offers and you can choose between the options as to how you utilize the rewards.
You might not have met one of the requirements for this card. You can talk with a member of the customer support team to see what the issue is and how you might be able to rectify it.
With Citi Double cash, you'll get unlimited 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment..
Yes, pre-approval is a possibility. This means that you are able to find out if you can realistically qualify for this card and not impact your credit score to do so.