Citi Double Cash vs. Fidelity Rewards Visa: The Double Cash Gives You More Options

They both offer comparable flat-rate rewards and no annual fee, but the Double Cash is more flexible.

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If you are looking for relative simplicity in a credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card are options worth considering. Unlike cards with bonus categories, these flat-rate cards give you the same percentage cash back on all your purchases. This means you don't have to put in extra effort to maximize your rewards.

As with most credit cards, however, they come with some caveats. Both the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card charge no annual fee and offer cardholders a solid 2% cash back (the industry standard is 1.5%). But the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer doesn't automatically give you 2% back. It gives you 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off. The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, on the other hand, gives you the full 2% back up front, but you have to be an existing Fidelity customer to benefit.

Learn why the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer gets the edge in this head-to-head and whether or not it's right for you.

At a glance

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee

$0.

$0.

Sign-up bonus

None.

None.

Rewards

2% cash back on purchases, distributed in two stages:

  • 1% cash back for every dollar spent.

  • 1% cash back for every dollar paid off.

2 points for every eligible dollar spent, which equals 2% cash back when deposited into an eligible Fidelity account.

APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

The ongoing APR is 13.99% Variable.

Foreign transaction fee

3%.

Up to 1% of each transaction.

Why the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is better for most people

Assuming you're earning the total rewards rate, these cards have very similar rewards. But the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer outpaces the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card in a few key areas that will push it over the edge for most people.

Reward flexibility

To get the full 2% back with the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, you have to deposit your money into an eligible Fidelity investment account. Your rewards on the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, on the other hand, retain their value no matter how you use them. But there is a catch.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer doesn’t automatically give you 2% back per dollar. It gives you 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay off the balance. If you’re in the habit of carrying a balance month to month, the 1% you’d get is a much lower rate than most rewards cards. But if you don’t pay off your balance in full each month, interest will quickly negate the rewards you’ve earned anyway.

Nerdy tip: If you need to carry a balance, look for a credit card with a 0% introductory offer on new purchases or a low interest credit card. Here are NerdWallet's top picks.

0% introductory balance transfer offer

If you have credit card debt, you can save on interest by transferring your balance to the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Here’s the offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. When you transfer a balance, you’ll have to pay either a 3% or $5 fee, whichever is greater. But if you have credit card debt, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer can save you a significant amount of money on interest and help you pay off your debt faster. You’ll need to transfer any balances within the first four months of your account being open.

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card doesn’t have a balance transfer offer.

Who might prefer the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card rewards loyalty and long-term saving. You have multiple redemption options, but your rewards won't be worth as much unless you deposit your cash back into an eligible Fidelity investment account. Note that Fidelity 401(k) plans don't qualify.

If you’re an existing Fidelity customer, the card is a simple way to help score some additional money — but only if you’re OK with socking it away for your future instead of using it now. Also, you won't be able to use these rewards to fund an initial deposit; they'll need to be invested in an existing account.

Which card should you get?

If you’re a Fidelity customer who is looking for another way to boost your investments, the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card can help you eke out some extra funds for your future. Otherwise, it’s a no-brainer: The high rewards rate coupled with flexible redemption options make the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer a great choice no matter how you use your rewards.

Plus, its reward structure can encourage you to pay off your balance each month — win, win.

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