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The offer mentioned below for the for the Citi Double Cash® Card is no longer available.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use rewards credit card, you can't get much better than one that offers unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases. While the Citi Double Cash® Card has been the top choice in this category for years, last year Wells Fargo launched the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, giving consumers another strong option to consider. Both cards take the effort out of earning cash back, giving cardholders a flat 2% cash rewards on purchases. They also both offer introductory APR periods and valuable welcome bonuses.
While there are many similarities between the two cards, we dug into all the bells and whistles you get with the Double Cash Card and the Active Cash Card, comparing them based on their rewards programs, welcome bonuses, annual fees, APR and foreign transaction fees.
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Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate.
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Introductory fee of 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)
Foreign transaction fee
See rates and fees, terms apply.
Both cards offer similar welcome bonuses, though their spending requirements differ slightly.
New Citi Double Cash® cardholders will not earn a welcome bonus at this time.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card has a leg up by offering new cardholders $200 cash rewards when they spend $500 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Winner: The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card because its welcome bonus and its low spending requirement.
Both cards have the same rewards program: They both provide unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases. The one notable difference is that the Citi Double Cash® Card gives cardholders 1% cash back when they buy and 1% back when they pay their credit card bill. The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card doesn't require cardholders to pay off their bill before getting the full 2% cash rewards.
The Citi Double Cash® Card rewards program encourages cardholders to pay their monthly bill on time and in full in order to receive all their cash-back rewards.
Select calculated how many rewards the average American can earn in a year when using their Wells Fargo Active Cash Card and Citi Double Cash® Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126. (See our methodology to see how we choose the best credit cards.)
The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953).
We found that, in the first year of card membership, users of both cards would earn $643 in cash rewards, including the welcome bonus. (Of course, you may earn more or less depending on your spending.)
Winner: Tie. Both cards offer the same effective return.
Since both cards are no-annual-fee cash-back cards, they don't come with many of the extra perks or benefits that more premium travel cards have. The Active Cash Card does offer cell phone protection if you use the card to pay for your cell phone bill. If your phone is damaged or stolen, Wells Fargo will reimburse the replacement or repair of your cell phone for up to $600 (with a $25 deductible).
Additionally, Active Cash cardholders will have access to the Visa Concierge® Service, a 24/7 personal assistance hotline that helps people with travel and entertainment-related requests like making hotel reservations or booking concert tickets.
Another perk that Active Cash users can enjoy is the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, a portfolio of curated hotels, resorts and properties. When cardholders book a hotel or resort stay through the collection, they'll get perks like a food and beverage credit and complimentary breakfast.
The Citi Double Cash® cardholders have access to Citi Entertainment, which allows them to purchase tickets, including presale tickets, for concerts, sporting events, theater shows and dining experiences. Cardholders also enjoy some World Elite Mastercard benefits, such as a complimentary ShopRunner membership and discounts with Lyft and DoorDash.
Winner: The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card because it offers cell phone protection in addition to access to the Visa Concierge Service® and the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.
The Active Cash Card and the Citi Double Cash® Card are quite similar cards when it comes to annual fees, foreign transaction fees and APRs.
Both cards are good if you're looking to make a balance transfer. The Citi Double Cash® Card has a generous 18-month 0% introductory APR from date of first transfer for balance transfers (after, 19.24% - 29.24% variable APR), and the Active Cash Card has a shorter, 15-month 0% APR introductory period from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then, a variable APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99%).
For balance transfers, the Active Cash Card has an introductory balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum). To qualify for the intro 0% intro APR, balance transfers must be done within 120 days from account opening.
For the Citi Double Cash® Card, there's an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Winner: Tie. While both cards offer 0% APR on balance transfers, the Citi Double Cash Card has a longer intro period at 18 months. The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card has the benefit of offering a 0% APR intro period for new purchases, too.
Since both cards are quite similar with no annual fee and a flat-rate cash rewards program, consumers would be well served with either card. The Active Cash Card narrowly edges out the Citi Double Cash Card® because of its welcome bonus, the 0% intro APR which can be used on both balance transfers and new purchases, the added benefit of cell phone protection and perks of Visa Signature membership.
But if you're looking for a flat-rate cash-back card that offers a long introductory 0% APR period for balance transfers, you're better off going with the Citi Double Cash® Card.