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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card vs. the Citi Double Cash Card

The Double Cash has more earning potential than the Active Cash, but the Active Cash takes gold in every other aspect.

CNET'S PICK
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Apply Now

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

8.8/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo's secure website
Intro Offer
$200 cash rewards Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
Annual fee
$0
APR
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
Rewards rate
2% Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Welcome offer
Card perks
Introductory APR
2%
Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Best for
Welcome offer
Card perks
Introductory APR
Citi Double Cash® Card
Apply Now

Citi Double Cash® Card

7.9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now
On Citi's secure website
Intro Offer
$200 cash back Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
Annual fee
$0
APR
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1% - 5% Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.; Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
Balance transfers
Rewards
5%
Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
1%
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
Best for
Balance transfers
Rewards

Citi is an advertising partner

If you’ve been searching for a flat-rate cash-rewards card, you’ve likely come across the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Citi Double Cash® Card. They’re two of the best, but the Double Cash card comes out on top thanks to its added bonus category.

However, the Active Cash wins in nearly every other category. It has a better welcome offer, more card features and an introductory purchase APR. But in terms of earning potential, the Double Cash card inches ahead.

Comparing reward programs

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
WINNER
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.

Both credit cards offer simple yet lucrative rewards programs -- you’ll earn 2% cash rewards with the Active Cash and 2% cash back with the Citi Double Cash (earn 1% when you make a purchase and the other 1% when you pay for that purchase). However, for a limited time, the Double Cash earns 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

With these added rewards, the Double Cash could overtake what the Active Cash is capable of earning, provided you’re able to book some aspect of your travel with Citi.

The other major difference is when these rewards hit your account. The Active Cash applies the 2% whenever the balance is paid off, but you’ll earn 1% cash back with the Double Cash when you make the initial purchase and the other 1% once you paid it off. 

Since we recommend paying your balance in full each month, this shouldn’t make much of a difference, but can be confusing at first.

Neither card has an annual fee, which means you could pair either with another card that earns greater rewards in specific categories to maximize your rewards potential.

Welcome bonus

WINNER
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

The winner here is the Active Cash card as the Double Cash has a higher spending threshold for the same payout.

With the Active Cash, you’ll essentially need to spend $167 monthly to qualify in time, compared with $250 each month for the Double Cash. Despite offering a longer window to reach the spending requirement, you’d end up spending less each month with the Active Cash for the bonus amount.

Additional card perks

WINNER
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Cellular telephone protection
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Visa Signature® Concierge services
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Virtual credit card number
  • 24-hour fraud protection
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges

The Active Cash offers cardholders more than the Double Cash in terms of extra perks. The Double Cash doesn’t have a lot of additional card perks outside of the fraud protections that come standard with most credit cards.

The Active Cash offers cell phone protection against damage or theft, roadside assistance, and a variety of hotel and travel benefits offered through Visa Signature® Concierge and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. While it doesn’t offer many additional benefits, it still provides a few extra bells and whistles compared with the Double Cash card.

Introductory APR offer

WINNER
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable).
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Introductory 0% APR for balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% to 29.24% variable); balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.

The Active Cash offers cardholders an introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable). Comparatively, the Citi Double Cash provides cardholders with an introductory 0% APR for balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% to 29.24% variable); balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.

Since both of these credit cards are primarily designed to earn rewards for new purchases, the introductory purchase APR is more useful on them than the balance transfer APR. With the Active Cash, you can finance a large, planned purchase and then pay it down while avoiding interest charges for 15 months.

While the Citi Double Cash does provide a longer balance transfer offer, it doesn’t offer a 0% introductory APR for new purchases. For this reason, the Active Cash has a more versatile introductory offer.

Balance transfer offer

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Intro balance transfer APR: Introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable).
  • Balance transfer fee: Intro fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for the first 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer ($5 minimum).
WINNER
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Intro balance transfer APR: Introductory 0% APR for balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% to 29.24% variable); balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.
  • Balance transfer fee: Intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first four months from account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after four months of account opening.

If you need to mitigate some credit card debt (and aren’t interested in a dedicated balance transfer credit card) the Citi Double Cash Card will be the better option. Just hold off on making new purchases on this card until your transferred debt is repaid.

The Double Cash Card provides three extra months for its introductory balance transfer offer over the Active Cash’s, but both cards have the same introductory balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for the first four months from account opening (120 days from account opening on the Active Cash). With the Citi Double Cash, the balance transfer fee increases to 5% ($5 minimum) if completed after four months of account opening. With the Active Cash, the balance transfer fee increases to up to 5% (with a $5 minimum) after 120 days from account opening.

A balance transfer can help to improve your credit score and your finances. Just be sure you’re able to pay off the transferred balance within the provided time frame in order to avoid any interest charges.

How Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and Citi Double Cash® Card compare to other cards

CNET’S PICK
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Apply Now

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

8.8/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$200 cash rewards Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
Annual fee
$0
APR
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Rewards rate
2% Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo’s secure website
Citi Double Cash® Card
Apply Now

Citi Double Cash® Card

7.9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$200 cash back Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
Annual fee
$0
APR
19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1% – 5% Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.; Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
Apply Now
On Citi’s secure website
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Learn More

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

6.7/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
See Rates & Fees Terms apply
Intro Offer
Earn $200 Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
Annual fee
$0
APR
19.24% – 29.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% on Purchases for 15 months
Rewards rate
1% – 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.; 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.; 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.; 1% Cash Back on other purchases

FAQs

General rewards cards earn higher rewards for specific purchases, while flat-rate rewards cards earn the same rewards rate no matter what you’re buying.

Generally speaking, 1% of cash back will always equate to 1 cent, while 1 point could equate to less or more than 1 cent. Points typically have more redemption options as well when compared with cash back rewards.

To qualify for a cell phone protection benefit, you’ll need to pay your cell phone bill with the credit card.

The bottom line

Both credit cards offer a solid flat-rate return on your spending. However, the Double Cash is the better value card thanks to its extra bonus category. However, in terms of card features, the Active Cash comes out on top. It has the better welcome bonus, more card perks and an introductory purchase APR offer.

 

The Double Cash also has an edge when it comes to balance transfers. If you’re looking to knock out some of your credit card debt, this card gives you more time to pay down a transferred balance than the Active Cash.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.