Comparison of Wells Fargo Active Cash and Citi Double Cash credit cards

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If you are looking for an easy to use tool credit card rewards, you can’t beat one that offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. While the Citi® Dual Charge Card was the top pick in this category for years, last week Wells Fargo launched the Wells Fargo Active CashSM Map, giving consumers another great option. Both cards take the effort out of earning money, offering cardholders a fixed 2% cash reward on all purchases.

While there are many similarities between the two cards, we’ve dug out all the bells and whistles you get with the Dual payment card and the Payment card activecomparing them based on their rewards programs, welcome bonuses, annual fees, APR, and foreign transaction fees.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

  • Awards

    Unlimited cash rewards of 2% on purchases

  • welcome bonus

    $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% APR on eligible purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    3% introductory fee ($5 minimum) for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

See rates and fees, conditions apply.

Citi® Dual Charge Card

  • Awards

    2% Cash Back: 1% on all qualifying purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

    13.99% – 23.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    For balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening, an initial balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

welcome bonus

Regarding the welcome bonus, the Active Wells Fargo payment card has a big leg up. New cardholders can earn $200 cash when they make purchases of $1,000 within the first three months of card membership (see rates and fees).

At present, the Citi Dual Charge Card does not offer welcome bonuses to new cardholders.

Winner: The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, as new cardholders have the opportunity to earn a $200 cash welcome bonus.

Awards

Both cards have the same rewards program: they both offer unlimited cash rewards of 2% on all purchases. The only notable difference is that the Citi Dual Charge Card offers cardholders 1% cash back when they purchase and 1% cash back when they pay their credit card bill. the Active Wells Fargo payment card does not require cardholders to pay their bill before getting the full 2%.

the Citi Dual Charge Card rewards program encourages cardholders to pay their monthly bill on time and in full in order to receive all of their cash rewards.

the Active Wells Fargo payment card has a $200 cash welcome bonus, so new cardholders can earn more cash rewards than they will get using the Citi Dual Charge Card in the first year of card membership.

Select calculated the number of awards an average American can earn in a year using their Active Wells Fargo payment card and Citi Dual Charge Card. We worked with the firm location intelligence Esri, who provided us with a sample annual expense budget of $22,126. (To see our methodology to see how we choose the best credit cards.)

The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), restaurants ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862), and general shopping ($3,953) .

We have found that in the first year of card membership, the Active Wells Fargo payment card users won $643 in cash rewards including the welcome bonus. Cardholders with Citi Dual Charge Card can earn $443. (Of course, you can earn more or less depending on how much you spend.)

Winner: The Wells Fargo Active Cash card, as you can earn $200 in extra cash rewards in the first year if you earn the welcome bonus.

Benefits

Since both cards are cash back cards with no annual fee, they don’t come with many extra perks or perks that more premium travel cards to have. the Payment card active provides cell phone protection if you use the card to pay your cell phone bill. If your phone is damaged or stolen, Wells Fargo will reimburse the replacement or repair of your cell phone up to $600 (with a $25 deductible).

Additionally, Active Cash cardholders will have access to the Visa Concierge Servicea 24/7 personal assistance hotline that assists people with travel and entertainment related inquiries, such as hotel reservations or concert ticket bookings.

Another benefit that Active Cash users can take advantage of is the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, a portfolio of select hotels, resorts and properties. When cardholders book a stay at a hotel or resort through the collection, they receive benefits such as food and beverage credit and free breakfast.

Citi Double Cash cardholders have access to Citi Entertainmentwhich allows them to purchase tickets, including pre-sale tickets, for concerts, sporting events, theater performances and dining experiences.

Winner: The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, as it offers cell phone protection in addition to access to Visa Concierge Service and the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.

Costs

the Payment card active and the Dual payment card are fairly similar cards when it comes to annual fees, foreign transaction fees, and APRs.

None of the cards have annual subscription. And you’ll want to consider another card if you’re a international traveleras both have a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made overseas.

Both cards are good if you’re looking to make a balance transfer. the Citi Dual Charge Card has an 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (after, 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR), and the Payment card active has a shorter introductory period of 15 months of 0% APR on eligible purchases and balance transfers (then, a variable APR of 14.99% – 24.99%).

For balance transfers, the Active Cash card has an introductory balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum). To qualify for the 0% intro APR, balance transfers must be completed within 120 days of account opening.

For the Citi Double Cash Card, there is an introductory balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) made 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 introductory period at 18 months. The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card also has the added benefit of offering a 0% APR introductory period for purchases.

At the end of the line

Since the two cards are quite similar, with no annual feel and a flat rate cash rewards program, consumers would be well served with either card. the Payment card active narrowly border the Dual payment card because of its $200 welcome bonus, the added benefit of cell phone protection and benefits of Visa Signature Membership.

But if you’re looking for a flat-rate cashback card that offers balance transfers, you’re better off opting for the Citi Dual Charge Cardwhich has a slightly longer introductory period of 0% APR.

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, To select analyzed popular credit cards available in the US We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fees and fees foreign transaction rates, as well as factors such as credit required and customer reviews when available. We also considered the additional benefits, the application process and the ease with which the consumer can redeem points.

Select partners with geolocation company Esri. The company’s data development team has provided the latest and most comprehensive consumer spending data based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys. You can learn more about their methodology here.

The Esri Data Team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spend. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), restaurants ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862), and general shopping ($3,953) . General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over one year, two years and five years, assuming they tried to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All total reward estimates are net of annual fees.

While the five-year estimates we’ve included are derived from a budget similar to spending by the average American, you may earn more or less depending on your shopping habits.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

Eleanor C. William