Considering a new credit card? Compare Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT with Money Under 30.

When you are considering opening a credit card, there is no shortage of options. But if you are looking for reliable cash back rewards, then both the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are both great options. 

Beyond ample cash back opportunities, you’ll need to decide what other features matter to you. Whether you want an enticing balance transfer option to give you a break on interest payments or a lucrative cash bonus, one of these credit cards could be the perfect fit for your wallet. 

Luckily, each of these cards offers tremendous benefits. But which is right for you?

I’ll take a closer look at these two reward-heavy options to help you weigh the pros and cons of each credit card before you apply.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® summary

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are both cash back rewards credit cards with strong rewards opportunities. But each offers some unique features that make them stand out. 

As you explore these options, consider what you are looking for in a credit card. Do you want to maximize your cash back by keeping track of different spending categories? Or do you want to keep things simple with a flat cash back rate?

FeaturesCiti® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offerChase Freedom Unlimited®
Balance transfer options0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers (a balance transfer fee applies, $5 minimum)0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
APR16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)17.24% - 25.99% Variable
Cash back2% cash back on unlimited purchases without category restrictions- you’ll get the first 1% cash back as you make purchases and the second, 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases
Intro offerFor a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back!
Annual fee$0$0

About Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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In A Nutshell

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer includes one of the best everyday cash back rewards rates available for cardholders. For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

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Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (regular APR of 16.24% – 26.24% Variable)

  • Earn 2% cash back on new purchases; unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

  • No annual fee

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is 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).
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases N/A , 0 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers , 18 months

Apply Now >>

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers a 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers, with a regular APR of 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) that follows. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% per transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Beyond the helpful balance transfer option, you will earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase made with this card. You’ll get the first 1% cash back as you make purchases and the second 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases. 

With the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you won’t have to worry about spending in different categories to maximize your rewards. Instead, you can spend freely and enjoy the rewards. Plus, there is no annual fee to worry about. 

About Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® opens up with a terrific intro offer; earn an 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! Tack on a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (standard 17.24% – 25.99% Variable APR) add to that a strong everyday rewards program and it’s a terrific option for anyone looking to save a ton of money on everyday purchases.

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; then a variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99%.

  • Intro Offer: Earn an 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!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months , 15 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months , 15 months

Apply Now >>

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an enticing introductory bonus of an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back! In addition to the sign-up bonus, the rewards have the potential to add up quickly. 

You’ll earn 5% on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. You have more options in terms of redemption, including a check, statement credit, gift cards, and travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. 

Similar to the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT, there is a balance transfer opportunity. You will enjoy an introductory 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months, with a regular APR of 17.24% - 25.99% Variable thereafter. 

Rewards

Maximizing your rewards is a key part of this decision. Here’s how the rewards stack up:

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT rewards

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offers a simple approach to rewards. You’ll earn 2% cash back on every single purchase. You’ll get the first 1% cash back as you make purchases and the second 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.

The reward will show up as a statement credit. Yes, it is really that simple. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cash back rewards in different amounts for various categories. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

In addition to different tiers of earning, there are different ways to redeem your rewards. You can choose from several redemption options, including a check, statement credit, gift cards, and travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

APR

Here’s how the costs of these two credit cards compare. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer APR

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offers a 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After that, the APR ranges from 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® APR

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an introductory 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After the introductory period ends, the APR ranges from 17.24% - 25.99% Variable.

Fees

Although neither card has an annual fee, there are still some fees to be aware of. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer fees

Here are the fees associated with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer:

  • Late payment fee – Up to $41. 
  • Returned payment fee – Up to $41. 
  • Foreign transaction fee – 3% of the purchase price. 
  • Balance transfer fee – There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.. An intro balance transfer fee of 3% applies per transfer (minimum $5) when completed within first 4 months of account opening.

These are relatively standard fees, but something to keep in mind. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® fees

Here are the fees associated with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 

  • Late payment fee – Up to $40. 
  • Returned payment fee – Up to $40.
  • Foreign transaction fee – 3% of the purchase price. 
  • Balance transfer fee – Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. All other transfers will be $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer.

If you are looking for a balance transfer opportunity with lower costs, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT is a better fit. 

Introductory bonus

Are you looking for a big bonus? The Chase Freedom Unlimited® might be the better option. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer introductory bonus

For a limited time the Citi® Double Cash Card earns $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® introductory bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an introductory bonus opportunity of an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back!

Bonus perks

Every credit card comes with special perks, what do these cards offer beyond the rewards?

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer bonus perks

In addition to cash back, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers:

  • Access to Citi Entertainment® – With this Citi card, you will unlock Citi Entertainment®, which gives you special access to purchase thousands of event tickets and exclusive experiences throughout the year. 
  • 24-hour fraud protection – You’ll receive an alert for any unusual activity. 
  • The Lost Wallet Service – If you lose your card, Citi will replace it quickly. The company site suggests you’ll receive your replacement in 24 hours. 
  • Purchase protection – If unauthorized charges hit your account, you will not be liable. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® bonus perks

Here’s what the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, beyond the outstanding rewards:

  • Travel insurance – With this Chase card, you’ll have trip cancellation/interruption insurance for eligible purchases. You could be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip. 
  • Lyft discount – You’ll receive a 5% Lyft discount. 
  • 24-hour fraud protection – You’ll receive an alert for any unusual activity. 
  • Zero liability protection – If there are unauthorized charges on your card, you won’t be held accountable. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® pros

Let’s take a look at the pros that stand out. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT pros:

  • No annual fee – An annual fee won’t affect your budget.
  • Earn cash back with ease – No need to worry about spending categories because you’ll earn 2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay) on unlimited purchases. 
  • Helpful balance transfer option – Take advantage of a 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers (with a regular APR of 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) after the intro). 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® pros:

  • Sign-up bonus – Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Cash back opportunities in multiple categories – These can work in your favor depending on your spending habits. 
  • No annual fee – Annual fees will not creep into your statement. 
  • Outstanding introductory APR – A 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months is a great opportunity. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer vs Chase Freedom Unlimited® cons

Everything has cons. Here’s what stands out to me. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer cons:

  • Foreign transaction fee – Both of these cards have this fee which could be a factor if you travel often. 
  • Potential expiration on rewards If you don’t earn cash back for 12 months from payments or purchases, then your rewards could expire. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® cons:

  • Foreign transaction fee – Both of these cards have this fee which could be a factor if you travel often. 
  • Confusing tiers – If you want a simple flat cash back rate, then this card could be tedious to keep track of. 

Why choose Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT?

Simplicity

A flat 2% cash back rate keeps things simple. You will always know what you are earning from your purchases without checking a list of categories. 

If you want to keep your finances as simple as possible while enjoying big rewards, then the Citi® Double Cash Card could be the perfect boost for your spending. After all, who wouldn’t want 2% cash back on every single purchase? 

Attractive balance transfer

If you are working to pay off credit card debt, then you know that high interest rates can make things more difficult. Even with a modest amount of credit card debt, a high interest rate can multiply your debt faster than you can keep up. That’s when a balance transfer can really come in handy

Since the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offers an introductory 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers, this can be a great choice if you need a balance transfer. Plus, you’ll get a regular APR of 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) after the intro period. 

Why choose Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

Big sign-up bonus

Are you looking for a quick win for your finances? It can be hard to resist the outstanding introductory offer of an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year).

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® provides a lucrative opportunity to put a big payday in your pocket quickly. If you need an influx of cash and already plan to meet the spending requirement, then this card provides a good opportunity. 

Flexible redemption

When you accumulate rewards quickly, redeeming your points can be constraining with other credit cards. Although no one will turn down a statement credit, having the option to redeem your points in other ways can open up exciting options. 

Of course, the rewards earned through this card can be used as cash back on your statement, but you could branch out and use the rewards for gift cards or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. If you are looking to travel more or love having gift cards to spend at your favorite stores, then you might be happiest with this card.

Summary

Both cards offer an opportunity to cash in on rewards. If you are looking for a balance transfer opportunity with a simple rewards system, then the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a better fit. If you want a big welcome bonus and tiered rewards, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be the right option for you. 

Take some time to consider how the two cards could impact your finances. 

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About the author

Total Articles: 60
Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer covering retirement, investing, debt, savings, credit cards, mortgages, and student loans. Additionally, she is the founder of Adventurous Adulting, a personal finance blog dedicated to helping readers tackle their money and take control of the adventure of life. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.