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For the past 10 years, I've been the customer of a no annual fee 1% back cash credit card. Once a year, my rewards would automatically be credit to my account. My financial preference is to make all purchases on a credit card, mostly due to preference and the ability to better track my spends on a month-to-month basis. I carry only a small amount of cash for emergencies and cash only merchants. I resisted change to many of the more lucrative rewards for many reasons.
Why I Didn't Change Earlier?
- Credit Union vs Big Bank - I am a member of a well run Credit Union. For the most part, I didn't have to worry about randomly added fees. As an added bonus, having my credit card with the same financial institution as my checking account makes paying bills easy.
- Cash back Rules and Restrictions - I didn't want to the extra headache with rotating categories, credit cards that only work at certain merchants, or having to carry around multiple credit cards. In my opinion, multiple credit cards means a higher chance of forgetting to pay the bill or credit card fraud.
- One Primary Credit Card - Over the same lines of rules and restrictions, having a cash back credit card that encompasses all my purchases simplifies life. I do have a second credit I use on the off-chance my primary credit card gets declined.
- Laziness - It's a whole lot easier to not mess with a working process.
Enrolling for Citi's Double Cash Back Credit Card
I was surprised how easy the process was. It literally takes no more than 5 minutes and I got almost immediately approved. The card did take a couple of weeks before arriving in the mail. This would not have been such a big deal if I wasn't so excited for trying out the new card. When the Credit Card arrived, I found it was physically nothing fancy and not a card I'll be showing off to friends.
$0 Annual Fee + 2% on Everything Cash back Credit Card & Benefits
This is the same as my previous 1% cash back credit card, but double the amount of cash back. This assumes I pay the full bill, but I make it a must to always pay off the entire bill at the end of the month. Citi's Double Cash Back credit card is marketed as 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay. I don't have to worry about rotating categories or finding the right time to spend points or miles. Cash is always the most flexible. There were other surprise benefits of Double Cash Back Card that I immediately valued: Virtual Credit Cards and Android Pay Support.
- Android Pay isn't supported by most of my favorite merchants, however it is a payment option at my workplace cafeteria. The obvious benefit is I can leave my wallet safely locked in the office, where I spend 5 days a week. Setup was longer than I expected and also required a call to customer service for information verification.
- A Virtual Card is a temporary credit card number that can be generated for online purchases. This is a huge safety benefit when purchasing from smaller websites that may be more prone attacks or scams. You have the option of setting a purchase limit that cannot be exceeded. Purchases appear on my bill as normal.