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rated:
Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like currently the cards that give the best straight cash back are Citi Double Cash and Fidelity Rewards. Both give 2%. I can't think, however, of any reason why one would choose Fidelity over Citi considering how many other benefits Citi offers (e.g. extended warranty, price rewind). What am I missing?

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For clarity.  The 4% cash back on gas for the Costco Visa applies to any gas station, not just Costco, for the first $70... (more)

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rated:
vovito said:   Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like currently the cards that give the best straight cash back are Citi Double Cash and Fidelity Rewards. Both give 2%. I can't think, however, of any reason why one would choose Fidelity over Citi considering how many other benefits Citi offers (e.g. extended warranty, price rewind). What am I missing?
  That's a reasonable assessment. I had the Fidelity card before the double-cash came out and those benefits weren't worth the hard pull/Citi credit line reallocation for me, but YMMV.

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1. Discover It Miles, 3% CB for the first year.

2. Fidelity Visa includes purchase damage protection, extended warranty, auto rental CDW, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, and the standard Visa Signature benefits. The price protection feature is the only big thing missing.

3. Dealing with Citi's awful customer service is not worth the additional card benefits.

4. There is an existing thread where this question would be most appropriate: https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/711457

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I'm a Fidelity card owner, and I'd say go for the Citi. Especially now that the card is administered by Elan (my experience with them so far has been less than stellar).

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If you're ever planning on funding a checking accout with a credit card, don't use a Citi card (they almost always code it as cash advance).

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have them both, both fine.
I will note that if you travel, the fido 2% card CAN get more than 1 cent per point rewards (25k points can be redeemed for up to $400 in airfare - up to 1.6 cpp). It's tough to find flights that get you that return, I will admit.

but I'm thinking about getting this one now
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1539723

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imbatman said:   but I'm thinking about getting this one now
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1539723

  I know about that one, but it is not available for CA.

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vovito said:   Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like currently the cards that give the best straight cash back are Citi Double Cash and Fidelity Rewards. Both give 2%. I can't think, however, of any reason why one would choose Fidelity over Citi considering how many other benefits Citi offers (e.g. extended warranty, price rewind). What am I missing?
  I have both, and use my Citi card due ot the Price Protection and lower redemption threshold.  I have not used the Elan CS yet, but I do find Citi CS pretty bad.  Last summer a couple times I called Citi only to receive a recorded message saying they were too busy to take my call and then disconnected me.

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defjukie said:   I'm a Fidelity card owner, and I'd say go for the Citi. Especially now that the card is administered by Elan (my experience with them so far has been less than stellar).
  Can't say this enough. And I have actually been completely satisfied by Citi credit card customer service. Their deposit account customer service is one of the top 5 worst I've experienced (and consistently) over the past 10 years. However, the credit card online technology is flawless, and their phone credit card customer service is great.

On the other hand, with the Fidelity card, you can't dispute transactions online, can't download transactions into Quicken (or, rarely can), you have to withdraw rewards to a Fidelity checking account which sometimes disappears from the system and you have to enter the account information again, etc. I like the Fidelity card for its 2% cash back, but choosing between the two, if I didn't have either, I'd go with Citi every time. Only reason not to is if you have/want to get other Citi cards and you're at your limit of credit extended with them.

However, it is a true 2% cash back card, and I've seen some people talking about how the Citi is not actually 2% cash back because the cash back you receive decreases the "purchase" amount that is eligible for cash back. Not sure if that's true, but if it is, we aren't comparing apples to apples.

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marginoferror said:   
 
However, it is a true 2% cash back card, and I've seen some people talking about how the Citi is not actually 2% cash back because the cash back you receive decreases the "purchase" amount that is eligible for cash back. Not sure if that's true, but if it is, we aren't comparing apples to apples.

  
If you redeem to a statement credit you lose the "1% as you pay" portion of the cash back which makes the total something like 1.99%. If you redeem to a checking account (doesn't have to be a Citi account) or a check then it's pure 2%.

I've only had to deal with Citi's credit card CS twice and both were related to fraudulent purchases. In one case they held up a legit purchase and I got a phone call seconds after the card was swiped, a short conversation with them to approve the charge, and everything was fine. The second was an actual fraudulent transaction that occurred in another state and they automatically blocked it, called me immediately, and issued new cards with express delivery. I'm not sure I could expect any better customer service than that.
Their price rewind benefit has improved dramatically since they switched insurance carriers last year. I've submitted a couple rewinds by email (PDF print out of an Amazon sale price) earlier this month and had a check in the mail in under 2 weeks.

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I also have both.  Go with Citi.  Here are the minuses I see on Fidelity:

1) Unless you have a Fidelity account, you'll be hard pressed to get the most out of the Fidelity card (all you can do is redeem for gift cards, etc).
2) ELAN (Fidelity's) web site is a joke compared to Citi.  Bad interface, can't download transaction details by statement, etc.
3) Citi lets you redeem when you have more then $25 while Fidelity is more then $50.
4) Citi lets you redeem the cashback to any checking/savings account you want to register, Fidelity can only redeem to a Fidelity account
5) Citi gives you your FICO/FAKO number included
6) ELAN's customer service isn't the best from my experience with them.
7) Lots of reports of fraud charges on the Fidelity Visa thread here on FWF.

The only advantage I see of Fidelity over Citi is, Fidelity being a Visa, it can be used at Costco for full 2% cash back (Which you can get with the Costco Visa from Citi).

Basically for me, once I hit my next 5000 point level and redeem that $50 to my Fidelity Cash Management account, the Fidelity Visa is sock drawered with alerts set to text me if it gets any charges over $1.00.  If I get hit with any fraud charges like others have reported it gets cancelled (Don't need the headache).

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Don't you get 1% back immediately from cit .. and remaining 1% when u pay the bill? So that might be bit better than waiting for the whole 2% till the billing.

For those who travel expense and have merrill/bofa relationshiop ... with $100K balance (including stock/401K etc) - BOFA reward cashback is 2.625%. Only draback is you need to redeem the cashback for travel expense.

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prozario said:   Don't you get 1% back immediately from cit .. and remaining 1% when u pay the bill? So that might be bit better than waiting for the whole 2% till the billing.
 


The 1% is accrued after the purchase, but you can only redeem after $25 is accrued. You don't get it immediately unless you are eligible to redeem. The second 1% accrues when the bill is paid.

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marginoferror said:   On the other hand, with the Fidelity card, you can't dispute transactions online, can't download transactions into Quicken (or, rarely can), you have to withdraw rewards to a Fidelity checking account which sometimes disappears from the system and you have to enter the account information again, etc.
 

I am able to download into Quicken. It's not as easy as it should be because of their two level security (which you're supposed to be able to disable but still gets prompted for). Sometimes it works, sometimes you have to reset the account to get it to download.

As for having to re-enter the Fidelity redemption account info for redemption, I've never seen that.

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Any there any current sign up bonuses for Citi Double Cash?

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Fidelity card is a Visa and works at Costco. Double Cash card is MasterCard and it does not. I use my Fido cards for things i don't need the extended warranty on or price protection - utilities, medical bills, home/auto insurance, plus Costco.

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lonestarguy said:   Fidelity card is a Visa and works at Costco. Double Cash card is MasterCard and it does not. I use my Fido cards for things i don't need the extended warranty on or price protection - utilities, medical bills, home/auto insurance, plus Costco.
  I believe you can request double as Visa also.

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I do not have Fiedility, but have Citi double cash.
For exactly the same issue as Citi, I use Capital One Business card. Costs $59/yr and gives 2% back.
At $25, it is automatically redeemed from statements.
 

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I have the Fidelity 2% and Citi Double cards and can not say that I prefer one over the other.  The Fidelity card initially is more of a hassle to obtain because you need to set up a Fidelity account to deposit your cash rewards into.  But, having these Fidelity accounts entitles me to Fidelity services, such as online investment videos.  The Fidelity card is more sensitive to changes in charges and will block the card.  For example, my wife frequently travels to visit the grandchild and several times the card was blocked.  

I have no problem downloading the transactions into Quicken.

I rarely speak to a representatives so I can't address their support.  

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DealsBrokeMe said:   
lonestarguy said:   Fidelity card is a Visa and works at Costco. Double Cash card is MasterCard and it does not. I use my Fido cards for things i don't need the extended warranty on or price protection - utilities, medical bills, home/auto insurance, plus Costco.
  I believe you can request double as Visa also.

  No, you can't.  I tried before I signed up for the Costco Visa a few months back because I didn't really want to have to use the Fidelity Visa due to the issues I had with ELAN.  Citi is no longer issuing Double Cash Visa cards, only Double Cash MasterCard.  From talking with the phone rep, I got the impression it had to do with the deal with them managing the Costco Visa program.  They didn't or couldn't offer a competing 2% cash back Visa.  Anyway, I bit the bullet and just got the Costco Visa for use at Costco (Plus 4% Gas, 3% Travel and Restaurants) instead of using the Fidelity Visa.

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One small thing: If you don't have a card with 0% foreign transaction fees and decide to travel, the Fido has a 1% fee. So coupled with the 2% cash back, you net 1% on foreign transactions.

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AverageGuy09 said:   I also have both.  Go with Citi.  Here are the minuses I see on Fidelity:

1) Unless you have a Fidelity account, you'll be hard pressed to get the most out of the Fidelity card (all you can do is redeem for gift cards, etc).
2) ELAN (Fidelity's) web site is a joke compared to Citi.  Bad interface, can't download transaction details by statement, etc.
3) Citi lets you redeem when you have more then $25 while Fidelity is more then $50.
4) Citi lets you redeem the cashback to any checking/savings account you want to register, Fidelity can only redeem to a Fidelity account
5) Citi gives you your FICO/FAKO number included
6) ELAN's customer service isn't the best from my experience with them.
7) Lots of reports of fraud charges on the Fidelity Visa thread here on FWF.

The only advantage I see of Fidelity over Citi is, Fidelity being a Visa, it can be used at Costco for full 2% cash back (Which you can get with the Costco Visa from Citi).

Basically for me, once I hit my next 5000 point level and redeem that $50 to my Fidelity Cash Management account, the Fidelity Visa is sock drawered with alerts set to text me if it gets any charges over $1.00.  If I get hit with any fraud charges like others have reported it gets cancelled (Don't need the headache).

  
This, along with:

8) Virtual Account Numbers for online transactions: with the Citi DoubleCash card, you can create virtual account numbers for online transactions to help reduce the risk of fraud.

Also of my ten credit cards this is the only MasterCard, so for that rare instance where a merchant only takes one (ie: the DMV near me), this would work where a Visa or Discover wouldn't.

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prozario said:   
For those who travel expense and have merrill/bofa relationshiop ... with $100K balance (including stock/401K etc) - BOFA reward cashback is 2.625%. Only draback is you need to redeem the cashback for travel expense.

  
BOA card does not have  bonus categories like others?

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I use my DC more than the fidelity.  Primarily because of the price protection and the flat 2 year extended warranty on purchases, including refurbished items. i also used price rewind last year twice and it worked out great, with about $500 back to me.

i generally use the Fido card for anything that is not merchandise related, swim school fees, costco, or anything that i know won't break.

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bassmanben said:   I use my DC more than the fidelity.  Primarily because of the price protection and the flat 2 year extended warranty on purchases, including refurbished items. i also used price rewind last year twice and it worked out great, with about $500 back to me.
 

I had never used Citi price protection until recently. I bought a new washer and decided to use my Costco Citi card to take advantage of the better extended warranty. Only after using it did I remember that it had price protection. I ended up getting $85 back because Citi found a cheaper price on Black Friday.

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Citi's extra benefits are pretty worthwhile. That being said, there is one thing the Fido card is sort of worthwhile for....it's typically attached to a Fido cash management account. The cash management account's main benefit is the fee-free ATM transactions, including overseas. Granted, you don't need the fido card for that, but I guess its a related perk.

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If you ever churn credit cards or even just sign up for bonuses periodically, you should use the Fidelity visa for cash back so you can preserve capacity with Citi. Citi's card offers can be very generous. One or two nice bonuses can eclipse any cash back the average person would accumulate in a year.

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needhelpplease said:   
prozario said:   
For those who travel expense and have merrill/bofa relationshiop ... with $100K balance (including stock/401K etc) - BOFA reward cashback is 2.625%. Only draback is you need to redeem the cashback for travel expense.

  
BOA card does not have  bonus categories like others?

  
Bonus categories?   No, it does not have bonus categories like the Citi Double Cash and Fidelity do not have bonus categories.

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For the average person who does not invest with Fidelity, I think the Citi card is the clear better choice. You aren't forced to have a Fidelity account, you can redeem with $25, etc. Downside with Citi is it does take a bit longer to get your money since you have to pay the bill before getting the full 2%. If you don't pay before your statement comes, your second part of cash back will not come until the next month. But overall, not that big of a deal.

Citi also has fringe benefits with their cards like price rewind that can be useful. Personally I don't use these type of benefits often so they aren't a decision factor for me but they are nice to have.

Citi Double Cash is a Mastercard so you cannot get the 2% at Costco with it but if that's a concern and you're a loyal Costco shopper you should probably have the Costco Visa anyway.

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brajalle said:   Citi's extra benefits are pretty worthwhile. That being said, there is one thing the Fido card is sort of worthwhile for....it's typically attached to a Fido cash management account. The cash management account's main benefit is the fee-free ATM transactions, including overseas. Granted, you don't need the fido card for that, but I guess its a related perk.
A different Fido card is being discussed in this thread. You are talking about Fidelity debit card. This thread is about Fidelity credit card.

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minikdm said:   Citi Double Cash is a Mastercard so you cannot get the 2% at Costco with it but if that's a concern and you're a loyal Costco shopper you should probably have the Costco Visa anyway.
Why? 2% is at Costco only.
I'm a Costco shopper. Not sure what loyal means. I guess I'm not because I terminate my membership each year and sign up for a new one in spouse's name, thus getting discount as well as 13 months membership instead of 12.

Would I be able to do it with Costco Visa? Is it tied to Costco membership?

In any case, other cards exist that cover Costco Visa's cashback categories. The only interesting category might be 3% on Restaurants.

For someone who doesn't want to juggle wallet full of different cards and buys gas only at Costco this may be a good card. Otherwise 3 BoA issued credit cards and Preferred Rewards status gets better cashback in all categories except Restaurants.

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Powza said:   
minikdm said:   Citi Double Cash is a Mastercard so you cannot get the 2% at Costco with it but if that's a concern and you're a loyal Costco shopper you should probably have the Costco Visa anyway.
Why? 2% is at Costco only.
I'm a Costco shopper. Not sure what loyal means. I guess I'm not because I terminate my membership each year and sign up for a new one in spouse's name, thus getting discount as well as 13 months membership instead of 12.

Would I be able to do it with Costco Visa? Is it tied to Costco membership?

In any case, other cards exist that cover Costco Visa's cashback categories. The only interesting category might be 3% on Restaurants.

For someone who doesn't want to juggle wallet full of different cards and buys gas only at Costco this may be a good card. Otherwise 3 BoA issued credit cards and Preferred Rewards status gets better cashback in all categories except Restaurants.

  
For restaurants: Chase AARP card at 3% CB with no annual fee. Or for those very loyal to Chase who travel a bit, the Chase Sapphire Reserve can yield up to 4.5% on restaurants through their travel portal.

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Powza said:   
minikdm said:   Citi Double Cash is a Mastercard so you cannot get the 2% at Costco with it but if that's a concern and you're a loyal Costco shopper you should probably have the Costco Visa anyway.
Why? 2% is at Costco only.
I'm a Costco shopper. Not sure what loyal means. I guess I'm not because I terminate my membership each year and sign up for a new one in spouse's name, thus getting discount as well as 13 months membership instead of 12.

Would I be able to do it with Costco Visa? Is it tied to Costco membership?

In any case, other cards exist that cover Costco Visa's cashback categories. The only interesting category might be 3% on Restaurants.

For someone who doesn't want to juggle wallet full of different cards and buys gas only at Costco this may be a good card. Otherwise 3 BoA issued credit cards and Preferred Rewards status gets better cashback in all categories except Restaurants.

  Yes, but the whole "someone who doesn't want to juggle a wallet full of cards" represents about 95% of consumers. Most people do not want to put time and effort into maximizing rewards. So the Costco Visa could be a good choice for them. It may also not be. It depends, like anything else, on your spend habits.

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minikdm said:     Yes, but the whole "someone who doesn't want to juggle a wallet full of cards" represents about 95% of consumers. Most people do not want to put time and effort into maximizing rewards. So the Costco Visa could be a good choice for them. It may also not be. It depends, like anything else, on your spend habits.
I'm glad I'm here on FWF with the other 5% of consumers.

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Powza said:   .... and buys gas only at Costco ....
 

  For clarity.  The 4% cash back on gas for the Costco Visa applies to any gas station, not just Costco, for the first $7000 in gas charges per year.  There are a few exclusions, namely gas stations attached to grocery stores (Kroger, Meijer, etc).  Basically 4% cash back for Costco Gas and stand alone gas stations (Shell, BP, Kangaroo, etc), which makes it much more valuable then just gas at Costco.

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AverageGuy09 said:   
Powza said:   .... and buys gas only at Costco ....
  For clarity.  The 4% cash back on gas for the Costco Visa applies to any gas station, not just Costco, for the first $7000 in gas charges per year.  There are a few exclusions, namely gas stations attached to grocery stores (Kroger, Meijer, etc).  Basically 4% cash back for Costco Gas and stand alone gas stations (Shell, BP, Kangaroo, etc), which makes it much more valuable then just gas at Costco.

  
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards provides 5% off on gas (paid at the pump), credited to the account monthly.  That plus any of the 2% cards seems like a better deal than Costco.

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