Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards


The redemption methods for the 2% Citi Double Cash Mastercard have changed. Rewards can no longer be redeemed for gift cards. The current redemption methods are: check, statement credit, or direct deposit. I have edited the Wiki.


Was there a bonus for redeeming to gift cards? If not, then that certainly isn’t a loss. Gift cards don’t generate more rewards … cash does. So I can take $100 in cash as a reward, or a gift card that buys me the same thing on Amazon that $95 will (5% rebate card).


People are so stupid they probably did redeem at face value because the option was there.


Yet seem to grow in percentage of the population. My theory is that they don’t get punished, and possibly rewarded, for their stupidity. For some reason, I wasn’t so observant when I was younger. :slight_smile:


Probably not enough people redeemed for the gift cards to make it worthwhile for Citi to keep that program going.


I bet you’re right. I only used Chase rewards for gift cards when they were 10% off. That was fairly frequent with cards I needed 5 years ago. Today, the offers aren’t really there, nor do I have the same requirements.


Formerly the Wiki said “you can redeem for a check, statement credit, or gift cards.”

Recently I received a notice from Citi that they were discontinuing the gift card option. When I received Citi’s notice, I didn’t even realize that gift cards had ever been an option. So I decided to check out the fragiledeal wiki, and since it listed gift cards, I figured that they must have formerly been an option. When I checked Citi’s web site, they were showing the redemption options as check, statement credit, or direct deposit. The fragiledeal Wiki didn’t list direct deposit as an option, so I suppose this must be a newer option, but I don’t know. So I decided to edit the wiki (my first time ever editing a wiki).

I have always redeemed via a statement credit, even though I think I lose 1% of my rewards with that redemption method (I’m guessing the statement credit doesn’t count as a “payment”, but I haven’t actually checked this out). A statement credit is way lot easier than bothering with a small check to cash. Direct deposit looks like it could be a good option to avoid a possible 1% loss of rewards, but a statement credit is still my preference for ease of tracking. If I were someone who spent a lot and therefore earned larger rewards, then I probably would prefer a direct deposit.


My best understanding is that direct deposit is only allowed to a Citi account. I have been electing the snail-mailed check option since statement credits are losers. The checks are mailed, and they arrive, promptly. And checks these days are easy enough to just scan and deposit in that manner; no muss, no fuss, and (most importantly) no loss.


I was trying to wrap my head around why this would be, but I think you are talking specifically about Citi Double Cash, right? And a statement credit doesn’t earn the additional 1% cashback that a payment would. Correct?


Yes and yes. Sorry, I should have been specific.

I myself have accepted statement credits for other cards and see no problems doing that. To be honest, though, given choice I am veering away across the board from statement credits. This is for bookkeeping (and other) reasons. I like to separate, not embed, my rewards. But that is no more than personal choice.


DC earns 1% for charges + 1% for payments. As Endeavorer guessed above, statement credit does not count as a “payment”. Thus you lose the 1% you would have earned if you had made a payment in that amount instead of statement credit, and your total cash back rate becomes 1.98%.

While this may simplify your own bookkeeping/tracking, it makes Citi’s own “Purchase Tracker” shown on the statements more confusing, because it just keeps growing, will never be less than the sum of statement credits youv’e redeemed, and will never reach $0.


Works with the external account used to pay the credit card. It’s automatically linked after having a payment history.


Or, gasp, actually using a GC as a gift :frowning:


I guess you could think of it that way. My question above was to validate my assumption that shinobi was talking about the unique case of Citi Double Cash deferring half of the 2% until payment, which means that statement credits cause less than 2% to be made.

In any other situation, taking a statement credit (assuming you have a balance) and taking cash are monetarily equivalent.

On the AMEX Preferred scenario that you mention, whether you take statement credit or you take cash, you’re going to get whatever rewards apply to purchases made with your earnings.


Sorry, Argyll, but I’m just not seeing what difference it makes. Consider the following scenario: I have an Amex balance of $100 and $10 in rewards coming.

  1. I take it as a statement credit.
  • I now have a $90 balance
  • I now have a 0 rewards balance
  • I now have $10 in my pocket which I’d otherwise would have had to pay the Amex bill with. When I spend it, it earns 60 points.
  1. I take it as cash, and I use that cash to pay part of my Amex
  • I now have a $90 balance
  • I now have a 0 rewards balance
  • I now have $10 in my pocket which I’d otherwise would have had to pay the Amex bill with. When I spend it, it earns 60 points.
  1. I take it as cash and I spend it
  • I now have $100 in balance
  • I now have 0 rewards balance
  • I just earned 60 points by spending the $10

… it’s all the same


It’s like the thread titled “HSA - Triple Tax Free”. The third item listed is the sum of the first two items. People like to double-count things (and triple-count).


But if you take the $6 reward in cash instead of a statement credit and then spend $6 on your Amex, you earn 0.36 in rewards and can use that $6 you got in cash to pay the balance if you want. Am I missing something?


Right - easier but doesn’t actually result in higher rewards.


No, Argyll, it simply does not. You are saying you that you get more points when you spend the reward money using the card. That is certainly true. But it doesn’t matter whether you take it as a statement credit, take it in cash and pay the Amex bill with it (freeing up an equivalent amount of money to spend again), or take it and spend it. The total number of rewards you have are all the same.

Look at my my three scenarios above and tell me whether there’s a difference between the first and second scenarios in how many rewards points are generated.


Think of it as using the $6 cash you received towards paying next month’s Amex bill after using your Amex card to buy a $6 bottle of wine at the grocery store.

You do not generate extra points by virtue of taking the statement credit. You generate extra points by spending your rewards cash flow using the same credit card, and that works any way you get it (except gift cards at face value).