Editor's Note: This offer is no longer available

Citi bounced back into the credit card marketplace in a big way during 2011, after a period of regrouping marked by fewer new accounts and multiple run-ins with the press. According to The Wall Street Journal, Citi spent the last year mailing out enough credit card offers to cover every citizen of the United States a few times over.

Shotgun marketing aside, Jason Collazo's Forbes column confirms what we've known for a while: Citi wants to lure away its competitors' best customers with a low introductory rate on its no-frills credit cards.

The Citi Platinum Select Visa lands at the top of our list this month because it offers a hard-to-find balance transfer offer: 18 months at zero percent APR. With a balance transfer fee of just 3 percent, Citi's making it easy to spread the cost of switching lenders over the course of nearly two years. The bank offers the same low intro APR on new purchases, making this credit card equally ideal if you intend to float the cost of this year's holiday gift list.

Superior fraud prevention

You won't find any cash back rewards or other special perks on the Citi Platinum Select Visa, but you will get some of the industry's toughest identity theft protection. Citi's executives still feel the sting of a major hacking attack that exposed thousands of its customers' accounts to the eyes - and computers - of criminals. Since then, the company has knuckled down on online banking security while implementing a zero-dollar liability pledge to protect borrowers from unauthorized purchases.

In addition, Citi's Identity Theft Solutions package helps protect your other credit card accounts - even non-Citi cards. The bank's systems monitor not only your Citi Visa but your credit profile for potentially suspicious activity, alerting you if crooks compromise any of your accounts.

Free fraud resolution assistance

If something does go wrong, Citi specialists will provide the forms and assistance you'll need to file police reports, notify credit reporting agencies, and dispute charges with your other creditors. Private companies charge hundreds of dollars a year for this kind of service, but Citi's bundling it into even this basic credit card for free. If you want to take a vacation from finance charges while securing your family's credit profile, this no-annual-fee credit card has you covered.