Citi® Diamond Preferred® review: 0% intro APR for 18 months
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Excellent card for those who are looking to consolidate high interest credit card debt, with no annual fee.
- Enjoy 0% intro APR for 18 months on new purchases and balance transfers, which is among the longest 0% intro APRs we know of (then 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR).
- If you have a large purchase that will take a while to pay off, this is a clear winner for the task.
- This card isn't a rewards card. If you want a lengthy 0% intro offer AND rewards, you might consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® BENEFITS
- CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® BALANCE TRANSFER
- CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® ANNUAL FEE
- CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE
- CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® CREDIT SCORE
- POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED®
- HOW CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS
- IS CITI® DIAMOND PREFERRED® A GOOD CARD?
Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.
With intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months from the date of first transfer (and when made within the first four months) as well as on any new purchases made in the first 18 months from account opening, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a market leader for innovative intro offers with one of the longest 0% intro APR offers that we know of. After the intro period, 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR will apply.
Top Diamond Preferred® benefits include:
- No annual fee
- 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and new purchases for 18 months (then 14.74% - 24.74% Variable)
- Pre-sale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, entertainment and sporting events through Citi Entertainment®
This card is all about VIP treatment, giving regular folk a taste of the exclusivity and benefits that the other half typically enjoys. One of the best benefits of this card is access to Citi Entertainment® which takes the "once" out of "once in a lifetime." Get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and exclusive experiences for the year's most anticipated concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
Period: 18 months on Balance Transfers
Though VIP treatment is nice, especially when it comes to the level of customer service you receive with your financial services, the biggest incentive of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is its lengthy balance transfer period.
This card gives you a year and a half to pay off your balances interest free. Depending on the size of the balance you're working with, this gives you sufficient time to pay off a large debt, or at least greatly pay it down, without worrying about paying interest fees.
Just remember, to take advantage of this offer, all balance transfers must be made within the first four months of opening an account. If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% intro purchase APR expires (18 months), unpaid balances will automatically accrue interest until your balance is paid in full. With a regular APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable, you'll want to be sure to pay things down as much as possible before this happens.
It's also important to note that there is a balance transfer fee, 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum, but this is pretty standard for balance transfer credit cards.
Good news— there isn't one! That means all the great Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card benefits we mentioned above come to you at no additional cost. The 18-month intro 0% APR offer with this card is one of the best on the market. To have that type of offer with no annual fee is a huge perk. If you're looking for some extra time to pay off a large balance, what are you waiting for?
If you're looking for a good credit card to take overseas with you, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card probably isn't it. This card charges a 3% fee on all foreign transactions, so if you're a international jetsetter, you might be better off packing a different card.
A 3% fee might not seem like much, but in the grand scheme of things, this fee can really make things add up. Say you travel abroad three times a year, for example, spending on average $3,000 each time. You'd be looking at spending $270 extra in fees.
Citi doesn't explicitly state the credit score needed to qualify for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, however, this card is reserved for those with excellent scores. A "very good" FICO score is typically anything above 740, according to the credit scoring agency Experian, and an "exceptional" score is anything above 800. Please note, though, that these numbers can vary between different bureaus.
It’s all about priorities when determining if the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is for you. If you’re looking for a low interest card for balance transfers and purchases, this is a great choice. If you’re looking for high-ongoing perks like cash back or airline miles, this isn’t the card for you as it doesn't earn points on purchases.
And though the 0% intro APR period is one of the longest on the market, don’t get blindsided by the APR after the intro offer. Depending on your creditworthiness the APR can shoot up significantly. See terms for the most current APR terms.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® vs. Citi® Double Cash
If you like having a no-annual-fee card but would prefer a card that earns rewards on purchases, the 2020 CardRatings Editor's Choice winner for best flat-rate cash-back credit card Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is worth your consideration. Unlike the Citi® Diamond Preferred® card that does not earn rewards on purchases, the Double Cash earns up to 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum balance amount due on time.
The Double Cash card from Citi also has a generous 18-month 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers; however, this offer doesn't extend to new purchases. After the intro period, 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR will apply.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® vs. Citi Rewards+℠
Citi Rewards+℠ Card, like the Citi® Diamond Preferred® card, has no annual fee and has an excellent intro 0% APR period. Where the two cards differ is the rewards earning and the length of the introductory bonus periods.
The Rewards+℠ card earns two points for every dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 in purchases each year) and one point for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. The card sweetens the rewards deal even further by rounding up points on every purchase to the next highest 10. For example, when you buy a $3 cup of coffee you get 10 points instead of three. A further perk offered by the Rewards+℠ card is a 10% "rebate" on the first 100,000 ThankYou® points you redeem each year, and new cardholders can earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening an account; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com. The Diamond Preferred® card does not earn rewards on purchases.
Where the Diamond Preferred® card excels is in the introductory 0% APR offer for 18 months on new purchases and balance transfers. This is three months longer than the 15 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers offered by the Citi Rewards+℠ card (then 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)).
Citi® Diamond Preferred® vs. Citi Simplicity®
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The main selling point for both of these cards is their long intro 0% APR offers. The Diamond Preferred®, Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a slightly longer period of 21 months from date of first transfer, but the period for new purchases is shorter at 12 months. All transfers must be completed in the first four months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness.
So, what really differentiates these two cards?
With Citi Entertainment®, the Diamond Preferred® card is dedicated to helping users gain special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more, whereas Citi Simplicity® has unique perks regarding payments: no late fees or penalty APR ever — a fairly unheard of concept. The choice between these two cards will boil down to this: which perks match your lifestyle better.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is good for someone with excellent credit who needs a card for everyday purchases without worrying about accumulating interest right away. The intro 0% APR offer of 18 months is one of the best on the market, and with no annual fee and VIP entertainment access, this card might offer enough to be a good trade-off for its lack of rewards.