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BankAmericard vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

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The BankAmericard® credit card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card are both low-cost credit cards featuring low intro APRs on purchases and balance transfers. Whether you’re looking to pay down debt or finance a big purchase, taking advantage of a 0 percent intro APR can be a great way to save money on the interest that would normally accrue on your balance. We’ll cover the differences, benefits and drawbacks of these two cards.

Main details

BankAmericard Citi Diamond Preferred
Welcome bonus $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days N/A
Rewards rate N/A N/A
Intro APR
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles; transfers must be made in the first 60 days (a 3% fee (min. $10) applies)
  • 13.24% – 23.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months
  • 14.49% – 24.49% (Variable)
Annual fee $0 $0

BankAmericard vs. Citi Diamond Preferred highlights

Welcome bonus winner: BankAmericard

The BankAmericard offers a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, so the BankAmericard is the clear winner in this category. While $100 may not seem like a lot, it’s a nice perk that is not common with most balance transfer cards.

Rewards rate winner: Tie

Neither of these cards offers any form of rewards. If you’re looking to earn cash back, points or miles on your purchases, you should look elsewhere for a good rewards credit card. That said, if you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card and aren’t concerned about rewards, either of these cards is a good potential option.

Intro APR winner: Citi Diamond Preferred

The Citi Diamond Preferred offers a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, which is one of the longest intro period on the market. This means that, if you’re looking to pay down debt by transferring a balance to the Citi Diamond Preferred from another card, you’ll have a few months shy of two years to pay off the balance before you start to accumulate interest. Citi Diamond Preferred: 14.49% – 24.49% variable APR applies after the intro APR offer ends.

However, keep in mind that the intro APR for purchases only lasts 12 months with the Citi Diamond Preferred. Alternatively, the BankAmericard features a 0 percent intro APR for 18 billing cycles for both purchases and balance transfers. BankAmericard: 13.24% – 23.24% variable APR applies after the intro APR offer ends.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Neither the BankAmericard or the Citi Diamond Preferred charge an annual fee. This makes them a good fit for borrowers who want to be sure that they’re getting their money’s worth no matter how much or little they spend.

Which card saves more on balance transfers?

Both of these cards feature 0 percent intro APR periods. Which card will save you more money ultimately depends on how much you plan to transfer, your budget and how fast you plan to pay off the debt.

BankAmericard vs. Citi Diamond Preferred balance transfer example

One thing to keep in mind when comparing these two balance transfer credit cards is the balance transfer fee. The BankAmericard comes with a balance transfer fee of 3 percent (min. $10), while the Citi Diamond Preferred comes with a balance transfer fee of 5 percent (min. $5). This may seem like a small difference percentage-wise, but it can add up for larger balances.

Let’s pretend you’re transferring a balance of $5,000 from another card. Using the BankAmericard, you’ll incur a 3 percent balance transfer fee ($150), which will bring your total card balance up to $5,150. With 18 billing cycles to pay off the balance before incurring interest, you could pay about $286 per month in order to reduce the balance to $0 by the time the intro APR period ends.

With the Citi Diamond Preferred, you’ll incur a slightly higher 5 percent balance transfer fee ($250), for a total card balance of $5,250. With 21 months to pay off the balance before incurring interest, you could pay about $250 per month in order to reduce the balance to $0 by the time the intro period ends.

As you can see by this example, the card that is right for you ultimately depends on how quickly you plan to pay off the debt and the amount of money you plan to transfer to the card. Since the Citi Diamond Preferred has a slightly longer intro APR period, it might be a better fit if you’re looking to make the lowest possible monthly payment while still avoiding interest. On the other hand, if you’re looking to pay off the debt as quickly as possible, the BankAmericard’s lower balance transfer fee might be a better fit for your financial situation.

Why should you get the BankAmericard?

While it doesn’t offer as many perks and benefits as rewards cards, the BankAmericard is a good option if you’re looking to transfer a balance from another card. The card features a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 18 billing cycles—a full year and a half where you can take advantage of 0 percent interest to get your finances in order. After the intro APR offer ends the variable APR will be 13.24% to 23.24%.

Additional benefits

In addition to the low intro APR, the BankAmericard comes with a few additional benefits, including no annual fee, a FICO score for free, a $100 welcome bonus and basic security features like $0 fraud liability and overdraft protection.

Redemption options

The BankAmericard earns no rewards, so there are no redemption options for the card.

Recommended credit score

Borrowers should have good to excellent credit (670 to 850) in order to qualify for this card.

Why should you get the Citi Diamond Preferred?

Like the BankAmericard, the Citi Diamond Preferred is a solid balance transfer card without too many other bells and whistles. This card has a 0 percent intro APR period for balance transfers for 21 months, which means you’ll have almost two years to pay down debt without accumulating interest. For purchases, you’ll have a 0 percent intro APR of only 12 months. After the intro APR offers end the variable APR will be 14.49% – 24.49%.

Additional benefits

The Citi Diamond Preferred includes additional benefits like no annual fee, 24/7 customer support and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.

Redemption options

The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t earn any rewards, so there are no redemption options for this card.

Recommended credit score

Borrowers should have good to excellent credit (670 to 850) in order to qualify for this card.

The bottom line

Neither card comes with the perks and benefits associated with rewards cards, but both the BankAmericard and the Citi Diamond Preferred are good cards to consider if you’re looking to transfer a balance from another card and pay off that balance interest-free. The card that is right for you ultimately depends on your budget, how much you plan to transfer and your personal needs. In general, the BankAmericard is a better fit if you’re looking to pay off debt as quickly as possible, while the Citi Diamond Preferred is a better option if you want the longest possible intro APR period to pay off debt.

Written by
Margaret Wack
Personal Finance Expert Contributor
Margaret has written for Money Under 30, MoneyGeek, The Simple Dollar, CreditCards.com, Interest.com and Fiscal Tiger, among other publications. She writes about subjects including saving, credit, insurance, investing and other financial topics.
Edited by
Associate Editor