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- The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has a longer-than-typical intro APR offer, giving you more time to make inroads into your debt.
- Its 21-month 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers completed within four months of account opening can help you pay down high-interest debt.
- Downsides are a lack of rewards on your spending and a higher-than-average balance transfer fee.
Citi is an advertising partner.
A balance transfer credit card can be a great way to tackle high-interest debt if you’re having trouble paying it down. These cards offer no to low interest on a transferred balance for a set period of time. And the longer you have to pay your balance with one of these offers, the better.
That’s why the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is often a top choice for many cardholders seeking a balance transfer. While most 0 percent intro APR offers start at 12 months and stop around 18 months, the Citi Diamond Preferred offers a surprisingly long 21-month 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers completed within four months of account opening (18.24 percent to 28.99 percent variable APR thereafter) — which means you have almost two years to pay down any debt you transfer to the card.
It sounds like an enticing offer, yet its worth exploring the pros and cons of this card when comparing it to other rewards credit card offering a 0 percent intro APR offer.
What does the Citi Diamond Preferred offer?
At first glance, the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t appear to have many bells and whistles that you might get with, say, a cash back credit card. The main draw here is the intro APR offers on balance transfers and on purchases. In addition to the balance transfer offer, you’ll also get a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening, after which a variable APR between 18.24 percent to 28.99 percent applies.
In addition to the potential for saving on interest fees, this is a no-annual-fee card. As a result, you can get quite a bit of value out of the card without the continual carrying cost.
There is one fee to watch out for, however. The balance transfer fee is a tad higher than most cards at 5 percent (the minimum fee is $5). Also, balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of opening your account.
Additional card benefits
Though there aren’t any rewards, credits or particularly outstanding card perks to speak of, you get access to:
- Citi Entertainment for exclusive events and unique experiences.
- Citi Easy Deals for discounts and local offers from restaurants and retailers.
How can you use the Citi Diamond Preferred for balance transfers?
You have high-interest debt to pay off
If you have a lot of debt with a high interest rate, you’re probably watching the interest accrue while payments barely make a dent in the principal balance you owe. While this can be discouraging, an intro APR balance transfer offer — especially one as long as the Citi Diamond Preferred’s — can slow down interest payments, helping you to pay down your balance faster.
You’re disciplined with your debt repayment plans
It’s possible that using a balance transfer card can land you in even more debt. For example, you could clear the balance on your old higher-interest card and then start spending on it again.
As long as you have the discipline to avoid this situation, the Citi Diamond Preferred could be a great card. However, if you don’t have a plan to pay down your debt, this (or any balance transfer card, for that matter) could end up being a double-edged sword in your debt-repayment journey.
You’ve got good to excellent credit
Your credit score should be in the good to excellent range — a score of 670 to 850 — to qualify for this card. Though there’s no guarantee that you see approval for this card, a higher credit score can be a huge help for your approval odds.
You don’t mind forgoing rewards for a longer balance transfer period
The crux of this card is the longer-than-average intro APR offer on balance transfers, which could be a definite money saver. Though there are other rewards credit cards offering a similarly long balance transfer offers — plus a lower balance transfer fee.
It means you could come out ahead with a shorter introductory APR offer plus ongoing rewards. In some cases, you may even score a generous welcome bonus on one or more other rewards cards you’re considering.
Why shouldn’t you use the Citi Diamond Preferred for a balance transfer?
You don’t need 21 months to pay down debt
It comes down to your financial circumstances. For instance, it’s quite possible you won’t need 21 months to pay down your high-interest debt, giving you the flexibility to go for a cash back credit card with a slightly shorter intro APR offer.
|Card name||Intro APR offer||Balance transfer fee||Regular APR|
|Citi Double Cash® Card||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (transfers must be made within the first 4 months)||3% intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum; 5% after the first 4 months)||19.24% to 29.24% variable APR|
|Discover it® Balance Transfer||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from account opening||3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% on future transfers (see terms)||17.24% to 28.24% variable APR|
|Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card||0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (see terms)||3% balance transfer fee (of the amount of each transfer)||Variable (see terms)|
If you don’t mind shaving a few months off of your 0 percent intro APR offer, you’ll find many balance transfer cards offering a shorter but respectable 0 percent intro APR offer — and with a lower balance transfer fee and ongoing value in the form of cash back after your introductory APR offer ends to boot.
You’ve got too much high-interest credit card debt
If you have a lot of high-interest debt, there’s a chance that the Citi Diamond Preferred will not work for you.
It’s not likely that you’ll get a credit limit to cover larger balance transfers. If you’re looking at a transfer of $5,000, $10,000 or more, not only will your balance transfer fee be high, but your new Citi Diamond Preferred credit card limit may not accommodate that much debt.
The good news is that Citi offers alternative options for paying down high-interest debt. Citi Flex Loans allow you to borrow money against your Citi card credit limit at a fixed rate and pay it back over a set period of time, with no additional fees, application or credit inquiry required. However, you must be targeted by Citi for this product, so don’t bank on it as a sure solution.
Your credit score is too low or you owe too much debt across your accounts
This card requires good to excellent credit. Even with a high credit score, if your credit utilization ratio is also high — meaning you’re currently using too much of your available credit — then your approval odds for this card will be lower. Do your best to pay down your debt so that it doesn’t affect your ability to get a good balance transfer card.
The bottom line
Whether the Citi Diamond Preferred is for you really comes down to the exact numbers for the amount of debt you have and the balance transfer cards you’re considering. On one hand, you could save a lot on interest fees over the generous intro APR period, but then you might get a shorter intro APR period, cash back or other ongoing rewards, a welcome bonus and a lower balance transfer fee with another card — all of which could level out the playing field when comparing your balance transfer options.
To help you understand the best balance transfer options, consider using our balance transfer calculator to crunch the numbers relevant to your specific situation. In the end, if you’re able to choose a balance transfer card that helps you eliminate your higher-interest debt, whether it’s the Citi Diamond Preferred or another option, you’ll still make progress toward your financial goals.
Information about the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card was last updated on October 3, 2023.