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Citi Double Cash vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

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If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee credit card, Citi has a few attractive products it offers, such as the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card. But make sure to learn about them before making a choice: Both Citi credit cards are excellent in their own ways, but they’re designed to serve very different purposes.

Read on to compare the Citi Double Cash card and Citi Diamond Preferred card and see which one may be worth adding to your wallet.

Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Double Cash highlights

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Citi® Double Cash Card
Welcome bonus None None
Rewards rate None 2% cash back on general purchases (1% cash back when you make purchases and an additional 1% cash back when you pay off purchases)
Intro APR 21-month intro 0% APR on balance transfers and 12-month intro 0% APR on purchases (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter) 18-month intro APR on balance transfers (14.74% to 24.74% variable APR thereafter)
Annual fee $0 $0

Let’s take a closer look at these cards and see how they compare.

Welcome bonus winner: Tie

Many rewards credit cards come with valuable welcome offers that allow you to easily earn a cash bonus or large number of points. However, that’s not the case with Citi Double Cash and Citi Diamond Preferred—neither card offers a welcome bonus.

These cards can offer plenty of value to the right cardholder, but if a sign-up bonus is a deal-breaker for you, we recommend looking into a no-annual-fee card like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (which offers $200 when you spend $500 within the first three months) or the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (currently offers $200 in statement credits after you spend $2,000 within the first six months).

Rewards rate winner: Citi Double Cash

If you want a card that earns rewards, there’s no competition between the Citi Diamond Preferred and the Citi Double Cash—the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t earn any rewards.

The Citi Double Cash credit card, on the other hand, is one of the best flat-rate cash back cards available. It offers 1 percent back on all purchases plus 1 percent back when you pay those purchases off, essentially earning you 2 percent back on everything. It’s a rare deal in the credit card market.

Intro APR winner: Citi Diamond Preferred

There are two types of 0 percent APR offers a credit card can extend: zero interest on balance transfers and zero interest on purchases. The former allows you to transfer a balance from another credit card and not pay any interest for a certain period of time, and the latter comes with no interest on purchases for a specified term.

The Citi Diamond Preferred is the winner here since it comes with both types of 0 percent intro APR offers. With this card, you’ll have 21 months of no interest on balance transfers and 12 months of no interest on purchases (14.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable APR thereafter). You must complete your balance transfer within four months of account opening, and you’ll be subject to a balance transfer fee of 5 percent or $5, whichever is greater.

Still, if you’re not planning any big purchases but would like to transfer your credit card debt to avoid interest (plus earn rewards), the Citi Double Cash is worth considering. The Citi Double Cash offers an 18-month 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers (14.74 to 24.74 percent variable APR thereafter). Note: The Citi Double Cash doesn’t include an intro APR offer on purchases.

Which card offers more value?

Since the Citi Double Cash includes a generous cash back rate, it will undoubtedly provide great value in the long term, especially when compared to the Citi Diamond Preferred, which offers no rewards. For instance, if you spend $15,900 a year, which is the average annual consumer spend, you can earn $318 in cash back—earnings you’d miss out on if you went with the Citi Diamond Preferred.

On the other hand, if you plan to carry a balance on your card within the first year and a half, interest payments would eat into your rewards. In this case, the Citi Diamond Preferred could save you more money than the Citi Double Cash.

Why should you get the Citi Double Cash?

The Citi Double Cash is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee credit card with a simple rewards system. It can also be a good choice if you’re transferring a balance: You’ll get to reduce your credit card debt while saving on interest, and you’ll continue to get decent value out of the card in the long term.

Additional benefits

Besides an excellent rewards rate and balance transfer offer, the Citi Double Cash provides security and fraud protections, including $0 fraud liability, 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Lost Wallet Service.

Additionally, you can get access to presale tickets and events with Citi Entertainment.

Redemption options

Redeeming cash back with the Citi Double Cash is just as straightforward as earning it. You can redeem your cash back for a statement credit, check or direct deposit once you have at least $25 in rewards. Alternatively, you can convert your cash back to ThankYou points, which you can use to purchase gift cards or travel through Citi, or shop on Amazon or PayPal.

Recommended credit score

To be approved for the Citi Double Cash, you’ll most likely need a good to excellent credit score (670 to 850).

Why should you get the Citi Diamond Preferred?

The Citi Diamond Preferred is a great option if you’re planning a large purchase or balance transfer. Just make sure to pay it off in full while the intro APR period lasts—otherwise, you’ll have to pay a rather high interest rate on the remaining balance.

Additional benefits

With this card, you can get access to Citi Flex Loans, which you can use to borrow money against your card’s credit line at a fixed rate and pay it back over a certain period. You can use this feature with no additional fees or credit inquiries. This can be a convenient option should you need a personal loan in the future. Note, however, that this feature is only available to select cardholders—the issuer must target you for the offer.

Additionally, you may be able to use Citi Flex Pay on Amazon purchases to pay them off in equal monthly payments. You’ll also get access to Citi Easy Deals where you can find discounts on various purchases, such as retail and restaurant deals. Finally, like with the Citi Double Cash, you’ll be able to take advantage of VIP access to events with Citi Entertainment.

Learn more: Citi Diamond Preferred Card benefits guide

Redemption options

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

Recommended credit score

You’ll most likely need a good to excellent credit score (670 to 850) to qualify for this card.

The bottom line

The Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Double Cash are both excellent cards with no annual fees, but they target different types of cardholders. If your goal is to earn rewards, the Citi Double Cash is an obvious winner. However, if you’re planning to carry a balance, the Citi Diamond Preferred takes the lead with its long 0 percent APR offer for balance transfers.

Written by
Ana Staples
Credit Cards Reporter and Young Credit Analyst
Ana Staples is a reporter for Bankrate and an expert on all things credit basics and personal finance for the younger generation.
Edited by
Associate Editor