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® Double Cash Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. While both Citi credit cards are excellent in their own ways, they’re designed to serve very different purposes.
Read on to compare the Citi Double Cash and Citi Diamond Preferred to see which one may be worth adding to your wallet.
|Cards||Citi Double Cash Card||Citi Diamond Preferred Card|
|Rewards rate||2% cash back on all purchases — 1% cash back when you make purchases and an additional 1% cash back when you pay off purchases||None|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then a variable APR of 18.99% to 28.99%||
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and on balance transfers for 21 months, then a variable APR of 17.99% to 28.74%
Citi Double Cash vs. Citi Diamond Preferred highlights
Let’s take a closer look at the Citi Double Cash and the Citi Diamond Preferred to 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 or the Citi Diamond Preferred since neither card offers a welcome bonus.
These cards can offer plenty of value to the right cardholder, but if no sign-up bonus is a deal-breaker for you, you may want to look into a no-annual-fee rewards 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 (which 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 since the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t earn any rewards.
The Citi Double Cash card, however, is one of the best flat-rate cash back cards available. It offers 1 percent back on all purchases you make plus 1 percent back when you pay those purchases off, essentially earning you 2 percent back on everything. Two percent cash back on all purchases is a rare deal in the credit card market.
Intro APR winner: Citi Diamond Preferred
There are two types of 0 percent intro 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 get a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months and on purchases for 12 months (17.99 percent to 28.74 percent variable APR thereafter). You must complete your balance transfer within four months of account opening, and you’ll have to pay a balance transfer fee of 5 percent (minimum $5).
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 since it offers a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (18.99 percent to 28.99 percent variable APR thereafter). You’ll also get an intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent (minimum $5) on balances transferred within the first four months. After the first four months, a balance transfer fee of 5 percent (minimum $5) applies.
Annual fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges an annual fee, so they tie in this category.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Both cards charge a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the U.S.
Which card earns the most?
Since the Citi Double Cash includes a generous cash back rate, it will undoubtedly provide greater value in the long term, especially when compared to the Citi Diamond Preferred, which offers no rewards.
Citi Double Cash vs. Citi Diamond Preferred spending example
Say you spend $15,900 a year, which is the average annual consumer spend. With the Citi Double Cash, you can earn $318 in cash back (if you pay your balances in full) — 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 since it offers a longer intro period to pay down debt.
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 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.
Besides an excellent rewards rate and balance transfer offer, the Citi Double Cash provides benefits like $0 fraud liability, 24/7 fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Lost Wallet Service. Additionally, you can get access to presale tickets and events with Citi Entertainment.
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. Alternatively, you can convert your cash back to basic Citi ThankYou points, which you can redeem for gift cards, travel through Citi or shopping on Amazon or via 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 0 percent intro APR period lasts — otherwise, you’ll have to pay a rather high interest rate on the remaining balance.
With this card, you can get benefits like 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’ll 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.
The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t offer 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 the obvious winner. However, if you’re planning to carry or transfer a balance, the Citi Diamond Preferred takes the lead with its 0 percent intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers.