Best for automatic bonus category

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter.
  • 1% Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Intro bonus
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for 0% intro APR offers and no late fee

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate

N/A

Intro bonus
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best overall cash back card

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2% Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Intro bonus
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best balance transfer card

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate

N/A

Intro bonus
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2X Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter.
  • 1X Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
Intro bonus
20,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 3X Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • 3X Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • 1X Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro bonus
80,000 points 
Annual fee
$95
Regular APR
15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for building credit

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate

N/A

Intro bonus
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
22.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
No Credit History 

The information about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.


The Bankrate guide to best Citi credit cards

Citi (or Citibank) is a global bank offering everything from mortgages to investment accounts to, of course, credit cards. Offering a wide variety of perks and rewards, Citi provides credit card options for many types of consumers.

Bankrate offers an informative look at the top Citi credit cards available from our partners, covering everything from student cards to business travel to cash back rewards.

Bankrate’s picks for best Citi credit cards of 2021

Card Name Best For Annual Fee Rewards Highlights Bankrate Review Score
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Best for automatic bonus category $0 5% cash back in top eligible spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent and then 1% 4.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Simplicity® Card Best for intro APR offers and no late fee $0 N/A 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® Double Cash Card Best overall cash back card $0 Up to 2% cash back (1% at time of purchase, then 1% at time of payment) on all purchases 3.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Best balance transfer card $0 N/A 3.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Rewards+® Card Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards $0 2X ThankYou® Points at supermarkets and gas stations (for the first $6,000/year, then 1 point per $1), and 1 point on all other purchases 3.2/ 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Premier® Card Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases $95 3X ThankYou Points per $1 on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases; 1X Points on all other purchases 3.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® Secured Mastercard® Best for building credit $0 ($200-$2,500 security deposit required) N/A 3.0/ 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Best for American Airlines flyers $99 (waived first 12 months) 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants and on eligible American Airlines purchases 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at our top Citibank credit cards

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Best for automatic bonus category

  • This card is best for: Those looking to take the guesswork out of earning substantial rewards in eligible categories like gas and groceries, and skipping an annual fee. You’ll automatically earn 5% cash back on up to $500 in your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, then 1%.
  • This card is not a great choice for: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns 5% on up to $500 in your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, then 1%. If your budget doesn’t allow you max out the $500 per month spending cap, you might be better suited for a different card.
  • What makes this card unique? This is a straightforward card that earns a solid cash back rate in valuable categories. For many cardholders, earning the highest levels of cash back is a reasonable feat. If, for example, you spend at least $500 per month at grocery stores, you’ll earn a generous $25 back each billing cycle.
  • Is the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card worth it? It’s a good choice for everyday spending, earning you 5% cash back on $500 spent per billing cycle on eligible spend categories (then 1%) with no annual fee. However, you’ll likely need to track your spending to maximize rewards and depending on how you spend, you could earn more rewards with a different cash back credit card.

Read our full Citi Custom Cash℠ Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Simplicity® Card

Best for 0% intro APR offers and no late fee

  • This card is best for: Someone looking for a credit card with consumer-friendly terms. The card lets you choose the monthly due date that works best for you. You can also save on interest by taking advantage of the 21-month 0% intro APR (followed by 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR) on balance transfers.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone looking to earn rewards for purchases. You won’t find much value for your spending beyond saving on interest for a long period.
  • What makes this card unique? This card offers one of the longest introductory rate APRs on balance transfers out there. Plus, the card doesn’t charge a late fee or penalty APR. (Missed payments will still hurt your credit score.)
  • Is the Citi Simplicity ® Card worth it? If you’re looking to finance a large purchase or save on interest on existing credit card balances, this card is a great option.

Read our full Citi Simplicity® Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best overall Citi cash back card

  • This card is best for: If you’re looking for a well-rounded card that offers decent benefits, the Double Cash Card might be a perfect fit. You can save on existing credit card debt with the balance transfer offer; the card also offers an unlimited 2 percent cash back on every purchase (1 percent when you spend and 1 percent as you pay those purchases back).
  • This card is not a great choice for: If you’re looking to finance a large purchase, it’s best to skip this card. There’s no introductory APR offer for purchases and the 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR could mean paying a significant amount of interest if you carry a balance on the card.
  • What makes this card unique? If you’re looking to earn a best-in-class cash back rate on flat purchases, this card is one of the most lucrative on the cash back market. You’ll also get access to Citi’s lost wallet service that provides you with emergency cash should your credit card be lost or stolen.
  • Is the Citi® Double Cash Card card worth it? If you’re looking for an everyday spending card that has a solid, straightforward rewards structure, this is a great choice.

Read our full Citi® Double Cash Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Best balance transfer card

  • This card is best for: If you’re looking to save on existing credit card debt by completing a balance transfer, this card is a good choice. You’ll still pay the balance transfer fee, $5 or 5 percent whichever is greater, but you’ll still be saving on interest for a lengthy period of time (intro 0% interest on balance transfers for 21 months, then 13.74 percent to 23.74 percent variable APR).
  • This card is not a great choice for: The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t offer a rewards program. If you’re looking to earn rewards on spending, then you’ll want to skip this card.
  • What makes this card unique? Long introductory APR periods, for both purchases and balance transfers, make this a valuable card for anyone looking to manage debt or finance a larger purchase.
  • Is the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card worth it? If you need to pay down debt or finance a large purchase, this card is definitely worth considering as the offer is one of the longer offers on the market.

Read our full Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Rewards+®Card

Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards

  • This card is best for: Pairing with other Citi cards to best take advantage of rewards points. Your points are rounded up to the nearest 10th with this card; for example you’ll earn 10X points when you spend $5. But you can only redeem basic ThankYou points. You’ll need to pair it with another Citi card to get the most rewards value.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone looking for a standalone rewards card that will allow you to transfer points to partners should look elsewhere.
  • What makes this card unique? At first glance, it may seem like the standard rewards card, but it has something most cards don’t: With it, every purchase you make gets rounded up to the nearest 10 points.
  • Is the Citi Rewards+® Card worth it? If you’re not planning to pair this card with a companion Citi rewards card, you’re likely to get more bang for your buck with a different rewards credit card.

Read our full Citi Rewards+ Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Premier® Card

Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases

  • This card is best for: This card is great for earning rewards in everyday categories that you can use to offset the cost of travel, offering a competitive 3X points at gas stations and supermarkets, as well as on air travel expenses.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Those looking for a travel card that offers robust travel protections. The travel protections offered don’t measure up against comparable travel cards.
  • What makes this card unique? The bonus categories reward three major spending categories —supermarkets, gas stations and dining out at restaurants — at the same rate of 3X points, a rare feature in a rewards credit card.
  • Is Citi Premier® Card worth it? If you’re looking to offset the cost of travel with rewards from day-to-day spending, this is definitely an attractive offer.

Read our full Citi Premier® Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Best for building credit

  • This card is best for: Those new to the world of credit and looking to build up their credit history.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone with established credit looking to earn rewards with their credit card.
  • What makes this card unique? This card offers a higher credit limit range when compared to other credit cards in this category.
  • Is the Citi® Secured Mastercard® worth it? Without a credit history, finding a credit card is a challenge. This card provides a good option for credit-builders with the added benefit of no annual fee.

Read our full Citi® Secured Mastercard® review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Best for frequent American Airlines flyers

  • This card is best for: Frequent travelers with an affinity for American Airlines.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone looking to have flexibility when redeeming points for travel.
  • What makes this card unique? Cardholders will enjoy numerous benefits and a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus when you spend $2,500 in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also skip the annual fee for the first twelve months ($99 annual fee thereafter).
  • Is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® worth it? If you can meet the spend requirement and enjoy traveling with American Airlines, this card offers killer perks.

Read our full Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® review.


What is Citi?

Since launching its first credit card in 1967 when it was called First National City Bank, Citi has become a global bank specializing in investments, mortgages and credit cards. It’s also the largest credit card issuer in the world, with more than 138 million accounts.

Citi is used by governments and corporations around the world, serving over 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The bank has a presence in 97 countries.

Bankrate insight
Citibank launched “the U.S. financial industry’s first nationwide advertising campaign” in 1946. Titled “First in Worldwide Banking,” it featured work by U.S. artists including Charles Sheeler and Thomas Hart.

Why choose a Citi credit card?

Citi’s credit card offerings range from simple cash back to luxury travel rewards.

Its wide-reaching customer service resources include travel benefits like Citi Entertainment® and Citi® Concierge, along with card payment plans like Citi Flex Loan designed to help you manage your finances. Citi’s banking side benefits reward-focused credit cardholders by allowing them to earn up to a maximum of 1,600 ThankYou Points through monthly CitiBank account activities.

Citi ranked seventh among national issuers in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, scoring 801 on a 1,000-point scale.

Pros and cons of Citi credit cards

Advantages and disadvantages of Citi credit cards include:

Pros

  • Variety of types of cards (cash back, travel, student, balance transfer, etc.)
  • Rewards spending categories for select cards include gas, travel, dining, supermarkets and more
  • Flat-rate and tiered rewards categories
  • Sign-up bonuses
  • No-annual-fee options
  • Introductory 0% APR offers on purchases and balance transfers with select cards
  • Access to Citi Entertainment
  • Opportunities to pair cards to maximize value

Cons

  • Most options require good credit or better (FICO Score above 670)
  • Some cards charge foreign transaction fees
  • The value of Citi ThankYou Points can vary considerably depending on which card you use to earn them and how you choose to redeem them
  • Limited options for beginner cardholders or building credit
  • Limited availability of travel and shopping protection

Who should get a Citi card?

CitiBank offers a robust line-up of credit cards. Here are some types of consumers who can benefit the most from owning a Citi card.

Citibank account holders

If you already bank with Citi, accessing your credit card information will be simple as you can just sign into the app you use to access your bank account. You can boost your rewards earning potential when you pair a Citi card with a qualified Citi checking account.

Cash back shoppers

Cash back cards are great for helping you earn rewards on everyday and special purchases. Citi offers a strong suite of cash back cards that meet a variety of needs. If you’re not great with keeping track of bonus categories , the Citi Custom Cash card rewards you automatically in your highest eligible spend category. The Citi Double Cash card allows you to redeem your points easily as a statement credit.

First-time credit cardholders

Most Citi cards require good-to-excellent credit. The Citi Secured Mastercard, however, is a solid option for those looking to boost their credit scores or build credit history. It doesn’t offer much in the way of perks or rewards, but you’ll skip the annual fee and the $200 deposit is less than similar competitor cards deposits.

How to choose a Citi credit card

Prior to applying for a credit card from any issuer, it’s essential to consider your spending habits, your current financial situation and what you’re interested in getting out of the card. The questions below should help narrow down your options in choosing a Citi card:

  • Are you primarily interested in getting a temporary break from APR on purchases or balance transfers? If yes, focus on Citi cards with introductory 0% APR offers designed to help you temporarily avoid the cost of interest.
  • Does the rewards program match up with your spending habits? You’ll need to find a rewards card that matches up with categories where you spend the most, but it’s equally as important to consider the amount of spending your budget allows for. Be sure that the rewards you’re capable of earning outweigh any annual fees.
  • Do the card’s benefits fit your lifestyle? Some Citi cards have travel-related perks, like free checked bags on select flights. Travelers will benefit from these features, but those who don’t travel should look to other Citi options.
  • Are you loyal to a Citi partner? If you have allegiance to Costco or American Airlines, one of Citi’s co-branded cards might be a good choice.

What are Citi ThankYou Points?

The ThankYou rewards program is similar to most credit card loyalty programs, allowing cardholders to earn ThankYou Points by making eligible purchases. Cardholders can redeem points for travel, gift cards, statement credits and more.

Here are some notable ThankYou Points features available with certain Citi credit cards:

For more information, see our Citi ThankYou Points guide.

Citi credit cards with 0% intro APR offers

In addition to cash back and travel, Citi also has options for helping you temporarily avoid interest on balance transfers and purchases with introductory zero-APR offers.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • Intro 0% interest on purchases for the first 12 months and balance transfers for the first 21 months, 13.74% – 23.74% variable APR after.
  • This no annual fee option may not come with a rewards program, but the lengthy zero-interest offer could be a huge money-saver.

Balance transfer fee: 5 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater.

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Intro 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 18 months after opening the account, 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR after.
  • Cardholders can earn up to 2 percent cash back — 1 percent when they make purchases and an additional 1 percent as they pay for them.

Intro balance transfer fee: 3 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater, on transfers completed within the first four months.

Citi Rewards+® Card

  • Intro 0% interest on purchases from date of account opening and balance transfers from date of first transfer for the first 15 months, 13.49% – 23.49% variable APR after.
  • This card earns 2x ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases yearly, plus 1x ThankYou Points on all other purchases. Also, your rewards on each purchase will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points.

Intro balance transfer fee: 3 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater, on transfers completed within the first four months.

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Intro 0% interest for 21 months on balance transfers and for 12 months on purchases, 14.74% – 24.74% variable APR after.
  • With no late fees or penalty fees, plus no annual fee, this card can be an affordable debt-management option.

Balance transfer fee: 5 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater.

For more information on how to take advantage of these offers, see our Citi Balance Transfer Guide.

Bankrate insight
Contactless or tap to pay credit cards allow you to make credit card payments without having to swipe or dip your card into the credit card terminal when you pay. Select Citi cards are contactless, like the Citi Simplicity® Card, the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Citi Rewards+ ® Card.

How we choose the best credit cards from Citi

Bankrate's personal finance experts have evaluated the top Citi cards according to our 5-star rating system. Our list of criteria for rating credit cards includes:

Rewards

Whether the card offers cash back, travel points/miles or multi-purpose rewards for eligible purchases and the potential returns based on rewards rate (1 percent cash back per $1 spent, 1 mile per $1 spent, and so on).

Perks and benefits

Whether the card offers extras such as retail discounts, extended warranties on purchases, travel insurance and financial management tools.

Annual fee

Whether the card charges an annual fee and if so, how much the card's overall value and benefits might offset the fee.

Introductory offers

Whether the card has a sign-up bonus, welcome offer or similar sign-up incentive and how much it adds to the card's overall value.

Variable APR

How the card's annual percentage rate (APR) compares with current averages as an indicator of cost and value.

Foreign transaction fee

Whether the card charges a foreign transaction fee for international purchases and how the fee affects the card's overall value.

More information about Citi cards and rewards


Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

Frequently Asked Questions

about the author
Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s degree concentrated in Finance, Joey worked at “Big Four” (Ernst and Young) accounting firm before exploring the world of credit cards. Over the past two years, he’s shared his expertise and has brought understanding to complex topics as a writer and editor for sites like Bankrate, CreditCards.com and NextAdvisor. Hi...
about the editor
Former Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.