Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.
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. The bank launched its first credit card in 1967, back when they were called the First National City Bank. Citi is a widely trusted financial institution used by some of the most prominent governments and largest corporations in the world. Thousands of everyday consumers and business owners also turn to Citi for credit cards.
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 2020
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® (not currently available)
||Best for American Airline flyers
||$99 (waived first 12 months)
||2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants and on eligible American Airlines purchases
|Citi Rewards+℠ Card
||Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards
||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
|Citi Simplicity® Card (not currently available)
||Best intro APR with no late fees
|Citi® Double Cash Card
||Best overall cash back card
||Up to 2% cash back (1% at time of purchase, then 1% at time of payment) on all purchases
|Citi® Secured Mastercard® (not currently available)
||Best for building credit
||$0 ($200-$2,500 security deposit required)
A closer look at our top Citibank credit cards
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® (not currently available)
Best for frequent American flyers
American Airline loyalists who fly enough to make good use of AAdvantage travel perks, but not enough to justify the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®’s $450 annual fee, will enjoy the Platinum Select’s happy medium. Cardholders get a significantly lower $99 annual fee and enjoy the same 50,000-mile AAdvantage® sign-up bonus after spending only $2,500 in the first three months. The annual fee is also waived for your first year in case the travel perks and rewards rate don’t fit your lifestyle.
The 2X miles at gas stations, restaurants and eligible American Airlines purchases are solid (1X miles per $1 on all other purchases), but the fantastic MileSAAver flight discount can save you up to 7,500 miles on select 500+-mile round trips. Unless these American Airline-exclusive features have you sold, you might want to look at more flexible travel cards for the other standard in-flight and luggage discounts.
Annual Fee: $99 (waived first 12 months)
- MileSAAver reduced mileage award flights discount up to 7,500 miles on round trip flights over 500 miles.
- $125 annual American Airlines discount after spending $20,000 and renewing your card.
- Airline loyalty perks: preferred boarding, 25% in-flight discounts (food, beverages and Wi-Fi) with your card and a free checked bag on domestic flights.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Lack of flexibility: rewards flights may have blackout dates, MileSAAver flights are limited, AAnytime awards for flights can be expensive and you can’t redeem miles for cash back or a statement credit.
- Other flat-rate travel cards can earn 2X miles on a wider range of purchases for a lower annual fee.
- Bonus miles can take up to 10 weeks to appear in your account.
Read our full Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® review.
The information about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
Citi Rewards+SM Card
Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards
You can earn significant rewards points with this card, but you need to pair it with the Citi Prestige® Card to get the most bang for your buck. Every time you earn points with the Citi Rewards+, they’re rounded up to the nearest 10. This means your daily $4 latte fix earns you 10 points instead of four. However, your points are only considered “basic” ThankYou points, so your redemption options aren’t quite as flexible as with other top-tier Citi cards.
Using this card for smaller, everyday purchases while using other top Citi cards for those larger purchases will help you maximize your earning potential and redemption value.
Annual Fee: $0
- 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1 point per $1), and 1X point per $1 on all other purchases.
- 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (13.49%-23.49% Variable).
- Points round up to the nearest 10 on each purchase.
- You can get 10 percent points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem back each year.
- Without pairing cards for benefits like the Citi Premier℠ Card’s new travel rewards, the Rewards+ Card’s “basic” points are worth only 1 cent and can’t be transferred to most travel partners for their maximum value..
- The 15,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 within your first three months is redeemable for only a $150 gift card at thankyou.com. Plus, you aren’t eligible if you received a Citi sign-up bonus in the past 24 months.
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
Read our full Citi Rewards+ Card review.
The information about the Citi Prestige Card and the Citi Premier Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
Citi Simplicity® Card (not currently available)
Best intro APR with no late fees
For paying off a big-ticket item over time or transferring a balance, all while temporarily avoiding interest, this card offers a very competitive deal. The fact that the Citi Simplicity doesn’t charge late fees, penalty APR or an annual fee gives you some added peace of mind.
A balance transfer with the Citi Simplicity offers an excellent way to pay down debt from another non-Citi card or consolidate debts from different types of accounts into one. Just make sure that you pay off your transferred balance before the 21-month introductory period ends to avoid paying the regular APR of 14.74%-24.74%. The introductory offer on purchases (12 months at 0% APR, 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after) could also help you save hundreds of dollars (or more) on interest.
Annual Fee: $0
- No annual fee, late fees or late payment penalty APR.
- Impressive 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and 21-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers (14.74%-24.74% Variable).
- No rewards program or sign-up bonus.
- The 5 percent balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher) is on the higher side of the typical 3 to 5 percent range.
Read our full Citi Simplicity® Card review.
The information about the Citi Simplicity Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Best overall Citi cash back card
The Citi Double Cash is one of our highest-rated cash back cards and a top choice for flat-rate rewards. You can earn unlimited 2 percent cash back on every purchase: 1 percent when you buy, plus an additional 1 percent as you pay for those purchases. To earn that additional 1 percent, you’ll need to pay at least the minimum due on time. If you’re looking for great rewards on everyday spending without juggling rotating categories, this could be the card for you.
You can also pair this card with others to maximize your earning potential. If you have a cash back card that offers better rewards in certain categories like dining or groceries, you can utilize both strategically to get the most value. Pairing the Citi Double Cash with the Citi Premier℠ Card or Citi Prestige® Card and converting cash back to ThankYou points can also maximize your points value on travel and dining.
Annual Fee: $0
- Up to 2 percent unlimited cash back — 1 percent at time of purchase, and an additional 1 percent at time of payment.
- The 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers (13.99%-23.99% variable) is impressive, especially for cash back cards.
- No 0% intro APR for purchases, and you must transfer your balance within your first four months to qualify for the balance transfer intro APR.
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
- 3 percent balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is greater).
Read our full Citi® Double Cash Card review.
Citi® Secured Mastercard® (not currently available)
Best for building credit
For those with no credit history, finding a card to help build credit can be tough. This card is one of the best options available with no annual fee. With a secured card, you will have to put down a deposit to secure your credit limit — but unlike some offers available, this card is light on fees and regularly reports to all three major credit bureaus, helping you to work on improving your financial health.
The security deposit on this card is a minimum of $200, and the deposit is held in a non-interest accruing account for 18 months. You do receive benefits including free online FICO score access and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions, plus a higher credit limit range than most comparable cards. Additionally, you’ll get to avoid annual and monthly maintenance fees that often accompany secured card options.
Annual Fee: $0
- Your credit limit can go up to $2,500, depending on your security deposit (minimum $200).
- No annual or monthly maintenance fees, unlike several secured cards.
- Flexible payment dates — you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month to pay your bill.
- No rewards program, sign-up bonus or intro APR offers.
- Unlike Capital One or Discover secured cards, Citi won’t graduate you to an unsecured card after building your credit to a qualifying level.
- Citi will automatically decline your application if you’ve declared bankruptcy within the past two years.
Read our full Citi® Secured Mastercard® review.
The information about the Citi Secured Mastercard has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
Why choose a Citi credit card?
Aside from being a highly trusted credit card issuer, Citi offers some of the best credit cards on the market, with options that benefit both high spenders and beginner cardholders.
Cardholders can also benefit from the perks that come with Citi’s status as the world’s largest credit card issuer, with more than 138 million accounts. According to payment industry publication The Nilson Report, Citi grew to 11.19 percent in purchase volume market share in 2019. This means that whether you’re looking for a simple cash back card or a luxury travel card, you can easily find a Citi card to fit your needs.
Citi’s wide-reaching customer service resources include travel benefits like Citi Entertainment® and Citi® Concierge, along with card payment plans like Citi Flex Loan that could help you manage your finances. In fact, CitiBank ranked first for banking advice consumer satisfaction in a J.D. Power 2020 study. For what it’s worth, Citi also ranked slightly below the national issuer average in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, but Javelin Strategy’s Account Safety in Banking Awards placed Citi in the top 10 for fraud prevention and resolution.
Citi’s banking side even benefits reward-focused credit cardholders by allowing them to earn up to a maximum of 1,600 ThankYou Points through monthly CitiBank account activities.
What is Citi Entertainment?
Citi Entertainment, formerly known as Citi Private Pass, allows cardholders special access to buy tickets, including presale and VIP tickets, for thousands of events each year. Whether you’re interested in upcoming concerts, sporting events, dining experiences or theater events, Citi Entertainment can give you an advantage when booking tickets.
The program is available for any cardholder with a CitiBank credit card displaying a Visa, Mastercard or American Express logo, or any CitiBank debit card that has the Mastercard logo. Redeeming is straightforward — your Citi card number is verified either at the time of purchase or at the event. To get all the details, read the terms and conditions at citientertainment.com.
One of the more notable benefits of Citi Entertainment is how family-friendly the program has become. Most rewards programs focus their presale tickets and entertainment offers toward luxurious experiences and nightlife. Citi breaks the mold a little bit by including offers for families, too.
Is a Citi credit card right for you?
Anyone can apply for a Citi credit card, but most of Citi’s cards are most beneficial for those who use credit cards for maximizing rewards rather than building credit. Cardholders with FICO scores of 740 and above usually have the best chance at qualifying for Citi’s most valuable credit cards.
For those with excellent credit (assuming all your other information is in order), you may be able to choose from some of the best cards available.
The Citi Secured card (not currently available) is an option for anyone with no credit history. It’s a great option — in fact, one of the best on the market — if you’re looking to build your credit. Using Citi credit cards responsibly over time can help you build a stronger credit score, helping you take advantage of the best cards Citi has to offer.
Frequently asked questions about Citi credit cards
How do I contact CitiBank?
You can contact Citibank through several channels, but Citi recommends logging in to Citi Online or using the Citi Mobile® App. You can also connect via:
- Phone: Call the number on the back of your card or call 1-800-950-5114 (General Customer Support & Services).
- Appointment: Book an appointment to visit your closest Citi location.
- Mail: If for any reason written mail would be your preferred communication, this is Citi’s general correspondence mailbox:
Citibank Customer Service
P.O. Box 6500
Sioux Falls, SD 57117
Most Citi credit cards come with the Citi® Concierge service, which acts as a 24/7 assistant that can save you time by researching or booking travel, entertainment, and dining options. Think of the feature like your phone’s virtual assistant, but with real people. Besides itinerary recommendations or booking plans, you can even authorize a Concierge representative to help purchase items if your schedule is packed.
You can contact Citi Concierge through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-508-8930.
‘Can I apply for multiple Citi cards?’
The short answer is yes, but it comes with certain conditions.
According to The Points Guy, Citi is more likely to limit the amount of credit you have across all your Citi cards rather than limiting how many cards you can have. However, Citi also has rules defining how frequently you can apply: only one application for either a personal or business card, every eight days.
This rule extends so that you can’t submit more than two card applications within 65 days. Plus, you can apply for a business card only once every 90 days. If you’re hoping to apply to another Citi card and get an additional sign-up bonus, remember these rules:
- ThankYou Points bonuses: You can’t receive a new cardmember bonus if you already received one or closed any of Citi’s ThankYou family cards (their point-earning cards) in the past 24 months.
- AAdvantage mile bonuses: You can’t receive a Citi travel card’s new account bonus if you’ve already received one for any of Citi’s co-branded AAdvantage travel cards within the past 48 months.
Cardholders worried about being ineligible for a new account bonus should check with a Citi representative before applying. The Points Guy points out that there have been exceptions to these rules depending on the cardholder’s circumstances.
If you’re thinking of applying for multiple Citi cards, consider the possible effects on your credit score:
- Pro: Multiple credit cards could improve your credit score since you’d have another line of credit. Used responsibly, an additional card could also benefit your credit score by lowering credit utilization ratio.
- Con: Applying to multiple cards simply for sign-up bonuses can hurt your credit score. Each credit card application that requires the issuer to make a hard inquiry temporarily dings your score.
‘Can I use my Citi cards abroad?’
In many cases, yes. Citi cards are accepted by merchants in more than 200 countries, thanks to Citi’s use of the Visa and Mastercard payment networks.
However, you could be charged a foreign transaction fee for each purchase you make abroad or from a foreign merchant, depending on your card. Foreign transaction fees vary by issuer, but cards that impose a foreign transaction fee usually charge an extra 1 to 3 percent. Most travel cards don’t charge these fees since they’re typically intended to be used in other countries. Fortunately, “no foreign transaction fee” is a common benefit other types of cards may carry.
Citi cards with no foreign transaction fee
- Citi Premier℠ Card
- Citi Prestige® Card
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
- Expedia® Rewards Card from Citi
- Expedia® Rewards Voyager Card from Citi
Citi cards that charge a 3-percent foreign transaction fee
- Citi Rewards℠ Card
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- Citi Simplicity® Card
- AT&T Access Card From Citi
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
- American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp℠ Mastercard®
- Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Even if your card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, travelers may still face other travel fees, like currency conversion costs and foreign ATM withdrawal fees. When you’re making a payment or withdrawal abroad, transacting in U.S. dollars can trigger a conversion fee. In order to cut down travel costs when using your card, always pay in the local currency. You can use our handy Currency Converter to calculate everyday price tags and help prepare you for what extra travel costs to expect.
How we chose the best credit cards from Citi
Bankrate’s personal finance experts have evaluated the top Citi cards according to our 5-star rating system. The list of criteria for rating credit cards includes:
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.
Whether the card charges an annual fee and if so, how much the card’s overall value and benefits might offset the fee.
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.
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
Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, loans, mortgages and other personal finance products for Bankrate since 2018. His work has also appeared on websites including Nasdaq.com, Zillow.com and The Simple Dollar. He was previously an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to email@example.com.
Bankrate.com writer Garrett Yarbrough specializes in cash back, sign-up bonuses and other top cards to help you evaluate your most valuable options. His previous agency and freelance work ranged across a variety of topics, including personal finance and technology. Most recently, his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft coverage was featured on NextAdvisor.com. Send your questions about credit cards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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