Best overall cash back card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Welcome Offer: N/A
  • Regular APR: 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best balance transfer card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: N/A
  • Regular APR: 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards

Citi Rewards+® Card

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • Regular APR: 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases

Citi Premier® Card

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Regular APR: 15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for building credit

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: N/A
  • Regular APR: 22.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: No Credit History 
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for American Airlines frequent flyers

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

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Regular APR: 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

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. 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® 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 4.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Best balance transfer card $0 N/A 4.1 / 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 4.6 / 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 2.8 / 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 4.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Simplicity® Card (not currently available) Best intro APR with no late fees $0 N/A 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at our top Citibank credit cards

Citi Premier® Card

Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases

Nowadays, some of the most useful travel credit cards earn rewards in more categories than airfare and hotels. The Citi Premier Card is one example, earning 3X ThankYou Points per dollar not just on air travel and hotel stays but also on restaurant, supermarket and gas station purchases.

The wide range of plus-rate rewards categories makes this card much easier to use for everyday purchases instead of keeping it stashed in your wallet until it’s time to book a flight or reserve a room. The revamped rewards structure launched last June represents a significant upgrade for Citi Premier cardholders.

Annual Fee:$95

Pros

  • 3X ThankYou Points per dollar on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases; 1X Points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer is worth 60,000 points (after spending $4,000 in purchases within first three months)
  • $100 annual credit toward a single hotel stay of $500 or more (before taxes and fees) booked through Citi rewards portal ThankYou.com

Cons

  • Beginning April 10, 2021, Citi is doing away with the 25-percent value boost for redeeming points for airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center.
  • The shopping and travel protections don’t stack up with those of comparable cards.

Read our full Citi Premier® Card review.

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

Best for frequent American Airlines flyers

American Airlines 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 of account opening. The annual fee is also waived for your first twelve months 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 MileSAAver flight discount can save you up to 7,500 miles on select 500+-mile round trips. Unless these American Airlines-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)

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Citi Rewards+® 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

Pros

  • 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 from date of account opening and balance transfers from date of first transfer (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.

Cons

  • 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.

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 18-month introductory period ends to avoid paying the regular APR of 14.74%-24.74% variable. The introductory offer on purchases (18 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

Pros

  • No annual fee, late fees or late payment penalty APR.
  • Impressive 18-month 0% intro APR on purchases and 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers (14.74%-24.74% Variable).

Cons

  • No rewards program or sign-up bonus.
  • The balance transfer fee is 3 percent (or $5, whichever is higher). Although it’s within the normal 3-5 percent range, other cards charge only 3 percent.

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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®

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

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.

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.

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

What credit score is needed for Citi credit cards?

In the majority of cases, you’ll need a credit score in the good to excellent range. You should check your credit score and compare it with recommended score ranges to give yourself an idea of the credit cards you have the best chance to qualify for. Consumers with FICO Scores of 740 and above (excellent credit) will have the best chance at qualifying for Citi’s most valuable credit cards.

Anyone can apply for a Citi credit card, but most of its cards are geared toward travel, rewards or 0% intro APR rather than building credit. The exception is the Citi® Secured Mastercard — a solid option if you have no credit history, although you will have to pay a deposit.

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. Though many of these events have been put on hold, those interested in concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and other live entertainment will appreciate the advantage given by Citi Entertainment as things begin to reopen.

In the meantime, Citi has made access to safe options such as drive-in movies and virtual entertainment available to cardholders.

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 aspects of Citi Entertainment is how family-friendly the program has become. Programs from other issuers tend toward luxurious experiences and nightlife.

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:

  • With the Citi Rewards+® Card and the Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card, every purchase is rounded up to nearest 10 points. This feature makes a $6 coffee worth 10 points rather than six.
  • The Citi® Double Cash Card gives you the opportunity to earn 2 percent cash back: unlimited 1 percent when you buy and an additional 1 percent as you pay for the purchases.
  • Travelers with the Citi Premier® Card can increase the value of their points by 25 percent when they redeem them for airfare through the Citi ThankYou® Travel Center, and they can also transfer their points to a number of partnering travel loyalty programs, such as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club or Asia Miles.

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

  • 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months after opening the account, 14.74% – 24.74% 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: 3 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater.

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • 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.

Balance transfer fee: 3 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater.

Citi Rewards+® Card

  • 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.

Balance transfer fee: 3 percent of amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater.

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • 0% interest for 18 months on balance transfers and for 18 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: 3 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.

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.

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 bbridges@bankrate.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 gyarbrough@redventures.com.

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

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