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Best Citi credit cards of February 2023

Updated January 31, 2023

The best Citibank credit cards come packed with extra features. From generous cash back rewards to lengthy balance transfer offers, there’s something for nearly every type of card user. Here’s our picks for the best credit cards Citibank offers, featuring the most important information you’ll want to know when deciding on the best card to add to your financial toolbox.

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Image of Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Best for automatic bonus category

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

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On Citi's secure site
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4 Bankrate review
Info

Intro offer

$200
Info

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Citi Simplicity® Card

Best for 0% intro APR offers and no late fee

Citi Simplicity® Card

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On Citi's secure site
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2 Bankrate review
Info

Intro offer

N/A

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% - 28.99% (Variable)

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Citi® Double Cash Card

Best overall cash back card

Citi® Double Cash Card

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On Citi's secure site
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2 Bankrate review
Info

Intro offer

N/A

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Best balance transfer card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

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On Citi's secure site
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
4.0 Bankrate review
Info

Intro offer

N/A

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 27.99% (Variable)

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Citi Premier® Card

Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases

Citi Premier® Card

Apply now Lock
On Citi's secure site
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7 Bankrate review
Info

Intro offer

60,000 points
Info

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

20.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Compare Bankrate’s top Citi credit cards

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% 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Simplicity Card Best for intro APR offers and no late fee $0 N/A 4.2 / 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 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Diamond Preferred Card Best balance transfer card $0 N/A 4.0 / 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 4.0 / 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 4.7 / 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 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at our top Citibank credit cards

Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for automatic bonus category

  • What we love about the Citi Custom Cash Card: Earning a high level of cash back is a relatively easy feat with this card since it automatically adjusts to your highest eligible spend category per billing cycle and awards you 5 percent back on up to $500 (then 1 percent). For example, if you spend the most on groceries, you can earn at least $25 back.
  • Who this card is good for: If you’re seeking a lucrative cash back card with a simple rewards structure, this is the card for you.
  • Alternatives: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a solid alternative for consumers who love almost everything about the Citi Custom Cash, but want a simpler welcome bonus. Freedom Flex cardholders also get a $200 bonus, but it comes in the form of a statement credit, unlike the Custom Cash, with which you’d have to redeem ThankYou points. The Freedom Flex is also a bit easier to obtain because the spending requirement is only $500 within the first three months of account opening, whereas the Custom Cash requirement is $1,500 within the first six months of account opening.

Read our full Citi Custom Cash Card review.

Jump back to offer details.

Citi Simplicity Card: Best for intro APR offers and no late fee

  • What we love about the Citi Simplicity Card: Cardholders will get one of the longest introductory APR periods on balance transfers available on the market. They’ll also skip late fees and penalty APRs with late payments (late payments still negatively impact your credit score).
  • Who this card is good for: Someone looking to build better credit habits and pay off credit card debt. If you’re having trouble learning to manage your credit effectively, this card has consumer-friendly terms that can help.
  • Alternatives: If you want to stick with Citi, but are hoping to earn more rewards, the Citi Double Cash offers an alternative. Citi Double Cash cardholders will earn an unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases, 1 percent when you buy and 1 percent when you make a card payment.

Read our full Citi Simplicity Card review.

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Citi Double Cash Card: Best for overall Citi cash back card

  • What we love about the Citi Double Cash Card: This card provides cardholders with a solid cash back rate and impressive security perks. The Citi lost wallet service ensures that a card that is lost or stolen will be replaced within 24 hours. Citi will also provide you with emergency cash should you need it in the meantime.
  • Who this card is good for: The Citi Double Cash is best for simple cash back seekers who always pay off their balances. This card doesn’t come equipped with many perks, but it will give cardholders the chance to earn pretty solid rewards.
  • Alternatives: the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a good second choice. Cardholders will get a $200 cash reward after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.

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Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Best balance transfer card

  • What we love about the Citi Diamond Preferred Card: This card touts a long APR period for both purchases and balance transfers. It can be valuable for anyone looking to make a large purchase or pay down debt.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone who wants to save on interest payments. With the long introductory APR period on balance transfers, cardholders can carry a balance for 21 months without being charged any interest (then 17.24 percent to 27.99 percent variable thereafter).
  • Alternatives: If you were considering the Citi Diamond Preferred card to complete a balance transfer then the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card might be a good alternative. The Reflect also skips the annual fee, and provides cardholders with a long balance transfer period of 18 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (up to 21 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period). The Reflect, however, follows up the introductory balance transfer period with a slightly higher APR (17.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR).

Read our full Citi Diamond Preferred Card review.

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Citi Rewards+ Card: Best for pairing with other Citi credit cards

  • What we love about the Citi Rewards+ Card: Cardholders will get standard rewards card features with a plus: rewards are rounded up to the nearest 10 points on purchases.
  • Who this card is good for: Someone with another Citi card looking to make the most of their rewards. For example, a traveler will likely want to pair this card with a card like the Citi Premier Card to maximize its rewards.
  • Alternatives: The Citi Premier Card also works as a good alternative to the Citi Rewards+ Card. You’ll get a wider variety of rewards categories, and it’s particularly lucrative for frequent travelers and foodies.

Read our full Citi Rewards+ Card review.

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Citi Premier Card: Best for travel rewards on everyday purchases

  • What we love about the Citi Premier Card: The bonus categories reward major spending categories — supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and dinings — at the same rate of 3X points, a rare feature in a rewards credit card.
  • Who this card is good for: Travelers who want to earn on everyday spending at the same rate they earn on air travel and hotel purchases
  • Alternatives: If the bulk of your spending falls outside of traditional categories and you still want to earn, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid alternative. Capital One Venture Rewards cardholders will earn 5X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on everything else.

Read our full Citi Premier Card review.

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Citi Secured Mastercard: Best for building credit

  • What we love about the Citi Secured Mastercard: You’ll get the standard credit-building tools, plus a higher-than-average credit limit compared to other secured credit cards.
  • Who this card is good for: People working on their credit. This card is easily accessible and meant to help people with lower scores build up their credit.
  • Alternatives: It’s rare that a secured credit card earns substantial rewards, but if you were hoping to find one that does, consider the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. Discover it Secured cardholders will earn 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1 percent. Plus, it earns unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

Read our full Citi Secured Mastercard review.

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Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: Best for frequent American Airline Flyers

  • What we love about the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: For occasional travelers, this middle-of-the-road card offers solid perks and a respectable welcome bonus. Get 50,000 miles when you spend $2,500 within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you can continue earning with 2X miles on gas and restaurant purchases.
  • Who this card is good for: Occasional travelers who prefer to fly American Airlines. Though this card has less substantial rewards than other similar cards, its low annual fee of $99 (waived for the first 12 months) and hefty welcome bonus make it a great pick for people who only fly occasionally and want to earn rewards for their travel, gas, and restaurant purchases.
  • Alternatives: For more serious travelers who want to get more from their American Airlines credit card — like lounge access around the world and a $100 application fee for Global TSA Precheck — the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is an excellent choice.

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.

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Bankrate Insight

You can use multiple Citi credit cards to maximize your ThankYou Points earning potential. Read our full guide on the Citi trifecta and how to use it.

Types of Citi credit cards

Citi carries different credit cards that can satisfy a variety of needs. In addition to popular rewards cards for consumers, Citi issues numerous other types of cards, including business credit cards, balance transfer cards and even a secured credit card. Depending on your credit score and the features that matter most to you, Citi may have just what you’re looking for. Here’s a look at the main types of Citi cards.

Cash back Citi credit cards

Citi cash back credit cards charge no annual fee and are geared toward people looking for less hassle in how they earn cash rewards on their purchases.

We recommend: The Citi Double Cash Card and the Citi Custom Cash Card.

Travel Citi credit cards

Citi offers one flagship travel rewards credit card and its primary draw is that the card casts a wide net when it comes to where you can earn rewards, including bonus categories and everyday expenses. You’ll earn points toward travel on everyday expenses like gas, supermarket purchases and restaurant meals, keeping in line with Citi’s tendency to offer hassle-free earning potential.

We recommend: The Citi Premier Card.

No-annual-fee Citi credit cards

If you’re looking to take advantage of a low-cost credit card that offers rewards and perks, Citi offers a number of no-annual-fee credit cards. Whether you’re looking to earn rewards or transfer and pay off existing debt, Citi has plenty of options that won’t come with the burden of a yearly fee being added on.

We recommend: The Citi Rewards+ Card.

Zero-percent intro APR Citi credit cards

Most Citi credit cards with 0 percent intro APR offers let you make payments on purchases and balance transfers for a limited time without worrying about interest charges. Some of these cards offer longer intro offers for balance transfers than they do for new purchases.

We recommend: The Citi Diamond Preferred card.

Co-branded Citi credit cards

Co-branded credit cards are a partnership between a credit card issuer and a merchant. Citi partners on rewards cards with big-name brands like American Airlines and its AAdvantage rewards program as well as the warehouse giant Costco.

We recommend: Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.

Pros and cons of Citi credit cards

Pros

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    Variety of card types: Citi offers cash back cards, travel cards, student cards, balance transfer cards and more.

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    Multiple rewards categories: Select cardholders earn rewards on gas, travel, dining, supermarkets and more at both tiered and flat rates.

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    Sign-up bonuses: Several Citi cards have decent sign-up bonuses and there are plenty of options with no annual fee.

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    Pairing Citi cards increases rewards potential: There are plenty of opportunities to pair cards to maximize value.

Cons

  • Credit score requirements: Most options require good credit or better (FICO Score above 670).

  • Value of rewards varies: The value of Citi ThankYou Points can vary considerably between cards.

  • Limited options for beginners: Cardholders focused on building credit won’t have many options with Citi.

  • Limited cardholder protections: Travel and shopping protection availability is limited compared to Citi’s competitors.

Who should get a Citibank credit card?

Citibank offers a robust lineup of credit cards. Here are some types of consumers who can benefit the most from owning a Citibank credit card.

Still unsure if a Citi credit card is right for you? Check out our Credit Card Spender Type Tool where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.

How the Citi rewards program works

Citi’s 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.

One of the standout features of the Citi rewards program is on the Citi Rewards+ Card. Every purchase you make with this card is rounded up to the nearest 10 points, making a $6 coffee worth 10 points rather than six.

How to redeem Citi rewards points

You can redeem Citi ThankYou points for a variety of things, including gift cards, merchandise and other non-travel related purchases, but the bulk of the value is housed in transferring points to a Citi ThankYou rewards transfer partner.

There are two types of points earned with Citi credit cards:

  • Basic Citi ThankYou points: These are your base earnings, with the primary defining factor of them as “basic” meaning that they cannot be transferred to travel partners for redemption. You can, however, still redeem basic points for travel through Citi.
  • “Full-fledged” Citi ThankYou points: These points have a bit more reach and versatility to them, given that you can transfer and redeem your full-fledged ThankYou points with Citi’s travel partners. Overall, the ability to transfer these points makes this version a bit more valuable.

For more information, see our Citi ThankYou Points guide.

Are Citi credit cards worth it?

Citi credit cards are worth it, but it depends on your primary use for the card. For example, a Citi credit card may not be worth it if you’re trying to rebuild credit, since there aren’t many card options available for these kinds of consumers. If you want some of the best credit cards to use for a balance transfer, Citi has options that will work well for you. The Citi ThankYou points program might not be the most flexible, but Citi credit cards do still have a host of cardholder benefits that could be worthwhile for some, like Citi concierge, virtual account numbers and Citi entertainment access. Citi is a good issuer to consider, just make you know what you’re using your Citi card for so you can maximize its potential.

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. Our list of criteria for rating credit cards includes:
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    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).
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    Perks and benefits
    Whether the card offers extras such as retail discounts, extended warranties on purchases, travel insurance and financial management tools.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Variable APR
    How the card's annual percentage rate (APR) compares with current averages as an indicator of cost and value.
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    Foreign transaction fee
    Whether the card charges a foreign transaction fee for international purchases and how the fee affects the card's overall value.

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 Citi credit cards