How to do a balance transfer with Citi

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While many card issuers pulled back their balance transfer offers during the pandemic, Citi maintained its roster of cards with introductory 0 percent APR offers. Thanks to October 2021 updates, Citi now offers two of the longest intro APR offers on the balance transfer market.

As of today, a Citi card balance transfer can help you save money on interest for up to 21 months, which may be enough to pay down or pay off all your high-interest credit card debt. Some Citi balance transfer credit cards also extend introductory 0 percent APRs to purchases, while others offer cash back for each dollar you spend.

Finding the right card and completing a balance transfer can help you save money and get your finances on track. Here’s a breakdown of what to know about Citi balance transfer cards and the steps you need to take to consolidate your debt.

How to do a balance transfer with Citi

If you haven’t signed up for a balance transfer card yet, then you can apply and set up your balance transfer all at once. Make sure to compare the Citi balance transfer cards we highlight below in terms of their benefits, introductory balance transfer offers, rewards you can earn and any fees you might have to pay.

Upon approval of your new account, you’ll be given a chance to transfer a balance from an existing card during your application process. To initiate the transfer, you’ll simply need to provide the account number for the old card balance you want to transfer, the card issuer’s name and the amount of debt you want to transfer.

If you already have a Citi credit card and you want to transfer a balance, you should know that you’ll likely face a time limit. With the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, the Citi® Double Cash Card, the Citi Rewards+® Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card, you can only take advantage of the introductory balance transfer offer if you initiate your balance transfer within 120 days of account opening.

If you’re within that time frame, here are the steps you need to take:

  • Step 1: Log into your Citi account and click on the top of the page where it says “Payments and Transfers”
  • Step 2: Click on “Balance Transfers”
  • Step 3: Click where it says “View Available Balance Transfer Offers”
  • Step 4: Select the balance transfer offer you want to pursue, and enter details required, such as the account number for the credit card you want to transfer a balance from and the balance transfer amount.

You can also contact Citi customer service and initiate a balance transfer over the phone. All you have to do is call the number on the back of your card with your account information ready.

What to know after completing a balance transfer with Citi

Your Citi balance transfer may take up to three weeks from start to finish, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your old account until it shows a zero balance. You’ll also need to continue making payments on your old credit card account until the balance transfer has been fully completed. If you still have a balance showing and you fail to make a payment on your old card before your due date, you could be stuck paying late fees and see damage to your credit score.

Once your balance transfer has been fully processed and your old account shows a $0 balance, you can choose to keep that account open or call the card issuer and close it. Just remember that keeping old accounts open is typically a net positive to your credit score since old accounts can increase the average length of your credit history—even if you’re not using them.

How to check the status of your Citi balance transfer

You can check the status of your Citi card balance transfer on your online account management page. All you have to do is log into your Citi account and click on the top of the page where it says “Payments and Transfers.” From there, you’ll click on “Balance Transfers,” then “View Balance Transfer Status.”

Best Citi balance transfer credit cards for 2021

Citi offers an array of competitive credit card offers, including cards that give you a 0 percent APR for a limited time. The following Citi credit cards offer the best balance transfer terms:

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer, followed by a variable APR of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent
  • Balance transfer fee: 5 percent (minimum $5)
  • Rewards: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit required: Good to Excellent (670 to 850)

The Citi Simplicity® Card lets you avoid interest on debt you transfer for 21 months, which is one of the longest introductory APR offers on the market today (14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR after). There’s no annual fee, although you will be required to pay a 5 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5) for balances you transfer to your new card. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

Also, note that, with the Citi Simplicity Card, you won’t pay any other hidden fees. This card comes with no late fees and no penalty APR, for example. Cardholder benefits include a free FICO score access on your statement and the flexibility to choose your own due date. You can also stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized purchases made with your card.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer, followed by a variable APR of 13.74 percent to 23.74 percent
  • Balance transfer fee: 5 percent (minimum $5)
  • Rewards: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit required: Good to Excellent (670 to 850)

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (13.74 percent to 23.74 percent variable APR after). You’ll also avoid annual fees, although you’ll have to pay a 5 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5) on debt you transfer over and balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

This card also lets you choose your own payment due date, gives free access to your FICO score online and you’ll get the benefit of Citi Entertainment access, which lets you purchase presale tickets to concerts, sporting events and more.

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent
  • Balance transfer fee: 3 percent (minimum $5)
  • Rewards: Earn up to 2 percent back on everything you buy; 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit required: Good to Excellent (670 to 850)

The Citi® Double Cash Card is unique because you get the chance to earn up to 2 percent back on everything you buy—1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off. You won’t pay an annual fee, and you’ll get an introductory 0 percent APR on balance transfers only (not purchases) for a full 18 months (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after).

You should expect to pay a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5) for balances you transfer over, but you can still save hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest.

When it comes to redeeming your rewards, this card lets you cash in for statement credits, direct deposit or check. You can also convert your rewards to Citi ThankYou points by logging into your online account or calling Citi services.

Citi Rewards+ Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.49 percent to 23.49 percent
  • Balance transfer fee: 3 percent (minimum $5)
  • Rewards: Earn 2X Citi ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations (up to the first $6,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1X), plus 1X points on all other purchases and earn 10 percent back of the first 100,000 points redeemed each year
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit required: Good to Excellent (670 to 850)

The Citi Rewards+ Card is good for everyday spending since you earn 2X points on up to $6,000 you spend at supermarkets and gas stations combined each year (then 1X points), as well as the standard rate of 1X points for spending on other purchases. You can also start off with a bonus of 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 within three months of account opening. Additionally, Citi will round up all your rewards to the nearest 10, meaning a $3 doughnut will net you 10 points.

There’s no annual fee; however, you’ll only get 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (13.49 percent to 23.49 percent variable APR after), which is not as long as other Citi credit cards offer. A 3 percent (minimum $5) balance transfer fee will apply. Plus, you can enjoy the benefits of Citi Entertainment and Mastercard benefits (depending on your credit limit), since the Citi Rewards+ operates on the same network.

Citi balance transfers: Frequently asked questions

If you’re hoping to learn more about Citi card balance transfers, these frequently asked questions and answers can help:

How often can I transfer a balance with Citi?

Citi doesn’t list any explicit limits on how often you can transfer balances from other cards to your Citi credit card. However, the amount of debt you transfer plus balance transfer fees cannot exceed the available credit limit of your Citi credit card.

Can you transfer a balance from one Citi card to another?

You cannot transfer a balance from one Citi credit card to another. If you have debt on a Citi credit card that you want to consolidate, you should compare balance transfer credit cards from other issuers.

Do Citi balance transfers qualify for rewards?

Citi balance transfers do not qualify for rewards. Only purchases made with your card qualify for cash back or rewards points.

The bottom line

Citi offers some of the best balance transfer cards available today. None of the Citi credit cards we have highlighted charge an annual fee, and they all extend 0 percent APRs for well over a year.

With that much time at a 0 percent APR, you could make a huge dent in your debt—or even pay it off for good. Make sure to compare the top balance transfer cards on the market today, including cards from Citi, to find the right card to help you pay down your debt once and for all.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."
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