Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card worth it?

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While the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t offer any rewards on your spending, it is still one of the most popular credit cards available today. This is largely due to its 0 percent introductory APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 months (14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR), which is one of the longest in the business. Beyond the potential for interest savings, the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t have an annual fee.

If you are hoping to transfer high-interest balances and consolidate debt, or if you want a card that gives you an introductory low-interest offer on purchases, this balance transfer credit card should be at the top of your list.

Read on to find out about the major cardholder benefits of the Citi Diamond Preferred as well as how you can decide if it’s worth it or not.

Details of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card

The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet you get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months (followed by a variable APR of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent). A balance transfer fee of 3 percent (minimum $5) will apply if you transfer a balance, and all balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.

As we mentioned already, the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t offer cash back or Citi ThankYou points on your spending. This is due to the fact this card is geared toward consumers who want a 0 percent APR, as well as those who need to consolidate and pay down their debts.

Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card worth it?

Before you decide if the Citi Diamond Preferred is a good credit card and worth signing up for, you need to think over all the benefits and how they might apply to your situation. Here are the main factors to consider:

0 percent APR for a limited time

Whether you want an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases, balance transfers or both, the Citi Diamond Preferred is a top card to consider. When you apply, you’ll get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent. This offer makes it easy to consolidate and pay down debt or finance a large purchase as inexpensively as possible.

How much can you save with the Citi Diamond Preferred? For the most part, that depends on how you plan to use it. Consider the following example:

Imagine you have $8,000 in credit card debt at a 21 percent APR, and that you just created a budget that will allow you to pay $450 per month toward your balance. At this rate, you could pay off this debt in 22 months, although you would fork over $1,668 in interest in the process.

Now imagine you transferred that debt to the Citi Diamond Preferred to get an introductory 0 percent APR for 18 months (14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR after). Doing so would require a balance transfer fee of $240, so you would start the process owing $8,240. However, the same $450 monthly payment would leave you debt-free in 18 months, and you would pay $0 in interest along the way.

This means that the Citi Diamond Preferred could help you save more than $1,400.

No annual fee and pick your own due date

The example above shows just how valuable the Citi Diamond Preferred can be, but don’t forget this card is also free of annual fees and hidden fees.

Not only that, but you can pick your own payment due date. This benefit can help you plan debt repayment around your payday or a specific day of the month when you prefer to pay bills.

Citi Entertainment

While the Citi Diamond Preferred is light on cardholder benefits, you do get access to a perk known as Citi Entertainment. This program makes it easier to get special access to tickets to thousands of events, including presale tickets and experiences not necessarily available to the general public. Common Citi Entertainment events include concerts, dining experiences, sporting events and more.

Should I get the Citi Diamond Preferred Card?

Getting the Citi Diamond Preferred makes sense in one of two scenarios—either you want to consolidate and pay down high-interest debt or want access to a 0 percent APR on purchases for a limited time. This is due to the introductory APR period this card offers and the fact that there’s no annual fee.

With that being said, there are other 0 percent interest credit cards to consider, including ones that let you earn rewards on your purchases. If you want to earn cash back or travel rewards, consider card options with an introductory interest rate offer and a rewards program. Other popular card options to consider in this niche include the Discover it® Cash Back and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

How to maximize your rewards with the Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Consolidate all your high interest debt (or use your card for a large purchase you want to finance)

To get the most out of the Citi Diamond Preferred, you should use it for a large purchase you want to pay off over time or to consolidate other high-interest debts you have. Just remember that you have to transfer balances from other credit cards or loans within four months of account opening for the introductory rate to apply.

Related: How to do a balance transfer with Citi

Draft a plan to pay it off in 18 months

As you transfer high-interest balances over or use your card for a big-ticket purchase, keep in mind how much you’ll need to pay each month to ditch your debt before the introductory rate ends. If your new credit card balance winds up being $5,200 after adding in a balance transfer fee, for example, you would need to pay $289 per month to become debt-free before your offer is over ($5,200 / 18 months = $288.88 per month).

Do the math and figure out how much you’ll need to pay during the 18-month timeline, then get serious about sticking to your plan. After all, any remaining balances will be charged the regular variable rate of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent after 18 months are up.

Refrain from using your card for everyday spending

Whether you use your Citi Diamond Preferred for a large purchase or to consolidate debt, we suggest refraining from using your card for everyday spending and bills unless you have a clear plan to pay them off in 18 months. The low interest offer for purchases you get with this card can be enticing, but it can also lead you to rack up balances you can’t afford to pay off.

The bottom line

The Citi Diamond Preferred is best for a specific type of consumer—someone who plans to carry a balance and hopes to pay as little as possible to do so. This can apply for big-ticket items charged to a card or debt consolidated from other credit cards.

With that being said, there are other balance transfer credit cards to consider (as well as ones with an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases). Make sure to compare all the best 0 percent APR cards out there before you decide.

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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