While the Citi Diamond Preferred offers a stellar intro APR offer, the card’s long-term benefits are lacking. It has no rewards program or welcome offer, a high balance transfer fee and limited cardholder perks. Once you’ve paid your balance off or your intro APR period ends, the card’s limited value makes it difficult to justify using it for new purchases.
Rewards: No rewards structure or welcome offer
Although typical for many balance transfer cards, the Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t offer rewards or a welcome offer. If your primary goal is to pay off debt and not much else, the Citi Diamond Preferred may be ideal — especially if you have a high amount of debt to transfer to the card. But if you’re hoping to add a card to your wallet with more consistent long-term value beyond the intro APR offer, the Citi Diamond Preferred falls flat. No rewards program gives little incentive to keep spending with the card long-term, and the disappointingly short intro offer on purchases also does little to lift this card’s value beyond its balance transfer intro APR.
You may be able to find rewards cards that have comparable intro APR offers if you’re willing to sacrifice a few months of zero interest for longer ongoing value. For instance, the Discover it® Balance Transfer has a shorter intro APR offer but it earns 5 percent back on activated quarterly rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 then 1 percent). Plus, Discover has a great portfolio of credit cards to choose from if you ever want to change your card once your intro APR period ends.
Rates and fees: Balance transfer fee is on the higher end
A balance transfer fee is often either 3 or 5 percent of the amount you transfer to another card. The Citi Diamond Preferred’s balance transfer fee falls on the high end — at $5 or 5 percent, whichever is greater — which means transferring a balance with this card will be more expensive than what you’d find on other balance transfer cards.
For example, if you transferred $1,500 from another card to the Citi Diamond Preferred Citi will tack on another $75 to the balance. However, its intro APR period is longer than most, so plugging your balance into a balance transfer calculator can help you see if a lower-fee card with a potentially shorter intro APR period would cost less than the Citi Diamond Preferred.
Other cardholder perks: Limited outside of the Citi-specific
Some perks the Citi Diamond Preferred offers could prove helpful, but they aren’t much to write home about. The Citi Flex Loans perk, available by invitation only, allows you to borrow money against your Citi credit card limit at a fixed rate and pay it back over a set period of time, with no additional fees, application or credit inquiry required. This feature could be useful if you need a personal installment loan down the line.
Meanwhile, Citi Entertainment and Citi Easy Deals are common shopping and entertainment access portals like you’d find with other issuers. However, if you are trying to pay off past debt, the Citi Easy Deals could add to the balance you want to pay off, so it might not be the most worthwhile perk for those seeking a balance transfer. The upside is that the lack of perks on this card may help you focus on paying off debt rather than chasing statement credits or spending requirements.