Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review

Nouri Zarrugh  in  0% Interest How we rate our cards  |  Advertiser Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

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Best for balance transfers

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 18 months on Purchases
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

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 Best for a long balance transfer period

  • Rewards Rate: None
  • Welcome Offer: None
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Purchase Intro APR: 0% for 18 months
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0% for 18 months
  • Regular APR: 14.74%-24.74% (variable)

Whether you’re looking to pay off debt via a balance transfer or finance new purchases, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card could be a lifesaver. The card comes with a lengthy introductory APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers, charges no annual fee and gives cardholders with excellent credit a chance at a relatively low ongoing APR.

Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Current intro APR offer

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is currently offering a 0 percent introductory APR on both balance transfers and purchases for your first 18 months as a cardmember (14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR thereafter). That gives you more than a year to chip away at transferred debt or cover purchases without paying interest.

Though the Citi Diamond Preferred Card has featured an even longer intro APR period in the past, 18 months is still a solid offer. In fact, it’s currently one of the longest promotional periods on the market. 

If you need to pay down debt or strategically carry a balance on new purchases, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card could be a great option. Just be sure to complete your transfer within four months of opening your account and pay at least the minimum due each month to protect your credit score (and, ideally, pay more than the minimum to ensure you’re not left with a balance when the intro APR period ends).

Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Benefits

Without a doubt, the main benefit of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is its long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases. The card is noticeably thin on perks and carries no rewards program, which severely limits its long-term value. Still, the Citi Diamond Preferred offers a handful of benefits worth mentioning.

Borrow at a fixed rate with a Citi Flex Loan

Citi Flex Loans allow you to borrow money against your Citi card credit 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 could be a useful tool should you need a personal installment loan down the line. The catch is you must be targeted for a Citi Flex Loan by the issuer – they’re not available for all cardholders. Cardholders may also have the option to finance Amazon.com purchases with Citi Flex Pay and, depending on the size of the purchase, choose from one to five equal monthly payment plans.

Get the VIP treatment with Citi Entertainment

Citi Entertainment can get you early or VIP access to thousands of experiences like concerts, sporting events, dining and more when you pay with your Citi card. While this is not a make-or-break feature of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, it’s a decent perk if you enjoy live events, special access and unique experiences.

Save on everyday purchases with Citi Easy Deals

Citi Easy Deals are a collection of discounts and daily deals on everyday purchases, including local offers from restaurants and retailers. Depending on how much you spend per year, you can also unlock promotions for gift cards, magazines, travel, merchandise and more. Again, this is a minor perk that’s unlikely to save you a ton of money – but it’s welcome nonetheless.

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card also comes with fairly standard features like $0 liability on unauthorized charges, identity theft solutions and contactless payments.

Rates and fees

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card carries no annual fee and could offer cardholders with excellent credit a decent ongoing APR; but it may prove costly if you have a large balance to transfer, fail to pay off your balance during the introductory period or can only qualify for its high-end APR. Keep these rates and fees in mind as you consider whether the card is a good fit: 

  • Balance transfer fee: To take advantage of this card’s balance transfer offer, you’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee of 3 percent of the amount you want to transfer (or $5, whichever is higher). Three percent is a fairly common balance transfer fee, and many cards charge an even higher fee. That said, a card that charges no balance transfer fee will likely save you money in the long run, even though you’ll typically have less time to pay off your debt at a 0 percent intro APR. Check out Bankrate’s credit card balance transfer calculator and see how the math shakes out for you.
  • Foreign transaction fee: The card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent for purchases made abroad, so it’s not the best choice for frequent international travelers.
  • Ongoing APR: The Citi Diamond Preferred offers a wide range of potential APRs, depending on your creditworthiness. While the card’s low-end variable APR of 14.74 percent is a bit lower than the average credit card APR, the high-end variable APR of 24.74 percent is very high indeed – over 50 percent higher than the average credit card APR. In either case, carrying a balance will be costly, so do your best to pay off any new purchases or transferred balances before the end of the card’s introductory APR period.

How the Citi Diamond Preferred Card compares to other balance transfer cards

While balance transfer offers can be tough to come by these days, a handful of cards match or come close to the Citi Diamond Preferred Card’s intro APR offer, with a few offering additional benefits like cash back rewards or a lower ongoing APR.

Here are some of the top balance transfer credit cards you may want to consider, and some details to help you see how they stack up:

Card Annual fee Intro APR Ongoing APR Other details
Citi® Double Cash Card $0 0% for 18 months on balance transfers 13.99%-23.99% (variable) Get up to 2% cash back on every purchase (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay off those purchases)
Citi Simplicity® Card* $0 0% for 18 months on balance transfers and purchases 14.74%-24.74% (variable) Balance transfer fee of 3% (or $5, whichever is higher)
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card* $0 0% for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers and purchases 14.49%- 24.99% (variable) Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
PenFed Gold Visa® Card $0 0% for 12 months on balance transfers 7.49%-17.99% (variable) $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within the first 90 days of account opening.

Best cards to pair the Citi Diamond Preferred Card with

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers no rewards program, so pairing it with a no annual fee rewards credit card could be a great way to earn points or cash back on some of your spending. Depending on your spending habits, you can opt for a card that offers outsized rewards in a specific category or stick with a flat-rate card to earn rewards on every purchase you make.

The Citi Double Cash Card is a great flat-rate option, offering up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase (1 percent when you buy and 1 percent when you pay off those purchases). This card is ideal if you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to earn rewards, without worrying about whether your purchases will qualify.

The Chase Freedom®*, meanwhile, requires a bit of work, as you’ll have to enroll in a bonus category each quarter to earn rewards. The card may be worth the trouble, though, as it gets you 5 percent cash back in rotating bonus categories each quarter (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, then 1 percent), including in popular categories like dining, groceries and online shopping.

Finally, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card* makes for a great middle-of-the-road option, offering 3X rewards on dining, travel, rideshare, transit, gas station purchases and popular streaming services, plus 1X rewards on all other purchases.

*The information about the Citi Simplicity Card, The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card, the Chase Freedom and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Bankrate’s Take – Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card worth it?

If you need to pay down debt or finance purchases, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card should be a good fit. Though it carries a balance transfer fee and comes with little in the way of rewards or cardholder perks, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card should get the job done if your goal is to tackle debt, avoid interest charges and enjoy some room to breathe.

 Pros

  • Long introductory APR period on both purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Potentially low APR for cardholders with excellent credit

Cons

  • Balance transfer fee of 3 percent (or $5, whichever is higher)
  • High-end APR is very high
  • Foreign transaction fee of 3 percent
  • No rewards program