Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review
It's a leader in the market for intro APRs for balance transfers at 21 months.
finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0
- Get this card if you want a market-leading balance transfer intro APR at 21 months.
- Pick something else if you want rewards or a strong purchase intro APR.
- Apply with good to excellent credit higher than 670.
Intro purchase APR
for the first 12 months (then 13.74% to 23.74% variable)
Intro balance transfer
for the first 21 months (then 13.74% to 23.74% variable)
13.74% to 23.74%
Balance transfer APR (variable)
|Product Name||Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card|
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.74% to 23.74% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first 21 months (then 13.74% to 23.74% variable)|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||25.24% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Penalty APR||Up to 29.99% variable|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 23 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $40|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $40|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
Another card to consider is the no-annual-fee Citi Simplicity® Card. Citi periodically fiddles with this card’s terms, but at the time of this writing, the card has an almost identical intro APRs to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. In this case, it’s a slightly better product, as it offers no late fees and no penalty APR.
Major card benefits
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t offer many benefits, but it’s an excellent balance transfer credit card. Here are the main perks to look into.
- No annual fee
Having a $0 annual fee makes it easy to keep your Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card open even after your intro APR expires. Even if you won’t earn rewards, keeping your card open keeps your average age of credit accounts high and protect your FICO score.
- A market-leading balance transfer intro APR
Get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of your first transfer, then 13.74% to 23.74% variable. You’ll get this rate on all transfers within the first 4 months of card membership.
Its intro APR is what makes the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card stand out among competitors. You’ll often find intro APRs that last around 15 months — 18 months is considered very high.
- Solid purchase intro APR
Get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening, then 13.74% to 23.74% variable. This is solid but not spectacular, as you can find competing products — such as several 1.5% cashback credit cards — with purchase intro APRs of 15 months.
Still, it never hurts to have an intro APR, period. You can leverage the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card’s interest-rate promotion to make purchases you’d like to pay off over a long period of time. But be sure to clear your purchase balance before the intro APR expires, or you’ll start accruing interest.
What to watch out for
Before applying for this card, determine if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Here are a few factors to keep your eyes peeled for.
- You’ll still pay balance transfer fees
Even though you get a top-notch balance transfer intro APR, you’ll still pay fees on your transfers: the greater of $5 or 5% for each transaction. This is on the high side, as you’ll find balance transfer fees of 3% with cards such as the American Express Cash Magnet® Card and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
- Four-month limit to transfer your balance
After you open your account, you’ll have four months to make transfers to qualify for the promotional interest rate.
Four months is still a good deal, as many providers require you to transfer balances within 30 to 60 days after account opening. But it’s still worth looking out for so you don’t squander the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card’s biggest benefit.
- There’s a steep penalty APR
If you make a late or returned payment, Citi may increase the APRs on all of your balances to up to 29.99% variable. Consumers despise this, and rightfully so. It creates a lot of pressure to be perfect every single billing cycle. Citi also says you can lose your intro APR if you make one late payment, which makes it extra important to stay vigilant about paying your card bill.
How to apply for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
- Click apply now.
- Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
- Review and submit your application.
What credit score do I need?
You typically have better odds of getting a balance transfer credit card with good to excellent credit 670 or higher. This is a good rule of thumb if you’re thinking about applying for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. However, remember that approval is never guaranteed no matter what your credit score is.
Compare similar intro APR cards
Case study: Jon’s experience
CEO, Finder US
I got my Citi Diamond Preferred card solely as a balance transfer card to help me consolidate and pay down debt I’d accumulated renovating my home. As with other cards, it took me about 15 minutes to fill out the form, approval was close to instant, and my balances were transferred within a few days.
The thing that has kept this card as a go-to in my wallet is that Citi regularly sends me low or 0% APR offers generally reserved for new cardholders. Though I’m trying really hard to stop spending money I don’t have, it’s nice to know these offers are available should I need them. It saves me the trouble of applying for a new card.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a great choice if you want a market-leading balance transfer intro APR. If your main concern is transferring debt, you won’t mind that the card lacks other benefits, such as rewards.
Of course, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card isn’t the only card in town. There are plenty of other balance transfer cards that are worth a look, too.
Frequently asked questions
Balance transfer card ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.
We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.