Citi Diamond Preferred Card Review | finder.com

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review – August 2018

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With a stellar intro APR, this is one of the best balance transfer cards you’ll find anywhere.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want a market-leading intro APR on balance transfers.
  • Pick something else if you want rewards or a market-leading intro APR on purchases.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 690 or higher.
Product NameCiti® Diamond Preferred® Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases14.74% to 24.74% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 21 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee5% or $5 of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.99% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Minimum Interest$0.5
Late Payment Fee$35
Returned Payment Fee$35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers a crystal-clear value proposition: You’ll find one of the best balance transfer promotions on the market, bar none. While the balance transfer intro APR promotion lasts longer than almost every other card out there, the intro rate on purchases is a little less impressive. However, it’s solid enough, especially when the card has no annual fee.

The perks

  • Annual fee: None.

    Before making a balance transfer, one of the last things you want is to pay an annual fee. Not only does the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offer a long intro APR on balance transfers, it also comes with no annual fee. That means it’s easy to keep your card open even after your intro APR expires.

  • Intro balance transfer APR: 0% for 21 months.

    You’ll receive a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of your first transfer. You’ll get this rate on all transfers you complete within the first four months of card membership. After your intro APR expires, your balance transfer APR will revert to 14.74% to 24.74% variable.

    This is a market-leading balance transfer intro APR, and it’s the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card’s claim to fame. You even have a large window to make qualifying balance transfers — some other cards allow only 60 days to receive your intro APR.

  • Intro purchase APR: 0% for 12 months.

    You’ll receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months after your account opening. After that, your purchase APR will revert to 14.74% to 24.74% variable.

    This is a solid intro APR, but it isn’t topnotch. Several cards offer 0% intro APR promotions for 15 months or more. With the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, the star of the show is the balance transfer intro APR.

You’ll also like …

  • Citi® Private Pass®.

    Get access to presales and VIP packages for exclusive events: concerts, dining experiences, film screenings, sporting events and more.

  • Citi® Concierge.

    Contact the Citi® Concierge when you need help making arrangements of all kinds: travel itineraries, locating a hard-to-find retail item, making dining arrangements, buying tickets to entertainment events and more.

  • Citi® Price Rewind.

    If you’re not sure whether you’re getting the best price on an item, buy it anyway with your Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. For 60 days, Citi will search for a lower price elsewhere. If it succeeds, it may reimburse you the extra amount you paid.

What to watch out for

  • Balance transfer fees.

    You’ll receive a stellar intro APR on eligible balance transfers, but you’ll still need to pay a fee of $5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater.

    If you don’t want to pay balance transfer fees, consider the Chase Slate® Credit Card. It lets you transfer balances with no fees during the first 60 days your account is open.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Depending on your credit, you may receive a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 24.74% variable. The average credit card APR is around 16% variable.

  • Penalty APR.

    Citi may raise your APRs for all balances to 29.99% variable if you make a late or returned payment. This rate may apply to your account indefinitely .

  • Penalty fees.

    Late and returned payments come with fees as high as $35.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want an excellent intro APR on both balance transfers and purchases.

    The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card leads the field with its impressive intro balance transfer APR promotion, but its intro purchase APR offer is merely solid. Nipping at its heels is the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card, which offers a 0% APR for 20 billing cycles following your account opening on both balance transfers and purchases — after that, an ongoing APR of 11.74% to 23.74% variable applies.

    Citi offers a great option of its own: the Citi Simplicity® Card. This product offers a 0% intro APR for 18 months of card membership on balance transfers and purchases — after that, an ongoing APR of 15.74% to 25.74% variable applies.

  • You don’t want to pay balance transfer fees.

    The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is arguably the best balance transfer card on the market, except for one thing: You still have to pay balance transfer fees. Worse, you’ll pay a higher-than-average fee, since many other providers charge only 3%, if any.

    With some cards, you can transfer balances free for a certain time. For example, the Chase Slate® Credit Card lets you transfer balances for free for the first 60 days after account opening. And the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® has no balance transfer fees ever.

  • You want rewards.

    Cards with market-leading intro APRs tend not to offer rewards. If you want points, miles or cash back, you’ll probably have to live with a shorter intro APR period.

    One of the rare cards that bucks that trend is the Sphere® Credit Card. It offers only 1x points on all spending, but it boasts a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles following your account opening — after that, a variable APR of 14.24% to 24.24% applies.

    For a great mix of rewards and an intro APR, check out the Discover it® Cash Back. It offers up to 5% cash back as well as a 0% intro APR for 14 months following your account opening on purchases and balance transfers — after that, it reverts to a variable APR of 13.74% to 24.74%.

Compare other balance transfer credit cards

Name Product Introductory Balance Transfer APR APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee Minimum Credit Score
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 18 months from account opening (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
An 18-month 0% Intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
16.74% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
16.74% variable
$495
Good (700-739)
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
Earn $250 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $250 back in the form of a statement credit.
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
14.99% to 24.99% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, you must be at least 18 years old.

Information you’ll need

To complete the application, you’ll need to provide information that includes:

  • Your name and residential address.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your email address, phone number and date of birth.
  • Financial information like your annual income and income source.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 690 or higher.

If you have a high income and excellent credit, your likelihood of approval is strong.

Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:

  • Hard pulls on your credit report.
    If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your report, it could imply you’re having trouble managing your debt. Citi might think you’re desperate for credit and may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score.
    Your credit utilization is a major factor Citi considers. The bank prefers a customer with low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag too, as it could indicate you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s just hunting for welcome offers.

What do customers say about the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card?

Citi is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and it earns an overall F rating. As of August 2018, 98% of its reviews are negative and it has nearly 4,000 customer complaints. Citi cardholders generally complain of rude customer service reps, unexpected account closures and trouble receiving rewards.

Citibank earns a Trustpilot score of 3.5 out of 10. Some negative reviews cite unhelpful customer service, frozen accounts and poor experiences while disputing fraudulent charges. Positive reviews say the customer service reps are very accommodating. Overall, your mileage may vary with Citibank customer support.

How to apply for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  1. On the Citi website, click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income, and Social Security number.
  3. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card?

Because conditional approval is automated on the website, you may get a decision on your application within a few minutes. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few business days to a few weeks to hear back.

After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card within seven to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make payments on time.

    Register an account on the Citi website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.

  • Avoid interest.

    After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 23 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.

  • Avoid fees.

    Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $35.

  • Contact customer service.

    If you have questions about your credit card account, call the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, call the general helpline at 1-800-950-5114.

Bottom line

Other cards outshine the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card in rewards and intro purchase APR offers. But if you want a market-leading intro APR on balance transfers, you’ve found the top player.

Frequently asked questions

Images: Citi.com

Megan Horner

As the assistant publisher of credit cards at finder.com, Megan is passionate about helping you compare and find the best credit cards for your situation, whether that is earning great rewards or improving your credit score. In her previous position, Megan worked as an assigning editor at Credit Karma, where she focused on editing and publishing educational articles on credit cards. Megan started her career as a writer at a comparison website, so she has a longstanding background in surfacing the best deals and helping people make decisions. In her spare time, Megan likes to hike, camp, surf, and read.

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