Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review
Save interest with a long 18-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
finder.com’s rating: 4.6 / 5
- Get this card if you’re focused on saving interest on existing debts or new purchases.
- Pick something else if you want to keep generating value on your credit card with rewards after the intro period.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Intro purchase APR
for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Intro balance transfer
for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
14.74% to 24.74%
Balance transfer APR (variable)
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
As you might expect from a card designed exclusively around introductory APRs, its purchase and balance transfer intro APRs are excellent at a lengthy 18 months each. This gives you a strong level of financial flexibility: if you pay off your balance transfer debts within eight months, for example, you still have 10 months of saving interest on your new purchases. And while the card no longer sports the longest intro APR on the market (it was lowered to 18 months from 21 months last year), it still gives you more than a year to save on interest. It’s also difficult to find a balance transfer card on the market that possesses a purchase AND balance transfer offer.
The card is otherwise without bells and whistles. It doesn’t require an annual fee and doesn’t earn rewards on purchases. That means once you’ve squeezed the savings out of the card’s 0% intro APR, you’re left with a simple credit card for making purchases – nothing more and nothing less.
Don’t let that stop you if you need to save on interest though. While there’s a card on the market with slightly larger APR intro period (the US Bank Visa Platinum Card,) it’s from a bank with a smaller footprint than Citi. Once you’re done saving on interest, you have plenty of other strong Citi credit cards to move on to afterward.
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 a good to excellent credit score of 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.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card benefits
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t offer many benefits, but it’s an excellent card for intro APRs. 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.
- Excellent balance transfer APR. Get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from the date of your first transfer, then 14.74% to 24.74% 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.
- Long purchase intro APR. Get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 18 months after account opening, then 14.74% to 24.74% variable. This is a longer intro APR on purchases than you’ll typically find with competing products — most 1.5% cashback credit cards have purchase intro APRs of 15 months.
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. For an idea of how much money you can save with a transfer, check out our balance transfer calculator.
- 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. This is a higher length of time than the average balance transfer credit card. Most give you just 30 to 60 days to make your balance transfer, so the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card effectively gives you double that length.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card drawbacks
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 3% for each transaction.
- No rewards or welcome offer. This card is strictly designed for saving interest on balance transfers and purchases during the intro offer period. Aside from any interest saved during this time, you won’t have any additional method of generating value such as points or cash back with this card.
- 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.
Compare similar intro APR cards
Case study: Jon’s experience
Former 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.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card customer reviews and complaints
Citibank is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and sports a rating of F as of April 2021. Customer reviews on the BBB site give the bank a 1.04 out of 5, citing poor communication and billing issues as a frequent complaint.
Citibank doesn’t fare much better on Trustpilot, earning a 1.5 out of 5 based on customer reviews as of April 2021, with poor customer service a frequent complaint.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a great choice if you want to save interest on your existing debt as well as purchases within your first 18 months. If saving is your main concern, 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, including Citi’s own Citi Double Cash, which offers a smaller balance transfer offer and no purchase intro APR, but unlimited 2% cash back on purchases.
Compare Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card with other cards
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