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Citi Diamond Preferred card review: A good option for those with credit card debt

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Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card overview

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t earn rewards. Instead, it’s geared toward people looking to avoid interest while paying down credit card debt through a long introductory APR offer. While that could be a great benefit, it’s worth comparing the card to other cards with lower balance transfer fees and that offer rewards along the way. Card rating*: ⭐⭐½

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Each month you carry a balance on your credit card, you’ll pay interest based on your card’s annual percentage rate. If you’re struggling to get ahead on payments and reduce debt, a credit card offering a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers can help you.

You’ll avoid paying interest on your debt after transferring your balance to the new card from your existing card, potentially saving hundreds of dollars in interest each month.

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card has a longer-than-average introductory APR, which is ideal when trying to pay down debt. However, that comes at the expense of not having a rewards program on the card and paying a higher-than-average balance transfer fee.

Is this the right card for you? Let’s take a look.

Related: Here are 3 reliable ways to pay off credit card debt

Citi Diamond Preferred Card welcome offer

There is no bonus for new applicants on the Citi Diamond Preferred to earn extra cash back or points. Instead, the value of this card will come from money you save by reducing your interest.

New applicants can receive an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of the first transfer, though transfers must be completed within four months from account opening. After the introductory period, a variable APR of 17.49%-28.24% will apply, based on your creditworthiness.

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The introductory 0% APR also applies to purchases made within 12 months of account opening. After the introductory period, a variable APR of 17.49%-28.24% applies (based on creditworthiness).

Related: The best way to pay your credit card bills

Note that the Citi Diamond Preferred has a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater. Other cards with introductory balance transfer offers have a 3% fee, so 5% is high. Transferring a $10,000 balance would incur $500 in fees.

You also cannot transfer a balance higher than your credit limit, so consider this when you apply for a new card and plan to transfer a high dollar amount.

Earning rewards on the Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Unfortunately, you won’t earn any points, miles or cash back with the Citi Diamond Preferred Card. Instead, the card is focused on helping you pay down debt through a long introductory APR period for purchases and balance transfers.

That said, there are cards offering 0% introductory APR periods while still providing rewards on new purchases (you won’t earn rewards or cash back on balance transfers). Examples include the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and Citi® Double Cash Card.

Redeeming rewards on the Citi Diamond Preferred Card

As you won’t earn any rewards, you have nothing to redeem. Consider this trade-off as you save money through a 0% APR offer and compare the value of money saved to the value of rewards you might earn from another card (through everyday spending or a welcome bonus) to see which is better for your situation.

Related: What are points and miles worth? TPG’s monthly valuations

Citi Diamond Preferred Card benefits

The principal benefit of the Citi Diamond Preferred is its 0% introductory APR. On top of saving hundreds or thousands of dollars per year due to a reduced interest rate, this contactless credit card offers two additional benefits.

Related: 6 things to do to improve your credit score this year

PHOTOALTO/LAURENCE MOUTON/GETTY IMAGES

You’ll get free access to your FICO credit score, helping you track your score as you use the Diamond Preferred card to help you pay down your credit card debt faster.

You’ll also receive access to Citi Entertainment, which provides special access to exclusive events or early presales on tickets, just like Citi Entertainment did with Beyoncé tickets.

Since this card doesn’t have an annual fee, it doesn’t offer extra perks like extended warranty protection, rental car insurance or lost luggage insurance for your travels. If you’re looking for those benefits, you may need a travel rewards credit card instead.

Which cards compete with the Citi Diamond Preferred Card?

This isn’t the only credit card with a 0% introductory APR offer. Here’s a look at a few other cards to see if another provides more value for you.

  • If you want a balance transfer with a lower fee: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers a 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening. Afterward, the variable APR is 18.24%-28.24%, and there is a balance transfer fee of 3% (with a minimum of $0). You’ll also earn 3% cash back in your top spending category each month and won’t pay an annual fee. For more information, check out our full review of the Customized Cash Rewards card.
  • If you want to earn rewards on purchases also: The Citi Double Cash Card has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (but not purchases) for 18 months. After the introductory period, the variable APR is 18.49%-28.49%. Balance transfers have a 3% fee (minimum of $5) for the first four months, then 5% (minimum of $5). You’ll earn Citi ThankYou points with this card, which you can cash out or can use with travel partners to save money on a vacation. For more information, check out our full review of the Citi Double Cash.
  • If you want extra cash back plus a balance transfer: The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. There’s a 3% balance transfer fee and a variable APR of 16.24%-27.24% after the introductory period. You’ll also earn up to 5% back on purchases, plus Discover will match your cash back at the end of the first year. For more information, check out our full review of the Discover It Cash Back card.

For additional options, check out our full lists of the best credit cards with no annual fee, the best credit cards with 0% APR and the best balance transfer credit cards.

Related: How to consolidate and pay off credit card debt

The information for the Discover it Cash Back card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card worth it?

Those who are more interested in cutting interest while paying down debt may be willing to open a credit card that doesn’t have a welcome bonus and doesn’t earn rewards. While other cards have better earnings, the Citi Diamond Preferred has a longer introductory APR period (21 months), which could provide you with big savings in the long run.

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Bottom line

Avoiding interest for 21 months could help you reduce stress and save money if you have significant credit card debt. However, you will pay a fee to transfer your balance(s) to the Citi Diamond Preferred.

It’s also worth considering whether you’ll be approved for a new credit card if you have significant debt, as this might bring your credit score down. However, those looking to get out of credit card debt may be willing to forgo rewards and sign-up bonuses in favor of a few more months of not paying interest.


Apply here: Citi Diamond Preferred Card


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