|"An excellent card for consumers looking to consolidate their credit card debt."|
We recommend the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card if you have trouble paying down your balances - it has one of the longest 0% APR introductory period we've seen so far. For 21 months, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card charges 0% intro APR card on both purchases and balance transfers (6-9 months longer than other credit cards). The savings in interest are very valuable for people carrying a large balance, or considering an upcoming big purchase. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card also offers some extra perks, such as access to pre-sale tickets and purchase protection, which it a bit more exclusive. If the 21-month grace period isn't significant, or if you'll pay your bill in full after 18 months, then we'd suggest the Citi Double Cash or other cards as better investments.
Features we like best about the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card:
- 0% intro APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, which is much longer than other credit cards
- Ability to buy exclusive tickets and pre-sale tickets to events with Citi® PrivatePass®
Where we think the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card falls short:
- Foreign exchange fee limits the card's usefulness for travelers
- Lack of any spending rewards
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is an excellent balance transfer and 0% intro APR credit card. Both the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever have a 21 month long promotional period during which you don’t have to pay any interest on balance transfers and purchases. These are currently the only credit cards on the market to offer an intro APR period this long. If you have a large purchase that will take you a while to pay off, this is undoubtably one of the best cards for the task. If you worry about missing payments all together, then you might want to consider the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever instead. It is very similar to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, but does not charge users any late payment fees for missing a payment due date.
If you are someone who is looking for a rewards credit card, we suggest you look elsewhere. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t earn you any points, miles, or spending rewards of any kind. The closest thing to having your purchases rewarded with this card is the suite of Citi Services, which offer various insurance and protections on products purchased. If you need less than 18 months or less to pay down your purchase, and will then consistently pay your balance in full each month, the Citi® Double Cash Credit Card is the better long-term investment.
We recommend this card to anyone who isn't able to pay their balance in full each month. It has fantastic interest rates, and isn’t difficult to get. Despite being marketed as “exclusive” and “VIP”, this card is fairly easy to qualify for. We’ve seen reports of people being approved with credit scores as low as 630-650.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t offer any rewards for the purchases you make on it. The card is instead focused on providing shoppers with low APR, as well as increasing their confidence for making new purchases. We'll explain some more about these other perks and terms below.
|Annual Fee||No Annual Fee|
|Purchase APR||11.99%, 16.99% or 21.99% Variable|
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card comes with 0% introductory APR for 21 months. This is the longest promotional APR period we’ve seen on any card – the only card that matches this low intro APR deal is the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever. The 0% period begins upon opening of the account. After the promotional period ends, Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card cardholders will pay 13.24% - 23.24%* (Variable) based on their credit worthiness. Individuals who never miss payments, and tend to not use a majority of their credit limit will find themselves on the lower end of this range.
The 0% introductory APR offer extends to balance transfers as well. You will be given 21 months from the date of the first transfer. This offer extends only to balances which are transferred within the first 4 months of opening their account. Any transfers after this time will be faced with the same average APR we’ve seen on purchases. It’s important to note that this credit card has a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the total balance transferred, whichever is greater. If you mean to move over a large balance, you may want to consider opting for the Chase Slate®, which comes with an introductory offer of an 0% balance transfer fee for the first 60 days the account is opened.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card can save you on any mounting debt you may have on another credit card, thanks to the 0% intro APR offer extending to balance transfers. Transferring a balance will help you pay off your outstanding credit card debt faster, because you'll have a longer grace period where the amount isn't accumulating or compounding interest.
How does this work? Assume that you have an outstanding credit card balance of $15,000. Assuming that, each month, you are making payments of $500, you have interest accumulating that makes the balance harder to reduce. If you moved that balance over to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, you would not have to pay those interest expenses for the first 21 months. Making the same payments, you would be ahead with your payments after just 3 months. The first three months would be a slower burn, due to the initial increase in your balance from the $5/3% balance transfer fee. You can see how the balance in our example above would be affected over a full year by studying the graph below.
As part of the Citi family of credit cards, Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card cardholders have the advantage of Citi Services. This gives consumers access to features which essentially provide extra insurance to the various items charged to their Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
Whenever you make a purchase with a warranty to it (of 5 years or less), Citi will extend that warranty by 1 year, provided you paid for the item using the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. This benefit covers you for up to $10,000 per year in claims.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card users also get insurance on their purchases that lasts 120 days from the date of purchase (or 90 days if you live in New York). If the item you bought is stolen or damaged, Citi will cover it for up to $1,000. As was the case with warranties, however, there is a maximum cap on the amount they will cover within a given year. In the case of this specific benefit, Citi will not pay out more than $50,000 each cardmember year.
Finally, if you pay for a trip using your Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, and for whatever reason have to cancel or reschedule, Citi will reimburse you any non-refundable fees. This can be excellent for individuals who, in the past, had to change a flight last minute. Unless you bought the costly ticket insurance, you will get slammed with rebooking fees. Paying for airline tickets or hotel bookings using a Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card will help with those costs. This benefit is capped at a maximum payout of $1,500 per year.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card comes equipped with an EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) smartchip. These chips are a must-have for anyone using their credit card in places like Europe and Asia. These places have long since done away with the old magnetic strip cards we know and love, and instead opted in for the more secure smartchip tech. Even the U.S is making the transition to EMV, and we’ll see more and more cards in the coming years and months come with this sort of technology.
We advise against using this card when traveling outside of the United States, due to the 3% foreign transaction fee. For example, if you were pay for a $100 dinner in Australia, the true cost of your meal would be $103 after FX fees. Furthermore, consumers should be aware that even purchases made from within the United States can result in being charged a foreign transaction fee. When shopping online, it is possible for your purchase to cross a foreign bank – automatically setting off the fee. Even transactions that take place in U.S. currency may trigger the charge.
Finally, one more noteworthy benefit of this credit card is Citi® PrivatePass®. Cardholders have the ability to purchase tickets to events and sold-out shows, through the PrivatePass® website. These include musical performances, comedy shows and more. Currently, for example, you have the ability to buy Motley Crue pre-sale tickets for their U.S. tour with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
In order to see the true value of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, you must be able to see how it compares to your other choices. To that end, we have prepared a side-by-side comparison of the card against its leading competitors.
The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card are two similar cards, leading many to be confused about which card is better for them. They both have the same 21-month 0% introductory APR offer, but once the promotional period ends, interest rates on the cards differ slightly. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has marginally lower interest rates. If you are someone who will carry a balance on your credit card, month-to-month, this difference in interest can add up. If you miss a payment, however, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever will not charge you any late fees, whereas the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card can charge you up to $35. While we recommend against relying on a benefit like this, we still have to give the edge to the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever in this regard. Be aware that missing credit card payments comes with an additional cost not mentioned here. Your credit score is bound to go down, and with it your future interest rates can go up.
One final note worth making about the difference between these cards is the cardmember treatment. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card markets itself as a "VIP" credit card, and as such it has benefits such as the Citi® PrivatePass®, which we discussed above. The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, unfortunately, is a little bit more bare and missing these features. If the two cards suite your needs equally well, this could be a potential tie-breaker to some. If you ever go to concerts or live performance, we recommend going with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card for this reason.
The Citi® Double Cash Credit Card is one of our favorite rewards credit cards. If you are someone who is diligent about always paying off their credit card bill in full each month, then we recommend going with a card like this, over the Citi Diamond Preferred®. The Citi® Double Cash Credit Card will reward all the spending you do with it. You get 1% cash back at the time of purchase, plus another 1% on top of that when you pay off your balance.
Both credit cards have the same Citi-specific benefits and services, such as Citi® Private Pass®, purchase protection, and price rewind and so on. You are not missing out on anything by choosing the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card over the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card in these regards, other than interest rates. Even if you need 0% interest in the short-term, the Citi® Double Cash Credit Card can supply that with its 0% introductory APR offer, which lasts 18 months. After the promotional period ends on both cards, the interest rates will be slightly higher on the Citi® Double Cash Credit Card vs those on the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
The Chase Slate® Credit Card has a 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers lasting 15 months. That is 6 months less than what you’re given with the Citi Diamond Preferred® Card. Once the promotional period ends on both cards, the Chase Slate® Credit Card can have slightly higher interest rates – ranging between 16.24% and 24.99% (variable, based on your credit worthiness).
Where is the Chase Slate® credit card better than the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. As a balance transfer credit card, the Chase Slate® is one of our favorite, due to its introductory offer on of having no transfer fees on balances transferred within the first 60 days of card membership. This can have a huge impact for anyone who needs to move over large balances. Citi Diamond Preferred® Card users who want to transfer a balance to their card must pay either $5 or 3% of the amount transferred, whichever of the two is greater.
In terms of spending benefits, the two cards are comparable. Both the Citi Diamond Preferred® Card and Chase Slate® offer their users purchase protection and extended warranties – albeit with different terms. The Chase Slate® credit card doesn’t offer trip insurance, which might be a bummer for travelers who could really save on a benefit like this. Instead, the Chase Slate® credit card gives members another benefit instead: Price Protection. If you make a purchase on your card, and within 90 days the item is advertised as having a lower price (both in print or online) Chase can reimburse you the difference for up to $500 per item, and $2,500 per year. This offer is only valid for purchases made in the United States.
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