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Best Citi Credit Cards of 2019

We analyzed every credit card offered by Citibank in order to determine the best Citi card. Citi is one of the largest banks and it offers a variety of credit cards to match the needs of most consumers. Whether you're searching for a great cash back card or one to help you pay down an existing credit card balance, Citi offers strong market-leading cards.

Recommended Cards

Best ForCredit NeededAnnual Fee
Citi® Double Cash CardCash BackExcellent/Good$0
Citi Simplicity® CardBalance TransfersGood/Excellent$0
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®Airline MilesExcellent/Good$99 ($0 first year)
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®BusinessGood/Excellent$99 ($0 first year)
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by CitiGasExcellent$0

For an in-depth analysis about what makes each card the best in its respective category, read more below. We've also created a customizable credit card comparison tool that calculates which card will earn you the most rewards based on your own spending habits.

Best Citibank Credit Card for Cash Back

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi® Double Cash Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Annual Fee
$0*
APR
15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Our Thoughts

The Citi® Double Cash Card is not only the best Citi card for cash back but also one of the best all-around due to its simple yet highly rewarding effective 2% cash back. The card awards users 1% when they make a purchase and then another 1% as they pay for the purchase (effectively 2% cash back). Most other competing cards yield just 1.5% cash back, meaning that over the course of a few years, most users would be leaving hundreds of dollars on the table by opting for a different card. The only downside to the card is that it doesn't currently offer a sign-up bonus, whereas competing cards offer bonuses valued at approximately $150.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • One of the highest cash back rates available
  • No rotating categories to keep track of or activate

Cons:

  • No sign-up bonus, whereas competing cards typically offer at least $150
  • Foreign transaction fees mean this card isn't ideal for frequent international travelers.

Best Citi Credit Card for Balance Transfers

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Annual Fee
$0*
APR
15.99% - 25.99%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Our Thoughts

The 21 months of 0% intro APR offered by the Citi Simplicity® Card is substantially longer than the 12- to 18-month offers found on most other balance transfer credit cards. The extra months of 0% interest you get is ideal if you're looking to pay down existing debt. After the intro period, you'll have a variable APR of 15.99% - 25.99%* (Variable). What makes the card even better is that it doesn't have an annual fee, meaning it won't place an additional strain on your finances.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Market leading 0% intro APR offer—three months longer than the next closest competitor

Cons:

  • The card offers no ongoing rewards.
  • No sign-up bonus, but this is a rare feature for any balance transfer card

Best Citi Credit Card for Airline Miles

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

On Citi's Secure Website
40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months
  • Earn up to 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
  • Earn up to 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
APR
17.99% - 25.99%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Our Thoughts

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is the best Citi credit card for earning miles because it awards users bonus miles for a wide variety of purchases. For instance, all purchases at gas stations and restaurants earn you 2 miles. Most other co-branded airline cards are much more restrictive in terms of the purchases that earn you bonus miles. We estimate the sign-up on the card to be worth $675, which should be enough to get you a free flight, depending on how you redeem your miles. The sign-up incentive is currently 50,000 miles total: 40,000 after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months and 10,000 after you spend a total of $6,000 in the first 12 months.

Pros:

  • We estimate the sign-up bonus (of 50,000 miles) to be worth $675.
  • Earn bonus miles in unusual spending categories, like at gas stations or at restaurants
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • $99 annual fee, but the annual fee is waived in the first year
  • American Airlines miles aren't the most flexible.

Best Citi Credit Card for Students

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
APR
16.49% - 26.49% Variable
Credit Needed
Good

Our Thoughts

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is an excellent card for college students because it rewards them for expenses they're likely to have. The card earns users a high 2% rewards rate on dining out and entertainment purchases. The latter includes things like concerts, amusement parks, sporting events and streaming media. Earning rewards on a credit card targeted toward college students is rare, and it's even rarer to find one with such broad reward categories. To make the card's value proposition even better, the dining out category includes any spending at cafés, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Low spending requirement on the card's sign-up bonus
  • High rewards in categories that college students are likely to find useful, like dining out and entertainment

Cons:

  • Weak sign-up bonus, which we estimate to be worth $25
  • Foreign transaction fee means this card isn't the best for students who plan to travel abroad

Best Citi Credit Card for Businesses

On Citi's Secure Website

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

On Citi's Secure Website
For a limited time, earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening*
  • Designed for businesses
  • For a limited time, earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line*
  • New: 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • Designed for businesses
  • For a limited time, earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line*
  • New: 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
APR
17.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Our Thoughts

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is the best Citibank card for businesses because it combines great rewards with business-friendly features. This card is an excellent match for any business that frequently flies with American Airlines, since it awards a solid 2% rewards rate on AA purchases and a plethora of other categories, including gas stations. Most other business cards simply award bonus points for airline purchases and fail to offer much else. Perhaps the best perk is that you can get additional cards for your employees at no extra cost and their purchases will earn you miles as well.

Pros:

  • We estimate the sign-up bonus to be worth $945.
  • Bonus miles in a variety of categories, including car rental merchants and at gas stations
  • Get your first checked bag free on domestic flights.

Cons:

  • A high spending requirement on the card's sign-up bonus
  • $99 annual fee (waived for the first year)

Best Citi Credit Card for Gas Purchases

On Citi's Secure Website

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

On Citi's Secure Website
  • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership*
  • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership*
Annual Fee
$0*
APR
17.24%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Our Thoughts

While the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is only available to Costco members, it's well worth it considering it offers 4% cash back on gas purchases. That's among the highest cash back rates we've seen across any category. The 4% rate is limited to the first $7,000 per year, but you'll still be able to earn 1% thereafter. A Costco membership currently costs $60 per year, so if you've been eyeing purchasing a membership, this may be a perfect excuse to do so. The card will also help you save at Costco, where it will earn you 2% cash back on every purchase.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • A sky-high 4% cash back on gas (limited to the first $7,000 per year)
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, making it a dynamic card

Cons:

  • Requires a Costco membership
  • There's no sign-up bonus available.
  • You'll have to wait to redeem your rewards until February of each year.

Compare the Best Citi Credit Cards

Use our credit card comparison tool below to see how the credit cards we've discussed perform for you. The tool allows you to compare multiple cards at once based on your own estimated monthly expenses.

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What About the Citi Prestige® Card?

In August 2018, Citi stopped accepting new applications for the Citi Prestige® Card. Due to the card not being available to the general public, we chose to exclude it from our list of the best Citibank credit cards. While the card is not accepting any new applications, users who would like to learn more about the card can read our full review.

Are Citi ThankYou Rewards Worth It?

The rewards that you accumulate with most Citi credit cards are called Citi ThankYou Rewards and are generally viewed as being less valuable than rewards offered by other credit card issuers, like American Express or Chase. This is mainly because Chase and American Express have more useful travel partners where you can transfer your rewards over, usually at a 1:1 ratio. This translates to having more redemption options, which ultimately allows you to get more value out of your rewards. Despite Chase and Amex having better rewards programs, Citi ThankYou Rewards can be flexible, as they can be redeemed for gift cards, cash rewards or charity donations.

Robert Harrow

Robert is the head of the Credit Card vertical at ValuePenguin and has been covering the card industry since 2014. His work has been featured in Reuters, Marketwatch, the New York Times and more.

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, and Amazon Business American Express Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).