Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.
Citi is an advertising partner.
We analyzed every credit card offered by Citibank, one of our advertising partners, in order to determine the best of the bunch. Citi is one of the largest banks and offers a variety of credit cards to match the needs of most consumers. Whether you're searching for a great cash back card, want to collect airline miles or you want to help you pay down an existing credit card balance, Citi offers some of the best cards available.
Best Citi credit cards of 2020
|Best For||Credit Needed||Annual Fee|
|Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||Cash back||Excellent||$0|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||Airline Miles||Excellent||$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $99|
|Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card||Students||Excellent||$0|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®||Businesses||Excellent||$99, waived for first 12 months|
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi||Gas||Excellent||$0|
|Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card||Balance Transfers||Excellent||$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
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is not only the best Citi card for cash back, but one of the best all-around due to its simple yet highly rewarding 2% cash back rate. The card lets users Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. Many 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.
- $0 annual fee
- One of the highest cash back rates available
- No rotating categories to keep track of or activate
- 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 airline miles
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 made with the card 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. The sign-up incentive is currently: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Large sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn bonus miles in spending categories, such as gas stations or at restaurants
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $99
- American Airlines miles aren't the most flexible
Best Citi credit card for students: Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is an excellent card for college students because it rewards them 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1x point thereafter. Additionally, the card awards users 1x point for all other purchases. The card doesn't have an annual fee, meaning it won't put a dent into a student's budget. Additionally, Citi will give you 10% points back for the first 100,000 points you redeem per year.
- $0 annual fee
- Low spending requirement on the card's sign-up bonus
- Weak sign-up bonus, which we estimate to be worth only $25
Best Citi credit card for businesses
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® 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 2x rewards rate on eligible AA purchases and a plethora of other categories, including gas stations. Other airline 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.
- Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
- See comparison tool below for estimated card value
- Bonus miles in a variety of categories, including car rentals and at gas stations
- Get your first checked bag free on domestic flights
- A high spending requirement on the card's sign-up bonus
- Annual fee: $99, waived for first 12 months
Best Citi credit card for gas purchases
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
- 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 and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
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 one of the most generous cash back rates on gas currently available. 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.
- $0 annual fee
- 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees make it great for travel
- 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 and rewards must be redeemed for cash or merchandise at a Costco warehouse store
- You forfeit your rewards if you cancel your membership before you receive your certificate in February
Best Citi credit card for balance transfers: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
No Annual Fee
14.74% - 24.74% Variable
- 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer. After that the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
- With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
- Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
The balance transfer offer by the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (0% intro APR on purchases for 18 months from date of account opening and 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from date of first transfer) is one of the longer offers available on a balance transfer credit card. The extra months of 0% interest you get is ideal if you're looking to pay down existing high-interest debt. After the intro period expires, you can expect an APR of 14.74% - 24.74% 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.
- $0 annual fee
- Market leading 0% intro APR offer
- The card offers no ongoing rewards
- No sign-up bonus
- You have to pay a fee to transfer your balance (a few competing cards offer introductory balance transfer offers with no fee)
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.
FAQs about Citi credit cards
Here are some common questions about credit cards from Citibank.
Which Citi credit card is easiest to get?
Citi credit cards require excellent credit for approval. However, we recommend the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever for people who have excellent credit but are just starting out with credit cards. This card doesn't earn any spending rewards, but it comes with no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee. This is convenient for folks learning how to use a credit card and build excellent financial habits.
What score do you need for a Citi credit card?
As mentioned above, most credit cards issued by Citi require an excellent credit score. If your score is below 670, you should consider opening a secured credit card to first build a score above 700. After you have an excellent score, a variety of cards will be available to you.
Are Citi ThankYou Rewards worth it?
The rewards 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.
The information related to the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® have been independently collected by ValuePenguin and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.