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The 6 Best Citi Credit Cards of October 2019

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.

We analyzed every credit card offered by Citibank, our advertising partner, 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 Card
Citi® Double Cash CardCash backExcellent/Good$0
Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® CardBalance TransfersGood/Excellent$0
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
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 cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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
  • 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 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, 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
  • 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 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, 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*
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 16.49% - 26.49%* (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

Citi® /  AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Citi® /  AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

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

Citi® /  AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Citi® /  AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Annual Fee
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $99
Regular APR
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The information related to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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 after you spend $2,500 in the first 3 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

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

On Citi's Secure Website
Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening
  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 7 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 16.24% - 26.24% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • No annual fee
  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 7 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 16.24% - 26.24% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • No annual fee
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Our Thoughts

The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is an excellent card for college students because it rewards them for 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.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Low spending requirement on the card's sign-up bonus

Cons:

  • Weak sign-up bonus, which we estimate to be worth $25

Best Citi Credit Card for Businesses

On Citi's Secure Website

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

On Citi's Secure Website
Earn 70,000 miles after making $4,000 in purchases in first 4 months of account opening
  • Designed for businesses
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $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*
  • 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
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $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*
  • 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*
Regular APR
17.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent/Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 $840.
  • 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
  • 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 16.99%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • 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 16.99%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Annual Fee
$0*
Regular APR
16.99%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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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FAQs about Citi credit cards

Here are some common questions about credit cards from Citibank.

Which Citi credit card is easiest to get?

Most Citi credit cards require good credit for approval. However, we recommend the Citi Simplicity® Card for people who have good 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 a good 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 a good to excellent score (i.e., above 700), a variety of cards will be available to you.

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.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

Comments and Questions

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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 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).