Review: Citi Diamond Preferred Card — Best for Balance Transfers?
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The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers a very long promotional APR period on balance transfers and purchases. Aside from a few basic benefits, that’s about all there is to it — the intro APRs are its main draw.
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Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card 4 out of 5 Stars. Its introductory balance transfer period is one of the longest, and it’s matched by the purchase APR offer. Its balance transfer fee is a notable drawback, however.
The relative lack of additional features isn’t a huge detriment given how balance transfers are its main focus.
Why We Like It
- Exceptionally long introductory balance transfer period coupled with an equally exceptional purchase APR offer
- Citi Entertainment can be useful for securing event tickets and reservations
- No annual fee
Why It Could Be Better
- Charges a balance transfer fee
- No rewards
- Very few benefits
There are plenty of credit cards out there with introductory APR offers lasting a year or more. Once you start looking for offers that span at least a year and a half, however, strong contenders are much harder to find. The Diamond Preferred card is right near the top of that pile.
Its massive balance transfer offer gives you a 0% APR for 18 months. There’s a 3% (minimum $5) balance transfer fee, which is pretty much middle ground.
The card’s intro purchase APR offer is just as long, at 0% APR for 18 months.
After these periods end, the card’s APR reverts to its regular 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) for both purchases and balance transfers.
And that’s about it. There are no rewards, no annual fee, and only a few simple benefits, so the Diamond Preferred isn’t about to woo your local points junkie or travel enthusiast.
But if it’s a competitive introductory APR offer you’re after, you’ll find it here.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Transfer a balance: Take advantage of the huge introductory period, but only if you think it’s worth the 3% balance transfer fee. You might be better off considering competitive offers with smaller fees, or shorter periods with no transfer fees at all. We outline a few good alternatives below.
- Pay off a large purchase: Pay off purchases interest-free if you don’t have a card with a longer offer (of which there are several). It may be worth vetting other options first, though, so you can choose a card that provides rewards and an intro APR.
- Access entertainment: Citi Entertainment is basically the card’s only benefit, but the access it provides to presale tickets, “exclusive experiences,” and other events could be useful for cardholders who enjoy a night on the town.
- Monitor your credit: Keep an eye on your credit situation by viewing your FICO Bankcard Score 8, based on your Equifax credit report, for free.
The Citi Diamond Preferred provides no rewards; its introductory APR offer is the main feature.
There are several credit cards that provide points or cash rewards and promotional balance transfer APR offers. Aside from those we listed as alternatives, options include, but aren’t limited to, the Chase Freedom® (Review) and the Discover it® Cash Back (Review). The introductory periods for these credit card offers are seldom as long as the Diamond Preferred’s, but they often still exceed a year.
By now, it’s probably pretty clear that there’s not too much going on with the Diamond Preferred. There are some small perks, but nothing terribly impactful.
- Citi Concierge: Call 1-800-508-8930 anytime to speak with a personal assistant, who can help with non-emergency tasks like finding tickets or making reservations.
- Citi Entertainment: Access tickets to a wide variety of events, like concerts and sporting events, occasionally including presales and exclusive experiences.
- Free FICO Score: Check your FICO Bankcard Score 8, based on your Equifax credit report, for free.
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions: Receive aid from Citi’s identity theft specialists, who will help you apply fraud alerts, monitor your credit reports, provide advice for completing police reports, and more.
- Automatic account alerts: Alerts concerning your balance, payments due, and other key account factors are delivered via email or text.
- Choose your payment due date: Pick from the beginning, middle, or end of the month.
- $0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges: Get comprehensive protection from unauthorized purchases on your account.
Citi may extend an offer for either Citi Flex Pay or a Citi Flex Loan, the issuer’s flexible financing programs, through your email or a banner on your account page.
Both options have their benefits, particularly if you don’t think you can pay for a necessary purchase up front or by the end of the billing period. Just be sure you understand the terms of whichever plan you choose before taking the plunge.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 18 months, then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)||0% for 18 months, then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)||25.24% (Variable)|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|3%, $5 minimum||5%, $10 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Up to 29.99% Variable||Up to $40||Up to $40|
This is where the Citi Diamond Preferred sells itself.
The card provides an introductory balance transfer APR offer that’s among the longest there is, with a great purchase APR to boot. Unfortunately, there’s a balance transfer fee. Most cards with balance transfer offers seem to charge a fee, and this one is no exception.
Nevertheless, if you’re transferring a balance that you may have trouble paying off with a shorter introductory period, the Diamond Preferred is a good option.
The introductory purchase APR is decent, but the card earns no rewards, so you should probably search elsewhere for a card that provides both in one place if you’re looking to pay off new, large purchases.Read more 2021’s Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees and 0% APR
The Bottom Line
This card does a couple things, and it does them well. It’s unfortunate that the card has a balance transfer fee, but the length of the intro period nonetheless makes the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card one of the more notable balance transfer cards that’s currently available. You just have to give it some thought to decide whether it’s right for you.
Is it worth it to pay a transfer fee and have lots of time to pay the balance in full, or should you settle for a shorter intro period with a lower transfer fee, or no fee at all?
Do you already already have a card that offers rewards? This card allows you to pay off a purchase or transfer a balance without interest charges, but you won’t earn any rewards like points or cash back.
Whatever you do, make sure you always use the card responsibly and make your payments on time, or you could forfeit the introductory interest rate and face a treacherous penalty APR instead. That would totally defeat the purpose of this Citi credit card.
Aside from its introductory offers, the Diamond Preferred card’s other features don’t require much discussion. There are a few good security perks, and Citi Entertainment can be useful if you love to be out and about. But beyond that, there’s not much else.
How Do I Apply for the Citi Diamond Preferred Card?
You can apply now by following the link below. Once you’re at the application you’ll have to provide a variety of basic background details, outlined below.
Citi will then conduct an inquiry to check your creditworthiness, and you’ll most likely get an instant decision, though the issuer may follow up for more information.
What Credit Scores Do You Need for the Citi Diamond Preferred?
The Citi Diamond Preferred caters to applicants with good credit. This credit score range typically encompasses a FICO score of at least 670, and a VantageScore of at least 700.
Take note that you’re not guaranteed to be approved with these scores, though. Other factors, including your income and monthly housing payments, may also influence Citi’s decision. So you could be approved with scores below the “good” threshold, or denied even with good scores.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status
- Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
- Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the Citi Diamond Preferred card benefits?
The benefits attached to the card are relatively thin. You’ll be able to check one of your credit scores, utilize Citi Concierge, and receive aid from Citi’s Identity Theft Solutions, should you need it. However there are no shopping or travel protections.
You can see the complete list of benefits right here.
What is the Citi Diamond Preferred card’s credit limit?
Your credit limit is determined by a few different factors, such as your creditworthiness and various financial details. Citi will review things like your income and credit scores when determining your limit.
It’s good to keep in mind that you can request a credit limit increase. We recommend doing so every 6 to 12 months if you’re unhappy with your current limit.
How do I log in to my Citi Diamond Preferred account?
If you navigate to Citi’s website, you’ll see a spot on the front page where you can input your account details. Once you log in, you’ll be able to navigate to your credit card account. From there, you can see your balance, view your statement, pay your bill, and check out other card features.
Alternatives to the Citi Diamond Preferred Card
The Citi Diamond Preferred is a strong option if you have to transfer a balance, but it may not be the right fit for your situation.
Earlier, we mentioned cards with useful features like lower balance transfer fees, longer purchase APR offers, and strong rewards programs that complement their APRs. We’ll discuss a few of these below, so you can weigh their advantages against those of the Diamond Preferred.
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Sean Messier works to empower individuals with the knowledge required to use credit cards responsibly and to their advantage. His writing- and research-based background has granted him experience in an array of topics, from finance to business and beyond. Sean distills the knowledge accumulated over years of experience in the credit space into consistent, actionable articles, guides, and reviews.
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