The Citi Simplicity® Card vs. The Citi Diamond Preferred® Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Oct 08, 2015 | Updated May 27, 2016

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Some credit cards don’t offer points or cash back for purchases, but they can still give your wallet a helping hand in other ways.

That’s the case for these two credit cards offered by Citi: the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi Diamond Preferred® Card.

The Simplicity card is about as basic as they come, while the Diamond Preferred has a few extra bells and whistles. They both have very long 0% intro APRs, and you won’t find an annual fee on either card.

Keep reading to see how they compare in their interest rates, benefits, and services.

Citi Simplicity® Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 22.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees - Ever
  • No penalty rate - Ever
  • No annual fee - Ever
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.

Citi Diamond Preferred® Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.99% - 21.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 11.99%-21.99% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
  • Citi® Easy DealsSM Get what you want for less. Earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card.
  • Redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals.
  • Let our 24/7 concierge service help book your hotel rooms, flights and more.
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • No annual fee*

The Rewards

You won’t earn normal rewards, like points or cash back, with either of these cards.

When you spend with the Diamond Preferred, however, you’ll get 10% of the purchase amount in Citi® Easy DealsSM Points. These points can be cashed in through the Easy Deals marketplace for thousands of different deals from all kinds of retailers.

You can even enter your location, and Citi will show you where you can get savings and coupons at stores near you.

The Benefits

Citi Simplicity

Shopping

  • Extended Warranty Protection

    Eligible warranties of 5 years or less can be extended by up to an additional year; up to $10,000 per year.

  • Price Protection

    If you made a purchase in the U.S. that you find advertised at a cheaper price within 60 days, you can get reimbursed the difference; up to $300 per item, $1200 per year.

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance

    Provides help with emergencies, including legal and medical referrals.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined; up to $50,000.

Citi Diamond Preferred

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service

    Call any time to talk to your own personal assistant for all kinds of non-emergency help.

  • Special Access

    Get exclusive access to Ticket presales, preferred seating, VIP packages and unique entertainment experiences through Citi® Private Pass®.

  • Citi® Easy Deals℠

    Members only savings on on brands like Gap, CVS and Footlocker. Check them out over at citieasydeals.com.

  • Citi® PrivatePass®

    Access to exclusive events and experiences.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Purchases are covered for 120 days against theft or damage, up to $1,000 per item; up to $50,000 per year.

  • Extended Warranty Protection

    Eligible warranties of 5 years or less can be extended by up to an additional year; up to $10,000 per year.

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance

    Provides help with emergencies, including legal and medical referrals.

  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance

    If a trip is disrupted for an eligible reason, provides reimbursement up to $1,500 for non-refundable costs.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined; up to $50,000.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Get reimbursed up to $250,000 if you or a family member gets in an accident while traveling.

The Verdict

As you can see, these cards share many of the same benefits. The Diamond Preferred, though, has quite a few more and includes all of the Simplicity’s benefits. So it’s the clear winner in this category.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the benefits offered by each card:

Citi Simplicity Citi Diamond Preferred

Perks

  • Free FICO Credit Score
  • Personal Concierge
  • Citi Private Pass
  • Free FICO Credit Score

Account

  • Choose your due date
  • Choose your due date

Security

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions

Shopping

  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Extended Warranty
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Citi Easy Deals
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Return Guarantee
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Simplicity $0 0% for 21 months 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 3%
Diamond Preferred $0 0% for 21 months 11.99% - 21.99% (Variable) 11.99% - 21.99% (Variable) 25.24% (Variable) 3%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Simplicity None None Up to $35
Diamond Preferred Up to 29.99% (Variable) Up to $35 Up to $35

The Verdict

These cards are basically identical when it comes to some of the main terms here: neither card has an annual fee, you’ll get the 0% intro APR for the same length of time, and the regular APR and balance transfer rates are about the same.

There are just a couple of important differences between these cards.

The first is that you won’t need to worry about late payment fees with the Simplicity if you forget to pay on time. The second is that the Simplicity has no penalty APR that could be applied if you make a late or returned payment.

It’s nice to have a card without these penalties, but as long as you commit to paying your bills on time you won’t have to worry about them. This would make the two cards more equal.

The Bottom Line

Since neither of these cards offer rewards or have an annual fee, the right one for you will depend on what else you’re looking for in a credit card.

Do you absolutely need a card without late fees or a penalty APR? If so, the Simplicity is the better choice for you.

Otherwise, you’ll probably enjoy owning the Diamond Preferred more. It has the Easy Deals marketplace, the concierge service, and a several shopping and travel benefits, all of which you won’t get with the Simplicity.

So, go for the Diamond Preferred if you can get approved for it.

Was this review helpful to you? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you use and love one of these cards, click to leave your own review of the Simplicity or Diamond Preferred card, we’d love to hear from you!

Was this helpful?
  • Richard Hill

    Citi Diamond Preferred has a $19.50 Annual Membership Fee, yet they still advertise it as having no annual fee.

    • John Ulzheimer

      Thanks for the info Richard. Good to know if you’re looking for a truly no fee card.

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