Solid balance transfer option, but no rewards: Citi Diamond Preferred Card review

Jun 9, 2020

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

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Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Overview

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers a solid introductory APR offer and no annual fee. However, it isn’t a great long-term credit card because of its lack of rewards opportunities. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

It’s no secret that at TPG, we put an emphasis on rewards credit cards, specifically those that earn travel rewards that can help us get to our favorite destinations (both domestic and abroad). However, it is important to consider that not everyone researching credit cards is looking to earn rewards. Some are looking to consolidate debt, build credit, finance upcoming large purchases and more — and those are all legitimate reasons to get a credit card.

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So while the Citi Diamond Preferred isn’t a rewards credit card, it does still offer value in its intended category. It’s not a card I would suggest using long-term, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help you reach your goals in the short-term.

Related reading: The best Citi credit cards of 2020

In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card has a solid introductory APR offer, built to help those looking to avoid interest payments while they finance new purchases or consolidate debt through balance transfers.

With no way to earn rewards and few benefits aside from its intro APR period, it’s definitely not the best choice for a frequent traveler looking to use everyday expenses as a way to save money on future vacations. For that, you’ll want to check out our best cards for travel.

Nearly two years of no interest

Rather than a traditional welcome bonus, the Citi Diamond Preferred offers a 0% APR introductory offer for both new purchases and balance transfers.

For balance transfers, you’ll get 21 months of 0% interest on all transfers made within the first four months of account opening. New purchases made within the first 12 months receive 0% interest. After each introductory period ends, your balances will be subject to a 13.74% to 23.74% variable APR based on your creditworthiness.

Twenty-one months is a great offer for balance transfers — one of the best on the market, in fact. The 12-month offer on new purchases is still a solid offer, though certainly closer to the status quo for 0% APR credit cards out there.

Related reading: How to pull off a successful balance transfer 

(Photo by JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images)
This card’s introductory APR period could help you finance an upcoming large purchase or pay off debt. (Photo by JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images)

Things to consider when using a 0% APR offer

When a 0% APR credit card is maximized, it can help you pay down debt, improve your credit score, avoid interest on large purchases you need to pay off over time and more. However, there are some things to keep in mind when looking into utilizing a 0% APR offer.

Budget carefully

A 0% APR offer is only truly effective if you pay off your balances before the introductory period ends. Otherwise, what is left on your credit cards will start accruing interest at the standard variable APR.

For this reason, it’s important for you to go into a 0% APR offer with a plan of how much you plan to put on the card and how you’ll budget to pay off those balances within the intro period to avoid interest.

Related reading: Which budgeting technique is right for you? 

Balance transfers are subject to a fee

It’s not uncommon on balance transfer credit cards — you’re charged a small percentage of whatever balances you transfer over into your new account. The Citi Diamond Preferred charges a 5% fee (minimum of $5) for each transfer made. You’ll want to factor that cost into your payoff plan.

For example, if you are transferring $3,000 to the Citi Diamond Preferred to utilize the 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers (then a variable APR of 13.74% to 23.74% applies), you’ll end up paying a $150 fee. Now, that is still significant savings compared to paying interest on a balance of that size. Based on the current average interest rate of 16%, you’d end up paying $428 in interest over the course of 21 months if you didn’t use a 0% intro APR offer to consolidate and pay off your balances.

What cards compete with the Citi Diamond Preferred?

There are plenty of cards on the market that offer a solid 0% APR offer, many of which also earn rewards. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a credit card with a longer intro APR period for balance transfers than the Citi Diamond Preferred. However, there are some better options available if you’re looking to use your card to finance new purchases.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Unlimited both offer a 15-month (from account opening) 0% introductory APR period for new purchases (14.99% – 23.74% variable APR after), and each also gives you the long-term value of a rewards credit card. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is another option that gives you 15 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (then a 12.99% – 23.99% variable APR applies) while also earning valuable Membership Rewards points. As an added bonus, the Amex EveryDay currently doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee.

The information for the Chase Freedom and Amex EveryDay card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Related reading: Best 0% APR credit cards 

Bottom line

If you’re just looking for a credit card with a good introductory APR offer, the Citi Diamond Preferred is a solid choice. While you aren’t earning rewards, it does come with a great balance transfer offer and a standard new purchases intro offer to help you save money on interest. Because it comes with no annual fee, it’s also a card you’ll be able to keep long term even if you don’t use it after you are done utilizing its intro offer.

However, if you are hoping to use your new credit card for long-term spending, you’ll want to take a look at rewards credit cards that also offer intro offers, such as the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Amex EveryDay cards.

Featured image by John Gribben for The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.