Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card Review

overall rating
3.7

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The Citi Diamond Preferred card offers a fairly long 0% APR introductory period—currently 18 months—for balance transfers made in the first 4 months of opening the account and for 18 months on purchases. It also has no annual fee while still offering access to discounted tickets and VIP experiences.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card

Overall Rating
3.7
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card
On Citi's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 18 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all balance transfer cards in our database:
Low Introductory Interest
Low Fees
Low Long Term Interest
Security/Customer Experience
Benefits
worst best

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is not one of our top-rated balance transfer credit cards. You can review our list of the best balance transfer credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card

Pros
  • Extended 0% APR offer

  • Special access to concerts, sporting events, and VIP packages

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • 5% balance transfer fee

  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Pros Explained

  • Extended 0% APR Offer: The biggest advantage of the Citi Diamond Preferred card is its long-term introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. Cardholders currently pay 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers made during the first four months of card membership and 0% on purchases for 18 months. When the introductory period ends, the regular rate ranges between 14.74% and 24.74%, depending on creditworthiness.
  • Special Access to Concerts, Sporting Events and VIP Packages: Cardholders receive access to exclusive VIP packages, presale tickets to events, and other perks like exclusive experiences through Citi Private Pass. In most cases, cardholders have to pay for tickets and packages, but it’s also possible to find complimentary tickets and experiences.
  • No Annual Fee: With no annual fee, access to this card's features and benefits represent a good value.

Cons Explained

  • 3% Balance Transfer Fee: Cardholders who take advantage of the balance transfer offer will pay a fee of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount, whichever is higher. Some cards may waive the balance transfer fee during the introductory offer. Before applying for this card, consider the cost of the balance transfer and make sure the interest savings are worth the cost.
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee: When making overseas purchases with this card, cardholders will pay a foreign transaction fee of 3%. Plenty of other cards, like the Capital One VentureOne card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card, don't charge a foreign transaction fee and might be better suited for spending overseas.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Balance Carrier Persona
    Tends to pay less than balance in full and so accumulates debt on card
    Balance Carrier

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is best for someone looking to reduce debt using a 0% APR balance transfer. The 18-month introductory period provides a substantial amount of time for dramatically paying down high-interest debt. You should run the numbers and verify that the interest savings will outweigh the 3% fee for the amount of debt you plan to transfer.

Additionally, the card can be a good choice for consumers who value entertainment experiences and presale tickets. With this card’s access to Citi Entertainment, cardholders can purchase tickets to concerts and events before they're available to the general public, as well as buy exclusive packages with VIP experiences.

Rewards Earning Details

This card doesn't have a traditional rewards program. The closest it comes to offering rewards is through the Citi Easy Deals program, which allows you to earn points based on 10% of your monthly purchases. You have to register with Citi Easy Deals to see how many points you have available.

Rewards Redemption Details

The points cardholders earn with the Citi Easy Deals program can be applied for discounts on gift cards, merchandise, travel, and magazine subscriptions. To redeem points, log into your Citi Easy Deals account and browse the available discounts. 

Transferring Points

There is no way to transfer Easy Deals points to other programs. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

The best way to make the most of Easy Deals points is to use them to buy discounted gift cards for places you normally shop at, reducing your overall costs. Because the points you earn are based on your spending habits, it's important to not go out of your way to make extra purchases just to earn extra points.

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Virtual account numbers for shopping online or by mail
  • FICO Score access each month
  • Citi Concierge services

Standard Benefits

  • $0 liability fraud protection
  • EMV chip technology
  • Automatic account alerts
  • 24/7 customer service

Cardholder Experience

Citi's credit card offerings are rated as "average" in all the factors considered for J.D. Power's 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. In general, Citi ranks in the middle of the pack when compared to other issuers.

Citi cardholders have access to a number of financial tools, including early warning for fraudulent activity, the ability to quickly lock stolen or misplaced cards, and access to a monthly FICO Score. Citi also offers a concierge service to help with travel, shopping, and exclusive experiences. 

Customer service can be reached for help through online chat (after you log into your account) and 24/7 at 800-950-5114. 

Security Features

Citi offers a number of security features to help provide cardholders with peace of mind. You receive automatic account alerts and early fraud warnings, as well as monthly access to your FICO Score.

One security feature that stands out is Citi Quick Lock. This feature allows you to block cash advances and purchases instantly if you can’t locate your card. Automatic payments, like bill pay, continue while the card is locked. If you find your card, you can unlock it, but if you don’t, you can have a new card sent to you.

Citi also offers Identity Theft Solutions, which helps you place a fraud alert on (and monitor) your TransUnion account. It can also help you find if other accounts are compromised and advise you on reporting the breach to law enforcement.

You can also created virtual credit card numbers for shopping online worry-free. 

Fees to Watch Out For

There aren't a lot of fees with this card, and the lack of an annual fee is a nice benefit. However, if you get this card for the balance transfer introductory rate, be aware of the 3% fee. Additionally, this card comes with a penalty rate of up to 29.99% on top of a late payment fee, so paying on time is important.

Also, if you're looking for a card to take with you when you travel overseas, be aware of the foreign transaction fee, which is 3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars.

Our Verdict

The generous 18-month 0% APR on balance transfers makes the Citi Diamond Preferred card an ideal choice if you're hoping to accelerate debt repayment. You have more time to pay down the principal, and if the interest savings are enough to overcome the balance transfer fee, this card can be a good fit.

However, if you're looking for more traditional rewards, there are better choices. If you like the idea of accessing Citi cardholder benefits, while getting cash back, the Citi Double cash card offers unlimited 1% cash back when you make purchases, plus another 1% cash back when you pay off the purchases, and currently has a 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers promotion as well.

Other rewards cards, like the Capital One VentureOne, allow you to earn travel without an annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Plus, there's a 12-month 0% APR offer on purchases.

Apply Now
For Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card
on Citi's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
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CURRENT CARD
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card
overall rating
3.7
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.