The Citi Diamond Preferred Card and the Citi Double Cash Card both feature no annual fee and a lengthy introductory APR period on balance transfers, but they differ in their potential for earning cash back rewards and an introductory offer for purchase APR.
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If you’re looking for a straightforward credit card with no annual fee, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card might be on your shortlist. These two Citi credit cards have no annual fee, along with an attractive introductory APR on balance transfer offers. Additionally, the Diamond Preferred features an introductory APR on purchases.
A possible downside if you’re looking for a new card is that the Citi Diamond Preferred card has no sign-up bonus and no ongoing rewards program. Similarly, the Citi Double Cash card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, but it does earn up to 2% cash back on all general purchases (1% when you buy, 1% as you pay), making it an attractive card to use for ongoing purchases. Let’s dive into more details on how these two choices from Citi stack up.
Citi Double Cash vs. Diamond Preferred
Below is a comparison table showing some of the key differences between the Citi Diamond Preferred and the Citi Double Cash cards.
|Introductory APR (balance transfers)||21 months||18 months|
|Introductory APR (purchases)||12 months||None|
The Citi Diamond Preferred card does not earn any points or rewards from using it for ongoing purchases. On the other hand, the Citi Double Cash card earns up to 2% cash back. The Citi Double Cash rewards you by paying 1% cash back on most purchases (excluding gift cards) and an additional 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases. Assuming you pay off your statement in full each month, you will earn 2% cash back on every purchase using your Citi Double Cash card.
Neither card offers any sort of sign-up bonus (a one-time welcome offer where you could earn extra rewards or cash back for meeting a spending threshold). This lack of a sign-up bonus or extra rewards period could be a drawback when compared to other cards.
Introductory 0% APR
One of the great Citi Double Cash benefits is the 18-month introductory 0% APR on balance transfers (14.74% to 24.74% variable thereafter). However, your balance transfer must be performed in the first four months for your 0% APR to apply, and Citi will charge you an intro balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
On the other hand, the Diamond Preferred offers a 21 month 0% intro APR for balance transfers completed in the first four months (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter), and Citi will charge you a balance transfer fee $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
The Citi Diamond Preferred also has a 12-month 0% intro APR on new purchases, if you do have a big purchase coming up. However, make sure you can manage payments for both the balance you transfer over and the new purchase. After the intro period, the regular APR is 14.49% to 24.49% variable.
Looking only at the intro APR, the Diamond Preferred wins out with its 21-month intro period, compared with the typical 12 to 18 months. Its added 0% APR on new purchases also gives you greater flexibility.
Since the Diamond Preferred card earns no rewards, you will have no points to redeem. With the Citi Double Cash, redeeming rewards is pretty straightforward.
With the Citi Double Cash, it’s important to remember that rewards expire if you haven’t redeemed them in the last 12 months, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
If you don’t prefer cash, you could also convert your cash back into Citi ThankYou points. ThankYou points are versatile and redeemable for travel, home mortgage or student loan repayments, certain retailers and more. If you have an eligible Citi credit card, like the Citi Premier® Card, you can even transfer your points to Citi’s 16 travel partners at a rate of 1 cent per point.
Neither the Citi Double Cash nor the Citi Diamond Preferred card has an annual fee, which makes the two cards equal on that front. Having a no-annual-fee card can work to your advantage, especially if the annual fee isn’t worth it or if you’re carrying over a balance and need to focus your payments on paying it off. Keeping a card with no annual fee that you’ve had for a long time can also be a great way to increase your average age of accounts, which is an important factor in determining your credit score.
Citi Diamond Preferred: Best for those making a large purchase
The Diamond Preferred doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus or rewards program, which puts it at a disadvantage. However, the Citi Diamond Preferred perk that truly sets it apart is its 21 month introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and 12 month introductory 0% APR on new purchases (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter).
Few credit cards out there offer introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, which sets the Diamond Preferred apart. If you have outstanding credit card balances that you need extra time to pay on, or if you have upcoming large purchases that you can’t pay off immediately, the Diamond Preferred is a good option for you.
Citi Double Cash: Best for those who want solid rewards
The Double Cash’s 2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay) is an extremely attractive return for a no-annual-fee credit card. The fact that you can convert your cash back to ThankYou points makes it even more attractive.
While you may want to use a different credit card for some purchases, such as meeting a welcome bonus spending requirement or spending on a bonus category, the Citi Double Cash is an excellent backup card for earning you up to 2% cash back on general purchases (that are paid on time).
The Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Double Cash are two credit cards from Citi that both offer no annual fee. You’ll need to have a Citi preapproval or have good or excellent credit to be approved for either of these two cards. Both offer an introductory APR offer on balance transfers and would benefit you if you need to pay off some credit card debt.
The Diamond Preferred also offers an introductory APR on purchases, while the Citi Double Cash yields up to 2% cash back on all general purchases (1% when you buy, 1% as you pay). Survey your credit history and spending habits to help you decide which card makes the most sense for you.