Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Double Cash

Citi provides great benefits with both its Diamond Preferred and Double Cash credit cards

Summary

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 purchase APR offer.

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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 fees, along with an attractive introductory APR on balance transfer offers. The Diamond Preferred also features an additional 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. The Citi Double Cash Card does have a welcome bonus and a rewards rate, earning up to 2 percent cash back on all general purchases (1 percent when you buy, 1 percent 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:

Card details

CardCiti® Diamond Preferred® Card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Rewards rateNone
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases
Sign-up bonusNone$200 cash back if you spend $1,500 in 6 months
Annual fee$0$0
Introductory APR period (balance transfers)21 months18 months
Introductory APR period (new purchases)12 monthsNone
Regular APR15.99%-25.99% variable16.24%-26.24% variable

Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Double Cash

Earning rewards

Citi Diamond PreferredCiti Double Cash
None
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases

The winner: Citi Double Cash

A balance transfer credit card through and through, 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 percent cash back. The card rewards you by paying 1 percent cash back on most purchases (excluding gift cards) then an additional 1 percent cash back when you pay off those purchases. As long as you pay off your statement in full each month, you will earn 2 percent cash back on every purchase.

Sign-up bonus

Citi Diamond PreferredCiti Double Cash
None$200 cash back if you spend $1,500 in 6 months

The winner: Citi Double Cash

For a limited time only, the Citi Double Cash does have a welcome offer of $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 in the first six months of account opening. That requires you to spend at least $250 a month to meet the spend goal, which should be manageable for most consumers. Unfortunately, the Citi Diamond Preferred lacks a sign-up bonus.

Introductory 0 percent APR

Citi Diamond PreferredCiti Double Cash
  • 21 months on balance transfers
  • 12 months on new purchases
18 months on balance transfers

The winner: Citi Diamond Preferred

The Diamond Preferred Card offers a 21-month 0 percent intro APR for balance transfers completed in the first four months (15.99 percent to 25.99 percent variable APR thereafter), and Citi will charge you a balance transfer fee $5 or 5 percent, whichever is greater. The Citi Diamond Preferred also has a 12-month 0 percent intro APR on new purchases, if you have a big purchase coming up.

As for the Citi Double Cash, it doesn’t back down in this department, offering a decent 18-month introductory 0 percent APR on balance transfers (15.49 percent to 25.49 percent variable thereafter). You should transfer your balance within the first four months so that it’ll be eligible for the intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent or $5, whichever is greater. Unfortunately, the card does not have a zero-interest period on new purchases.

Redeeming points

Citi Diamond PreferredCiti Double Cash
N/A
  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit
  • Check
  • Shop with Points
  • Pay with Points
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Charitable donations

The winner: Citi Double Cash

Since the Diamond Preferred card earns no rewards, you will have no points to redeem. However, the Citi Double Cash offers a plethora of choices after the issuer changed the Citi Double Cash from earning cash back (you always redeem for cash back) to earning ThankYou points. These flexible rewards points are redeemable as traditional cash back options like statement credits and checks, plus versatile ones like gift cards and travel.

Annual fee

Citi Diamond PreferredCiti Double Cash
$0$0

The winner: Tie

Neither the Citi Double Cash nor the Citi Diamond Preferred card has an annual fee, which makes the two cards equal on this front. Having a no-annual-fee card can work to your advantage, especially 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.

Which card should you get?

Though issued by the same lender, these two cards are quite different. One is a straightforward balance transfer card, offering benefits focused on helping you pay off your credit card debt. The other is a flat-rate cash back card with a decent rewards rate and sign-up bonus. As for which card suits you, it mainly comes down to what phase in your financial journey you’re in.

  • If you’re making a large purchase: With 12 months of 0 percent APR, the Citi Diamond Preferred provides you with more than enough time to pay off a big-ticket item such as a new washing machine, mattress or laptop.
  • If you have credit card debt: The Citi Diamond Preferred isn’t a top balance transfer card for no reason — the card’s zero interest for 21 months on balance transfers is difficult to beat. You should be able to pay off even the heftiest credit debts (as long as you diligently make regular payments) with the Diamond Preferred. To know how much you’ll save on interest with a balance transfer card, check out our balance transfer calculator.
  • If you want solid rewards: The Double Cash’s up to 2 percent cash back is an extremely attractive return for a no-annual-fee credit card. In fact, big spenders may earn more rewards with the Citi Double Cash when compared with another Citi cash back card.
  • If you want to test out Citi ThankYou rewards: Now that the Citi Double Cash earns its rewards as ThankYou points (100 points to $1), it’s a great gateway into the Citi ThankYou rewards program.

Bottom line

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card and Citi Double Cash Card come with no annual fees and introductory APR offers on balance transfers. And although the Diamond Preferred also offers a zero-interest period on purchases, the Double Cash is a cash back card with a huge rewards potential.

To qualify, you’ll need Citi preapproval or good or excellent credit. Before deciding on which card you want to apply for, check your credit history and spending habits to help you decide which one makes the most sense for you.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
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Business
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Cash Back
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