Consumers with debt can use balance transfer cards to dig their way out. Find out how to maximize the Citi Diamond Preferred, a top card in this niche.
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The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card may not offer any rewards, but it does give consumers the chance to pay down debt and save money along the way. Those who sign up can benefit from its introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers – 12 months for purchases and 21 months for balance transfers (made in the first four months), after which a standard variable APR of 14.49% to 24.49% applies. There’s no annual fee either, and cardholders can even choose their own payment due date.
If your goal is to get out of debt and you think a balance transfer credit card could help, taking a closer look at the Citi Diamond Preferred makes a lot of sense. Here are the different ways you can maximize this card’s benefits, as well as the additional cardholder perks you’ll get when you sign up.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Overview
Here are the card’s highlights:
- Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.49% to 24.49%
- Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.49% to 24.49%; transfers must be made within the first four months and a fee of 5% (minimum $5) applies
- No annual fee
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card doesn’t offer a ton of perks, but it can be immensely helpful for consumers who are trying to pay down high-interest credit card debt. Just keep in mind that balance transfers need to be completed within four months of account opening for the low introductory APR rate to apply.
How to maximize the Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Since the best feature of the Citi Diamond Preferred is its low introductory APR, maximizing this card’s benefits works best for people with credit card debt. Here’s how to make the most of this popular credit card offer.
Use the intro balance transfer APR
First, make sure you do a balance transfer from your current credit cards to this Citi credit card within four months of account opening. Doing so will let you enjoy the 0% intro APR on transferred balances for a generous 21 months, then the regular variable rate of 14.49% to 24.49% will apply.
Note that a 5% (minimum $5) balance transfer fee will apply. While this fee can eat away at your savings, you still stand to save substantially by switching high-interest debts to a low-interest balance transfer offer.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you currently have $3,500 in credit card debt at 19% APR and that you’re currently paying $200 per month toward your bill. At this rate, you would need 21 months to become debt-free if you didn’t use your card during that time. You would also pay $631 in interest.
Imagine now that you transfer your $3,500 in debt to the Citi Diamond Preferred. Your 5% balance transfer fee would equal $175, bringing your starting balance to $3,675.
If you paid the same $200 per month, you would become entirely debt-free in less than 19 months without any interest payments. While you did have to pay the balance transfer fee upfront, your total savings would equal $456, and you would be debt-free two months sooner.
Make a large purchase and pay it down over time
Also, keep in mind that this card’s introductory APR offer applies to purchases for 12 months (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter). This makes the Citi Diamond Preferred a good option if you need to make a large purchase and pay it down over time.
For example, the low introductory APR would come in handy if you needed new home appliances or had a major car repair to cover and didn’t have the cash upfront.
Pay your balance off before the introductory APR ends
Whatever you do, make sure you have a plan to pay off your debts if you truly hope to maximize the Citi Diamond Preferred. After all, the variable APR on the Citi Diamond Preferred is on the high end, so carrying a balance can become expensive pretty quickly when the intro APR period ends.
We also suggest using your card for purchases sparingly if your goal is paying down debt for good. If you use your credit card for spending and regular bills, you may find you’re racking up more debt than you can reasonably pay off.
Additional perks of the Citi Diamond Preferred
The Citi Diamond Preferred is not necessarily loaded with benefits, yet a few different features are worth exploring. For example, this credit card comes with Citi Entertainment, which lets cardholders gain exclusive access to presale tickets and special events, including concerts, dining experiences and sports.
Cardholders can also pick their own payment due date, which makes it easier to budget your monthly payment around payday. You can also set up automatic account alerts that notify you when a purchase is made, payment is due and more.
The Citi Diamond Preferred is best for people who need the chance to pay down debt without interest accruing. The fact you get an introductory 0% APR for a full 21 months also makes it one of the best balance transfer credit cards on the market today (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter; make sure you transfer in the first four months).
With that being said, you may want to consider other credit cards if you need more cardholder perks or want to earn rewards on your spending. Consider the best credit card offers on the market today, and don’t move forward until you find the right fit.