All information about Citi Simplicity® Card, Citi® Secured Mastercard®, Citi Rewards+SM Student Card have been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
Comparing Citi Credit Card Offers
Citi, one of the nation’s largest and oldest banks, offers much more than credit cards. In addition to rewards, business and credit-building cards, Citi serves as a bank for people seeking mortgages, investing services and more.
Here, we delve into what is Citi and what the bank offers:
Best Citi credit cards
Citi® Double Cash Card
Why this is the best Citi credit card for cash back
The cash rewards are both simple and generous with this card: Earn 1% as you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay off your purchase. With no restrictions on purchase categories, the Citi Double Cash has one of the highest earning potentials of all cash back cards.
If you’re looking for simplicity in a cash back card, this is an easy choice. Unlike most cash back credit cards, there’s no need to pick a favorite spending category or keep up with rotating bonus categories. The Double Cash also has no annual fee, making it even lower maintenance.
There’s no signup bonus, so your initial cash back earnings may be higher with another Citi card. Also, with a regular APR of 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable) on purchases, any interest payments will quickly outweigh cash back earnings.
Citi Simplicity® Card
Why this is the best Citi credit card for balance transfer
This card boasts one of the best 0% introductory periods of all balance transfer cards: 21 months of no interest on balance transfers made within the first 4 months of account opening. After that it’s 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable).
In addition to an introductory period that lasts longer than a year and a half, cardholders also benefit from no late fees or penalty APRs. These unique perks make the Citi Simplicity® a flexible option for those seeking to pay down debt.
You won’t earn rewards with this card. Also, the balance transfer fee is higher than most: $5 or 5%, whichever is higher. Depending on the size of your balance, a card with a shorter introductory period and smaller balance transfer fee may actually save you more money. Unsure how to decide? Use our balance transfer calculator to compare your personalized savings with different balance transfer cards.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Why this is the best Citi credit card for excellent credit
If you have excellent credit, your interest rate for purchases and balance transfers may be on the lower end of its 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) APR. Even before that, you’ll have an impressively long 0% introductory period of 21 months on balance transfers, and 12 months on purchases.
With the Diamond Preferred, you’ll have access to the Citi Easy Deals program, which offers discounts to select Citi cardholders on everyday purchases. You’ll also have potential to qualify for a Citi Flex Loan – a targeted loan offer that requires no hard credit pull or origination fees.
With its lengthy 0% introductory period, this card is nearly identical to the Citi Simplicity® card, aside from a slightly lower ongoing variable APR for purchases and balance transfers. However, unlike the Citi Simplicity, the Diamond Preferred does charge late payment fees and a penalty APR.
Citi Rewards+℠ Card
Why this is the best Citi credit card for rewards
On the surface, 2 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 annually, then 1 point per dollar) accompanied by 1 point per dollar on all other purchases doesn’t seem like the most competitive rewards structure. However, the unique additional features are what make this card stand out. In addition to rounding up rewards on each purchase, Citi will also gift you 10% back on redeemed ThankYou points, up to 100,000 points annually.
The sign-up bonus is decent and only requires a small minimum spend: 15,000 ThankYou points (redeemable for $150 in gift cards) if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
The rewards structure makes it difficult to gauge your rewards earnings ahead of time; some people may prefer a more straightforward flat-rate rewards card. Also, the roundup feature isn’t particularly beneficial to those who only use credit cards for large purchases.
Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Why this is the best Citi credit card for lounge access
In addition to up to a $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck every 5 years, you’ll have free Admirals Club access, a huge perk for frequent travelers.
If you fly American Airlines frequently, the 2 AAdvantage® miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases will likely be valuable. Plus, the sign-up bonus is hefty if you’re able to meet the high minimum spend: 50,000 miles for spending $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
Those who don’t frequently fly American Airlines will have a hard time earning enough miles to make the $450 annual fee worth it. Also, the high minimum spend in order to get the sign-up bonus does not fit within the budget of many consumers.
CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
Why this is the best Citi credit card for business travel
Business owners who frequently fly American Airlines will enjoy earning 2 AAdvantage® miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. You’ll also pay no foreign transaction fees.
The limited time sign-up bonus offers a large reward for a reasonable minimum spend: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
If you’re not exclusively flying with American Airlines, you can probably find another business credit card with travel rewards that offers higher rewards ratings.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
Why this is the best Citi credit card for American Airlines
There are several Citi cards with similar rewards rates for American Airlines flyers, but what makes the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ card unique as an airline card is that it comes with no annual fee.
Earn 2 miles per dollar on grocery store purchases and eligible American Airlines purchases. Without an annual fee to worry about, American Airlines flyers will likely find this an easy choice.
Like many no annual fee cards, the sign-up bonus is not at standout: 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit to new cardholders who spend $500 in the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Why this is the best Citi credit card for building credit
Unlike many secured cards, this card comes with no annual fee. So, if you’re paying your balance in full each month, you can build credit at no cost to you, making this a good option for those who have a short credit history.
Your initial credit limit will be equal to your security deposit ($200-$2,500), so you essentially get to choose your own credit limit. This can be useful to those who have a good amount of discretionary income but a subprime credit score.
This isn’t a good choice if you plan to carry a balance or if you hope to earn rewards. The regular APR on purchases and balance transfers is high, so it’s best for someone who will be paying their balance in full each month.
Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
Why this is the best Citi credit card for students
New cardholders have the benefit of 7 months with 0% interest on new purchases after opening an account. With this perk, students who are starting to build credit can learn to budget appropriately for their lifestyle without fear of accruing interest right away.
The rewards structure allows cardholders to earn points on the essentials: 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar). Also, the unique roundup points feature benefits those who make frequent, small purchases, like getting takeout or making a quick grocery stop.
The regular APR is higher than average, at 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable). This may not be a wise choice for someone who isn’t able to pay their balance in full each month.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Why this is the best Citi credit card for gas
The 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (for the first $7,000 annually, 1% thereafter) is one of the highest gas rewards rates available.
In addition to the stellar return on gas purchases, cardholders will earn 3% cash back at restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% back on Costco purchases, and 1% on general purchases. There’s no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn.
You must have a paid ($60) Costco membership to qualify for this card, so if you don’t already have a membership, you may need to assess whether rewards will offset that cost. Also, you will only receive your cash back once a year as a certificate that is only redeemable at Costco.
- Can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
- No foreign transaction fee
Compare Citibank credit card offers
|Citi® Double Cash Card
||Flat-rate cash back
||3.8 / 5
|Citi Simplicity® Card
||Long 0% intro period for balance transfers
||3.7 / 5
|Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
||3.9 / 5
|Citi Rewards+SM Card
||Bonus rewards points
||3.0 / 5
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM Mastercard®
||3.9 / 5
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
||3.8 / 5
|American Airlines AAdvantage MileUpSMCard
||American Airlines purchases
||3.5 / 5
|Citi® Secured Mastercard®
||Building your credit
||3.0 / 5
|Citi Rewards+SM Student Card
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
||2.5 / 5
What is Citi?
Citibank, a division of Citigroup, is a full-service bank that provides mortgages, checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.
Citibank was founded in 1812 as City Bank of New York, with Samuel Osgood as the founding president. One of North America’s oldest banks in continuous operation, it is steeped in the United States’ banking history.
America’s oldest continuous banks…
||Bank of New York
||State Street Deposit & Trust
||State Street Corp.
||The Manhattan Company
||Now part of JPMorgan Chase
||City Bank of New York
||John A. Brown & Co.
||Brown Brothers Harriman
Wikipedia and creditcards.com research
Services Citi offers
Citibank’s services vary by location. For example, in New York, you can qualify for a mortgage, card, bank accounts, and more. Here are some Citi services that are available in New York as an example:
- CDs and IRAs
- Low interest
- Cash back & savings
- Balance transfer
- Home equity
- Personal lines
- For retirement
- For college
- For life changes
- Protecting your wealth
- Estate planning
- Small business banking
Citi’s rewards program: overview and best redemption options
Citi ThankYou Rewards
It’s actually pretty simple – the more business you do with Citi, the more ThankYou points you receive. Have a mortgage with them? That’s up to 175 points a month. Checking, bill pay and direct deposit? Up to 650 a month. Here’s how it all breaks down.
Monthly points with Citi direct deposit and bill payment…
|Eligible products & services
||Citigold, Citi Priority, or Citi Private Bank Account
||The Citibank Account
|Checking account, bill payment, direct deposit
|Home equity loan
|Custom credit line
Citibank’s banking rewards breakdown
When it comes to redemptions, your options are numerous. Rewards start at 1,000 points, which are rock-bottom compared to other programs, and TPG ranks a ThankYou point at 1.7 cents, which is more than competitive. Here are ways your points can be redeemed. Heads up that there can be gift card and shopping deals, and the ThankYou Travel Center portal is competitive with the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Get gift cards from such retailers as Best Buy, Starbucks, Macy’s and The Home Depot.
- Choose merchandise from such brands as Apple, Sony and KitchenAid.
- Get tickets to concerts and other events at LiveNation.com. You can link your Live Nation and ThankYou Rewards accounts.
- Online Bill Pay allows you to use ThankYou points you’ve already earned toward your bill payments.
- If available, you can redeem through the Travel Center.
Cash back and AAdvantage
Citi features multiple cash back cards, such as the Citi Rewards+ Card and the Costco Anywhere Visa cards. Redemptions range from statement credits to gift cards.
With the CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, you earn miles you can redeem with American Airlines or American Eagle to more than 250 destinations worldwide. Miles can also be redeemed for car rentals or hotel stays at more than 10,000 locations.
Citi Easy Deals
- Base tier – Gives you access upon registration to local offers for restaurants, shops and services.
- Enhanced tier – In addition to base tier benefits, spend $100 in purchases on your eligible credit card in one calendar year for access to savings on gift cards and magazines.
- Plus tier – In addition to base and enhanced benefits, spend $500 in purchases on your eligible credit card in one calendar year for access to savings on merchandise, travel and Daily Deals.
Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura’s work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.