If you’re looking to knock out a large credit card balance or finance a big purchase, both the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card are hard to beat.
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Both cards offer some of the longest interest-free balance transfer periods you’ll find on a credit card. They also both offer a temporary reprieve on new purchases, giving you time to save up your cash and whittle down your card balances before you’re hit with additional interest.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card and the Citi Simplicity card offer slightly different benefits, though, so you’ll want to think carefully about what kind of credit card user you are and what you’re hoping to get from a new card before signing up.
Which card is best for you?
Since both the Simplicity and Diamond Preferred cards offer the same introductory periods on new purchases and balance transfers, the best card for you depends on your payment habits and how responsible you are with paying bills on time. Between the two cards, only the Citi Simplicity waives late fees – making it the better choice for cardholders who struggle to pay bills on time. However, the Citi Diamond Preferred has a slightly lower range of possible ongoing APRs. If you continue to carry a balance, the Diamond Preferred could potentially save you in interest in the long run.
Here’s what else to consider when comparing the two cards:
Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Simplicity
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Citi Simplicity Card
|Introductory APR (balance transfers)||0% APR on balance transfers for first 21 months (then 13.74-23.74% variable APR)||0% APR on balance transfers for first 21 months (then 14.74-24.74% variable APR)|
|Introductory APR (new purchases)||0% APR on new purchases for first 12 months (then 13.74-23.74% variable APR)||0% APR on balance transfers for first 12 months (then 14.74-24.74% variable APR)|
|Who should get this card?|
Best for someone with a lot of old debt: Citi Diamond Preferred cardOne of the biggest differences between the Citi Diamond Preferred and the Citi Simplicity is the range of APRs a new cardholder will be assigned. After the introductory period ends on either card, the Citi Diamond Preferred charges an ongoing variable APR of 13.74% to 23.74%. On the other hand, the Citi Simplicity card charges an ongoing variable APR of 14.74% to 24.74%.
While it is impossible to know what APR you’ll be assigned on either card before you apply, you do have a chance of scoring a lower interest rate on the Diamond Preferred. If you have quite a large balance to pay off – or plans to carry a balance again in the future – you might be better off taking the chance for a lower rate. This is especially true for applicants with top credit scores, who can qualify for the most competitive APRs.
Best for someone who’s at risk of missing a bill: Citi Simplicity card
The Citi Simplicity card has one major benefit over the Citi Diamond Preferred card: It offers much more forgiving terms. Unlike many credit cards, the Citi Simplicity card doesn’t charge a penalty rate, nor does it charge any late fees. That’s a huge deal if you think you may run into financial trouble or forget to make a payment on time.
On the other hand, if you miss payments on the Citi Diamond Preferred card, you could wind up paying a late fee up to $40 and with a penalty rate as high as 29.99% variable.
Penalties for missing a bill
|Citi Diamond Preferred card||Citi Simplicity card|
|Up to $40 in late fees, plus the possibility of a 29.99 percent variable penalty rate||None|
Wrapping it up
The Citi Diamond Preferred card and the Citi Simplicity card are both great options for cardholders who need help financing a purchase interest-free. However, the best card for you comes down to how you plan to use it. If you plan to carry a balance after the introductory period, you might be better off trying for a lower ongoing APR with the Diamond Preferred. For those more worried about late fees and penalty rates, stick with the Citi Simplicity.
Be careful, though, about how much new debt you take on. If you’re trying to clear an existing balance, you’ll have more overall success if you limit your charges as much as possible and focus on paying off as much debt as you can afford.