Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review

Published: August 4, 2020

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Published: August 4, 2020

Partner Offer: Citi is an advertising partner

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.4
Net Value: 2.4
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 3.3

In a Nutshell:

Thanks to its long introductory offers on balance transfers and purchases, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a solid option if you need to pay down debt or finance a large purchase. Just be sure to factor in the card’s high balance transfer fee when weighing options.

Learn more about this card

0% Introductory period (balance transfers)
18 months

Excellent

0% Introductory period (purchases)
18 months

Excellent

Transfer fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Poor

Regular APR
14.74%-24.74% (variable)

Average

Annual fee
$0

Excellent

Customer Experience

Very Good

Other Notable Features: Choose your payment due date, extended warranty, personal concierge service, damage and theft purchase protection, Citi Entertainment, Citi Easy Deals, Apple Pay

Low Interest Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 4.0
Rewards: 0.0
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 3.3

In a Nutshell:

Thanks to its long introductory offers on balance transfers and purchases, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a solid option if you need to pay down debt or finance a large purchase. Just be sure to factor in the card’s high balance transfer fee when weighing options.

Learn more about this card

Regular APR
14.74-24.74% (variable)

Poor

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 18 months

Excellent

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 18 months

Excellent

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is higher)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is higher)
Fair

Penalties

  • Up to $40 late payment fee
  • Up to 29.99% penalty APR (variable)
  • Up to $40 returned payment fee
Poor

Customer Experience

Very Good

Other Notable Features: Choose your payment due date, extended warranty, personal concierge service, damage and theft purchase protection, Citi Entertainment, Citi Easy Deals, Apple Pay

If you need to pay off credit card debt or hit pause on your monthly interest charges, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card will likely stand out for its exceptionally long introductory offer on balance transfers. Indeed, it boasts one of the longest introductory offers on the market.

The card’s appeal doesn’t stop there. It also offers a long introductory period on new purchases and a number of extra perks that will be useful long after the promotional period ends.

That said, you’ll have to do the math to be sure the card’s high balance transfer fee doesn’t end up costing you more than you’d save with a few extra months of no-interest payments.

Long 0% introductory APR on balance transfers

The Citi Diamond Preferred card comes with a fairly long 0% introductory APR for balance transfers (0% for 18 months, 14.74%-24.74% variable APR thereafter). While this offer is on par with that of many other balance transfer cards, which typically offer introductory periods of between 12 and 18 months, it is notably lower than the card’s previous offering of 21 months of 0% interest.

Still, depending on how much you owe and how much you can afford to pay each month, having 18 months to pay down your balance could be exactly what you need. Just be sure to get the process started early, as you must complete your balance transfer within four months of opening the account to take advantage of the promotional offer.

Reduced balance transfer fee

Along with reducing the length of the Diamond Preferred card’s balance transfer offer, Citi has also reduced the card’s balance transfer fee, a change that could make your balance transfer less costly overall. You’ll now be charged a balance transfer fee of just 3% of your balance or $5, whichever is higher. Previously, the card charged a 5% balance transfer fee, which is fairly high.

That said, some cards charge no balance transfer fee at all. This is critical to keep in mind if you have a large balance to transfer, as a card with low or no transfer fees could save you a ton, even when compared to a card with a long 0% introductory offer.

Take, for example, the Chase Slate card, which only offers a 15-month 0% APR on balance transfers (16.49%-25.24% variable thereafter). The extra interest you’d pay as a result of its shorter balance transfer offer is far less than the cost of balance transfer fees with the Citi Diamond Preferred Card:

Cost of transferring and paying down a balance over 18 months

Citi Diamond Preferred Chase Slate (with a 25.24% APR)
$500 balance with $25 monthly payment $15 balance transfer fee $3 in interest
$2,000 balance with $98 monthly payment $60 balance transfer fee $20 in interest
$4,000 balance with $195 monthly payment $120 balance transfer fee $41 in interest
$8,000 balance with $400 monthly payment $240 balance transfer fee $76 in interest

As you can see, depending on how much you can afford to pay each month, a longer balance transfer period is not guaranteed to save you money. In fact, you’re usually better off with a card that carries no balance transfer fee if you can qualify.

See Related: How to transfer a balance to a Citi credit card

Lengthy 0% introductory APR on new purchases too

Along with its long introductory period on balance transfers, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers an impressive introductory rate on new purchases: 0% for the first 18 months and 14.74%-24.74% variable APR thereafter.

Whether you’re planning a move, home renovation or even a vacation, being able to spread out payments on large expenses with the card’s extra-long financing period could be a big help. It’s certainly a better option than the deferred interest offers you’ll see advertised at many stores, since even if you do need more than 18 months to pay off your purchases, you’ll only be charged interest going forward, not retroactively.

The high-end APR could cost you

After the promotional period on balance transfers and new purchases ends, the Citi Diamond Preferred card’s ongoing APR will be 14.74%-24.74% (variable), depending on your creditworthiness.

While the card’s low-end APR is in line with the average APR for a balance transfer card, the high-end is very high indeed. Additionally, if you struggle to pay on time you could face a penalty APR of up to 29.99% (variable).

Carrying a revolving balance can really cost you with this card, so if you have less-than-perfect credit and suspect you’ll only qualify for the higher-end APR, make sure you have a plan in place to avoid racking up more debt and pay off your balance during the promotional period.

Decent perks for a no-annual-fee card

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers cardholders some premium benefits, such as Citi EntertainmentSM, a program that provides special access to ticket sales, preferred seating and VIP packages at concerts, sporting events and dining experiences. The card also offers a chance to save with the Citi Easy Deals program, which gives cardholders discounts on a variety of everyday purchases.

Borrow against your available credit limit at a fixed rate

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card could come in especially handy if unexpected major expenses pop up. As a Citi cardholder, you may be able to take advantage of a Citi Flex Plan, which allows you to borrow cash against your available credit limit and pay it back at a fixed rate over a fixed term of up to 60 months, depending on your eligibility.

Since a Citi Flex Plan uses the existing credit line on your Citi credit card, you won’t have to fill out an application, go through a credit check or pay an origination fee.

Unfortunately, however, you must be offered a Citi Flex Plan and not all cardholders are eligible.

Tip: You may also be able to finance Amazon.com purchases using Citi Flex Pay.

No rewards program

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card’s perks are a welcome addition – especially considering the card charges no annual fee – but for most people these won’t make up for its lack of a rewards program.

While paying off debt should definitely be your top priority following a balance transfer, you can still take advantage of a balance transfer card that offers rewards to save on everyday purchases.

Consider the Discover it® Balance Transfer* card, which not only offers an 18-month introductory period for balance transfers (see rates and fees thereafter), but also gives you a chance to enroll in an array of rotating quarterly bonus categories and earn 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1%). It also only charges a balance transfer fee of (see rates and fees).

If tracking and enrolling in rotating bonus cash back categories sounds like a headache, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is another option, offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The card also offers a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 15 months (15.49%-25.49% variable APR thereafter).

How does the Citi Diamond Preferred Card compare to other balance transfer cards?

The Citi Diamond Preferred card’s main selling point is its extremely long 0% introductory offer on both balance transfers and new purchases, but its high balance transfer fee holds it back. Here are a few of our favorite alternatives, each of which comes with a solid 0% introductory offer on balance transfers while charging lower balance transfer fees:

Chase Slate

Chase Slate

Discover it Balance Transfer

Discover it® Balance Transfer*

(This offer is no longer available.)

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Rewards rate

None

Rewards rate

  • Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in various categories throughout the year
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
Rewards rate

  • Up to 2% cash back on every purchase – 1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay for those purchases
Introductory period (balance transfers)

15 months

Introductory period (new purchases)

6 months

Introductory period (balance transfers)

18 months

Regular APR

16.49-25.24% (variable)

Regular APR

See rates and fees

Regular APR

13.99-23.99% (variable)

Other things to know

  • $0 balance transfer fee for first 60 days of account opening, then $5 or 5% (whichever is greater)
  • Includes purchase protection and unlimited free credit score access
Other things to know

  • Matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year
  • See rates and fees for balance transfer fee
  • No fee for the first late payment (see rates and fees thereafter)
  • Free social security number alerts
Other things to know

  • 3% intro balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher)
  • $25 minimum cash redemption
  • Awards expire if card is not used for more than 12 months
  • Cash back can be converted to Citi ThankYou points

Chase Slate

The Chase Slate has a much shorter introductory period than the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, but it also includes a $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days of account opening (then $5 or 5%, whichever is greater). If you have a larger balance to transfer, this could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. In most cases, you’ll save more with a no-balance-transfer-fee card than the extra interest you’ll pay on a shorter introductory period.

Discover it Balance Transfer

If long-term card value is a priority, the Discover it Balance Transfer is a great alternative to the Citi Diamond Preferred card. It has a shorter introductory period for balance transfers and new purchases, but charges a lower balance transfer fee and offers a generous rewards rate and top-notch sign-up bonus in the form of a first-year cash back match.

Citi Double Cash Card

Since it’s marketed mostly as a general cash back credit card, the Citi Double Cash Card’s generous balance transfer terms may surprise you. While the card lacks an introductory APR on new purchases, you can take advantage of a 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers (13.99%-23.99% variable thereafter). The card’s transfer fee is also lower than the Citi Diamond Preferred Card’s – just 3% (or $5, whichever is higher). Even better, the card’s flat-rate cash back earning scheme encourages good spending habits, since you’ll earn 1% back when you buy and 1% back when you pay off your purchases.

Why get the Citi Diamond Preferred card?

  • You’re looking for a long introductory offer on balance transfers available.
  • You want to finance a larger purchase over 18 months without using deferred interest.
  • You’ll make use of the premium extra benefits that come with the card.

How to use the Citi Diamond Preferred card:

  • If your primary goal is to use the introductory offer to pay off debt, try to avoid new purchases that will incur more debt.
  • If you use the introductory APR to buy a big-ticket item, make sure you can pay the card off before the introductory period is over.
  • Try out our balance transfer calculator to see if the money you’ll save with the card’s long introductory offer on balance transfers justifies the high balance transfer fee.
  • For additional advice, check out our complete guide to transferring a balance to your Citi card.
  • Enroll in Citi Easy Deals to earn special discounts on certain purchases.

Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card worth it?

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card’s long introductory APR on balance transfers and new purchases is hard to beat. It may be a great fit if you think you’ll need a long time to pay down your balance, but you could actually save more by getting a card with a low balance transfer fee instead.

*The information for the Discover it® Balance Transfer has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. This card is no longer available on our site.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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Partner Offer: Citi is an advertising partner

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