Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Review: One of the Best Low Interest Cards Around
Elizabeth is a writer specializing in credit cards, debt repayment, and small business. Her work has also appeared on MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
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If you’re looking to pay off your debt faster and avoid interest fees, The Citi® Diamond Preferred® stands out from the rest because of its long introductory period for both balance transfers and purchases, giving you extra time to pay down your balance at 0% interest. However, this card does come with a higher balance transfer fee than other options, so you’ll have to weigh that against the longer introductory period if that's your intended use.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Great for: Balance transfers Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
A perennial interest-avoiding favorite with a long 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers.
Credit Rating Requirement:
Purchases: 0%, 12 months
Balance Transfers: 0%, 21 months
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Bonuses & Perks
FICO score for free
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
- 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
- If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Get free access to your FICO® score online.
- With Citi EntertainmentSM, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
- Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
What I like
0% introductory APR for 21 months on balance transfers -- One of the longest introductory periods on balance transfers. You’ll get a 0% APR on the balance transferred for a full 21 months, which gives you two years to pay off your balance.
0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases -- You’ll also get a 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months. This is a helpful perk if you plan on buying anything with the card, although if you’re trying to pay off debt, it’s wise to focus on repayment and not make any new purchases.
No annual fee -- This card comes with no annual fee, which is an important feature if your goal is to pay off debt.
FICO® Score for free -- The Citi® Diamond Preferred® card provides you with access to your FICO® Score for free. If building or rebuilding credit is important to you, this feature is helpful.
Choose your payment due date -- A little flexibility can go a long way when it comes to managing your finances. The card lets you choose from any available payment date, whether it’s in the beginning, middle, or end of the month. That way, you can set up automatic payments that are aligned with your paycheck.
What could be improved
Balance transfer fee -- The balance transfer fee is 5% or $5, whichever is higher. This is higher than the 3% balance transfer fee charged by many other balance transfer cards with shorter introductory periods. If you were to transfer a balance of $5,000, you’d be charged an additional $250 as a balance transfer fee. Depending on your former interest rate, you can end up paying more in balance transfer fees than you would have in interest.
Rewards -- The card doesn’t offer rewards, but that is typically the case with this type of card, aside from a select few balance transfer cards that offer rewards. If your focus is paying off credit card debt, rewards probably shouldn’t be a priority anyway.
Suggested credit score
As long as you have a good or excellent credit score, usually a FICO® Score 670 or above, you will have a good chance of approval for the Citi® Diamond Preferred®. If your score is in the mid 600s, you may still be approved. A credit score below 630 will make it very difficult to receive approval, though not impossible.
How to do a balance transfer
You can do a balance transfer with Citi easily. It’s important to know that you can’t transfer a balance from one Citi credit card to another. Keep in mind that you have to wait 14 days from card opening to initiate a balance transfer, and then it can take another seven to 10 days to process. Once you’ve been approved for the card, you’ll want to complete the following steps.
- Sign on to your account, and look at your current offers. You should see a balance transfer offer. Select “view offer.”
- You’ll need to fill out a form including the balance amount you would like to transfer and the account information from which you’d like to transfer the balance.
- Confirm that you have put in the correct information and press submit.
You must complete the balance transfer within four months of card opening to qualify for the 0% introductory APR, but you should complete it as early as possible to take advantage of the offer. Once the balance is transferred, set up automatic payments. Your monthly payment amount should be enough that you’ve paid the balance in full before the end of the introductory period, which starts when you open the account, not when you complete the balance transfer.
What you need to know about Citi’s application rules
In order to receive approval for any Citi credit card, there are restrictions regarding how many recent credit card applications you have on your report. The 8/65 rule prevents applicants from applying for more than one Citi card every eight days or more than two Citi cards every 65 days. You also can’t apply for more than one business Citi card every 90 days.
How to apply
Applying for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® is a simple process that should only take a few minutes. You will need to provide the following information:
- Your name, date of birth, and address
- Your social security number and citizenship
- Your annual income and monthly rent or mortgage payments
You may receive instant approval, but many people are told to wait for an answer by email or mail. If that’s the case, you can always call the issuer to check on the status of your application.
You may also be approved for the card but not receive a credit limit high enough to transfer your full balance. Consider requesting a credit limit increase with Citi -- although, keep in mind that this can result in a hard pull on your credit report, and if you’ve never banked with Citi before, your chances might be slim.
Is it right for you?
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® is easily one of the best 0% intro APR credit cards on the market. Despite its higher balance transfer fee, the card offers a generous 21-month introductory period during which you don’t have to pay any interest on balance transfers. You can also finance a large new item with the 12-month introductory period on purchases. If you’re looking to pay off a significant amount of debt and want to minimize your monthly payments, this card is the way to go.