Summary - The Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard® is a great credit card for those looking for a no-frills card with a low APR and a 0% on purchase deal. It is consistently the best card for those looking to do a balance transfer.
Fees - This card has no annual fee. The APR that you will be charged depends on your credit and could be between 11.99% to 21.99% (variable rate). Citibank uses the average daily balance (including new purchases) to calculate monthly balance. New cardholders get a 0% Intro APR* offer for balance transfers for 18 months and 0% Intro APR* on purchases for 18 months.
Citi Extra Cash - Holders of this card also get a reward program called the Extra Cash program. This is not highly publicized by Citi but for some folks, it is actually quite a good one. Here is how it works. You get to earn 10 extra cash points for every dollar that you spend on the card. These points are valid for 2 years. However, unlike regular programs where you can redeem points for stuff for free, this program only gives you discounts on certain things. But, there are some gems here.
Firstly, there are rewards for airline tickets for international airline tickets and flights. Hence, the reward program will give discounts on the airline tickets if you fly international.
The Extra Cash program also has also a hotel program where they have many hotels as their partners. When I was on the phone with the Extra Cash representative, she said that they guaranteed the lowest hotel prices, even lower than if you booked directly with the hotel! I thought this was pretty unique. Unlike the airline rewards, most of the hotels are all US based.
Other Benefits - Cardholders also get benefits like Citi Identity Theft Solutions, $0 Liability on unauthorized purchases and Secure, free online account management.
Before we reach a verdict on this card, let's compare it with some of it's peers. The cards that we have chosen to compare to are also "vanilla" low rate cards since it would be very unfair to compare it to reward cards.
Versus the Citi Diamond Preferred Card - For some reason, Citi has another "vanilla" card called the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card, which has exactly the same balance transfer features and interest rate as well. It does not have the Citi Extra Cash program, but it does come with a free concierge service (a perk normal reserved for cards with much higher annual fees). It has a different card design (black) which may appeal to some folks. For for all intents and purposes, this card has the same features as the Citi Platinum Select.
Versus the Chase Slate Card - Chase has revamped their line up of cards and right now, their vanilla card is the Slate from Chase with BluePrint (the official name). The interesting feature of this card is the "blueprint" feature. This is how it works. If you carry a balance, then you can choose any expense that is technically paid in full every month and you will not be charged interest on that expense even though you carry a balance. This will certainly help those who carry a balance. Only credit cards from Chase have this feature. When it comes to their balance transfer deal, the Chase Slate at present is offering a 0% Intro APR for up to 12 months but with no balance transfer fee.
Captial One Visa - Capital One has a few standard vanilla Visas and MasterCards with no annual fee. The advantage of their cards is that they charge no foreign transaction fee (which is great for folks who travel overseas). But their best balance transfer deal is only for 12 months. So on this front, the Citi Platinum Select is the winner again.
Verdict - We recommend the Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard® to those with good credit and are looking for either (or both) a low APR credit card or one with a 0% offer for balance transfers and purchases. Compared to their major rivals, it consistently offers the best balance transfer deal (by a mile) and is ideal for those looking to transfer a balance. Furthermore, those who like to get the lowest prices on hotels should also consider this card. Though you cannot use their extra cash points for free hotel stays or gift cards, the discounts you get are pretty good.
www.askmrcreditcard.com All Rights Reserved
*See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer. *See the online application for details.