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Citi Diamond Preferred Card
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Is this THE card for 0% APR Purchase and Balance Transfer?

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is Citi's vanilla card with a long 0% APR intro offer for both purchases and balance transfers. This card has no reward program so those of you considering this card will be doing so mainly because of the 0% APR deal. Should you get this card? Well, let's see look at it in more detail.


Card Details

Annual Fee $0
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% for 18 months from date of transfer when transfer is within 4 months of account opening
Intro Purchase APR 0% for 18 months
Regular APR 14.74% to 24.74%
Balance Transfer Fee Greater of $5 or 3% of balance transfer
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%
Chip and PIN Yes - but Signature Preferred


Fees - The Citi Diamond Preferred has no annual fee. However, they do charge balance transfer fees (greater of $5 or 3% of balance transfer) and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

0% APR Deal - New card holders get 0% APR for 18 months for both purchases and balance transfers. For the balance transfers, you are given up to 4 months to do the transfer that qualifies for the 18 month intro period. As mentioned before, you have to pay a balance transfer fee.
 


Citi Benefits

The Citi Diamond Preferred has the following benefits that is common among other Citi credit cards.
  • Free FICO Score - You get a FREE FICO 8 Score from Equifax.

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Digital Wallet - Compatible with Google Pay, Apply Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Contactless Pay
  • Virtual Account Numbers
  • Quick Lock Service
  • Chip and PIN - All new Citicards have Chip and PIN technology. It is however signature preferred and only online PIN and not offline.


Competition

Card 0% APR Purchase 0% APR BT Regular APR Balance Transfer Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
Citi Diamond Preferred 18 Months 18 Months 14.74% to 24.74% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Citi Simplicity 18 Months 18 Months 14.74% to 24.74% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Citi Double Cash N.A. 18 Months 13.99% to 23.99% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer $0
US Bank Visa Platinum 20 Months 20 Months 13.99% to 23.99% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Wells Fargo Platinum 18 Months 18 Months 16.49% to 24.49% Greater of $5 or 3% of transfer 3%
Greater Metro Platinum Mastercard 12 Months 12 Months 8.9% $0 $0
Greater Metro Mastercard 12 Months 12 Months 11.9% $0 $0
BECU Visa 12 Months 12 Months 6.9% to 12.9% $0 $0
BECU Cash Back Visa Months 12 Months 9.9% to 15.9% $0 $0
Navy Federal 12 Months 12 Months 5.99% to 18% $0 $0


In the table above, I have listed credit cards from mainstream issuers that offer 0% APR for either purchases, balance transfers or both. I have also listed a few credit cards (mainly from credit unions) that offer 0% APR but with no balance transfer fees. Let's see how all these cards stack up with one another.

If we look at the mainstream issuers, the Citi Diamond Preferred has the second longest intro APR at 18 months. And their 0% APR offer is for both purchases and balance transfers. Citi has another card called the Citi Simplicity which has exact identical 0% intro offer as the Citi Diamond Preferred and in fact is essentially a similar card.

The longest intro period for both purchases and balance transfer now rest with the US Bank Visa Platinum. The 0% APR intro period for that card is 20 months (which is 2 months longer than Citi).US Bank requires you to transfer your balance for the intro offer within 60 days (about 2 months) of getting your card. In contrast, Citi gives you 4 months to transfer your balance. US bank also has the same balance transfer fee as Citi.

Another card worth taking note of is the Citi DoubleCash, which offers 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfer only (no purchases). But they have a great reward program that gives you 2% cash back on all purchases.

So among mainstream issuers, only the US Bank Visa Platinum is better than the Citi Diamond Preferred in it's 0% deal has a slightly longer intro period (20 months vs 18 months).

Now let's compare the Citi Diamond Preferred to issuers offering 0% APR with no balance transfer fee. From the table above, it is clear that most of these issuers are credit unions. And the intro period tends to be shorter (12 months). However, cards like Greater Metro Platinum Mastercard are a typical example. It offers a 0% APR deal for both purchases and balance transfer for 12 months but does not charge any balance transfer fee. In addition, Greater Metro does not charge any foreign transaction fee and has Chip and PIN technology that is PIN preferred, which makes it an ideal credit card to use when you travel abroad.

Another credit union card that is good to compare with is the BECU Cash Back Visa which gives you 1.5% cash back and a 0% APR deal for 12 months with no balance transfer fee. In addition, they do not charge any foreign transaction fee.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Long Intro Period for both Purchases and Balance Transfers - At this moment, 18 months is the longest intro period for a 0% APR deal and the Citi Diamond Preferred happens to have this honor. It also offer 0% intro deal for BOTH purchases and balance transfers. (note it was not too long ago that the intro period was 21 months).

  • Have 4 Months to complete balance transfer - Citi gives you up to 4 months to complete your 18 months 0% balance transfer. This actually gives you time to plan ahead to get this card within some wriggle room time so you do not have to rush your balance transfer.

  • Free FICO Score - You get a Free FICO 8 Score from Equifax

Cons

  • Balance transfer fee - The Citi Diamond Preferred charges a balance transfer fee for their balance transfers (greater of $5 or 3% of balance transfer).

  • Ongoing APR not exactly low - After the intro period ends, the range of APR from Citi is not exactly the lowest. If you are looking for a credit card with an ongoing low interest rate, this is not the card to get.

  • Foreign Transaction Fee - This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee and so this is not a card you want to use when you travel abroad.

  • No Reward Program - This is a plain vanilla tier 2 credit card with no reward program.


Our Take: Great for 0% APR on Purchases But Is This The Balance Transfer Card You Are Looking For?

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card (at this moment) has the second longest introductory period for both balance transfers and purchases. You get 0% intro APR for 18 months (which was actually reduced from 21 months during the Covid-19 pandemic). For the balance transfer, there is a fee of the greater of $5 or 3% of amount of balance transfer.

If you are looking for a 0% APR deal for PURCHASES, this is a great card to get because the intro period is 18 months. However, if you are looking for a card to do a balance transfer, the decision of whether to get this card is a little bit more tricky. The reason is because though you get a 18 month intro period, there is a balance transfer fee that you have to cough up. If you look hard enough, there are balance transfer intro offers with no balance transfer fee. However, most of the current offers are from credit unions and the intro period on these 0% no transfer fee cards is 12 months. So you do have to weigh the balance between paying a balance transfer fee and getting a longer introductory period or not paying a balance transfer fee but getting a shorter intro period.

Another thing to note is that if you are also looking for a card with a low ongoing APR, the Citi Diamond Preferred (like most mainstream issuers) does not have a low ongoing APR. If you are looking for a low APR card to keep after the intro period ends, then this is not really a keeper card.

Another thing to consider is that Citi has another card called the Citi Double Cash, which also has a 0% APR intro deal for balance transfers (but not purchases). But in addition to the intro deal, they also let cardholders earn 2% cash back on all purchases. So in this sense, the Citi Double Cash is a better keeper card after the intro period ends.

Great 0% APR Deal for Purchases

If you are looking for a 0% APR deal for purchases, then the Citi Diamond Preferrd Card is a great choice because it has the second longest intro period for purchases (along with the Citi Simplicity Card). I would definitely recommend this card if this is what you are looking for.

Other Cards to consider for balance transfer

However, if you are looking for a balance transfer credit card, then this card is not a clear winner. Yes, it has the second longest intro period for a 0% balance transfer deal. However, they do charge a balance transfer fee. They are quite a few 0% APR credit cards with no balance transfer fee.


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