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Hear from our editors: The 4 best Citi® credit cards of 2020
Updated March 9, 2020
We update credit card details (e.g., APR, sign-up bonus) as we receive new information from our marketing partners.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s posted.
Written by: Janet Berry-Johnson
As one of the world’s largest credit card issuers, Citi has plenty of card options to choose from.
But which ones outshine the rest? Here’s our take on the best Citi credit cards.
- Best for simple cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card
- Best for travelers: Citi Premier℠ Card
- Best for balance transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card
- Best for value shoppers: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Here’s why: You’ll earn cash back while paying $0 for an annual fee, so this could be an excellent option for anyone if you want a simple, cost-effective way to earn cash back on everyday purchases.
With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you can earn 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% on each purchase you make and an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases, as long as you pay the minimum due.
Unlike some cash back credit cards, you don’t have to enroll in any programs or keep track of revolving rewards categories with the Citi® Double Cash Card. Also, there are no caps on the amount of cash back you can earn.
Check out our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card for more details.
Here’s why: You can earn bonus points for spending on travel, dining and entertainment, and redeem those rewards for gift cards, merchandise and more.
The Citi Premier℠ Card is a flexible rewards card, so long as you don’t mind redeeming points through the Citi ThankYou program for travel, electronics, gift cards and more.
With this card, you can earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points by spending $4,000 with the card within the first three months of account opening. The full bonus is currently worth $600 if you redeem your points for gift cards at thankyou.com or $750 in airfare when booked through the ThankYou Travel Center.
Otherwise, you’ll get three points per $1 spent on travel (including gas stations), two points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment, and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. As long as your account is open and current, you can earn unlimited points that don’t expire.
This card comes with an annual fee of $95.
Check out more rewards card options in our article on the best credit cards for restaurants.
Here’s why: This card offers Citi’s longest introductory balance transfer offer, but watch out for the associated fees.
If you’re more interested in avoiding mounting credit card interest than earning rewards, the Citi Simplicity® Card is a good choice. It offers …
- An intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer — the longest advertised introductory period of any of Citi’s cards — for transfers completed in the first four months of opening the account
- An intro 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
- After the introductory period, you’ll pay a variable APR between 14.74% - 24.74% on both balance transfers and purchases
But before you sign up for this card, make sure to crunch the numbers on your balance transfer. The Citi Simplicity® Card charges a balance transfer fee of 5% (minimum $5), which is higher than that of many other cards. If this fee amounts to more than you’d pay in interest on another card, the intro rate you get with the Citi Simplicity® Card might not be worthwhile.
There are no rewards programs with this card, but it comes with a $0 annual fee. And there are no late fees or penalty rates.
Check out our review of the Citi Simplicity® Card to learn more.
Here’s why: You’ll earn cash rewards by using the card anywhere Visa is accepted.
Are you a regular Costco shopper? If so, you could earn considerable cash back with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.
- 4% cash back on your first $7,000 in gas purchases each year (1% after that)
- 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Keep in mind that cash back doesn’t work as a statement credit or account deposit — it’s awarded once annually as a certificate redeemable for cash or merchandise at Costco warehouses in the U.S.
There’s a $0 annual fee with this card, but you do have to maintain a current Costco membership in your name. That membership fee is currently $60 or $120, depending on which account you hold.
Learn more about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi from our review.
How we picked these cards
When choosing the best Citi credit cards of 2020, we took a number of factors into account, including annual fees, introductory interest rates, and the ease of earning and redeeming rewards.
We started with all of Citi’s credit cards available to individual account holders. Given the size and diversity of the Citi audience, we wanted to make sure our picks appealed to the most people possible.
Not everyone travels by plane frequently, shops at warehouse clubs or is motivated by balance transfer offers, but with such a variety of cards, Citi has something for just about everyone’s needs.
How to make the most of Citi cards
Not every credit card is right for everyone. Before applying for any of these cards, consider your own shopping habits, how you’ll use the card and how you’d like to redeem your rewards, if applicable.
For instance, the most generous travel rewards aren’t worth much if you prefer to stay home. Similarly, you won’t find much value in using cash back at Costco if you don’t like its warehouse stores.
It’s also worth noting whether the card you choose rewards you with ThankYou Points. These points can be redeemed in a number of ways, and the dollar value of the points varies depending on how you use them. Getting the most bang for your buck can be pretty complicated, so check out our guide to maximizing Citi ThankYou Rewards points to decide whether this rewards structure is right for you.