Citi balance transfer cards: Which one is right for you?

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In a Nutshell

If you’re carrying debt on a high-interest credit card, it may be worth considering a balance transfer card with a 0% introductory APR promotion on balance transfers. Citi balance transfer cards offer excellent balance transfer promotions, along with other benefits to add value to your spending.
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Compare Citi balance transfer cards

  Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Citi Simplicity® Card Citi® Double Cash Card Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Citi Rewards+® Card
0% APR on balance transfers 21 months 21 months 18 months 15 months 15 months
0% APR on purchases 12 months 12 months None 15 months 15 months
Regular variable APR 16.74% - 27.49% 17.74% - 28.49% 17.74% - 27.74% 17.74% - 27.74% 17.24% - 27.24%
Intro balance transfer fee? No Yes Yes No Yes

There are five Citi balance transfer credit cards. While there are some similarities with their balance transfer offers, each card has its own set of features.



What you need to know about each card

Depending on which of these Citi cards you choose, you’ll get a balance transfer promotion in addition to other features. Before deciding on a card, it’s a good idea to compare your options to help determine which may be best for your situation.

Here’s what you should consider.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

From our partner

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

2.8 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is relatively straightforward, focusing primarily on helping you pay down your debt. It offers an introductory 0% APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases, and for 21 months from the date of your first transfer on balance transfers made within the first four months. After the intro periods end, the regular APR for purchases and balance transfers goes up to 16.74% - 27.49% variable.

The balance transfer fee is 5% (minimum $5). Unfortunately, there’s no introductory fee.

This gap between the purchase and balance transfer periods means that you’ll need to pay off your entire balance in full every month (including any purchases you’ve made and your transferred balance) after the intro purchase APR period ends. Otherwise, you’ll be charged interest on both your new purchases and your unpaid transferred balance. Since the two separate intro APR timelines may be a bit tricky to manage, it may a good idea to avoid using the card for purchases to eliminate any potential complications.

The card doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Read our review of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card to learn more.

Citi Simplicity® Card

From our partner

Citi Simplicity® Card

2.9 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

The Citi Simplicity® Card offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of your first transfer, and on purchases for 12 months from account opening. It has a balance transfer fee: Intro fee 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum). To qualify for the intro rate, you’ll need to complete your balance transfers within four months of account opening.

The Citi Simplicity® Card’s ongoing regular APR, which is 17.74% - 28.49% variable for both purchases and balance transfers, is slightly higher than the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card’s regular APR. But if you pay off your balance transfer by the end of the promotional period and pay your bill in full every month after that, you won’t need to worry about paying interest.

The Citi Simplicity® Card doesn’t charge an annual fee — and it doesn’t come with any special benefits or rewards.

Read our review of the Citi Simplicity® Card to learn more.

Citi® Double Cash Card

From our partner

Citi® Double Cash Card

3.8 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

The Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases. But the card’s 0% APR on balance transfers lasts 18 months from the date of your first transfer, after which the variable balance transfer APR will be 17.74% - 27.74%. To qualify for the intro rate, you’ll need to complete your transfers within four months of account opening. Plus, there’s a balance transfer fee: Intro fee 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

The card offers a solid 2% cash back on purchases, giving you 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% as you pay it off. Because there’s no 0% APR on purchases, though, you’ll be assessed interest on those transactions unless you pay your full balance, including your balance transfer, by the due date each month.

So it might be best to use the card only for the balance transfer promotion until you’ve paid off your transferred debt or completed the promotional period.

The card doesn’t charge an annual fee. Learn more in our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

From our partner

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

3.5 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a solid 0% APR promotion on both balance transfers and purchases, plus the chance to earn up to 5% cash back on your spending.

You’ll get a 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening — and on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of your first transfer. After that, the variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers will be 17.74% - 27.74%. Make sure you complete your balance transfers within four months from account opening — if you miss the date, you won’t qualify for the intro rate. Also, note that there’s a balance transfer fee of 5% (minimum $5).

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers 5% cash back on up to $500 spent on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle (which is generally the same as a month). Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

You’ll get 1% back on all other purchases. Plus, you’ll also earn a $200 bonus when you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months after account opening.

Learn more about the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.

Citi Rewards+® Card

From our partner

Citi Rewards+® Card

2.9 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

The Citi Rewards+® Card is another choice to consider if you want to earn rewards. This card offers an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of your first transfer and on purchases for 15 months from account opening. After that, the ongoing variable APR for purchases and balance transfers ranges from 17.24% - 27.24%.

You’ll need to complete any balance transfers within the first four months to qualify for the intro rate. Plus, there’s a balance transfer fee: Intro fee 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

The card also offers 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 3 months. You’ll also earn two points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations (on up to $6,000 spent annually — and then one point per $1 spent after that) and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

There’s an extra flourish to this card’s rewards program: With every purchase you make, Citi will round up your rewards earned to the nearest 10 points. You’ll also get 10% of your points back when you redeem your rewards, up to the first 100,000 points you redeem each year. The card has no annual fee.

Learn more about the Citi Rewards+® Card.

How to pick the right card for you

None of the Citi balance transfer cards stand out as objectively better than the rest, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a balance transfer card.

For example, if you have a lot of debt and need all the time you can get to pay it off, the Citi Simplicity® Card or the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card may be the right choice. But if you have a lower balance and want rewards to continue to get value after the 0% APR period is over, one of the other cards might be a better option.

As you compare the Citi balance transfer cards that offer rewards, think about your spending habits and which card would provide you with the best return in the form of cash back or points. You’ll also want to consider the 0% APR promotions, especially that of the Citi® Double Cash Card, which doesn’t have a promotion for purchases.

As you take the time to compare card features and your own preferences and goals, you’ll have an easier time determining the right card for you.

Not sure any of these cards are for you? Consider these alternatives.

If the Citi balance transfer cards aren’t the right fit for you, here are a few other options you may want to consider.


About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.