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Citi’s balance transfer cards offer some great 0% intro APR promotions.
But the right one for you can depend on how long you need to pay off the balance, and what other benefits you want. As you compare our top picks, consider your needs and preferences before applying.
At a glance: The best Citi balance transfer credit cards of 2019
|Citi Simplicity® Card||Citi® Double Cash Card|
|APR promotion & regular variable APR||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of your first transfer (transfers must be made within first four months of account opening), and on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening; regular variable APR is 16.24% - 26.24%||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from the date of your first transfer (transfers must be made within first four months of account opening); regular variable APR is 15.74% - 25.74%|
|Balance transfer fee||5% (minimum $5)||3% (minimum $5)|
|Noteworthy rewards & other benefits||No late fees or penalty APR if you miss a payment||Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off|
Who’s it for?
Those who want a 0% introductory APR promotion on balance transfers made within the first four months of account opening for 21 months (then a regular 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR on both purchases and balance transfers).
Why we like it
The Citi Simplicity® Card gives you a window to pay down your transferred balance or new purchases at the promo interest rate. For example, if you transfer a balance of $5,777 (the average credit card debt per household in 2016 based on our calculations) to the card and don’t make any additional purchases, you’d need to make monthly payments of about $321 in order to pay off your balance before interest starts kicking in on any remaining balance.
Even if you can’t afford that, you could still carve a sizeable chunk out of your credit card debt before the card’s 0% intro promotion ends.
The card’s generosity with late payments can also be helpful for some cardholders. You won’t pay a late fee or penalty APR if you miss a monthly payment.
Watch out for
The card’s balance transfer fee is a bit higher than what some other cards charge. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card charges 3% (minimum $5), and you can even find cards that offer a $0 intro balance transfer fee.
How to use it
On top of the introductory balance transfer APR offer, Citi Simplicity® Card’s intro APR offer for purchases could make it a good option for you if you also have a large purchase or home improvement project coming up.
Who’s it for?
Cardholders who want a balance transfer promotion (on transfers made within the first four months of account opening) and great ongoing rewards. Just be aware, once the 0% intro APR window of 18 months for balance transfers is over, there will be a variable APR of 15.74% - 25.74% for balance transfers.
Why we like it
The Citi® Double Cash Card’s combo offer of a long introductory balance transfer promotion and a standout rewards program is unique.
You’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase: 1% when you make the purchase and 1% when you pay it off. This means that you can get value out of the card long after the balance transfer promotion is over.
Also, the card’s balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5) is lower than the other cards on this list.
Watch out for
Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t offer an intro APR promotion on purchases, which could be a problem if you’re looking to use this card for balance transfers and purchases.
Here’s why: While you’re carrying a balance that you transferred to the Citi® Double Cash Card, any purchases you make on the card could be charged interest. Only paying the total balance (including your entire transferred balance) in full by or before the due date each month keeps interest charges on any purchases you’ve made at bay.
How to use it
If you’re charging purchases to the card, you’ll earn rewards. But if you want to avoid interest charges on purchases during the intro balance transfer offer period, it may be best to save those purchases for after you’ve made the most of the 18-month intro and paid your balance transfer off in full.Learn more: How to do a balance transfer in 6 steps
If you have high-interest credit card debt and are looking for a way to pay it off, a balance transfer credit card could be a part of your debt payoff strategy.
There is no perfect balance transfer card for everyone, and even Citi balance transfer offers can vary from card to card. This means it’s essential for you to know what your top priorities are. Are you fine taking a shorter introductory balance transfer APR promotion to get rewards? Do you care about also getting a 0% introductory APR on purchases? How much of a balance transfer fee are you willing to pay? Are you planning to use the card for both balance transfers and purchases?
Consider these questions as you compare Citi’s and other balance transfer credit cards. And figure out if the monthly payment required to pay off your transfer in full within the intro period is within your budget. As you find your answers, you may have an easier time picking the card that will best suit your needs.