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Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card: A 0% Card That Sparkles

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Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card: A 0% Card That Sparkles

A credit card that offers an introductory 0% period longer than 18 months is a diamond in the rough. But luckily, you don’t have to go searching for it – the Nerds have found it for you in the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.

This is one of the longest 0% promotions on the market, but the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t stop there – it provides other impressive perks, too. Take a look at the details below to see why the Nerds think this card is a cut above the rest.

Citibank Diamond Preferred Credit Card
Apply Now

on Citibank's
secure website

At a glance
Annual fees $0*
Intro APR deal 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 21.99% Variable
Rewards program Citi Easy Deals (see below for details)
Signup bonus 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 11.99%-21.99% based upon your creditworthiness.
Verdict: If you need a super long 0% period to finance a large purchase or refinance debt, this card fits the bill
Good for:
  • Someone who wants to finance a purchase at 0%
  • Someone who needs to refinance credit card debt, and will need a long time to pay it off
  • Someone who’s not interested in a robust rewards program
Bad for:
  • Someone who doesn’t need to finance a purchase
  • Someone who wants to do a balance transfer, and won’t need much more than a year to pay off the debt
  • Someone who wants a big signup bonus or impressive rewards

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: The basics

Undoubtedly, the most important feature the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers is its long 0% introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers. You’ll pay 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 21.99% Variable . But be sure to check out all the card basics in our handy chart:

Citibank Diamond Preferred Credit Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 0% if you qualify for 21 mos on transfers

Cons

  • No rewards
  • Needs excellent credit

Sign-up Bonus

0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 11.99%-21.99% based upon your creditworthiness.

Annual Fee

$0*

Intro APR Promotions

0%* on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months*

APR

  • Min APR: 11.99%, Variable
  • Max APR: 21.99%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 11.99%-21.99% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
  • Citi Easy Deals Get what you want for less. Earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card. Redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals.
  • Let our 24/7 concierge service help book your hotel rooms, flights and more.
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • No annual fee*

Now, let’s dig into the specifics that make this card really special.

Where the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card shines

The Nerds don’t know much about fine jewelry, but we can see that the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card really catches the light. It shines because of its:

Ultra-long 0% period on purchases and balance transfers. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: It’s tough to beat the introductory 0% deal offered by the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. You’ll pay 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 21.99% Variable .

That’s close to two years interest-free, which is fantastic if you’re planning to finance a purchase or want to refinance some existing debt. We don’t know of another card with the same benefits that offers a 0% promotion this lengthy, so if this feature is important to you, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card delivers.

Affordable annual fee. Paying no interest for a limited period of time is one thing, but a card’s annual fee impacts its long-term affordability. Luckily, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card charges an annual fee of $0*, so it’s the perfect choice for thrifty folks.

Extra perks. A card’s primary features are only part of the picture when you’re deciding whether or not to sign on the dotted line. It’s often the extras that make a card worth your while (or not), and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers these in abundance.

You’ll get access to shopping benefits like Citi Price Rewind, which could help you to save big on recent purchases. You’ll also be able to use Citi Private Pass to get presale and discounted tickets to special events. Benefits like these give the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card a little extra luster.

Travel help, right in your wallet

At first glance, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t seem like a travel credit card, and technically it’s not. You won’t be racking up miles, but it can come with a bevy of travel perks that globetrotters will find useful. These may include:

  • 24/7 concierge service for booking flights, hotels and more
  • Trip cancellation protection
  • Worldwide travel accident insurance
  • Rental car insurance
  • EMV chip

All in all, those with a case of wanderlust could get a lot of value from the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. Just be aware that it charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%, so if you’re planning on swiping overseas, be sure to bring along a card that waives this charge.

Where the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card falls short

Despite its strengths, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has some drawbacks you should know about before moving forward. For example:

Balance transfer fee – The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card charges a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is higher) when you move existing debt onto the card. You’ll have to do the math to determine if it’s worthwhile to cough up the fee, based on the amount of your balance and how long you think it will take to pay it off. But be aware that there are cards out there that will allow you to dodge this expense – see below for more details.

Rewards program leaves something to be desired – With the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, you’ll have access to a rewards program called Citi Easy Deals. Every time you use the card, 10% of the purchase price of your item will go into your Citi Easy Deals account in the form of points. So, a $100 purchase would result in 10 Easy Deals points. These points can be used for discounts on over 300,000 online deals, when you shop through the Easy Deals portal.

Citi Easy Deals is certainly better than getting no rewards at all, which is often the case with cards offering a long 0% APR promotion. But it’s also not a particularly strong rewards program, either. Points can’t be redeemed for cash back, and you might not get much use out of the available deals.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card versus the competition

You have a lot of options these days if you’re looking for a credit card to finance a large purchase or refinance debt. Here’s how the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card stacks up to a few of our favorites:

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. the Chase Slate®

Chase Slate Elite Credit Card
Apply Now

on Chase's
secure website
Or call (855) 619-9842

The Chase Slate® is a longtime industry darling for the balance transfer crowd, because it offers a unique one-two savings punch. In terms of a 0% deal, you’ll get 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% Variable. But also, if you transfer your balance within 60 days of opening your account, you won’t have to pay the usual 3% balance transfer fee.

Since the Chase Slate® also charges an annual fee of $0, it’s the least costly option if you’ll be able to pay off your balance transfer within the card’s 0% period. But if you’re looking for a super-long 0% deal to finance a large purchase, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a better pick.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. the Discover it®-New! Double Cash Back your first year

Discover It Credit Card
Apply Now

on Discover's
secure website

If a long 0% introductory rate and a solid rewards program is what you’re after, the Discover it®-New! Double Cash Back your first year is a card to consider. With it, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, you’ll have access to Discover Deals, a robust shopping portal that could provide you with extra cash back or discounts on your purchases.

In terms of interest, you’ll pay 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 10.99% - 22.99% Variable. This isn’t nearly as long as the 0% period you’ll get with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, but if it’s long enough for your needs, the added benefit of earning cash back might make it more attractive.

Also keep in mind that the Discover it®-New! Double Cash Back your first year charges an annual fee of $0 and no foreign transaction fees, so you won’t be spending any extra to score rewards.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. the Citi Simplicity® Card

Citibank Simplicity Credit Card
Apply Now

on Citibank's
secure website

The Citi Simplicity® Card is pretty similar to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. With it, you’ll pay 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% Variable . It also charges a 3% balance transfer fee, and an annual fee of $0*.

But this card offers a few “extras” that might come in handy. It doesn’t charge late fees, or a penalty APR. This could be a boon if you’ve had trouble remembering to pay your credit card bill on time in the past. Although it doesn’t offer rewards in a traditional sense, these perks plus the APR deal will make this card very valuable to some.

The choice between the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card comes down to the features you’re looking for beyond APR and fees, since these cards are neck and neck on these fundamentals. If you want travel benefits and a way to save on online purchases, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. If you’re looking for a pass on late fees, go for the Citi Simplicity® Card.

Is the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card right for you?

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card glitters if you’re interested in financing a large purchase at 0% for well over a year. It also might make sense for a balance transfer if you won’t be able to pay off your debt before the Chase Slate®’s introductory 0% period is up. If you fit one of these profiles, the Nerds say go for it!

Lindsay Konsko is a staff writer covering credit cards and consumer credit for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @lkonsko and on Google+.

Image via iStock.


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