Best Citi Credit Cards of December 2023


Nov 14, 2023
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NerdWallet's Best Citi Credit Cards of December 2023

Best Citi Credit Cards From Our Partners

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Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

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Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

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Our pick for

High rewards + no annual fee

Our pick for

Travel rewards

Our pick for

Balance transfers

Our pick for

Cash back

Our pick for

Outsize rewards on small purchases

Our pick for

Wholesale shoppers

Our pick for

Balance transfers + late fee waiver


Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Our pick for: High rewards + no annual fee

The Citi Custom Cash® Card offers a lot of value for a $0 annual fee: 5% back automatically in your eligible top spending category on up to $500 spent per billing cycle (1% back on other spending). The list of eligible 5% categories is varied and includes biggies like restaurants, grocery stores and more. And unlike with its competitors, there's no activation schedule or bonus calendar to keep track of. Read our review.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Our pick for: Cash back

Year after year, the Citi Double Cash® Card has been a top choice among flat-rate cash-back cards. You earn 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you buy something and 1% when you pay it off. There's no 0% intro period for purchases and no bonus categories, but the high rewards rate more than makes up for the lack of bells and whistles. Read our review.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Citi's cash back credit cards — the Citi Double Cash® Card and the Citi Custom Cash® Card — technically earn rewards in the form of ThankYou points. These points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for cash back. So "2% cash back" appears in your rewards account as 2 points per dollar spent, while "5% cash back" would appear as 5 points per dollar.

Citi Premier® Card

Our pick for: Travel

The Citi Premier® Card earns bonus points on airfare, hotels, supermarkets, dining and gas stations. There's a solid sign-up bonus as well. Read our review.

Citi Simplicity® Card

Our pick for: Balance transfers + late fee waiver

The Citi Simplicity® Card has an excellent 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, and an OK one on purchases. It doesn't charge an annual fee, late fees or penalty APRs either. Read our review.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Our pick for: Balance transfers

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers a super-lengthy 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, and there's also a decent offer on purchases. But the balance transfer fee is pricey. It doesn't have the late-fee forgiveness of Citi's other balance-transfer card, but it's still a great option. Read our review.

Citi Rewards+® Card

Our pick for: Outsize rewards on small purchases

The Citi Rewards+® Card might not be right for everyone, but its unique rounding-up feature means that every purchase will earn at least 10 points. The card offers bonus rewards at gas stations and supermarkets and has no annual fee. And the 0% intro APR period shouldn't be overlooked. Read our review.

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

Our pick for: College students

The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card offers bonus rewards at gas stations and supermarkets, and its rounding-up feature means you can earn outsize rewards on small purchases. A good option for students with a lot of little expenses. Read our review.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Our pick for: Building credit

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a straightforward card for people new to credit — put down a security deposit, use the card to establish a positive credit history and then move up to a better card (and get your deposit back). One note: This card is for people just starting out with credit, rather than people with bad credit from past mistakes. Read our review.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our pick for: Wholesale club shoppers

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi turns everyday spending into rewards you can redeem at Costco (although you can only redeem them once a year). You earn bonus rewards on gas, at restaurants, on travel and at Costco itself. There's no annual fee for the card, but you have to be a Costco member (which does require a fee). Read our review.

Other cards issued by Citi

Citi also issues branded credit cards in partnership with American Airlines and AT&T. Learn more about these cards by reading the reviews linked below:

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By Craig Joseph, NerdWallet

What credit score do you need to get a Citi credit card? 

Most Citi credit cards require good to excellent credit to qualify, generally defined as a credit score of 690 or better. Keep in mind, though, that while credit scores are important, they're only one of the variables that credit card issuers use to decide whether you qualify for a given card. The application may ask about other factors, such as your income, employment and other debts. With any credit card, applying strategically can also increase your odds of approval.

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is an option for those who are new to credit. This card requires a cash deposit to secure the credit line and doesn't offer any rewards. Learn how secured cards work.

What are the interest rates on Citi credit cards?

The interest rate that applies to your Citi credit card account depends on the card you apply for and your credit history. Most Citi cards specify a range of interest rates, which can be found in the Schumer box for the card. For example, the Citi Premier® Card offers an interest rate range of 21.24% to 29.24%. Your specific rate within that range will be determined based on your credit profile. Some cards, like the Citi Custom Cash® Card and the Citi Rewards+® Card, offer an introductory 0% APR period when you open your account.

What credit limit can I get with a Citi credit card? 

For most Citi cards, your credit limit will depend on your credit profile, including your credit score and payment history, as well as financial factors like your income and current obligations. For the Citi® Secured Mastercard®, your credit limit will be equal to the security deposit you put down (minimum of $200). Citi will review your account within 18 months to decide whether to refund your security deposit and transition you to a regular unsecured card.

How can I get a credit limit increase on a Citi credit card?

The easiest way to get a credit limit increase on your Citi card is just to ask for one. Call the number on the back of your card and ask a customer service representative about increasing your credit line. Citi may request a review of your credit report to increase your credit line, which might result in a hard pull

Citi may also conduct periodic reviews of your account and automatically increase your credit line if you’ve been using the account responsibly. You may be able to improve your chances of an automatic increase by making on-time payments and not carrying a balance from month to month. 

If you have an existing credit card with Citi and are approved for a new card, Citi will let you consolidate your credit limits and transfer a portion of your existing credit line to the new account. Call customer service and let them know how much of the existing credit line you’d like to transfer to the new account. 

What are the benefits of Citi credit cards? 

All Citi cards offer free access to a cardholder's FICO credit score from Eqiufax. Many cards come with targeted offers that let you earn bonus rewards by shopping with specific merchants. And most Citi cards offer access to Citi Entertainment deals.

The Citi Flex Loan program allows qualifying cardholders to borrow money against their card’s credit limit at a fixed interest rate; the loan can then be paid off with fixed monthly installments (similar to a car loan). The minimum loan is $500, and the maximum depends on your creditworthiness and available credit limit. 

Additional benefits depend on the card. If you’re looking for travel rewards and benefits, the Citi Premier® Card offers a sign-up bonus, useful bonus rewards categories and the ability to transfer points to more than 15 travel loyalty programs. If you want to finance a new purchase, the introductory 0% APR offer on the Citi Custom Cash® Card might be worth checking out. Or if you are looking to consolidate debt under an introductory 0% APR balance transfer option, take a look at the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card or Citi Simplicity® Card.

Does Citi have a preapproval process for its credit cards? 

Citi lets you see whether you’re "pre-qualified" for any card offers. But pre-qualification does not necessarily guarantee approval when you apply for a card. The pre-qualification process includes a so-called soft pull of your credit report, which doesn't have any effect on your credit scores. Think of pre-qualification as a "soft yes" — it means the issuer estimates that it's likely you'll be approved. If you like what you see, you can formally apply for a card, which will involve a more detailed review and will result in a hard pull that can knock some points off your credit score.

Can you combine points on Citi credit cards? 

If you have multiple cards that earn Citi ThankYou points, you can consolidate the points on one account. This can be done online or by calling customer service. Although each ThankYou point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for a statement credit, regardless of what type of card you have, combining points has its benefits. 

If you have both the Citi Double Cash® Card and the Citi Premier® Card, you can move points to the Citi Premier® Cardaccount and gain access to travel partners with points earned on your Citi Double Cash® Card

Or if you have the Citi Rewards+® Card, you can consolidate points to that account and earn a 10% rebate on the first 100,000 ThankYou points you redeem each year. 

Citi also lets you share ThankYou points with other cardholders that also have a ThankYou points earning card. But be aware those points expire 90 days after they are shared. For more information on points sharing, refer to this FAQ from Citi.

If my application for a Citi card is denied, is there anything I can do to get approved?

Citi has a reconsideration line you can call if an application is denied. A Citi representative will review the application and let you know why you were originally denied. Sometimes turning a denial into an approval is as simple as asking to reallocate credit from an existing card to the card you want to open. You won’t receive another hard pull, so there’s no harm in calling for reconsideration.

Last updated on November 14, 2023


NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

The best Citi credit card for you depends on what you want to get out of the card.

  • If you're looking for travel rewards and benefits, you’ll want to check out the Citi Premier® Card.

  • Cash back? The Citi Double Cash® Card offers a high rate on everything, while the Citi Custom Cash® Card pays bonus rewards in your top eligible spending category.

  • If your goal is financing a large purchase, consider the 0% introductory APR offers on the Citi Custom Cash® Card and the Citi Rewards+® Card. Both earn rewards and offer sign-up bonuses as well.

  • If you need to transfer a balance to pay down debt without interest, check out the long 0% intro periods on the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.

  • Working on building credit? Check out the Citi® Secured Mastercard®.

Citi’s credit cards mostly require good to excellent credit — think in terms of a credit score in the 700s and up. Generally, the more perks a card offers, the better your credit needs to be to qualify. If you're building credit, you could consider the Citi® Secured Mastercard®, which requires you to put down a security deposit. Note, however, that the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is mostly for people who are new to credit, not people who have bad credit because of past problems.

You can cancel your Citi card online through the Citi website or app, by calling the number on the back of your card or by visiting a Citi bank branch. You’ll lose the available credit on your card when you cancel, but you may be able to transfer that credit line to another Citi card if you have one.

There is no limit to the number of Citi cards you can have at once. However, Citi has some specific rules you’ll want to know about before you apply for multiple Citi cards.

You can activate a new Citi card through the Citi website or mobile app, or by calling the number on the sticker on the front of your new card once you receive it in the mail.

You can check your Citi card application status online or by calling 888-201-4523.

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Citi Premier® Card, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

All other Citi consumer cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Cash rewards and ThankYou points earned on Citi credit cards never expire as long as your account remains open. However, if you share ThankYou points with someone else who has a card that earns ThankYou points, the shared points will expire after 90 days.

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