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NerdWallet’s Best Citi Credit Cards of 2019

Feb. 5, 2019
NerdWallet's Best Citi Credit Cards of 2017
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Within the Citi family of credit cards, there’s something for everyone: a flat-rate cash-back card, a card for balance transfers, a travel card and even a store card.

Here are our picks for the best Citi cards for you:

For cash-back rewards: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • No sign-up bonus
    • No 0% APR for purchases
    • $25 minimum redemption

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness*
    • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
    • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

✭ 2019 NERDWALLET AWARD WINNER: Best flat-rate cash-back card

Why we like it

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has one of the highest cash-back rates available. You get 2% back on everything you buy: 1% back when you make purchases and 1% back when you pay them off. The intro 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR also appeals to anyone looking to consolidate credit card debt.

Pros and cons

Pros: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer stands out for both for its simplicity and relative generosity. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of rotating rewards categories or opting into quarterly offers. You can get a high ongoing rewards rate on all purchases. Another upside? The $0 annual fee.

Cons: The card has no sign-up bonus. Also, the 0% introductory APR offer applies only on balance transfers, so it’s not ideal for financing a purchase upfront — nor is it ideal for using abroad, thanks to its foreign transaction fee. Plus, there’s a $25 minimum redemption threshold for rewards.

» MORE: Read our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

For 0% APR period on balance transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity<sup>®</sup> Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No late fee
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months
  • Additional Information
    • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
    • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
    • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
    • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

Why we like it

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers an intro 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR. That’s a no-interest window on balance transfers of nearly two years, which is best in class. The card also stands out for its lack of late fees.

Pros and cons

Pros: If you’re looking to consolidate debt, or even if you just need short-term financing, this card can fit the bill. Aside from its lack of late fees, it also has an annual fee of $0. The card also allows you to select your own payment due date, which can be helpful if your bank account tends to run low each month.

Cons: The card offers no rewards, and its balance transfer fee — the greater of either $5 or 5% of each transfer amount — is on the high side. You can find other cards with longer 0% intro APR offers on purchases, many of which also earn rewards.

» MORE: Read our full review of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever.

For general travel: Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier<sup>℠</sup> Card

Citi Premier Card

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee
    • Needs excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0 for the first year, then $95

    APR

    • APR: 16.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
    • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment
    • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
    • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
    • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Why we like it

The rewards on the Citi Premier Card are generous. It earns triple points on travel, including at gas stations; double points on dining and entertainment; and 1 point on all other purchases. It also offers a rich sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Pros and cons

Pros: The sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards make the Citi Premier Card an attractive travel card. The card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, concierge service, early ticket and VIP access to events, and the ability to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs.

Cons: The card’s annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95. And as with other Citi cards that earn ThankYou points, the value of the points varies depending on how you redeem them; choosing cash back gives you less bang for your buck.

» MORE: Read our full review of the Citi Premier Card.

For gas: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa<sup>®</sup> Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • High rewards rates in certain categories
    • Can use card as Costco membership ID

    Cons

    • Requires excellent credit
    • Needs Costco membership to qualify
    • Rewards redeemable once a year and only at Costco

    Annual Fees

    $0*

    APR

    • APR: 17.49% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
    • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
    • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
    • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
    • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership*

Why we like it

If you’re already a Costco member and spending a lot on gas, restaurants and travel, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi could make a lot of sense for you. And it can be used anywhere, not just at Costco.

Pros and cons

Pros: The ongoing rewards are rich: 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases on up to $7,000 in spending a year (1% after that); 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com; and 1% back on all other purchases. The annual fee is $0* (though you do have to be a Costco member, which requires a yearly membership fee). The card charges no foreign transaction fee, so it’s a good travel companion.

Cons: The card offers no sign-up bonus, and cardholders are limited in how and when they can redeem their rewards. You receive a rewards certificate once a year in your February billing statement. That certificate can then be taken to a Costco store before the end of the year; it can’t be used elsewhere. Also, for a store card, 2% back at Costco and Costco.com is a surprisingly low rate. Other store cards can offer better incentives for shopping specifically with that retailer.

» MORE: Read our full review of Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.