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NerdWallet’s Best Citi Credit Cards of 2016

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NerdWallet's Best Citi Cards

Citi offers a range of credit cards for all kinds of consumers — from students just starting out with credit to heavy-duty optimizers. Here are the best of the lot.

NerdWallet’s best Citi credit cards

Best for … Card
Cash-back rewards Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Balance transfers Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
College students Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Best for cash-back rewards

Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No annual fee
  • 0% if you qualify for 18 mos on transfers

Bonus Offer

Earn cash back twice on every purchase

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% balance transfers for 18 months*

APR

  • Min APR: 13.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 23.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% 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*

The Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of our favorite cash-back cards on the market today. It offers 1% cash back when you make your purchases, then an additional 1% back when you pay them off. This means that if you’re paying your bill in full every month (which you are, right?), you’re effectively earning cash back at one of the highest rates out there. A rewards rate like this is tough to beat, and it comes with an annual fee of $0. There’s no limit to the rewards you can earn, so you won’t have to worry about running up against any spending caps. Plus, you have a few choices when it comes time to redeem: statement credit, check or gift cards. If you’re looking for a card that will give you a high, ongoing return on your purchases and payments, all without having to shell out for an annual fee, the Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a no-brainer.

Best for balance transfers

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

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

Cons

  • No rewards

Bonus Offer

0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months

Annual Fee

$0*

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months

APR

  • Min APR: 13.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 23.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% 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.

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever really is one of the best get-out-of-debt options on the market. It offers an industry-leading 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% Variable. This makes it a great card for getting rid of existing debt or making a big purchase and paying it off over time. But where the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever stands out is its late fee and penalty APR: It has none. Whereas other cards will slap you with a $35 fee and increase your interest rate to almost 30% if you miss a payment, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever  does…nothing. It gives you a free pass, understanding that sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of your payments. For its best-in-class zero APR period and foregone fees, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever wins out as one of the best cards out there.

Best for college students

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • No annual fee

Bonus Offer

Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases for 7 months

APR

  • Min APR: 14.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 24.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou® Point on other purchases.
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points with this card
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a great choice for college kids who want to earn rewards while they build credit. With it, students will score 2 ThankYou points for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment and 1 ThankYou point for every dollar spent on other purchases. The card comes with an annual fee of $0 and a decent signup bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership. Just remember that you’ll get the best value from ThankYou points when you redeem them for bill payments or gift cards; other options like cash and merchandise won’t allow you to get the most bang per point.

Last updated August 8, 2016.