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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.

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

Bonus Offer

0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 12.24%-22.24% based upon your creditworthiness.

Annual Fee

$0*

Intro APR Promotions

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

APR

  • Min APR: 12.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 22.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 12.24%-22.24% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
  • 24/7 access to Citi® Concierge for help in booking hotels, flights and more.
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • No annual fee*
  • Free access to FICO® Scores*

At a glance
Annual fees $0*
Intro APR deal 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 22.24% 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 12.24%-22.24% 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 12.24% - 22.24% Variable.

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 12.24% - 22.24% 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®

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $0 Intro on transfers made within 60 days of Account Opening
  • Long 0% Intro APR Period

Cons

  • No Rewards
  • Can't transfer debt from another Chase account

Bonus Offer

Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee, 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score for free.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

APR

  • APR: 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Chase Slate named "Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers" three years in a row by MONEY Magazine
  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

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% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR. But also, if you transfer your balance within 60 days of opening your account, you won’t have to pay the usual 5% – or $5 – 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® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Apply Now on Discover's secure website

Pros

  • Cash back match at the end of your first year
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months

Cons

  • Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in US - acceptance outside of US can be an issue
  • No sign-up bonus
  • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better

Bonus Offer

Cashback Match™ - We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

APR

  • APR: 11.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Cashback Match™ - We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.
  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com, Sam’s Club and more, on up to $1,500 in purchases every quarter you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements and online.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

If a decent 0% introductory rate and a solid rewards program is what you’re after, the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ 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 and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.24% - 23.24% Variable APR. 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® - Cashback Match™ 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 - No Late Fees Ever

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 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 13.24% - 23.24% 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 - No Late Fees Ever 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 - No Late Fees Ever.

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!

Last updated May 4, 2016. 

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.