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

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A credit card that offers an introductory 0% period longer than 18 months is a diamond in the rough. Or, to be precise, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases.

This card offers one of the longest 0% promotions on the market, but it also provides impressive perks. Take a look at the details below to see why the Nerds think this card is a cut above.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases

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

    • No annual fee
    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months
  • Additional Information
    • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer
    • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year*
    • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
    • No annual fee*
    • Free access to FICO® Scores*

Where the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases shines

The Nerds don’t know much about fine jewelry, but we can see that the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases really catches the light. It shines because of its:

Ultra-long 0% period on purchases and balance transfers. It’s tough to beat the introductory 0% deal offered by the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases. You’ll pay 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

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. This is one of the longest 0% APR promotion periods, so if this feature is important to you, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases delivers.

$0 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. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases charges an annual fee of $0, so it’s perfect for thrifty folks.

Extra perks. A card’s primary features are only part of the picture when you’re deciding whether 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases a little extra luster.

Travel help, right in your wallet

At first glance, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases doesn’t seem like a travel credit card, and technically it’s not. You won’t be racking up miles, but it offers perks that frequent travelers 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

All in all, those with a case of wanderlust could get a lot of value from the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases. 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 doesn’t impose this charge.

Where the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases falls short

Despite its strengths, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases has some drawbacks you should know about before moving forward. For example:

Balance transfer fee. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases, 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases stacks up to a few of our favorites:

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases vs. the Chase Slate®

The Chase Slate® is a longtime industry darling for the balance transfer crowd, because it offers a 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 15.99% - 24.74% 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 a low-cost 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases is a better pick.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases vs. the Discover it® - Cashback Match™

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 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. This isn’t nearly as long as the 0% period you’ll get with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases, 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases vs. the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is pretty similar to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases. With it, you’ll pay 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. It also charges a 3% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is greater), and an annual fee of $0.

But the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases. 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 – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases right for you?

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases 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 Dec. 20, 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.