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Citi Diamond Preferred Card Review
Our Citi Diamond Preferred Card review goes into detail about the pros and cons of the credit card, as well as who should and shouldn’t apply for it.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card Review
- Introductory APR: 0% on balance transfers and purchases for 18 months.
- Variable APR (beyond introductory period): 14.74% – 24.74% on balance transfers and purchases.
- APR on Cash Advances: 25.24%.
- Penalty APR for Late Payment: 29.99%.
- Annual Fee: $0.
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the balance transfer amount; minimum $5.
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% of the cash advance amount; minimum $10.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount.
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $40.
- Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40.
Pros vs. Cons of Citi Diamond Preferred Card
- Super long introductory 0% APR period
- $0 annual fee
- Free FICO credit score tracking
- Additional benefits like Citi Entertainment, Citi Easy Deals, and Citi Flex Loan
- Lack of a rewards program
- 3% balance transfer fee
- High penalty APR on late payments
- 3% fee on foreign transactions
Who Should Get The Citi Diamond Preferred Card?
If balance transfers are one of your strategies to cut down on your accumulated debt, or you are hoping to finance a big-ticket purchase without burning through extra cash on the interest expense – give the Citi Diamond Preferred card a slot in your wallet.
Naturally, the biggest draw of the Citi Diamond Preferred card is its long introductory 0% APR period of 18 months (with the industry-standard being 12 to 15 months). During the introductory period, you will not pay interest on balance transfers or purchases. However, it’s good practice to evaluate how you will pay off your debt during this period given that the variable APR applicable upon expiration of this period is quite high at 14.74% – 24.74%.
If you feel ready to apply for Citi Diamond Preferred, ensure that you consider a few critical factors first. For instance, the Citi Diamond Preferred card credit score requirement is quite stringent. You need an excellent credit score of 700 or above to be approved. Also, the card levies balance transfer fees or 3% of the transferred amount (or a minimum of $5), which reduces its appeal to other comparable cards that charge a lower fee. The Citi Diamond Preferred does not have a rewards program either.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card Benefits and Features
- Super-long 0% APR period
The card is a worthy choice for debt-reduction with its star feature – the super long introductory period during which users will pay no interest on balance transfers or purchases.
Make good use of these 18 months to completely, or at least significantly, cut down your outstanding debt. At 18 months, the Citi Diamond Preferred offers one of the longest introductory periods in the market. While mapping out your debt reduction or consolidation strategy with this card, be sure to factor in the 3% balance transfer fee (or a minimum of $5). This fee will be added to your card’s outstanding balance.
The long introductory 0% APR period is also a good fit for users hoping to finance a purchase without shelling out additional dollars for interest. This beats the deferred interest offers being marketed at the stores since even if you end up carrying the purchase amount forward beyond 18 months, the interest will not apply retrospectively. You only pay interest on the amount outstanding beyond 18 months.
- No annual fees and attractive perks
For an annual fee of $0, the Citi Diamond Preferred card sweetens the deal with some premium benefits:
- Citi Entertainment: Cardholders will get VIP access to preferred seating and tickets at sporting events, concerts, dining, and more provided the payment is made via the Citi card.
- Citi Easy Deals: Cardholders can save up a bunch on daily purchases with the Citi Easy Deals program. If you spend over $500 in a calendar year, you can unlock promotions for merchandise, travel, gift cards, and more.
- Citi Flex Loan: Cardholders can avail of fixed-rate loans without any application, extra fees, or credit inquiry. The borrowed amount will need to be paid over a predetermined tenure. However, this option is only available to customers targeted by the issuer for a Citi Flex Loan.
While these benefits will not save you a bucket full of cash, they are welcome benefits on a card that charges a $0 annual fee.
- Free FICO credit score tracking
Citi Diamond Preferred cardholders can access their FICO credit score for free. This is a handy tool if you are trying to rebuild your credit while paying off your outstanding debt.
- Zero liability for unauthorized charges
Cardholders are also protected by the 0% liability offer from Citi, which means cardholders are not liable for unauthorized charges made through their account.
What Makes Other Cards Better Than The Citi Diamond Preferred Card?
- Lack of a rewards program
This is a standard feature among credit cards that offer an introductory 0% APR period for balance transfers and purchases, except for a select few. It does provide some perks which give the Citi Diamond Preferred an edge over its competitors, but it is by no means enough to make up for the lack of a rewards program.
This should not be a deal-breaker though. If you are getting a credit card with the goal of wiping off your debt, it does not make a whole lot of sense to prioritize the availability of a rewards program.
That being said, if you want to have your cake and eat it too – the Citi Double Cash card (discussed in the next section) is an excellent alternative that offers attractive cashback offers on all purchases in addition to an equally long, 18-month 0% APR period.
- Balance transfer fee
Citi Diamond Preferred charges a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transferred amount (or a minimum of $5). Again, this is standard among comparable cards, with a few exceptions where cardholders do not pay a balance transfer fee. This fee may particularly pinch if the amount of balance being transferred is large.
- Other fees and penalties
Most of these should not be a cause for concern for cardholders that pay off their bills on time. However, the Citi Diamond Preferred does come with a set of other fees that you should be in-the-know of:
- Late Payment Fee: Cardholders will incur up to $40 in late payment fees for missing a payment. This is in line with most credit cards out there, except a few like the Citi Simplicity Card–No Late Fees Ever that does not levy late fees or a penalty APR.
- Penalty APR: If you miss a payment during the introductory 0% APR period, you could lose the benefit and end up paying a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99%. That is a massive expense, especially if you are already battling accumulated debt.
- Returned Payment Fee: Cardholders will also incur up to $40 in fees for returned payments. This should not affect your decision, though. Most cards charge a fee for returned payments.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: If you travel overseas often, using the Citi Diamond Preferred may prove to be expensive with cardholders being charged a 3% fee on foreign purchases.
- Cash Advance Fee and APR: Cash transactions on credit cards are expensive. If you must make cash advances, note that you will pay a 5% cash advance fee (a minimum of $10) and pay a standard APR of 25.24% on such amount.
Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Other Citi Cards
- Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash combines the benefits of a long introductory 0% APR period with a terrific rewards program. However, the 0% APR applies only to balance transfers and not purchases. The Citi Double Cash also has the upper hand when it comes to the post-intro period variable APR which is set at 13.99% – 23.99%.
The Citi Double Cash steals the show with 2% cashback on all purchases – 1% at the time of purchase, and 1% at the time of bill payment. While the introductory 0% APR on Citi Double Cash does not apply to purchases, the grace period gives you a good window to pay the dues so you can avoid interest charges.
- Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Simplicity
The cards have twinning features for the most part. However, both cards belonging to the MasterCard network have just one major difference setting them apart.
If you believe you may face trouble making payments on time, Citi Simplicity is a more suitable choice because it does not levy a fee for late payments or a penalty APR – both of which may cost you a whole lot on the Citi Diamond Preferred. On the contrary, the Citi Simplicity lacks a concierge service that the Citi Diamond Preferred offers.
Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Competitors’ Cards
- Citi Diamond Preferred vs. American Express Blue Cash Everyday
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday offers a 15-month long 0% APR period to new cardholders, at the end of which a variable 13.99% – 23.99% APR becomes applicable. While that is 3 months short of what the Citi Diamond Preferred offers, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday also offers an alluring welcome bonus: a $200 cashback once you spend $1,000, provided the amount is spent within 3 months of account opening.
Cardholders also get a tempting 3% cashback on purchases up to $6,000 made at U.S. Supermarkets, and 1% thereafter. Furthermore, the card offers 2% cashback on amounts spent at select U.S. department stores and all gas stations in the U.S. On all other purchases or spends, cardholders earn 1% cashback. The Citi Diamond Preferred offers none of these benefits.
- Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Discover it Cash Back
There are several points of difference between these credit cards. The first major difference is in the introductory 0% APR period that lasts 14 months on the Discover it Cash Back as against 18 months on the Citi Diamond Preferred. The variable APR, though, is lower for the Discover it Cash Back at 11.99% – 22.99% compared to 14.74% – 24.74% for the Citi Diamond Preferred.
The Discover it Cash Back also offers 5% cashback for spending on rotating categories up to an amount of $1,500 each quarter, and 1% thereafter. You also earn 1% cashback on all other spendings made with the Discover it Cash Back.
Additionally, new cardholders earn a welcome bonus, albeit a little unconventionally. At the end of 12 months, Discover will double your rewards balance as a welcome bonus. This means, if you have earned $200 in cashback rewards, Discover will add another $200 to your rewards balance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We answer some of the most common questions in our Citi Diamond Preferred card review:
What is The Citi Diamond Preferred Card Grace Period?
The grace period of 23 days applies to purchases made using the Citi Diamond Preferred Card. During this period, cardholders will not be charged any interest on the amount spent towards purchases. If the cardholder fails to clear the amount outstanding towards purchases (and the 0% APR applicable to purchases has expired) by the due date (i.e. end of the grace period), interest will begin to accrue.
What is The Citi Diamond Preferred Card Limit?
There is no specific formula to compute your limit. Citi will inform you how much you can spend with the card only once you apply. However, there is a way to estimate the limit.
Citi looks at your credit score and DTI (debt-to-income ratio) to gauge your creditworthiness. The more favorable these numbers appear to Citi, the higher will be your limit. Generally, Citi approves a limit within the range of $500 to $10,000. To maximize the approved limit, ensure that you have an excellent credit score (700+) and a debt-to-income ratio of less than 30%.
What Is The Phone Number For Citi Diamond Preferred Card?
To get in touch with Citi Cards, call 1-800-325-2865.
Apply For Your Citi Diamond Preferred Card
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