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Citi Diamond Preferred credit card review

Whether you're considering a balance transfer to pay down debt or want to spread out payments on a large purchase, this card could be right for you.
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Written by Holly Johnson on
Reviewed by Evan Zimmer

Whether you're considering a balance transfer to pay down debt or want to spread out payments on a large purchase you've been planning to make, the Citi Diamond Preferred card is one of the best options on the market for you. By signing up, you'll get a 0% balance transfer APR for 21 months (then 13.74% to 23.74% Variable), which is the longest introductory 0% APR period currently available across all card brands.

As an added bonus, you'll get access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions, Citi Private Pass VIP concierge services, and travel and emergency assistance, along with an array of other perks that boost the value of this offer. Best of all, the Citi Diamond Preferred card comes with no annual fee.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APR15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Recommended CreditExcellent, Good
Reward Rates N/A
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APR0% for 12 months on Purchases
Additional Details

Highlights:

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from the date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening. Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi Identity Theft Solutions.
  • Based on your creditworthiness, the standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% - 23.74%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Key takeaways

  • Enjoy a 0% intro balance transfer APR for 21 months, and 0% APR for purchases for 12 months. That's the longest introductory 0% APR offer on the market for balance transfers and plenty of time to pay down debt and save money on interest (then 13.74% to 23.74% Variable).
  • No annual fee. Since you won't be charged an annual fee, you can keep this card for the long haul.
  • Score amazing travel perks. In addition to free travel and emergency service, this card comes with trip cancellation and interruption insurance, worldwide travel accident insurance, worldwide rental car coverage, and Citi Private Pass VIP concierge services.

Review: The perfect card for balance transfers and big purchases

If you're carrying high-interest debt, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers the longest 0% APR introductory offer for balance transfers in the business. With this card, you'll have 21 months to pay down your debts from another card at 0% interest. Depending on how much you owe -- and what your interest rate is -- that could lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in saved interest.

Let's say you're making the minimum payment on $10,000 in credit card debt at 18% APR -- roughly $250 a month (interest + 1% of your balance). If you don't add to your balance, it will still take you more than five years to become debt-free at that rate. And in the meantime, you will pay $15,386 in interest. Ouch!

By transferring that same balance to the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, you'll get an intro APR of 0% for 21 months. You will, however, need to pay a 5% balance transfer fee to secure the transaction and your new card.

Also: Citi Double Cash review: Earn a solid return on spending

Still, the Citi Diamond Preferred card isn't just for balance transfers. The card offers a 0% intro APR for new purchases for 12 months. If you wanted to buy new appliances or furniture, for example, but wanted to pay down your purchases over time, this card is an excellent option. Best of all, there are no fees involved.

Where it falls flat

While this card offers a great balance transfer opportunity, it does charge a fee for the service. That makes it a slightly less attractive offer for people who are fee-averse and would rather avoid the charge.

Another point of contention with some is that this card doesn't offer rewards. If you were hoping to use your card to earn cashback, gift cards, or travel rewards, the Citi Diamond Preferred card isn't the way to go.

Who this card is good for

  • Anyone who wants to transfer high-interest debt
  • Someone who doesn't want to pay an annual fee
  • Someone who wants an APR of 0% for 12 months to make a large purchase

Who should pass

  • Anyone who doesn't want to pay a balance transfer fee
  • Someone who wants to earn credit card rewards
  • People who aren't in debt and would be better off with a rewards credit card

The best strategy with the Citi Diamond Preferred card: Pay down your debt with 0% for 21 months

If you truly want to become debt-free and plan to use a balance transfer to make it happen, the Citi Diamond Preferred card can be a valuable tool. Simply transfer all of your high-interest balances to your new card right away, then create a plan of attack to pay it down within the given time limit.

The best way to do this is to figure out your total debt and divide it by 18 months, then look for areas in your budget to cut so you can afford to make a larger monthly payment. If you've been paying less each month toward your debts until now, find a way to boost your payment. 

Want to earn rewards? Consider this card instead

If you want a 0% intro APR card that also doles out rewards, you can consider the Citi Double Cash card. With this card, you'll earn 2% cashback for every purchase (1% when you make the purchase, 1% when it's paid off).

There's also the Chase Freedom Flex. It offers static 3% cash back categories and 5% cash back (up to $1,500 spent, then 1%) categories that rotate every three months. It earns 1% cash back for everything else, and features a 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, all for no annual fee.

[This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in March 2022.]

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