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 0% intro APR for a full 21 months, 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.
The Simple Dollar’s Key Takeaways
- Enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 21 months. That’s the longest introductory 0% APR offer on the market, and plenty of time to pay down debt and save money on interest.
- 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.
Citi® Diamond Preferred Card®
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
- 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
- If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
- 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.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
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 in the business. With this card, you’ll have a full 21 months to pay down your debts 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 over the course of 21 months.
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 0% intro APR for 21 months. You will, however, need to pay a 3% balance transfer fee to secure the transaction and your new card.
If your starting balance was $10,300 (original balance + 3% balance transfer fee) and you continued to pay $250 per month toward your debt, you could knock down your balance to $5,050 by the end of your 21-month, 0% APR introductory offer. Even assuming that your APR went back up to 18% afterward, you’d be rid of the entire balance in under four years total, and it would only cost you $1,012 in interest.
And what if you were able to cut your spending a bit and bump your monthly payment up to around $476 for those 21 months? You could use that time to become completely debt-free in under two years. Total saved on interest: $15,386. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Still, the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card® isn’t just for balance transfers. Since the 0% intro APR offer extends to purchases as well, this is the perfect card to use as a short-term loan. 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 when you use this card to secure 0% intro APR on purchases for 21 months.
Citi® Diamond Preferred Card®: Where It Falls Flat
While this card offers the longest 0% intro APR offer in the business, it does charge a balance transfer fee. 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 cash back, 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 0% intro APR for 21 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
How Does It Compare to Other 0% Intro APR Cards?
To see how the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card® stacks up to its competition, we compared it to the Chase Slate® card. In the following chart, you can see how each card’s benefits compare.
|Citi® Diamond Preferred Card®||Chase Slate® (currently unavailable)|
|Introductory Offer||0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months||0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$5 or 3% of your balance, whichever is greater||No balance transfer fee for the first 60 days of account opening. After that, 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.|
|Travel Benefits||Travel and emergency service, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, worldwide travel accident insurance, worldwide rental car coverage, and Citi® Private Pass® VIP concierge services||None|
As you can see, both cards offer long 0% intro APR offers with no annual fee. The biggest difference is in the balance transfer fee – and the length of the introductory offer. Where the Citi card offers a full 21 months at 0% intro APR but charges a balance transfer fee, the Chase card offers only 15 months at 0% intro APR but waives the balance transfer fee for the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future transactions is 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
Both offers are excellent, but the right one for you depends on your needs. If you need the full 21 months to pay down debt, you might be better off paying the balance transfer fee and going with the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card®. On the flip side, you will likely be better off with the Chase Slate® if you only need 15 months to pay down your debt.
If you plan to use your new card’s 0% offer for a large purchase, the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card® is the clear winner. You’ll have a full 21 months at 0% intro APR with this offer, and there are no fees required to take advantage.
Please note: The Chase Slate® offer is currently unavailable through this site.
Best Strategy with the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card®: Pay Down Your Debt in 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 that will annihilate them within the first 21 months.
The best way to do this is to figure out your total debt and divide it by 21 months, then look for areas in your budget to cut so you can afford to make a larger monthly payment. If you owe $8,000, for example, you’ll need to come up with around $381 month ($8,000/21 months) to pay down your debts within the 21-month 0% intro APR period. If you’ve been paying less each month toward your debts until now, find a way to boost your payment. Check out our post How to Create a Bare Bones Budget for ideas on freeing up some extra cash in your budget. And remember: This whole plan hinges on you not adding to your balance.
Want to Earn Rewards? Consider This Card Instead
If you want a 0% intro APR card that also doles out rewards, you can also consider the Chase Freedom® card. With this card, you’ll score 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, plus earn cash back.
In addition to 1% cash back on every dollar you spend, the Chase Freedom® card offers 5% back on the first $1,500 you spend in categories that rotate every quarter. Once you start racking up the points, you can redeem them for statement credit or gift cards, or use them to shop directly with Amazon.com.
If you just want to use your card to score 0% intro APR on a large purchase, however, the Chase Freedom® card is ideal. Not only will you get 0% intro APR for 15 months with no fees, but you’ll earn rewards – and even a signup bonus – on your purchases as well.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to transfer a balance and save money on interest or use your card for a large purchase and pay it off over time, any of the cards on this list could help. The card that’s best for your needs will depend on how much debt you have, how long you need to pay it off, and whether or not you want to earn rewards.
Please Note: Information about the Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
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