If you’re looking to either finance a large purchase or pay off higher interest rate credit cards, your best bet is to find a card that has a promotional offer. In the market right now, you’ll find cards that offer as low as 0% interest on purchases or 0% interest on balance transfers for a limited amount of time after you open the card.
And Citi has not one, but two cards that offer BOTH. In this Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Vs. Citi Rewards+® Card review, I will compare both cards, including their rewards, welcome offers, additional features, and fees. This way, you can determine which, if either, is the right option for you.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card summary
Both Citi cards have some nice features to offer, but neither will have everything you need. That said, for the right person, these cards can be a considerable time and money-saver.
Let’s look at a quick comparison between the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi Rewards+® Card.
|Feature||Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card||Citi Rewards+® Card|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases||0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers|
|Intro points offer||N/A||Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. Redeemable for $200 in gift cards.|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%||3%|
|Late payment fee||Up to $41||Up to $41|
About the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a no annual fee credit card that features an intro APR of 21 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases. After that, you’ll pay the ongoing interest rate, making it one of the longest promotions out there right now.
So for someone who is either looking to finance a large purchase and pay it off over a more extended time or someone who needs to pay down existing debt, this could be a handy credit card in your arsenal.
About the Citi Rewards+® Card
The Citi Rewards+® Card is another card by Citi that also offers an introductory promotional offer. There is a an intro APR of 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from date of account opening (from date of first transfer). After that, you’ll pay the ongoing variable interest rate. Plus, the card has no annual fee.
New cardholders can also earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. Redeemable for $200 in gift cards. One of this credit card’s unique features is that it rounds your points up to the nearest 10 points, which I will explain in more detail below.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card rewards
This one isn’t really a competition since the Citi Rewards+® Card earns points and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card does not. But there are still pros and cons to each, So let’s unpack this one a little bit more.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card rewards
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card does not offer rewards. However, it does comes with one of the longest promotional offers on purchases out there right now. So while you may not be earning rewards on your purchases, you can finance larger purchases for up to 21 months.
Citi Rewards+® Card rewards
The Citi Rewards+® Card has an interesting reward structure. Cardholders can earn 2X ThankYou® Points at supermarkets and gas stations (for the first $6,000 per year) and 1 Point after that.
What makes this card unique, though, is that it rounds up your points to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. For example, if you buy a $3 coffee, instead of getting three points, you would get 10 points.
You can redeem your points, called ThankYou® Points, for things like gift cards and travel rewards, or you can shop with your points at places like Amazon or BestBuy.com. Also, you get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points redeemed every year.
There is really no competition here when it comes to rewards since one card earns them, and the other one does not. If your primary focus is getting rewards, the Citi Rewards+® Card wins by a mile.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card welcome offer
This is where things start to get interesting. Both cards have intriguing welcome offers, so it just depends on how you want to use your credit card.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card welcome offer
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has an extremely enticing welcome offer. You will get an intro APR of 0% for 21 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases. Also, any balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of your account opening to take advantage of the offer.
When it comes to promotional offers, this is one of the best I have seen recently.. So if you have high-interest credit card debt somewhere else, you can transfer it over to this card and pay it off over 21 months.
Alternatively, if you have a large purchase that you need to make and you want to take your time in paying it back, you can use this card for that as well.
Citi Rewards+® Card welcome offer
The Citi Rewards+® Card also has a generous welcome offer. You will get 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases (when completed in first 4 months). While it isn’t as long as the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, it’s just six months shorter, and you get rewards with the card.
The welcome bonus is pretty decent too: Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. Redeemable for $200 in gift cards.
Welcome offer summary
This one is a close call because both credit cards offer excellent promotional offers. It comes down to how you want to use the card.
If you don’t care about earning rewards, take the extra three months and go with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card to either finance a large purchase or pay off high-interest debt.
But if you want to use the card beyond the promotional offer, there is some value (more on this below) in getting the Citi Rewards+® Card with a shorter promotional period because it earns rewards. I’m going to call this one a tie.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card additional features
Regarding additional features, I’m not sure either of these cards will knock your socks off, and both of them are similar since they are both offered by Citi. That being said, it’s worth looking at the additional benefits each card will give you before you make a final decision.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card additional features
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card gives you free access to your FICO score online. After you open the account, you will get an email telling you how to get that set up. This is a nice feature if you want to monitor your credit as you pay off high-interest debt with the promotional offer.
You also get access to Citi Entertainment®, which gives you access to purchase tickets to all types of events, such as sporting events, concerts, dining experiences, and others.
You may also have access to the Citi Flex Plan, which is a loan offered to you at Citi’s discretion. The benefit here is that you don’t have to apply for new credit, and if you need a short-term loan, you can get one just by having this card and being eligible for that offer.
Finally, the card has a $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi Identity Theft Solutions. So you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized charges, and Citi will help you in the event your identity is stolen.
Citi Rewards+® Card additional features
The Citi Rewards+® Card also gives you access to the Citi Flex Plan, But again this is at Citi’s discretion. If you need a personal loan at any point, this becomes a nice feature because you do not have to apply for new credit.
Cardholders will also earn 2X ThankYou® Points at supermarkets and gas stations, while all other purchases earn one point per dollar.
You will also get the same benefits of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, including Citi Entertainment® and $0 liability fraud protection.
Additional features summary
Like I said, this one is kind of a wash. Neither card blows me away with additional perks, which isn’t surprising because they are designed for particular purposes – the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card for balance transfers and the Citi Rewards+® Card for rewards.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card fees
While neither card has an annual fee, there are some fees to be aware of.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card fees
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card does not have an annual fee, making it a nice card to hold because it doesn’t cost you anything. There are some other fees to be aware of, though.
A So if you transfer $10,000, your fee will be $500. That fee gets added to your balance, so in the example I just used, your total balance would be $10,500. This isn’t uncommon, but something to be aware of.
This card also charges late fees of up to $41 and based on your creditworthiness, you can also get a penalty APR if and when it applies. So obviously, make sure you make your payments on time.
I don’t recommend getting cash from your credit card, but there is a minimum fee of $10 or 5% of the total I’m out you withdraw for each cash advance if you do. There are also foreign transaction fees with this card, making it less than ideal for traveling.
Citi Rewards+® Card fees
Like the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, the Citi Rewards+® Card charges late fees of up to $41 and may hit you with a penalty APR if you pay late.
There’s an intro balance transfer fee of 3% per transfer (minimum $5) when completed within the first 4 months of account opening. All other fees are the same as the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card noted above – including the cash advance fee and the foreign transaction fee.
The only real benefit with these cards regarding fees is that there is no annual fee. And for most responsible credit card holders, that is more than enough. However, if you are someone who needs to withdraw cash, is late on your payments, or has poor credit, neither of these cards is probably going to be the right fit for you. On the flip side, if you have good credit and you make your payments on time, you should have no issues with any of these fees.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card pros
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card pros:
- Excellent promotional offer – The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has one of the longest introductory promotional offers I have seen. Granted, there is a balance transfer fee, but this is still an excellent deal for those looking to pay off higher interest rate debt.
- No annual fee – The card will cost you nothing to hold. Sometimes, cards with annual fees can eat into the rewards that you earn or the money you saved from the promotional offer. You don’t have to worry about that with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
Citi Rewards+® Card pros:
- Excellent promotional offer – You’ll get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (for transfers made in first four months). After that, you’ll pay a variable interest rate, depending on your creditworthiness. While it isn’t as long as the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, it’s still an excellent promotional offer.
- No annual fee – The card has no annual fee, so it costs you nothing to keep in your wallet. This card also has some long-term value, as it offers rewards.
- Rewards points – Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. Redeemable for $200 in gift cards.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card cons
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card cons:
- No rewards – This is my biggest gripe with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. The promotional offer and the fact that there is no annual fee are great, but the card offers little value after that promotional period. You won’t earn any ongoing rewards, and you will no longer have an intro APR to take advantage of after the first year.
- Foreign transaction fees – If there were no foreign transaction fees, I could see this card being valuable even after the promotional period. You could travel with it and not have to worry about foreign transaction fees. But they charge 3% in foreign transaction fees.
- Few additional perks – There aren’t many other benefits to speak up with this credit card. So it leaves me questioning what I would do with it after my promotion ends.
Citi Rewards+® Card cons:
- Rewards points – Yes, this is both a pro and a con. While you earn rewards points, there are cards out there that are far superior for earning points—even some with no annual fee. The significant benefit here obviously is the promotional offer. So you have to consider what is better for you long-term.
- Few additional perks – Like the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, the Citi Rewards+® Card doesn’t have any exciting other extras to it. So if you want unique additional benefits, look elsewhere.
- Foreign transaction fees – This card does have long-term value because it offers rewards, but you shouldn’t travel with it because you’ll get hit with a foreign transaction fee. I could have been much higher on this card if they’d waived these fees.
Why choose the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card?
It’s relatively straightforward as to why you would choose the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. It’s the intro APR that you get on both balance transfers and purchases. Financing a large purchase at no interest over a year and a half is extremely attractive to many people.
But I think the bigger draw is the promotional offer on balance transfers. This allows you to move a balance from a higher interest rate credit card to your Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card at 0% intro APR for 21 months.
Why choose the Citi Rewards+® Card?
The Citi Rewards+® Card gets a little more complicated as to why you would choose it over something else. It does have an excellent promotional offer on purchases and balance transfers.
You will get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, which is longer than many other credit cards offer. You also earn rewards on the card. However, the rewards are not as good as other cards on our best rewards credit cards list.
This is where the problem comes in.
If your primary goal is to take advantage of a promotional offer, you’re probably better off going with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. And if your primary goal is to earn rewards, you’re probably better off going with a better rewards card that also has no annual fee.
The Citi Rewards+® Card sort of lands in the middle between those two, making it a mediocre choice at best, in my opinion.
While I appreciate the lengthy promotional offers, I’m not sure there is enough additional benefit to either of these cards to blow me away completely.
That being said, if you’re someone who is looking to pay off high-interest debt or finance a large purchase, I do recommend the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
But as I said above, if you want rewards, check out our list of rewards credit cards or even our best travel credit cards.