2019 Citi Diamond Preferred Review – WalletHub Editors
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The Verdict: If you’re planning a big balance transfer and have good or excellent credit, you should definitely consider the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (Citi is a WalletHub partner). Diamond Preferred doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers 0% on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months your account is open (as long as you complete the transfer within the first four months). Both of Diamond Preferred’s 0% periods are longer than average, giving you ample time to get out from under your forthcoming debt before a regular APR takes effect. The bad news is you have to pay a 5% (min $5) balance transfer fee for the pleasure of avoiding interest for 18 months.
Whether you plan to use Citi Diamond Preferred for a big-ticket purchase or balance transfer, it’s important that you do so with the aid of a credit card calculator. You can’t count on another 0% credit card being available when your interest-free period ends. And Diamond Preferred’s regular APR is pretty high. You can get a sense of whether you’ll be able to qualify for Citi Diamond Preferred by checking your latest credit score for free on WalletHub.
- 0% On Purchases & Balance Transfers: Diamond Preferred’s 18-month 0% intro term applies to balance transfers (completed in first 4 months), and to new purchases. So if you already have a bit of debt and foresee more in your immediate future, you could use this card to both consolidate and save.
- No Annual Fee: Your mission is to save money, not just avoid interest charges. So the fact that this card does not charge an annual fee is quite important. It not only allows you to minimize expenses, but it also makes budgeting easier, as you won’t have to inquire about when your annual fee will be assessed.
- 5% Balance Transfer Fee: Let’s say that you, like the average householder, have roughly $8,000 in debt. This 5% balance transfer fee would equate to $400, which is enough to warrant exploring the viability of offers that have shorter 0% introductory periods yet lower fixed costs.
- Above-Average Regular APR: The average credit card for people with excellent credit has a regular APR of 14.49%, while credit cards for people with good credit charge an average of 20.79%. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® charges 15.99% - 25.99% (V). Considering that you need at least good credit for approval, you’re going to receive an above-average regular APR no matter where your assigned rate falls in Diamond Preferred’s advertised range.
- 3% Foreign Transaction Fee: If you were planning to open this card to pay for a lavish international getaway, or even to make a significant purchase from a foreign-based merchant, don’t. There are far too many no foreign transaction fee credit cards available to warrant forking over an extra 3% of whatever you charge, in most cases.
Other Things To Consider
- $500+ Credit Limit: You won’t receive your Citi Diamond Preferred credit limit until after you’re approved for an account. All you know going in is that your limit will be at least $500 and based on your annual income and debt.
- 24/7 Concierge Service: One of this card’s preferred elements is that it provides access to a “personalized concierge service” that is available around the clock, according to Citi’s website. Citi doesn’t offer much information about this feature online, other than it can help cardholders make travel arrangements, buy tickets to events and set up restaurant reservations, but having extra resources can’t hurt – especially when they’re free.
- Citi Private Pass: Citi credit and debit cardholders have the chance to attend exclusive concerts and events as well as take advantage of special ticket opportunities for events open to the general public through Citi Private Pass. This obviously isn’t a perk unique to Diamond Preferred itself, and you shouldn’t use the availability of such offers as an excuse to overspend. But it could make being a cardholder more enjoyable.
- No Card Rewards: If your main objective is to save money on debt, whether current or upcoming, this card’s lack of rewards shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Sure, rewards could help reduce the cost of your spending to a certain extent, but it won’t be anywhere near the amount you could expect to lose due to a higher interest rate. So when comparing your options, focus on fees and interest while considering rewards to be icing on the cake.
- Citi Bonus Cash Center: While the Diamond Preferred Card does not directly offer rewards, it does enable you to shop at roughly 400 major retailers through Citi’s online mall and earn an average of 5% cash back on purchases. Just make sure you don’t end up overpaying for an item simply to earn a bit of cash back.
- Citi Easy Deals: Citi credit card users whose accounts are in good standing are automatically enrolled in Citi Easy Deals, which offers savings on items purchased from citieasydeals.com. You’ll start with 100 dollars in Easy Deal Points and earn 1 point for every $10 spent. Every dollar in Deal Points you have can get you $1 off a purchase on the website. Don’t get too excited about this, though, as we’ve seen numerous reports from consumers about Easy Deal Points being hard to use.
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