2017 Citi Diamond Preferred Review – WalletHub Editors
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The Verdict: If you’re planning a big-ticket purchase that will take months to pay off, you’d better make sure Citi Diamond Preferred is in your wallet first. OK, that might be a bit of hyperbole, but this card is indeed an excellent ally in the fight against finance charges, not charging an annual fee and offering 0% on new purchases for 21 months. That’s just about the longest 0% term on the market, giving you ample time to get out from under your forthcoming debt before a regular APR that can be as high as 23.24% takes effect.
Regardless of exactly how you plan to employ this card, it’s important that you do so with the aid of a credit card payoff calculator. You can’t count on another 0% balance transfer credit card being available when your 0% purchase term runs out, so planning is essential.
- 0% On Purchases & Balance Transfers For Nearly Two Years: Diamond Preferred’s 21-month 0% intro term applies to new purchases as well as balance transfers. 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.
- Potential For A Below-Average Regular APR: The average credit card for people with excellent credit has a regular APR of 13.16%. The Citi Diamond Preferred Card, which requires excellent credit for approval, offers a regular APR as low as 13.24%. You’ll need a truly pristine credit history to get approved for a rate at this low end of Diamond Preferred’s advertised range, but it would make for a relatively soft landing following the 0% term, if you can get it.
- 3% Balance Transfer Fee: This is the primary reason why Diamond Preferred is better-suited to new-purchase financing than balance transfers. Let’s say that you, like the average householder, have roughly $8,000 in debt. This 3% balance transfer fee would equate to $240, which is enough to warrant exploring the viability of offers that have shorter 0% introductory periods yet lower fixed costs.
- 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.
- Likelihood Of A Very High Regular APR: The fact that your regular APR could be as high as 23.24% — depending on your credit standing at the time of account approval — could actually be construed as a positive if it motivates you to pay off your entire balance prior to regular rates taking effect. That’s a very “glass half full” perspective, however, and we’d certainly prefer there be a low-rate landing just in case life gets in the way of planning and self-discipline.
Other Things To Consider
- 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 would have helped reduce the cost of your spending to a certain extent, but it would’ve been nowhere 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.
- A Payoff Calculator Can Be Quite Helpful: Planning is essential not only to saving money with a 0% credit card but also to choosing the right offer. How much you owe, or will owe, and the amount you can afford to make in monthly bill payments both play important roles. A credit card payoff calculator will help you determine the financial implications of different payment amounts and point you to the offer with the most attractive combination of introductory interest rates, regular interest rates and fees.
Compared To The Competition
Citi Diamond Preferred
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
|Intro Financing||0% on Purchases and Balance transfers for 21 months (3% fee)||0% on Purchases and Balance transfers for 21 months (3% fee)||0% on Purchases and Balance transfers for 15 months (0% fee)||0% on Purchases and Balance transfers for 15 months (4% fee)|
|Regular APR||13.24% to 23.24%||14.24% to 24.24%||15.49% to 24.24%||13.49% to 23.49%|
|Editors’ Rating||5 Stars||4.9 Stars||5 Stars||N/A|
|Winners|| Citi Diamond Preferred Chase Slate
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