The Citi Diamond Preferred card is a great card for very specific individuals. The card comes with a strong introductory offer and decent overall APR and fees. However, even with no annual fee, the Diamond Preferred card's perks may not be strong enough to make it a must-have for most credit cardholders- with one specific exception.
The best use for the citi.com/applydiamondpreferred credit card is as a debt pay-down tool. With an introductory offer that allows you to transfer balances interest-free for nearly two years, and the debt management tools offered on all Citi cards, this is a great deal. Of course, you still have the balance transfer fee to deal with, but that's much less than a high-interest card would add to your balance in a year, let alone two.
For everyone else, the Citi Diamond Preferred card doesn't make much sense as an everyday card or something to have around “just in case.” It doesn't have a rewards program, the interest is fairly average for most customers, and there are many better cards offered by Citi if you want the basic perks like fraud protection and the Flex Plan options.
The citi.com/applydiamondpreferred offer has relatively low interest overall, but this is weighted toward those that apply with an excellent credit score. The lowest APR at present is 15.24% and the highest is 25.24% for purchases and balance transfers.
As is standard, cash advances are all charged at a standard APR for all customers. For now, that rate is 26.74%. These APR numbers are variable and will change a small amount with the prime rate, typically no more than 4% at a maximum.
However, if a payment is missed or made after the due date Citi Diamond Preferred cardmembers will be given penalty interest. The penalty interest rate if 29.99% APR or the maximum allowed by your state, if it is less. This penalty may apply indefinitely. However, the penalty typically goes away after you have made several on-time payments or if this is your first late or missed payment.
Customers with access to the Citi Diamond Preferred card have reported consistently high starting credit limits, often greater than $2,000. However, there is no posted minimum credit limit. Citi is also known for giving credit line increases frequently, as soon as 3 months after a card is acquired for customers with other Citi cards and accounts in good standing.
- Annual Fee – There is no annual fee for the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
- Cash Advance Fee – The cash advance fee for the Citi Diamond Preferred card is the greater of $10 or 5% of the total transaction.
- Foreign Transaction Fee – The foreign transaction fee for the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card is just 3%. While higher than the 0% you may find on some other cards, this isn't unreasonable.
- Citi.com/applydiamondpreferred Late Payment Fee – Late payment fees for the Citi Diamond Preferred card are up to $40.
- Returned Payment Fee - Returned payment fees for the Citi Diamond Preferred card are up to $40.
- Authorized User Fees – There are no authorized user fees for the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card.
- Balance Transfer Fee – The balance transfer fee for the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card is the greater of $5 or 5% of the entire balance transfer.
The Citi Diamond Preferred credit card has no real rewards program. It comes with a few protections, as many cards do. The only real draw to the Citi Diamond Preferred card is the introductory offer and lack of an annual fee. Beyond that, there's not much incentive to use it regularly.
Advantages of the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
The advantages of the Citi Diamond Preferred card are not unique to this card, but several are unique to the Citi brand.
- Strong Introductory Offer – Nearly 2 years of interest-free balance transfers or one year of no interest on purchases on citi.com/applydiamondpreferred mailers is tempting for most.
- Ability to Enroll in Flex Pay, Flex Plan, or Flex Loan – With the potential for less interest and more financial flexibility, these plans can help you stay on top of your finances.
- $0 Fraud and Identity Theft Protection – As with many other Citi cards, the Diamond Preferred credit card protects you from identity theft and all unauthorized charges.
- High Initial Credit Limit – According to customer reports, the starting limit for the Citi Diamond Preferred card is frequently very generous.
Disadvantages of the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
There are two main, though large, disadvantages to the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card compared to other credit cards in the Citi family.
- No Rewards Program – There is no rewards program for the Diamond Preferred card. For some, the introductory offers help make up for this fact.
- Penalty APR – The Citi Diamond Preferred card has a penalty APR rate of 29.99% or the maximum of what your state will allow if that is less. This can continue indefinitely. However, if you have trouble making payments it's possible to negotiate a better option before a payment must be missed.
The primary introductory offer for the Citi Diamond Preferred card is 0% APR. You can choose whether this applies to purchases or balance transfers. The time limit on purchases is 12 months. For balance transfers, that limit is raised to 21 months of zero interest. However, it's also worth noting that a balance transfer incurs a $5 or 5% fee, whichever is greater.
With no reward program and penalty interest, this isn't the best card for those new to credit cards, even with the 0% APR on purchases offer. The Citi Diamond Preferred card shines in one aspect. That is its ability to take a high-interest balance from another card. Even if that balance is quite a lot.
With a generous starting limit, 0% APR on balance transfers, and a low balance transfer fee, this Citi card seems like it was almost designed to help people recover from mild to moderate credit card debt. For everyone with no debt, this Citi card is unlikely to be worth applying for.