About Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Life is tough when you’re stuck with big credit card balances and high-interest rates.
The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card could be an excellent remedy for your situation. The card is now offering a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months along with no annual fee.
Will the Diamond Preferred Card be a good fit for you in the long run, once the introductory period is over and you have to deal with the cards pros and cons on a daily basis?
That’s what we’re going to figure out as we dissect what the card offers, its fees and any penalties you need to know about it. We’ll also dig into what other consumers are saying about their experience with this card and Citi customer service agents.
We’ll finish off our review of the card with our thoughts about its strengths and weaknesses, then discuss who would be a good fit for this card.
The Short-Term Benefits of Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
When you’re in the market for a credit card, you should know what the card offers in the short-term and the long-term.
Most credit cards you’ll see have a short-term offer to entice you to sign up. With travel credit cards, it’s points and miles. With cash back cards, it’s a money bonus up front or a big payoff at the end of the year.
With the Citi Diamond Card, it’s the 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases. At HighYa, we like to break down the numbers to explain why an offer like this is a good deal and to show you how, if you handle it the right way, you can save tons of money.
Related: Chase Ink Cash Business Card Review
So, let’s break down the numbers. According to financial website Value Penguin, the average American with credit card debt is carrying about $16,000 on their credit cards. If your APR on those cards is an average of 20%, then you’re paying about $267 a month in interest. Not fun.
The advantage of the Citi Diamond Card’s offer is that you can transfer those balances (assuming you have a credit limit of more than $16,000) to the new card. You can make this transfer over the phone, online or by mail.
When the transfer is approved, you’ll pay a 3% fee, which comes out to $480 and is added to your balance. If you pay off your balance before the 21 months is up, then, in total, you’ll pay $16,480 (balance plus transfer fee).
However, if you stuck with your 20% APR, that $16,000 balance would cost you about $18,100 if you paid it off in 21 months. Doing a balance transfer, in this situation, can save you more than $2,600.
Anytime you’re debating a balance transfer, do the calculations we did. If you’re not sure how to calculate how much interest you’d pay without a balance transfer, Credit Karma has a great calculation tool you can use.
When the interest you’d pay is higher than the balance transfer fee, it might be a good idea to sign up for the card. But remember this: Citi’s Terms and Conditions say your credit limit is “determined by your annual salary and wages, your other annual income and a review of your debt, including the debt listed on your credit report.”
We’re pointing this out because we want you to remember you aren’t guaranteed a credit limit that will cover all the balances you want to transfer.
Another important tip: Citi has affiliate cards that aren’t eligible for balance transfers. Here are a few: (If you want the complete list, click here.)
- All Citi credit cards
- Macy’s American Express Card
- My Best Buy Visa, Visa Gold and Visa Platinum
- Bloomingdale’s Credit Card
- Brooks Brothers Platinum MasterCard
- Sears Card
- Staples Credit Card
- Home Depot Consumer Credit Card
- ExxonMobil MasterCard
- Zales Diamond Card
The great APR on this card is the main short-term benefit, but only if you have a card that’s not affiliated with Citi. Now, let’s move on to what this card offers beyond the 21-month APR period.
The Long-Term Benefits of Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
When we say “long-term,” we mean more than two years, after all, the perks have worn off, and you’re left with a card’s standard terms.
The Citi Diamond Card offers several travel protection perks that you’ll see on other cards as well: anti-skimming chip technology, rental car insurance, travel accident insurance and more.
Along with the travel perks are purchase protection features that, like other cards, offer extended warranties, damage/theft protection and no cost to you if unauthorized charges appear on your statement.
You can learn more about these various perks by going to Citi’s Card Benefits page. Remember, though; the various features we listed above are available to all Citi cardholders, not just Diamond Preferred customers.
Citi also pushes their Private Pass program; it allows you to purchase tickets ahead of time for entertainment events like concerts.
In our opinion, Citi’s long-term features are pretty standard for the credit card world. But these features are just part of the long-term picture; fees and penalties are just as important.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card’s APR, Fees, and Penalties
The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card offers purchase and balance-transfer APR’s in the following increments: 12.24%, 15.24%, 18.224%, 20.24% and 22.24%. Which rate you get is based on your income, credit history, and credit scores. These rates kick in once the 21-month intro period is over.
However, if you make a late payment, your APR will increase up to 29.99%; this is known as a penalty APR. Here’s a quick breakdown of other Citi Diamond Preferred Card fees you should be aware of:
- Annual fee: $0
- Cash advance APR: 25.49%
- Cash advance fee: 5% of total advance
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Late payment fee: Up to $35
- Returned payment fee: Up to $35
In addition to these fees and penalties, we want to remind you about the golden rules of balance transfer cards.
First, if you make a late payment anytime during your first 21 months, you lose the 0% interest rate. Second, you will pay interest on the entire original balance transfer if you don’t pay it off completely by the end of the 21 months.
What Consumers are Saying About the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
There are thousands of reviews out there about this card spread across several different popular personal finance sites. That’s good news for you because it will give you a good sense of how consumers like this card:
- CompareCards.com: 4.2 stars from 1,295 ratings
- Credit Karma: 3.2 stars from 483 reviews
- CardHub: 4 stars from 943 reviews
The common positive comments from these reviews include praise for the 21 months of 0% APR – one customer said he or she used the 0% interest to pay for a top-notch landscaping job.
Negative reviews about the card had to do with customer service (common among negative credit card complaints) and credit limits that were either too low or were lowered without warning.
Reviews by writers from Value Penguin, The Simple Dollar, and Magnify Money were positive but knocked the card for not having a rewards program (cash back, points, etc.). In our opinion, the lack of a rewards program with this card isn’t that important.
Credit cards are like football players. You might see a wide receiver line up in the backfield once or twice, or a running back might be a receiver for a few plays, but, for the most part, everyone sticks with one position.
Now, for our conclusions about this card.
The Final Word on the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card
In our opinion, this card is a great option for people who want to transfer a balance or who have to make a big purchase shortly and can’t pay for it all up front.
This recommendation comes with a warning, though, for those wanting a good balance transfer card. You aren’t guaranteed to get the credit limit you want or transfer all the balances you want.
Signing up for this card, in that sense, is a bit of a risk. However, you’ll find that risk with just about any balance transfer card.
The perks offered by this card aren’t unique, but it is nice to have a wide variety of purchase and travel features on one card. And, few can argue with the 21-month 0% APR.
If you’re thinking about tearing up your yard and hiring some landscapers to make it look beautiful, this card could come in handy. Have a backup plan for payment, though; your approved credit limit might be lower than you think.
All in all, we believe the Citi Diamond Preferred Creditcard is a solid choice for consumers who need 21 months of no-interest purchases or balance transfers.
If you aren’t convinced this card is right for you, a couple of cards you might want to look at are the Chase Slate and the Citi Simplicity. Both have solid intro APRs, and like we did in this review, we look at what they offer, what people are saying about them and more.