Review: Citibank Credit Cards

Below are short overviews / reviews of the most popular Citibank credit cards, also known as Citi credit cards or Citicards:

  • citi-diamond-preferredThe Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers the lowest possible interest rate of any Citi card, at 12.49% (if you qualify, that is; note that you could be approved at a higher interest rate, as high as 22.49%). It also offers a 0% rate on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months, a very, very good deal. (Note that there’s a 3% fee on balance transfers.) Compare to: Lowest Interest Cards, Best Balance Transfer Cards
  • citi-simplicity-credit-cardThe Citi Simplicity Card is a standard low interest credit card with a bit of a twist — it doesn’t charge late payment fees and it doesn’t have a high default rate if you have too many late payments. It offers interest rates of 13.49% to 23.49% depending on your credit history, and it offers an introductory rate of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for a lengthy 21 months. (Note that there is a 3% fee on any balance transfers.) Compare to: Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

  • citi-double-smallThe Citi Double Cash credit card is one of the best cash back credit cards on the market, maybe the best. You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase, then you’ll earn 1% on your payments, too, for en effective cash back earnings of 2%. (Note that the 1% on payments is for purchase balances only; you do not earn cash back for paying interest and/or fees.) Compare to: Best Cash Back Cards, Best Rewards Cards
  • The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card is a points-based reward credit card. It offers 2 ThankYou reward points per dollar on restaurant and entertainment purchases (such as concerts, movies, sporting events, museums) and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Points are generally worth one penny per point, and you can use them toward gift cards, travel, cash back, etc. The card offers a 0% interest rate on purchases and any transferred balances for 12 months, though there is a 3% fee if you transfer a balance.
  • The Citi ThankYou Premier is a version of the card above, but with a different points formula and a $95 annual fee (though that fee is waived for the first year you have the card). This card offers 3 points per dollar on travel purchases (including gas purchases), 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. This could be worth the fee if you are a frequent traveler (or need to gas up your vehicle often), otherwise you’d be better off getting a card with no annual fee.
  • Citi ThankYou Preferred Card For College Students – Almost exactly the same as the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card detailed above, but with a slightly higher interest rate. Earn 2 ThankYou reward points per dollar on restaurant and entertainment purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. You will get 2500 bonus points free if you spend at least $500 with the card in the first 3 months you have it. No annual fee.
  • The Citi Prestige Card has an annual fee of $450. For that hefty fee you get a more generous points rewards program and travel perks such as a $250 air travel credit each year and no foreign transaction fees when you use the card outside the U.S. The points program gives you 3 points per dollar on airline and hotel purchases, 2 points per dollar on restaurant and entertainment purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. If you are a frequent traveler, this card could be a good deal for you, but only if you use the card on a very regular basis; otherwise the $450 fee would not be worth it.
  • Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi – Specifically for Costco members — see our complete review of this card here.
  • The Citi Secured MasterCard is for those with bad credit or those without a credit history who are finding it difficult to be approved for a standard credit card. Here’s how it works: you make a security deposit of anywhere from $200 to $5000 and you get a credit line equal to the amount you deposit. You then use the card like any other credit card, including making monthly payments as if the security deposit did not exist. (Your payments do not come from the security deposit.) Citi reports your payments to the major credit bureaus, which helps you establish a credit history or (hopefully) improve a bad credit history. If your credit history reaches a point where you can get a standard credit card (or if you just don’t want this card anymore), you’ll get your security deposit back, provided your account is paid in full. There is an annual fee of $25 for this card; this is a fee you do not get back. Interest rate is 22.24%, which is very high, so you’ll want to pay your balance in full each month.