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Best Citi Credit Cards

Best Citi Credit Cards

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated May 22, 2019, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Whether you’re looking for a generous cashback card with no annual fee or a no-frills balance transfer card, the lending giant Citi has a number of cards worth serious consideration.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for example, offers one of the most generous cashback rates you can get without paying an annual fee. Meanwhile, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers fewer penalty charges than many credit cards and one of the longest 0% balance transfer periods around.

The best credit card for you will depend on your spending habits, budget and goals for your new credit card. Before you fill out an application, be sure to research all your options. This particular round-up only looks at Citi credit cards, but it’s worth your time to also scout out other issuers.

In addition to looking at a card’s rewards program, annual fee and APR, also consider other fees or charges you may come across, such as penalty interest rates if you happen to miss a payment and foreign transaction fees.

Don’t forget about side benefits, either, such as purchase protection or travel insurance. Citi, for example, offers one of the easiest-to-use price protection benefits called Citi Price Rewind. So, if you do a lot of bargain shopping, charging those purchases to a Citi credit card could potentially save you quite a bit. However, Citi doesn’t advertise as many purchase and travel benefits as some other card issuers. So, depending on the card, you may need to look elsewhere for guaranteed benefits.

Here’s our picks of the best Citi credit cards:

Best for cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

If you’re looking for a simple, flat rate cashback credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of the most generous cash back rates you’ll find on card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.. However, you have to pay off your purchases in full in order to claim the maximum amount of cash back. Many of its competitors, by contrast, only award 1.5% cash back.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer also advertises a generous 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers* (after 15.99%– 25.99% (Variable) applies). However, it doesn’t offer a promotional APR on new purchases. So if you’re looking for a card that allows you to transfer other high-interest card debt to one with no interest for a year and a half, this would be a good deal, but if are looking to spread out payments on new credit card charges without incurring any interest, you’re better off looking at another card.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer currently doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. However, depending on how much you spend, you should still be able to earn significantly more over time than if you picked a card with a lower rewards rate and big bonus. For example, if you charge $2,500 a month to your Citi Double Cash card and pay off your purchases in full, you’ll collect $600 in one year. If you charged the same amount to a card with a 1.5% cash back rate, you’d take home just $450, plus whatever bonus was offered with the card.

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 15.99%– 25.99% (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn cash back TWICE. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer:  0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99%– 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99%– 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.*

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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Best for 0% intro APR

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever isn’t flashy, as it doesn’t offer a rewards program, nor does it offer very many other benefits. But it does offer one of the best 0% promotional offers you can find on any credit card – especially if you’re looking to transfer a large balance.

New cardholders get 0%* for 12 months on Purchases* and 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*. After that, 16.74% - 26.74%* (Variable) applies. 

Those 0% offers are among the most generous you’ll find on a credit card. Many popular balance transfer cards, for example, only allow cardholders 12 to 15 months to carry a balance without paying any interest. The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever’s balance transfer fee is higher, though, when you take advantage of the longer offer. For example, if you apply for the card’s balance transfer offer, you’ll be charged 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum, however, the fee can be worth it if you need a longer period of time to repay a large balance.

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever also sets itself apart by offering fewer fees than many credit cards.  So, if you’re prone to forgetting your bill’s due dates, this may be a safe pick.

  • 0%* for 12 months on Purchases*

  • 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 16.74% - 26.74%* (Variable)

Highlights
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

See additional details for Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

More Info

Best for frequent flyers

Citi Prestige® Credit Card

If you’re willing to spend $495 on an annual fee, you’ll receive more than enough benefits to make up for it on this ultra generous travel card – as long as you travel often enough to take advantage of all its perks.

For example, cardholders are awarded an automatic $250 travel credit every year that can be used to offset a wide variety of travel purchases, including airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, public transportation, highway tolls, parking fees and more. You’ll also be credited with one free hotel night when you book four nights in a row using your Citi Prestige® Credit Card. The benefit is capped, though, at two trips per year.

In addition, the Citi Prestige® Credit Card offers a number of other high value travel benefits that cardholders are awarded for free, including an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck – allowing you to zip through airport security lines faster – and generous travel insurance benefits.

For example, cardholders can qualify for up to $75,000 worth of car rental insurance, up to $5,000 worth of trip cancellation and interruption protection, up to $500 worth of trip delay protection, up to $500 worth of delayed baggage insurance and up to $10,000 worth of lost baggage protection, among other travel and purchase protection benefits. Cardholders also receive free access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world through Priority Pass Select.

The Citi Prestige® Credit Card also offers a strong rewards program that lets you transfer your rewards to a small number of partner airlines, including JetBlue, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. You’ll receive 5X on air travel & restaurants, 3x on cruise lines & hotels, and 1x on all other purchases. In addition:  Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening. This is worth at least $500 in free travel.

The information related to the Citi Prestige® Credit Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Best for rewards

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

At first glance, the Citi Rewards+℠ Card doesn’t look especially generous: It awards just 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter., Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.

But what sets this card apart is a unique 10-point round-up feature that allows you to potentially earn substantially more. For every purchase you make, Citi will round up your rewards earnings to the next 10 point marker.

So, if you charge $2 for a cup of tea, you’ll earn 10 points, rather than 2 points. If you spend $91 on new clothes on the card, you’ll earn 100 points. As a result, your effective rewards rate for everyday purchases could run to nearly 10 points per dollar spent for smaller purchases – which is unusually generous for a card that has a $0 annual fee.

The Citi Rewards+℠ Card doesn’t cap the number of points you can earn through the round up program either. So you could potentially collect a ton of points if you use this card for all your small dollar purchases.

If you regularly spend $4 every morning on a coffee drink, you’ll earn around 300 points a month just from your coffee spending. If you charged the same amount to a card that awarded 2 points for every dollar you spent, you’d earn just 240 points during the same period.

In addition, Citi offers a 10% redemption bonus on the first 100,000 points that you redeem each year, allowing you to boost your earnings even more. To illustrate, if you redeemed 100,000 Citi ThankYou® points, you’d collect another $100 worth of points. The Citi Rewards+℠ Card also offers 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com.

  • 0% for 15 months

  • 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com

  • 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Highlights
  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • Get 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year

See additional details for Citi Rewards+℠ Card

More Info

Best for low interest

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn’t offer the lowest interest rate you’ll find on a credit card. However, if you’re committed to working with Citi, it does offer the lowest APR on a Citi card.

Depending on your credit score, you could qualify for a minimum APR of 15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable), which is close to what some other major issuers charge for a basic, no frills credit card. However, the card’s maximum APR runs high, so you aren’t guaranteed that lower rate.

Where you’ll really save money with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is by taking advantage of its low promotional purchase and balance transfer APR. Cardholders are given 0%* for 18 months on Purchases* and 0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*, after that 15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable) applies. The card charges a 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. So if you’re looking to use this card for a balance transfer with an extra long promotional period, you may be better off with the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever instead.

The information related to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Best for students

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is currently the only student credit card that Citi offers. Compared to other student cards on the market, it’s a solid card. It offers the same rewards structure as the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, so students who make a lot of small dollar purchases could benefit handsomely from the card’s 10-point round-up feature.

As with the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, student cardholders are given 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases. But what sets this card apart from other student cards is that it also rounds up student’s point-earnings to the next 10-point marker. So, for example, if a student spends $12 on a fast casual lunch, they’ll earn 20 points for the transaction, rather than 12 points. Similarly, if they spend $2 on a candy bar, they’ll earn 10 points in return.

The 10-point round up feature is ideal for students who typically buy just small dollar purchases. Citi also awards a 10-point redemption bonus on the first 100,000 points that students redeem.

In addition, the Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card offers a generous sign-up bonus that’s more accessible than the average sign-up bonus. Students can earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com.

  • 0% for 7 months on Purchases then 16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)

  • 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases

  • 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com

Highlights
  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 7 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • Get 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year
  • No annual fee

See additional details for Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

More Info

Best for building credit

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi also offers one secured credit card that’s designed to help borrowers rebuild their credit scores before they transition to other unsecured cards.

Unlike some other secured credit cards, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® charges a $$0 annual fee. However, it does charge a fairly high APR of 24.49%* (Variable), so you’ll want to avoid carrying a balance. It also charges a high maximum penalty APR and a maximum late fee of $39.

Citi also has a deposit requirement of at least $200 in order to receive an equal credit limit. The more money you deposit, the bigger credit limit you may receive. However, Citi will set your initial credit limit. The Citi® Secured Mastercard® caps credit limits at $2,500.

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t offer a rewards program. This card is best for cardholders who are just trying to build a better credit score – without paying an annual fee – so they can qualify for more generous perks in the future.

  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus

  • Auto Pay can help you stay on top of your bill

  • Use your card anywhere that accepts Mastercard®

Highlights
  • The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly.
  • Unlike a debit card, it helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. Once available, you will also have free access to your FICO score online.
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted — worldwide.
  • A security deposit is required. Once approved, your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (minimum of $200).
  • Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
  • With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
  • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app.

See additional details for Citi® Secured Mastercard®

More Info

How and why we picked these Citi cards

CompareCards reviewed the rewards, benefits and terms of Citi’s line of credit cards and chose the cards with the greatest potential value for a wide range of cardholders.

In most cases, credit cards with lower fees were given more weight than less accessible credit cards. For example, the Citi Rewards+℠ Card was chosen as the best Citi Rewards card because it offered a substantial amount of value without charging an annual fee. The Citi Premier℠ Card came in a close second. However, it charges a $95 annual fee, so it may not be as accessible to cardholders who can’t afford to commit to a big fee.

Credit cards that provide value to a wider group of people were also favored. For example, Citi offers a number of airline credit cards, including one airline card – the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card – that has a $0 annual fee. But the Citi Prestige® Credit Card won for best travel credit card, in part, because it appeals to a wider variety of frequent travelers, not just flyers who favor a particular airline.

The Citi Prestige® Credit Card also offers a unique suite of travel perks – such as its fourth night free benefit and annual travel credit – that should appeal to many frequent flyers and help make up for its big annual fee.

CompareCards also considered a credit card’s terms when rating various Citi credit cards and favored cards with lower fees.

Bottom line

Citi offers a wide range of competitive credit cards.

Citi’s no-annual fee rewards cards, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, especially stand out compared to other rewards cards on the market. So do Citi’s 0% credit cards and its super premium rewards card, the Citi Prestige® Credit Card.

However, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a low rate card to use long-term: Citi’s standard APRs tend to be on the higher side, compared to some competitors.


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