Citi Simplicity® Card vs. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: The Battle of 0% Intro APR Cards

CREDIT CARDS - BALANCE TRANSFER CREDIT CARDS
If you’re looking for 0% APR, here are two great options from Citi. We’re putting them head to head so you can choose the right card for you. (Citi is a FinanceBuzz partner.)
Updated April 9, 2024
Fact checked
Citi Simplicity vs Citi Diamond Preferred

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The Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card are two credit cards with intro APR offers that can help you save money on interest charges. While these two cards have several common features, we like Citi Simplicity® Card more since it has lower balance transfer fees and no late fees.

Let’s explore how the Citi Simplicity® Card versus the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card compare to find which card would work better for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • We recommend the Citi Simplicity® Card over the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card because the Citi Simplicity has lower balance transfer fees and no late fees.
  • One of the major perks of the Citi Simplicity is it doesn’t charge late fees and doesn’t have a penalty APR rate, making it a forgiving option for people who occasionally miss payment due dates.
  • One of the major perks of the Citi Diamond Preferred is that it offers access to Citi Entertainment, which could help you access tickets to certain events before they become available to the public.

Citi Simplicity® Card vs. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card comparison

Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

4.5

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

4.4

Card type Balance transfer/0% APR Balance transfer/0% APR
Annual fee $0 $0
Intro APR
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable)
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfer fee 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)
Other benefits
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Digital wallet technology
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • Choose your payment due date
  • No late fees
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Digital wallet technology
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Citi Entertainment
Foreign transaction fee 3% 3%
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Learn more Learn more

Our verdict

Both the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card come with lengthy intro APR offers that make it suitable for balance transfers and large purchases. That said, we like that the Citi Simplicity has no late fees, placing it as the better card for balance transfers. On the other hand, the Citi Diamond Preferred offers entertainment access that can help you get tickets to sporting events and concerts.

Citi Simplicity Card benefits and drawbacks

Pros
  • Long intro APR for balance transfers
  • Intro APR for purchases
  • No late fees
  • Identity theft protection
Cons
  • No rewards program
  • No sign-up bonus

With the Citi Simplicity Card, you can benefit from a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then the APR goes up to 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).

Balance transfers are a great way to consolidate debt into one place and lower your interest rate so you can pay down your credit card balance. To take advantage of this APR offer with the Citi Simplicity, your balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of opening the account.

Keep in mind that balance transfers typically come with a fee. With this credit card, you pay 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends.

You can also benefit from purchases you make with the Citi Simplicity Card. This card comes with 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)).

The Citi Simplicity doesn’t charge late fees and doesn’t have a penalty APR rate. All in all, the Citi Simplicity can be a great option for someone needing a balance transfer or a long introductory APR period.

Keep in mind
Keeping a balance on your credit card might hurt your credit score as it could increase your credit utilization ratio, one of several factors that play a role in determining your credit score.

One of the downsides of the Citi Simplicity is that it has no rewards program and offers no earning rates. It also has no sign-up bonus or welcome offer that helps you earn points or cash back after receiving your approval.

Learn more in our Citi Simplicity Card review.

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card benefits and drawbacks

Pros
  • Long intro APR for balance transfers
  • Intro APR for purchases
  • Entertainment access
  • Identity theft protection
Cons
  • No rewards program
  • No sign-up bonus

The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card has an intro balance transfer APR of 0% for 21 months. After the introductory period, the APR goes up to 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable).

Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening to qualify for the intro APR. You also pay 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) as a balance transfer fee.

The Citi Diamond Preferred also has a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable).

You can enjoy access to Citi Entertainment with the Citi Diamond Preferred, which gives you access to dining experiences, concerts, sporting events, and more. You can see what is offered and book tickets by visiting the Citi Entertainment website.

Tip
The “hook” of Citi Entertainment is that you have the opportunity to grab tickets and potential VIP packages before the general public does. So Citi Entertainment is particularly worth using if you want to attend a popular event that may sell out quickly.

Learn more in our Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card review.

What both cards excel at

There are shared benefits that make both the Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred great options for people who want to save money on interest charges without worrying about annual fees.

Intro APR offers

The Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred both offer introductory APR periods:

  • The Citi Simplicity Card provides a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).
  • The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable).

Explore more options in our list of the best balance transfer credit cards.

They also feature intro APR periods on purchases:

  • The Citi Simplicity Card provides a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).
  • The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable).

Annual fees

You can benefit from the Citi Simplicity or the Citi Diamond Preferred without worrying about annual fees. This is because you pay:

  • $0 annual fee with the Citi Simplicity
  • $0 annual fee with the Citi Diamond Preferred

Flexible payment due dates

The Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred offer you the flexibility of choosing your payment due date. This feature can be incredibly convenient as it allows you to align your payment due date with your salary or other financial considerations.

Whether you prefer to make payments at the beginning or end of the month or at another time that suits you, having this flexibility can make your credit card payments more convenient.

3 important differences between Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred

There are four essential differences between the Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred.

1. Balance transfer fees

The Citi Simplicity charges 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends.

On the other hand, the Citi Diamond Preferred charges 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum). This means that the Citi Simplicity can be a better option for saving money on your balance transfers.

Winner: The Citi Simplicity because it has a lower balance transfer fee during the first four months, making it a more cost-effective option for transferring balances.

2. Late fees

The Citi Simplicity has no late fees, while the Citi Diamond Preferred charges up to $41. If you suspect you may be late with payments on occasion, then the Citi Simplicity would be a better bet. But remember, late payments can cause negative consequences to your FICO score, so it's always best to pay your bills on time.

Winner: The Citi Simplicity because it doesn’t charge any late fees, making it a better choice for those who may occasionally miss payment due dates.

3. Entertainment access

The Citi Simplicity doesn’t offer access to Citi Entertainment. The Citi Diamond Preferred, on the other hand, allows you as a cardholder to access unique entertainment opportunities, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, and more. It also enables you to access certain presale tickets before the general public.

Winner: Citi Diamond Preferred because it provides access to Citi Entertainment for special access to event bookings.

Which credit card should you choose?

Credit cards are great financial tools to have in your toolbelt. But when selecting the right credit card, it’s important to consider what’s most important to you. The Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred have several features in common, including intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers, which are some of their main perks.

When you should choose Citi Simplicity

The Citi Simplicity card might be the right choice for you if:

  • You want to minimize your balance transfer fees
  • You want to avoid late fees
  • You’re looking for a card with no penalty rate
  • You don’t need access to unique entertainment opportunities

When you should choose Citi Diamond Preferred

The Citi Diamond Preferred card could be a good fit for you if:

  • You plan to make a large purchase
  • You want access to presale tickets through Citi Entertainment
  • You don’t mind having no rewards program

FAQ

Can I have both the Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred?

As long as you can qualify for both cards, you can have both. Citi doesn't have a strict limit on the number of cards you can apply for, although it’s been determined by the credit card community that you will have to leave eight days in between card applications and can't apply for more than two Citi cards in a 65-day period.

 Whether you're approved for both cards will depend on a few factors, including your creditworthiness and how many credit cards you've applied for recently.

Does the Citi Simplicity card have rewards?

The Citi Simplicity Card does not offer rewards. If you are interested in a balance transfer credit card that offers a rewards program and a generous intro APR promotional period, you may want to consider the Citi Double Cash® Card. It gives you a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)), and cardmembers can earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

Does Citi Diamond Preferred have points?

The Citi Diamond Preferred card does not offer points or rewards. If you're open to applying for a rewards card from a different credit card issuer, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card could potentially be a good choice. 

Cardmembers can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). This card also offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)). Balance transfer fee applies.

Does Citibank give instant approval?

Citi provides instant approval, but in certain situations it may take longer to find out if you're approved for a card.

Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card hard to get?

To be eligible for the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, you typically need to have a good to excellent credit score (a FICO score of 670 or higher). Citibank considers various factors when evaluating your creditworthiness, including your credit and payment history, debt-to-income ratio, and other relevant information.

Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred: bottom line

The key differences between the Citi Simplicity Card and the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card are the fees and perks of each of the Citi credit card. Before you make your final decision, be sure to review each product and its credit card application rules. Then choose the best credit card for your wallet.

  • The Citi Simplicity Card is a great choice for someone looking for no-frills and a long interest-free intro period for a balance transfer to pay down credit card debt or purchases. It's a great card if you have a history of late payments.
  • The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is geared toward people looking to attend in-person experiences such as concerts. It also has a respectable intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers.

Keep in mind that neither card participates in the Citi rewards program. Regardless of which new card you choose, both can help you minimize your interest paid and maximize your dollars spent with their balance transfer offers. 

And for more info on Citi cards, see how the Citi Simplicity and Citi Double Cash card compare

No annual fee & 0% Intro APR

4.5

Citi Simplicity® Card

Current Offer

Long introductory APR period on balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Yahia Barakah, CEPF Yahia Barakah, CEPF, is a Senior Editor at FinanceBuzz and has created finance-focused content since 2011. As a Certified Educator of Personal Finance, he has a background in institutional investment and asset management, as well as a deep passion for financial literacy.
Brett Holzhauer Brett Holzhauer is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He writes about using points & miles for travel, travel industry news, utilizing credit cards as financial leverage, and investing for the future. He has been featured in publications such as The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets, The Money Manual, Recruiter, Travel Pulse, and Bald Thoughts. He is a full-time digital nomad with his wife, Kiersten.

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