Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred: The Battle of 0% Intro APR 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.
6 minute read | 9/30/19Sept. 30, 2019
Citi Simplicity vs Citi Diamond Preferred

Many consumers are turned away from using credit cards due to notoriously high interest rates. Those rates have led to Americans to favor other methods of payment, including debit cards and checks. But some credit cards have 0% APR (annual percentage rate) introductory offers, which are a great choice for people who want to avoid interest piling up or are looking to get ahead of their debt.

Having 0% APR could potentially save you hundreds of dollars over time. The ability to carry a balance on a credit card without accruing interest can be a great way to pay for a large investment, such as a new computer or home improvement project, or to consolidate more expensive debt by using a balance transfer.

With all the credit cards out there, it can be hard to sort through and find the one that’s right for you. In this article, I’ll compare two Citibank credit cards that both have low intro APR offers. Let’s see how these two cards look when put head to head: the Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred.

Citi Simplicity Card: No late fees ever

With the Citi Simplicity Card, your intro APR on balance transfers will be 0% for 21 months. Balance transfers are a great way to consolidate debt into one place and lower your interest rate. To take advantage of this with the Citi Simplicity Card, your balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of opening the account.

Keep in mind also that the balance transfer fee with this card is either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. This is a bit high, as the typical balance transfer rate of other comparable cards is usually 3%. However, having a 0% intro APR for 21 months may balance out paying that higher fee.

For purchases made on the Citi Simplicity Card, your intro APR will be 0% for 12 months. And as the name of the card tells, there are no late fees ever. Also, there’s no penalty rate or annual fee. All in all, that makes the Citi Simplicity Card a great option for someone needing a balance transfer or a long introductory APR period.

Even though the card has a 0% intro APR for 21 months, I wouldn’t recommend using that entire 21 months unless necessary. Keeping a balance on your credit card can hurt your credit score due to something called your credit utilization ratio. Also, if you aren’t able to pay your balance after 21 months, you’ll either need to transfer your balance once again (and pay another fee to another credit card) or be subject to a high interest rate of 16.99% - 26.99% Variable.

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card: Special event access

The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card has a 0% intro APR on purchases for 18 months. The card also has an intro APR of 0% on balance transfers posted in the first four months of account opening. A balance transfer will incur a fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each credit card balance transfer, whichever is greater. However, the intro APR offers aren’t the only things this card offers.

The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card has unique features for cardholders. It comes with access to Citi Entertainment, formerly known as Citi Private Pass. Citi Entertainment gives the cardholder access to unique entertainment opportunities such as dining experiences, concerts, sporting events, and more.

You can see what is offered and book tickets by visiting the Citi Entertainment website. If you’d like to buy tickets, be sure to keep your Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card nearby. When you’re making the purchase, you’ll be prompted to give a passcode, which is the first six digits of your Citi credit card or Citibank debit card. After this, you’ll be able to buy the tickets you desire.

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.

Along with Citi Entertainment, you will have access to the Citi Concierge service. This is a 24/7 phone line you can call for non-emergency assistance with tasks such as dinner reservations, booking a hotel, sending flowers to someone, or finding new things to do in a city. This service is extremely helpful for someone who enjoys entertainment but may not have the time to research things to do or places to go.

So if you are a fan of attending big events where tickets may be hard to get or like going out in general, this card may suit both your entertainment as well as your financial needs alike.

Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred: Which is right for you?

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. Are you looking to get out of debt? Trying to make a large purchase but can’t pay the full cost upfront? Do you prefer a credit card that comes with lifestyle perks such as a concierge service?

Both of these Citi cards have great features. The Citi Simplicity comes with no fees, and the Citi Diamond Preferred offers great travel protections and entertainment options. Neither is a “bad” choice. But considering the above questions could help you decide which one is right for you and your needs.

Let’s look at a few more ways we can compare these two cards to help you make your choice:

Card basics

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card

Intro APR on balance transfers 0% for 21 months 0% on balance transfers posted in the first four months of account opening for 18 months
Intro APR on purchases 0% for 12 months 0% for 18 months
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good

Fee comparison

While the fees between these two cards are quite similar, the one big difference is the penalty APR. While the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card has a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99%, the Citi Simplicity Card has none.

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card

Annual fee $0 $0
Balance transfer fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each credit card balance transfer, whichever is greater
Late fee None up to $39
Penalty APR None Up to 29.99%
Returned payment fee Up to $39 Up to $39
Foreign transaction fee 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Other benefits

While the Citi Simplicity Card comes with a great intro balance transfer time period, it doesn’t come close to the Citi Diamond Preferred in terms of perks. The Citi Diamond Preferred comes with a long list of travel benefits, shopping protections, and entertainment options.

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card

Financial Choose your payment date Choose your payment date
Security Citi Identity Theft Solutions

Digital wallet technology

Citi Identity Theft Solutions

Digital wallet technology

Shopping N/A Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Entertainment N/A Citi Entertainment

Citi Concierge

Travel N/A 24/7 concierge service for booking flights, hotels and more.

Trip cancellation and interruption protection

Worldwide travel accident insurance

Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)

EMV chip technology

The bottom line on the Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

The key differences between the Citi Simplicity Card and the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card are their intro APR time periods and perks of each card. Before you make your final decision, be sure to review each product and its credit card application rules. Then choose the card that best fits your financial and lifestyle needs.

  • The Citi Simplicity Card is a great choice for someone looking for no frills and a long low-APR intro period for a balance transfer or purchases.
  • The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is geared toward people looking to travel and attend in-person experience such as concerts. It also has a respectable intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers.

Regardless of which card you choose, both can help you minimize your interest paid and maximize your dollars spent.

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Benefits

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for first 21 months
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for first 12 months
  • FICO Credit Score monitoring
  • No late, penalty, or annual fees
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