Many consumers have turned away from using credit cards due to notoriously high interest rates. Those rates have led 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 purchase, 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 Citi credit cards that both have intro APR offers: 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 then the APR goes up to 14.74% to 24.74% (variable). 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.
For purchases made on the Citi Simplicity Card, your intro APR will be 0% for 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)). And as the name of the card tells, there are no late fees. 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 higher interest rate.
Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card: Special event access
The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card has a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. The card also has an intro balance transfer APR of 0% for 21 months. After the intro period the APR goes up to 13.74% to 23.74% (variable). Balance transfers must be completed with four months of account opening to qualify for the intro APR and balance transfers will incur a fee. 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 earns rewards? Do you have a preference regarding card issuer? Does it matter to you if the card is a Mastercard, Visa, or Amex card?
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:
Citi Simplicity Card
Citi Diamond Preferred
|Intro APR on balance transfers||0% for 21 months, then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)||0% for 21 months, then 13.74% to 23.74% (variable)|
|Intro APR on purchases||0% for 12 months, then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)||0% for 12 months, then 13.74% to 23.74% (variable)|
|Credit needed||Excellent, Good||Excellent, Good|
|Learn how to apply||Learn how to apply|
The Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred both have introductory APR offers for balance transfers and new purchases, which can help you avoid interest charges for a set period. After those introductory periods end, the interest rate for both cards increases to the regular variable APR. Both cards require a similar credit score as well. Which card you choose will depend on whether you're looking for other benefits associated with these cards, like the Simplicity's lack of a late fee.
Citi Simplicity Card
Citi Diamond Preferred
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5%, whichever is greater||$5 or 5%, whichever is greater|
|Late fee||None||Up to $40|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%||3%|
The Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred are very similar in terms of the fees they charge. Both have no annual fee so you don't have to pay to become a cardmember. And they each charge a foreign transaction fee, so you'll pay extra with either card if you use it abroad. You’ll pay for doing a balance transfer to either of these cards as well, but that is pretty typical with any credit card.
One big difference between the two cards is that the Citi Simplicity charges no late fee or penalty APR if you don't make your payment on time, while the Diamond Preferred card will charge you. If you suspect you may be late with payments on occasion, then the Diamond Preferred would be a better bet. But remember, late payments can cause negative consequences to your credit score so it's always best to pay your bills on time.
While the Citi Simplicity Card comes with a lengthy intro balance transfer intro APR 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.
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers many cardholder perks that the Citi Simplicity doesn't. These include access to Citi Entertainment and Citi Concierge to book special events as well as a concierge service for booking flights. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, worldwide travel accident insurance, and rental car insurance also help you avoid financial loss if something goes wrong on a vacation paid for with your Diamond Preferred card.
Both purchase protection and extended warranty protection are also available on the Citi Diamond Preferred card, but not with Citi Simplicity. These protections provide an additional warranty after your manufacturer's warranty expires, and protect from loss if an item is damaged within a short time after you buy it.
These valuable perks make the Citi Diamond Preferred a better option for many cardholders, particularly given that both cards have no annual fee and an introductory APR offer.
Frequently asked questions
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% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)), and cardmembers can earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay.
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 Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card could potentially be a good choice. This card offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months (then 14.49% to 24.99% (variable)), and cardmembers can earn 3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply.
Does Citibank give instant approval?
Citi provides notification of your application status or decision via email. You do not get an instant decision when completing your application.
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 the fees and perks of each 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 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 travel and attend in-person experiences such as concerts. It also has a respectable intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers.
Regardless of which new card you choose, both can help you minimize your interest paid and maximize your dollars spent.
No annual fee & 0% Intro APR
Citi Simplicity Card
Citi Simplicity Card
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
- FICO Credit Score monitoring
- No late, penalty, or annual fees
- No signup bonus
- Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers
- Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)
- Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 21 months then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)