How to Do a Balance Transfer with Citi in 3 Steps

CREDIT CARDS - BALANCE TRANSFER CREDIT CARDS
Some of Citi’s credit cards have generous intro APR periods for balance transfers, and the process usually takes just a few steps. (Citi is a FinanceBuzz partner.)
Updated April 9, 2024
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Transferring a balance with Citi is often a simple and straightforward process. If you’re approved for an eligible balance transfer card with Citi, then you just need to select a balance transfer offer. Once you’ve selected an offer, you can specify how much you’d like to transfer. (Keep in mind that there will probably be a balance transfer limit.)

Some of Citi’s best balance transfer credit cards have a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) period, which could help you save money on interest charges. But there are also balance transfer fees, and it’s important to pay off your transferred balances before the intro APR period ends if you want to save money on interest.

In this article

Does Citi do balance transfers?

Citi does offer balance transfers, and some of its credit cards are strong candidates for getting a good balance transfer offer. The balance transfer process lets cardholders transfer balances from credit cards from other issuers over to their Citi credit cards.

Keep in mind
You can’t transfer balances between credit cards from the same issuer. That means you can only transfer balances from an issuer other than Citi to your Citi credit card.

Why would you do a balance transfer?

There are a couple of reasons a balance transfer might be a good idea. For instance, you can move one or more balances with a high APR to a credit card with a low regular APR or 0% introductory APR offer.

These introductory APRs are temporary offers that usually give you several months to pay off your balance before you’ll start to be charged interest. Because the APR reverts to the regular rate after the intro period, you should also pay attention to the card’s variable APR. You want to avoid moving debt from a credit card with a lower variable APR to a credit card with a higher interest rate.

Another benefit of balance transfers is consolidation. If you have balances with multiple card issuers, keeping track of how much you owe and when can be tough. When you consolidate to a single credit card, it’s easier to keep track of details like those.

How much is Citi’s balance transfer fee?

The amount varies depending on which card you get, but, In most cases, Citi’s balance transfer fee is around $5 or 5% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater.

The fee might be lower in some cases. Cards from Citi sometimes offer an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater. This potentially lower fee typically applies in the first four months of account opening. However, after the first four months, the fee typically switches to the more common amount: $5 or 5% of the transfer.

In addition to balance transfer fees, balance transfers often have a separate APR from purchases. For Citi, these two rates are usually the same, but not always. After the introductory period ends, your balance transfer APR could be even higher than the purchase APR on some credit cards. Be sure to consider both the intro APR rate and the regular rate before starting a balance transfer.

Does Citi have balance transfer credit cards?

Citi has several balance transfer credit cards with competitive balance transfer offers, including some of the best balance transfer credit cards. Some Citi balance transfer cards have 0% intro APR offers for anywhere from 15 months to 21 months depending on the card. Currently, Citi has four balance transfer credit cards with varying offers.

Credit card Balance transfer intro offer Balance transfer fee Other benefits
Citi Custom Cash® Card 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)
  • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back
  • 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $0 annual fee
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) APR 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)
  • Access to Citi Entertainment
Citi Simplicity® Card 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable) APR 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
  • No late fees, and no penalty rate
  • $0 annual fee
Citi Rewards+® Card 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 18.74% to 28.74% (variable) APR 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum)
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com. Plus, as a special offer, earn a total of 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com through December 31, 2025
  • Round up to the nearest 10 points on purchases

Which Citi balance transfer credit card is best?

Which Citi balance transfer credit card is best depends on what balance transfer offer you get and how you plan to use the card for everyday purchases. Some of Citi’s balance transfer cards offer rewards in addition to their balance transfer offers. But other balance transfer cards don’t have many perks beyond their balance transfer offers.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each card before applying. You should also compare credit cards to find which one is the best match for you, whether you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card or another kind of card.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR. That intro period is middle-of-the-road compared to the other cards on this list. Its regular balance transfer APR is also quite high.

However, the Custom Cash is also one of Citi’s best rewards credit cards. It has a $0 annual fee, and you can earn 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, you have the option to earn a welcome offer. Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back. 

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is one of Citi’s best credit cards for balance transfers. It has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) APR. The card has $0 annual fee and includes other benefits, like access to Citi Entertainment.

However, the Diamond Preferred credit card doesn’t earn ongoing rewards and lacks other benefits, like a welcome bonus.

Citi Simplicity® Card

The Citi Simplicity card is another good option if balance transfers are your top priority. This card gives you a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable) APR.

It also has a potentially lower intro balance transfer fee of 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. It has no late fees, no penalty rate, and a $0 annual fee.

However, this card doesn’t earn rewards and tends to have a higher variable APR on purchases than other Citi cards, which makes it a mediocre choice for making everyday purchases.

Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+ Credit Card stands out mainly for its point roundups, which are an interesting way to earn extra rewards. It rounds up to the nearest 10 points, regardless of how much you spend. You can also earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com. Plus, as a special offer, earn a total of 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com through December 31, 2025. Plus, there is a balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum), which is lower than some other Citi cards.

The Citi Rewards+ card also earns 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations (on the first $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points thereafter), and 1X points on all other purchases; Plus, as a special offer, earn 5X points on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com through December 31, 2025.

How to start a balance transfer with Citi

Starting a balance transfer with Citi is straightforward, especially if you already have a Citi credit card. But even if you don’t have a Citi card, you only have a few extra steps.

If you already have a Citi credit card

  • Sign in to your Citi account and see if you have a balance transfer offer. You might see a promo ad indicating you have a balance transfer offer when you log in to your Citi account. If not, hover over Payments & Transfers in the top menu and click Balance Transfers. Then click Start a Balance Transfer to see your balance transfer offers (if you have any).
  • Give information for the credit card you want to transfer a balance from. Here you’ll need to give details for the card you want to transfer a balance from. That usually includes the card issuer name, your name, the account number, and the balane transfer amount.
  • Wait for Citi to initiate the transfer. How long it takes for a transfer to complete can vary significantly; Citi takes two to 21 days to process balance transfers. Once the transfer is complete, you can start making monthly payments on your Citi credit card.

Warning
You still need to make payments on the original credit card until your Citi balance transfer goes through. It will hurt your credit score to miss minimum payments, even if you’ve already set up the balance transfer and thought it would be complete before it actually is.

If you don’t already have a Citi credit card

  • Prepare for your application. Before you apply for a new credit card, gather your information, including proof of income, I.D. verification (like a Social Security number or taxpayer identification number), and a second form of identification.
  • Apply for a Citi balance transfer card online. Fill out the credit card application with your name, address, and income. You can also fill out Citi’s pre-approval form before applying, to see which cards you may be approved for based on your credit profile.
  • Submit a balance transfer after your account opening. If you’re approved for the card, you'll be able to sign into your online account and complete this step after your official account opening.
  • Provide the information of the credit card you want to transfer a balance from. Here you’ll give information for the card you want to transfer a balance from. You’ll need the original card issuer’s name, your name, the account number, and the amount you want to transfer.

FAQ

How much does Citi charge for a balance transfer?

Fee details vary from one card to another, but Citi usually charges 5% or $5, whichever is greater, as a balance transfer fee. However, the Citi Simplicity Credit Card charges a balance transfer fee of 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, and the Citi Rewards+ Credit Card charges 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

How do I transfer a balance from one Citi card to another?

You can’t transfer balances from one Citi card to another. You can only transfer balances from cards with other issuers. You can also transfer a balance from applicable Citi credit cards to credit cards from other card issuers if you have a balance transfer offer from that issuer.

How long does it take to transfer a balance to Citi?

Citi states that balance transfers can take anywhere from two to 21 days. You can check the progress of your balance transfer by checking your credit card account. The balance transfer will be reflected in your credit card balance and available credit limit if it has gone through.

Bottom line

Citi offers a selection of balance transfer credit cards that can help you consolidate and pay off your credit card debt. Two of Citi’s balance transfer credit cards have 21-month intro periods for balance transfers, which leaves ample time to pay down those balances. Citi’s balance transfer fees vary, but it’s usually around 5% or $5, whichever is greater.

Citi currently has four balance transfer cards, all of which have pros and cons. Some (but not all) earn rewards, and the same is true for welcome offers. These cards generally don’t have the best ongoing perks for purchases. But if your priority is finding a credit card with a lengthy intro period, a Citi balance transfer credit card could meet your requirements.

Still not sure if Citi has the right balance transfer card for you? Check out our best balance transfer credit cards for more options.

Extra Long Intro APR on Purchases & Balance Transfers

4.9

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Current Offer

Benefit from a long introductory APR period on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele is a seasoned personal finance writer, leveraging his bachelor's degree in information technology from Marquette University to dissect complex financial topics.

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