Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the United States, and Citibank is the consumer banking entity owned by this behemoth company. Sometimes, size is an advantage. Citibank’s size allows it to have a massive credit card division, branded as “Citi Cards.” The size helps the bank offer some of the best deals available among credit cards. Whether consumers are looking for a credit card with rewards, travel, balance transfer or overall credit card, Citi has options that should be able to fit most needs and many wants.
Keep in mind that rewards are only worthwhile for what I call “Type B” credit card users; those who pay bills in full and on time every month. If you use credit cards to buy things you can’t pay for right away, you will fall deeper in debt and you will pay for any credit card rewards through interest fees, late fees, and worse, high interest rates, particularly if you default. If you can’t pay the bill in full every month, skip this article now.
Citi offers a broad selection of credit cards. Here is a list of the better offers, and with each is a brief review including strengths and weaknesses. If you have a Citi-branded card that you believe should be added to this list, leave a comment below.
Citi consumer cards
Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card – $100 Cash Back. The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card offers $100 cash back up front to consumers who spend $500 in the first three months of account opening. This card also offers 5% cash back from Citi on select purchases in each quarter that you enroll and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Citi includes a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, after that, the APR will be 12.99%-22.99% variable based on your creditworthiness.* And the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card – $100 Cash Back has no annual fee.
Citi Simplicity® Card. Citi offers consumers an excellent introductory offer with 0% for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers with their Simplicity card. You’ll pay an industry-standard balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, but the generous 18 months that you would be saving on interest will likely be worth the fee. After the promotion is through, your APR will vary with the Prime Rate and currently ranges between 12.99%-21.99% based on your creditworthiness. What this card lacks in rewards programs (does not have one), it makes up for with its lack of fees. The Citi Simplicity Card does not charge an annual fee – ever, no late fee – ever and has no penalty rate – ever. So if you find that you occasionally need a little wiggle room when it comes to paying your credit card bill, this may be a good option for you.
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card. Frequent visitors of Hilton Hotels will love the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card because it offers 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first four months. Those points are good for a one-night stay at a category six Hilton hotel or three nights at a category two Hilton hotel. Cardholders earn six points for each dollar spent at participating Hilton properties within the Hilton HHonors portfolio,* three points per dollar spent at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations, and two points per dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no annual fee for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card. Citi offers new cardmembers 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first three months – good enough for $150 in gift cards. There is a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99% based upon your creditworthiness.* You can earn 1 ThankYou Point for every $1 you spend on all purchases. Then redeem your ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more and there is no expiration and no limit on the points you can earn. Cardholders can earn extra points when shopping through the ThankYou® Bonus Center, a network of 600+ retailers. Enjoy peace of mind while traveling abroad with Chip Technology. The Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card has no annual fee.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. Similar to the Platinum Select, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers cardholders one of the best balance transfer offers available today: a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer. The card includes no rewards program or bonus, but it does feature a low APR currently at 11.99% to 21.99% variable, depending on credit history. They do offer deals and savings for brand name merchandise if you use their Citi Special program and special access to purchase presale tickets or preferred seating at entertainment events through Citi Private Pass®. In addition register your covered purchases with Citi® Price Rewind and it searches for a lower price for 30 calendar days from the date of the purchase to find you a lower price on your Citi Diamond Preferred eligible purchases. Take advantage of the 24/7 concierge service to help book your hotel rooms, flights and more. And, just like most other Citi cards, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card does not come with an annual fee.
Updated April 11, 2013 and originally published May 20, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.