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Citi Credit Card Reviews

This article was written by in Credit. 15 comments.


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 Simplicity® CardCiti 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 3% of the amount of each transfer; $5 minimum, 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. In addition you have access to fast personal help twenty-four hours a day when you call about your card. 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® CardCiti® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card. Frequent visitors of Hilton Hotels will love the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card because it offers 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 in the first four months of account opening. Cardholders earn six HHonors Bonus Points for each dollar spent at participating Hilton properties within the Hilton HHonors portfolio,* three HHonors Bonus Points per dollar spent at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations, and two HHonors Bonus Points per dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no annual fee for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card  – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points.Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points. Citi offers new cardmembers 20,000 bonus ThankYou points after making qualifying purchases of $1,500 on the card within the first three months of account opening that’s redeemable for $200 in gift cards or other rewards. There is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. After the introductory period, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99% based upon your creditworthiness.* For each balance transfer there is a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer; $5 minimum. You can earn 1 ThankYou Point for every $1 you spend on purchases and you can earn 2 ThankYou Points on purchases spent on dining at restaurants and on entertainment. 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. While traveling abroad enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology. The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points has no annual fee.* *Check the card issuers application page for terms and conditions and additional information.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardCiti® Diamond Preferred® Card. 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 3% of the amount of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. After the introductory period the APR will be a variable rate of 11.99%-21.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi is currently offering Citi® Easy Deals℠ where you can get what you want for less. You can earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card. Then redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals. And if you have travel plans 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. The card also offers $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.

Citi ThankYou®  Preferred Card – Low Intro APRsCiti ThankYou® Preferred Card – Low Intro APRs. Citi’s ThankYou Preferred Card – Low Intro APRs strikes an ideal balance of a debt-reduction tool and a rewards card. With a 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers, you can work on an existing balance interest-free for 15 months. After that, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – Low Intro APRs has an APR range from 12.99 – 22.99 percent to cover a large spread of creditworthiness. There is a balance transfer fee of 3 percent of the amount of each transfer; $5 minimum. A straightforward rewards program will earn you 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment and 1 ThankYou Point per dollar spent on other purchases. These points, which don’t expire, can be used for nearly anything – including gift cards, travel rewards, merchandise or even cash. There is no annual fee and if you travel you can enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology. If you’re in the market for a balance-transfer card that you’ll be happy to have in your wallet even after the debt is gone, take a closer look at the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – Low Intro APRs.

Updated August 25, 2014 and originally published May 20, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

Wow! Citi sure knows how to corner the market. Unfortunately this is not a company I would do business with. They wanted to penelize me for not using the card. I respectfully ask them to close my account.

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avatar Mike

I have over 50,000 in available credit through credit cards, never missed a payment on any debt but recently requested a citi card to take advantage of the 0% for 18 months to save on debt I acquired through earning a mandatory Masters degree for my profession. (I could not attend full time and paid most as I went and rest went onto card) They approved me for less credit than any of my cards and their after promo % is more than any other card I currently have. Guess a transfer of so little isn’t even worth my time of applying for junk card. Guess this plastic will sit in pieces in my safe for a few years unused until I will not take a ding on my credit by closing. Waste of time…don’t bother me with your junk ever again citi…and Thanks for nothing. I guess I will respectfully ask them to do the same when they charge me for not using their junk.

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avatar B Kelly

wow! that’s definitely a lot of cards to choose from. just makes you wonder could this be the reason a consumer is so confused as to what to get to fit their needs? an over-kill by Citi to market such a big array of cards when all we need is an option of points or rebate on a credit/ debit card?

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avatar Peggy J. Pettingill

I am very uncomfortable putting my account # in order to get to the Thank You rewards website. I also tried to do the one that you only had to give the last four numbers of your SS #, but that one said that my information did not match. What is going on? It is not worth the effort to get to the rewards because I will not put in my account #.

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avatar Laure

I have also found Citibank to very very amenable to matching other cards’ offerings regarding interests rates, etc, with a quick phone call.

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avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

Seems like Citi is creating cards to fit every niche market out there…

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avatar Alicia

I had the same situation as Lynn–Citi card started out great, but when I stopped using the card they hiked up the interest rate and would only consider lowering it if I used the card more frequently on a 6- month basis then they would look at lowering the rate. I closed that account as well!!!

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

i have experience with two of these cards and i could not be happier. that said, it seems as if perhaps they simply have too many cards to offer. i understand they are trying to gain customers by finding niches that they are looking for, but i think they may be better served eliminating a few of them.

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avatar Alicia B.

CitiBank is THE WORST card I have ever done business with. They took over the Sears credit card and after years of on time payments and a decent credit limit, they first dropped my credit limit down from $1500 to $250 and then raised my rate. Then after another year, of on-time payments,they completely closed my account. Even though I continued to make monthly payments on time on my closed account, I lost my job and was unable to pay one month and became 30 days past due(35 days). I paid off my balance in full and requested the 30-day late be reversed from my credit history based on my continued great customer ideals. The rep stated that since it was not their error, they were unwilling to help me at all. The account was closed and paid in full. I have worked with companies like Chase who have always been willing to work with me. This company should be audited by the US Government as I am sure they will find some sort of customer wrongdoing.

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avatar Matthew Wright

I was a Cit card holder since 2006 as of November 1, 2012. I canceled as my credit limit was decreased twice in a year period during 2012. I have paid on time, own a home, have other cards, and my credit score is a 740. I had military pay issues and twice had to take out 0% interest transfers to keep afloat until I was paid. I guess they mistook this activity for financial problems and lowered my credit limit. The third time the military failed to pay me for a period of four months, I again had to take out a 0% balance transfer. Each time I paid this back in full as soon as military paid me. But on the third time, my check I wrote myself to the bank bounced because they denied it twice. Each time I tried to write it, they lowered my limit $500.00. I am sick of Citi bank. I have used Chase, enjoy them, as well as USAA. My interest rates with those cards do not differ much from the Citi card, but the thing I will miss are the 0% balance transfers. I saved often on those. But because of the way they treated me the last two years, I canceled my Citi card. Here is the finial kicker. I called in to cancel, and was not offered anything to make up for bad service or trouble with card. Instead a machine told me the card was cancelled then hung up on me. No real person, no one offering to talk me into staying or anything. Six year customer, and no big loss to them. I would look elsewhere before dealing with Citi bank.

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avatar Jeanette

I just found that my cash bonus from my Citi card is only rewarded by 50 dollar increments by check.

I guess the rest of the money just sits until I use it again ?

I am going to cancel the Citi credit card and use my Chase. Chase lets me apply the FULL reward amount to my credit card balance.

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avatar David

I switched to Capital One after discovering that my Citi capped the dollar rewards at $300 annually (I “lost” at least $100 from this). I just called to cancel my Citi (after 19 years as a customer) and asked that they send me the current $25 balance of rewards. They couldn’t do it… apparently their system is unable to deal with anything less than $50. I was, how shall we say, disappointed in this… but I’m MUCH happier with the new card and the customer service could not be better.

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avatar Angela

I have business with citibank for about 15 years, and I am a CiTiGold customer. I have two citibank credit cards, one is cash rewards card which I always use, another is citi dividend card that I did not use it for a while. Oct 2012, I got a promotion letter from citi divident card, so I started to use that card again to accumulate rewards faster. As I did not receive the statement after a while, I called the customer service, and they said I have signed up for paperless, so I have to pay the late fee and interests. I really do not know I even signed up for paperless, probably something I clicked wrongly when I was online, and this is a card I have not used for a while. So I explained to them and paid all of my balance, asked them to waive my fees of about $78.22. They refused to help me and I cancelled that account. After I paid all of my balance, I called the customer service again to request them to send me my citibank Divident Dolars I eared $86.26. I was told that at the moment I cancelled the account, the rewards dollars are expired. I asked them where is the statement mentioned that, they can not show me any approval.

It is unfair for the customer has the obligation to pay all of the balance but the citibank do not has obligation to pay the divident dollars customer earned. I will stop doing business with Citibank.

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avatar James Ross

Whatever you do when considering credit cards DO NOT consider Citibank. Citi’s customer service is rude, arbitrary and inconsistent. DO WHATEVER YOU CAN to get credit from a bank that treats you like a valued customer and not like just another number. After 20 years with Citibank (and EXCELLENT credit) they denied me the credit open on my card, then gave a barrage of BS excuses. I will never do biz w them again. CITIBANK CANNOT BE TRUSTED!

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avatar pinche970

regarding; citi premier card
Here is the sound bite response from their customer service: when they can’t give you a flight to match the time or airline you rather fly on.

“All our availability is based on the airlines’ lowest published fares. If you have any further questions please contact us at 866-428-4078. Thank you and have a great day!”

They use a company called “Spirit Incentive” which is nothing but a lady name Lisa that operates the internet for you, so you can do it yourself from your home computer, Lisa can’t do anymore then you could.

Their web page gives you about 3 choices out of 15-20 available for your departure, then they give you 1 to 2 choice on your return flight. If you need a red-eye flight, good luck it’s like a crap-shoot, if you want to travel delta or american good luck. most likely the cheapest airline on a propeller airplane. YOU HAVE TO SETTLE WITH THE THREE CHOICES THEY GIVE YOU! YOU HAVE NO OTHER Choices!

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