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With the recently updated APR introductory period for balance transfers and purchases on Citi Simplicity® and Citi® Diamond Preferred® cards, Citi has risen to the forefront of the credit transfer card industry. pay.
An increase from 18 months to 21 months means cardholders have several months longer than most balance transfer cards to pay off balances before the current APR begins.
While Simplicity and Diamond Preferred are extremely similar, either has a few drawbacks and advantages. Here’s what you need to know when you compare the Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred.
|Intro APR||0% for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% for 12 months on purchases (14.74% to 24.74% variable APR thereafter)||0% for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% for 12 months on purchases (13.74% to 23.74% variable APR thereafter)|
|Annual subscription||$ 0||$ 0|
Highlights of Citi Simplicity vs Citi Diamond Preferred
Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred are incredibly similar Citi balance transfer credit cards. Little differentiates these two cards except their current variable APRs, their recommended credit score for qualification, and the associated card benefits.
Welcome Bonus Winner: Tied
Neither Citi Simplicity nor Citi Diamond Preferred offer a welcome bonus to new cardholders. In fact, these credit cards are widely recommended for consumers who want to transfer their credit card balance to a Citi card.
The main attraction of these cards is not the welcome bonus, but the industry-leading 21-month APR introductory period for balance transfers and purchases. The only other card that compares to these is the new Wells Fargo Reflect℠ card.
Winner of the rewards rate: tied
Again, Simplicity and Diamond Preferred cards are best used as balance transfer cards and do not offer any rewards in the form of cash back, miles, or points. In this, the two cards are tied in the reward rate category.
Annual fee winner: tied
Because these two cards are so similar, the Citi Simplicity and Diamond Preferred cards have no annual fees. Cardholders who have just completed a balance transfer can take advantage of this extra-long interest-free period without worrying about additional fees that accumulate, as long as they make their payments on time.
Winner in overseas transaction fees: tied
As Citi’s main balance transfer cards, it is not recommended that you take them overseas for expenses, as they both charge a 3% overseas transaction fee. If you are planning to travel or study abroad and want to use a credit card, we recommend a card with no foreign transaction fees.
Which card is best for balance transfers?
Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred
With Citi’s latest update on Simplicity and Diamond Preferred’s low interest rate offerings, both cards offer the same 21-month Balance Transfer APR offer (variable APR from 14.74% to 24, 74% after for Simplicity and from 13.74% to 23.74% variable APR after for simplicity). the preferred diamond).
If you want to transfer a balance to one of Citi’s credit cards, the issuer will also charge a 3 percent balance transfer fee ($ 5 minimum). Keep in mind that the Simplicity has no late fees or penalty APRs, while the Diamond Preferred charges a late charge of up to $ 40 and a penalty APR of up to 29.99. %.
Here’s how much you’ll pay for a $ 4,000 balance transfer to one of these cards:
- With Citi Simplicity, you’ll pay $ 4,120 over 21 months, paying around $ 196 per month.
- With Citi Diamond Preferred, you’ll also pay $ 4,120 over 21 months with monthly payments of $ 196.
Let’s say life gets in your way and you miss a payment. Here is what you will pay:
If you own the Citi Simplicity, you will not pay any additional fees and you will not incur an APR penalty. Your monthly payments will increase slightly if you still want to pay off the balance before the end of the 0% APR period.
With Citi Diamond Preferred, the issuer can apply a late fee of $ 40 and an APR penalty of up to 29.99%. Let’s say you missed a payment after three months. Using a credit card reimbursement calculator, the remaining $ 3,572 will be assessed at a rate of 29.99%. It will take you 25 months to clear this balance (at the same monthly payment of $ 196) while paying an additional $ 1,254 in interest.
Why should you buy the Citi Simplicity?
The main benefit of Citi Simplicity is the absence of late fees or penalty APRs when you miss a payment. This is a significant difference from most balance transfer credit cards. In addition, Simplicity card holders have access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions, contactless payment and industry standard zero liability protection against fraudulent and unauthorized purchases.
You can also access Citi’s Flex plan, which allows you to borrow money over the card’s credit limit, much like a personal loan or cash advance, but without a credit check or exorbitant fees.
Because there is no welcome bonus or reward rate attached to this card, there are no redemption options per se. If you want a balance transfer card with rewards, you’ll need to do a little more research on other issuers.
Recommended credit score
Citi does not publish recommended credit scores to qualify for any of its credit card products. However, the balance transfer offer period and the below average current variable interest rate lead Bankrate to recommend a minimum credit score of 670.
Why should you get Citi Diamond Preferred?
Citi Diamond Preferred cardholders have access to Citi Entertainment, the issuer’s experience portal that offers exclusive access to VIP tickets, restaurants, concerts, sporting events and more. Plus, with Diamond Preferred, you can use the Citi Easy Deals program to shop online with retailers. It also comes with standard liability protection, identity theft protection, contactless payment, and access to the Citi Flex Plan.
Again, as with the Simplicity card, there are no welcome bonuses, points, miles or cash back to be earned with this card.
Recommended credit score
Citi does not advertise recommended credit scores for its credit cards, but with the added benefits of Diamond Preferred, we recommend that you have a good credit score – at least 670 with FICO.
The bottom line
Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred credit cards are extremely similar and both have their pros and cons. If you want to access shopping offers and social experiences with your balance transfer, then the Diamond Preferred card is the card for you. But if you want to avoid penalty APRs and late fees no matter what, then check out the simplicity. Besides the additional benefits for the holders of these two cards, they are almost identical.