Best Citi Balance Transfer Credit Cards

London, UK - October 29, 2013: Corporate branding on the headquarter buildings of Citi at day in London.
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In addition to providing numerous travel-related credit cards, Citi®, an advertising partner, is also one of the industry leaders when it comes to its stable of balance transfer cards. The two things that consumers want most in a balance transfer card are low fees and a lengthy transfer period, and Citi delivers with a number of excellent cards in this area.

Some of Citi’s balance transfer cards even offer additional perks, so it’s worth a look to see which one best suits your needs. Here’s a look at the best Citi balance transfer cards, including information on features and benefits.

Credit Card Features
Best for: Long 0% APR balance transfer period
– 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months
– 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
– After introductory period, APR
Best for: ThankYou Rewards points
– Earn 20,000 bonus points for spending $1,500 in the first three months
– 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
– After introductory period, APR
– 2x ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations, up to the first $6,000 spent per year
– 1x ThankYou Points on all other purchases
Citi Simplicity® Card Best for: Fee avoidance
– 0% APR balance transfer period for 21 months
– 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
APR after introductory period
Best for: Overall cash back

APR after introductory period
– Earn 1% when you make any purchases
– Earn 1% as you pay for those purchases
Best for: Cash back in a specific category

APR after introductory period
– 5% cash back in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 spent per month; 1% cash back after that
– Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
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Best for: Long 0% APR balance transfer period

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is pretty straightforward when it comes to perks and benefits. Simply put, if you’re looking for one of the longest periods available for a 0% purchase and balance transfer APR, you’ll find it hard to do better than the Citi Diamond Preferred card.

For a full 21 months after you open the card account, you’ll enjoy a 0% APR on balance transfers, with a 12-month 0% APR period on all purchases — then APR. This means you can transfer a balance and pay no interest for more than 50% longer than with most balance transfer cards.

Additionally, this card comes with no annual fee, so it’s a great way to tame down your interest expense and your overall costs. The card includes some minor additional perks, such as free FICO score access and access to Citi Entertainment events, but the primary reason to get this card is to avail of that 21-month introductory balance transfer period.

Best for: ThankYou Rewards points

Rewards come in many forms, and some customers prefer Citi’s proprietary ThankYou Rewards points as their currency of choice. If you’re looking to ramp up your ThankYou Rewards point stash, the Citi Rewards+ card should merit serious consideration.

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While the bonus categories on this card are not exceptionally high, the card carries no annual fee, making it a worthwhile addition to your credit card stable.

Specifically, the Citi Rewards+ card offers double ThankYou Rewards points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year — then 1 point per dollar spent thereafter, on top of one point per dollar spent for all other transactions. Every purchase you make is also automatically rounded up to the nearest 10-point increment.

Your biggest points haul may come from the bonus you can earn, however. You can earn a sign-up bonus of 20,000 bonus points after spending only $1,500 in the first three months of card ownership.

The Citi Rewards+ card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, after which the APR will be .

Citi Simplicity® Card

Best for: Fee avoidance

The Citi Simplicity card is one of the few cards on the market that can match the Citi Diamond Preferred card’s 21-month introductory balance transfer period. It also matches the Citi Diamond Preferred Card’s 12-month introductory APR period on purchases. After the 0% APR introductory period, the APR for the Citi Simplicity card will be .

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However, what makes this card especially appealing for many cardholders is the lack of any late payment fees or penalty interest rates. On top of having no annual fee, this card ends up being one of the most cost-effective on the market.

The card does come with some additional minor benefits that are common with many other cards, including access to your FICO credit score, flexible payment date options and $0 liability for unauthorized charges.

Best for: Overall cash back

The Citi Double Cash card is aptly named, as its primary perk is an effective 2% cash-back rate on all purchases. The payout structure isn’t quite as straightforward as that — you’ll actually earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase with the card, and you’ll receive the next 1% cash back once you pay your bill. However, as most responsible cardholders do pay their bills, the card essentially provides users with 2% cash back on everything.

The card does come with a few additional perks, including an 18-month 0% APR on balance transfers only — not on purchases — then APR.

The card also charges no annual fee, making its 2% cash-back rate quite generous.

Best for: Cash back in a specific category

Many cardholders enjoy cash-back credit cards but find it difficult to keep track of which category of purchases they should be making to maximize their rewards. The Citi Custom Cash card eliminates that guesswork by providing a rotating kicker of 5% cash back on your top eligible spend category in a given month, up to the first $500 you spend per month, with 1% cash back on everything else.

For example, if you’re renovating your home and spend the most money in the home improvement category one month, you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $500 you spend in that category that month. Once your renovation is over, you might end up spending the most money on groceries. In that case, you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $500 you spend on groceries.

It’s a great system for rewarding you for what you actually spend on, without you having to do the work figuring it out for yourself, and it all comes with no annual fee.

The card also provides a decent sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after you spend just $1,500 within six months after you open your account. If you’re looking to make a balance transfer, the Citi Custom Cash card also offers a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months, after which the APR will be .

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 10, 2023.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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