Start Getting Yourself Out Of Debt With The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card

Start Getting Yourself Out Of Debt With The Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card

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Story highlights The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card is designed to help people who are struggling with debt

New card holders get an introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months

One big disadvantage is that the card doesn’t have a rewards program or any travel benefits

CNN —  

CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value. We may receive a commission through the LendingTree affiliate network if you apply and are approved for a card, but our reporting is always independent and objective.

Our quick take: The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card can help you pay down your debt, with an introductory balance transfer offer that lasts for an impressive 18 months. However, the card doesn’t earn any rewards, meaning you won’t get any cash back or travel points for your purchases. So once your intro period expires, this isn’t a card to keep in your wallet for the long term.

Pros:

0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers made in the first four months after you open the card (13.74% to 23.74% variable APR afterward). 0% introductory APR on all purchases for the first 18 months (13.74% to 23.74% variable APR afterward). No annual fee. Cons:

No sign-up bonus. No rewards. Limited insurance coverages and purchase protections. Current sign-up bonus: None.

Best for: People looking to transfer existing high-interest debt from another credit card, or finance a large purchase with no interest for an extended period of time.

The Citi Diamond Preferred is designed for a specific type of person — someone who’s struggling with their credit card bills or who needs to finance some upcoming purchases. And by the way, if that describes you, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Many people are dealing with debt after losing their jobs or income during the pandemic, so don’t feel alone if you need a hand getting out of a hole.

The card has one of the longest introductory periods for both balance transfers and purchases among credit cards on the market today, which can be a huge lifeline if you need some time to get your financial house in order. You can park your debt or upcoming expenses on the Citi Diamond Preferred and use the extended time to start paying off what you owe.

With that said, if you’re looking to earn rewards for the things you buy, this isn’t the card for you. There’s no rewards program tied to the card, which means you won’t earn cash back or travel rewards on any purchase you make — even after the introductory APR has expired.

Click here for the introductory APR offer on the Citi Diamond Preferred card.

When it comes to introductory offers, the Citi Diamond Preferred blows many other cards out of the water. First off, new card holders get an introductory 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for 18 months on balance transfers made in the first four months after you open the card, though once those 18 months are over, you’ll pay a variable APR of 13.74% to 23.74% depending on your creditworthiness.

This means if you have debt on another credit card and you’re currently paying a lot of interest on it, you can transfer that debt over to the Citi Diamond Preferred and not pay any interest for the first 18 months. But it’s important to figure out a plan during that time, because you don’t want to get caught paying the much higher interest rate once the introductory period ends.

Depending on how much you owe, this could truly save you hundreds or potentially even thousands of dollars. For example, let’s say you have a $5,000 balance on your current credit card, which carries a 16% APR. Over the course of the next 18 months, if you only make the minimum payment, you’ll be paying over $1,000 in interest alone on that debt.

But if you can transfer that $5,000 balance to a card like the Citi Diamond Preferred, not only will you not have to pay that extra interest, you can instead use the money to pay down what you owe, making it easier to become debt-free.

Related: 4 steps to getting rid of your credit card debt.

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If you’re trapped under debt, using the balance transfer feature of the Citi Diamond Preferred could save you a ton of money.

It’s important to remember that to be eligible for the 0% introductory APR, you must initiate the balance transfer from your old credit card to the Citi Diamond Preferred within the first four months of being a card holder. There’s also a 3% fee (with a $5 minimum) to transfer your balance. While this will cost you some money initially — $150 on our $5,000 example — it will ultimately save you much more in the long run.

Amazingly, this introductory APR offer isn’t limited to balance transfers — it also extends to purchases made with the Citi Diamond Preferred in the first 18 months as well. This can come in quite handy if you’re looking to make one or more large purchases that you can’t afford to pay for all at once. Instead, you can pay for them over time — up to 18 months — interest-free.

You should never make unnecessary purchases on your credit card that you can’t afford. However, in difficult economic times, an offer like this can be useful as a last resort if you have expenses that you simply can’t avoid, such as a large repair bill. It can also be useful if you need it to make a large once-in-a-lifetime purchase work, such as buying an engagement ring.

But as with the balance transfer option, you’ll want to make sure to pay off everything you owe within the first 18 months after opening the account, as once the introductory period ends, the APR ranges between 13.74% to 23.74% depending on your creditworthiness.

Related: Tight on cash? These credit cards charge 0% interest on purchases.

The Citi Diamond Preferred card also comes with a free FICO credit score online and allows you to choose your payment due date, which is extremely helpful for those who pay their credit card bills around their paycheck schedule and need maximum flexibility.

See if you qualify for the Citi Diamond Preferred card.

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t have a rewards program or many of the benefits that other credit cards come with, which is a huge disadvantage. With many other no-annual-fee cards, you’ll earn cash back or loyalty points on every purchase you make, which typically ranges between 1% and 2% of your purchases. That can put some “free” cash back into your pocket.

But with that said, if you normally don’t pay your entire credit card bill in full every month, you’re already paying more in interest than you’ll earn in rewards with any credit card. So earning a few extra travel miles or cash back isn’t worth it if you can save a lot more money by getting rid of the interest you’re paying for those purchases.

The Citi Diamond Preferred also won’t provide you with insurance coverage or protection when it comes to travel or shopping purchases. While we wouldn’t expect any fancy perks on a no-annual-fee card, even the very basic protections are mostly missing here.

And although it’s common to be charged a fee for transferring an existing balance from one card to another — and the 3% fee on the Citi Diamond Preferred is pretty standard — it’s still something to keep in mind when considering whether a balance transfer is worth it, especially if you already have a low APR on your current card or think you can pay off your balance in another month or two.

CNN Underscored has chosen the Citi® Double Cash Card as our current “benchmark” credit card. That doesn’t mean it’s the best credit card on the market; rather, we u

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