When shopping for a new credit card, there are many with generous benefit structures. However, the card issuer’s exclusive cardholder perks can be just as important in the decision process. Citibank offers both with a bevy of cards to meet many types of consumer needs, as well as many Citi-exclusive cardholder benefits, no matter the card. Read on to see our top Citi cards of 2017.
Benefits of Being a Citi Cardholder
All Citi cardholders get numerous benefits just for being a customer, including:
- Citi Concierge: to help book travel and dining
- Citi Price Rewind: If you find a lower price on a purchase, Citi may refund you the difference
- Virtual Account Numbers: For more secure online shopping
- Citi Private Pass: Access to tickets to top events and concerts
What to look for in a Citi Card
- What are you looking at to get the biggest benefit? Whether it’s a 0% annual percentage rate (APR) with the Citi Diamond Preferred, or extra cash back with the Citi Double Cash Card, there is a Citi card for almost any type of card user.
- In which categories do you usually shop? Frequent travelers will get the most from the Citi Prestige Card. Loyal Costco shoppers can get generous benefits from the Costco Anywhere Visa Card.
Best balance transfer card from Citi
Perks: No annual fee and a consistent, low APR.
Annual fee: None.
APR: 0% for the first 21 months, 12.24% to 22.24% after (depending on credit).
Who it’s for: Consumers with excellent credit who want a no-fuss card with a long introductory APR.
Why we love it: The 21-month introductory 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers is the longest in the industry and simply can’t be beat. While there aren’t explicit rewards for this card, Citi cardholders get many brand perks and benefits.
What to consider: There aren’t any points, rewards or cash-back with the Citi Diamond Preferred. Late payments trigger a 29.99% penalty rate, wiping out the APR benefits. There is also a balance transfer fee per transaction of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. If your credit isn’t as strong, consider the Citi Simplicity Card.
Best travel card from Citi
Perks: There’s a 30,000-point sign-up bonus (which is a $300 to $480 value in travel rewards). Three points per $1 spent on travel, two points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment, one point per $1 on everything else. $250 annual airfare credit, plus a complimentary fourth night for hotels booked through the ThankYou Rewards center and access to Admirals Club lounges worldwide.
Annual fee: $450 (not waived in first year).
APR: Fixed 15.49% APR.
Who it’s for: Frequent travelers who also enjoy dining out.
Why we love it: The Citi Prestige Card is perfect for globetrotters looking to get great rewards for their travel. The annual fee may seem high, but paired with a generous point system, the annual airfare credit and free hotel nights, the Citi Prestige card more than pays for itself. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees for when you’re abroad.
What to consider: The sign-up bonus only activates after $2,000 is spent in the first three months. If you aren’t a big monthly spender, the annual fee can be steep. If you’re looking at a card for the sign-up bonus, compare it to some of our other top travel cards.
Best store card from Citi
Perks: 4% cash back on gas, 3% cash back on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% cash back on all non-gas Costco purchases, 1% cash back on anything else.
Annual fee: None (Costco membership required).
APR: 0% for first seven months, 15.64% variable APR after that.
Who it’s for: Costco shoppers who often fuel up at the wholesale warehouse and also enjoy dining out and travel.
Why we love it: The 4% cash back on eligible gas is one of the top rates for the category across all cards. Plus, the rewards are cash back, so there is no reward points to keep track of or special rewards stores to cash in from. The 3% cash back on eligible travel and dining out is also a generous incentive.
What to consider: Costco memberships start at $55 per year, and are necessary for all Costco purchases, including gas, effectively replacing an annual fee. The gas benefits revert to 1% cash back after $7,000 is spent in the category each year. This shouldn’t affect the average consumer. At gas prices averaging $2.29 nationally (as of March 15, 2017), that’s more than 3,000 gallons worth of gas per year, or more than 55 gallons per week.
Best cash-back card from Citi
Perks: 1% cash back on all purchases, and another 1% on payments.
Annual fee: None.
APR: 13.49% to 23.49%.
Who’s it for: Consumers who want a straightforward cash-back card with a strong rewards structure.
Why we love it: The Citi Double Cash Card is as straightforward as it gets when it comes to cash-back cards. There’s no annual fee and cardholders get 1% cash back on any purchase, plus another 1% cash back when you pay. That extra 1% comes whether you pay immediately or carry a balance. There are no rotating categories to juggle or rewards centers you need to use your cash back.
What to consider: While you can carry a balance with the Citi Double Cash Card, the APR — as with any rewards card — can quickly negate any rewards.
Best rewards card from Citi
Perks: 15,000-point sign-up bonus, two points per $1 on dining and entertainment, one point per $1 on all other purchases. One point equals $0.01 in rewards.
Annual fee: None.
APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, 13.49% to 23.49% thereafter.
Who it’s for: Consumers who like to dine and go out often, maximizing rewards in those categories.
Why we love It: The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card offers a very simple rewards programs, without any rotating categories to manage. The introductory APR makes it an ideal card for balance transfers as well. Everyday consumers who want to maximize the dining and entertainment purchases they make often are a great fit for this card.
What to consider: To get the introductory APR for balance transfers, the transfer must be completed within the first four months of owning the card. There is a balance transfer fee per transaction of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. The sign-up bonus requires $1,000 in purchases in the first three months.
Whether you’re looking to maximize your rewards or get a low introductory APR, Citi has a number of cards to meet your needs. Coupled with their strong cardholder benefits package that gives exclusive event access and helps protect you while you shop, Citi is a well-rounded card issuer for most consumers. You can explore all of Citi’s offerings at our Citi credit cards page.