There are 8 Citicards to choose from, only 6 of which are unsecured cards for the main credit card market. (The other two are a student credit card and a secured card for rebuilding bad credit.) Below we rank these Citicards in order and give a short review of each card to help you see which (if any) is right for you:
Citi Double Cash Card – Our favorite Citicard is also our pick for the best credit in the whole card market. It gives you 2% cash back on everything you buy, although you get that 2% back in an unorthodox way: 1% cash back when you make the purchase, and then 1% cash back when you pay off your purchases. No annual fee. Who It’s For: If you want a great cash back card that doesn’t require you to keep track of various spending categories in order to maximize your return, start here.
Citi Simplicity Card – Offers a 0% interest rate on your purchases for 18 months. You can also transfer balances from other credit cards you already have and pay no interest on those balances for 18 months. (However, note that you will pay a one-time fee of 5% of the amount of the balance transferred to this card.) In addition, there are no fees for late card payments, and no “penalty rate” if you are late with payments, either. No annual fee. No rewards. Who It’s For: If you need a 0% interest rate, the 18-month offer is among the best in the industry. If you have a habit of making your payments a few days late, you won’t pay more.
Citi Prestige Card – This is Citi’s high-end travel credit card, meaning it has a high annual fee but also loads of perks. Annual fee is $450, but perks include a $250 credit each year toward your air travel, access to over 1,000 airport lounges, a 4th night free hotel stay when you book a stay of three consecutive nights at the same hotel, and more. Plus, you earn Citi ThankYou points: 3 points per dollar on air travel and hotel purchases, 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Who It’s For: The frequent traveler who flies often and has overnight hotel stays as part of that travel. The annual fee is worth it for the frequent traveler but not for the occasional traveler.
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – No annual fee credit card allows you to earn in the Citicards ThankYou points program. You get 2 points per dollar charged to the card on dining out and entertainment purchases (including live music, theater, and sporting events, record stores, streaming media, more), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more. Also 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee on balance transfers, however). Who It’s For: If you like earning points to earn rewards you might not purchase otherwise, the ThankYou program may be for you. The 0% offer is strong, too.
Citi ThankYou Premier Card – Sort of the “upgraded” card to the Preferred Card profiled above. Has a $95 annual fee (which is waived for the first year you have the card) but more substantial points rewards. You get 3 points per dollar on travel and gas station purchases, 2 points per dollar on dining out and entertainment purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Redemption options are mostly the same as the Preferred Card, but your points are worth 25% more if used for travel through the ThankYou Travel Center. Also has a substantial upfront bonus opportunity: 50,000 points if you spend $4000 in the first three months of having it. Does NOT have the 0% offer on purchases and balance transfers that the ThankYou Preferred Card has. Who It’s For: Honestly, we’re not sure. While the points are slightly higher here than with the Preferred Card, it may not be worth the annual fee to get them, unless you travel frequently. And if you do travel frequently, it probably makes more sense to get the Citi Prestige Card listed above. You might be tempted to go after that initial bonus opportunity and then move on to a different card.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card – Offers a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 21 months and a 0% rate on new purchases for 12 months. Has a 5% balance transfer fee, though, negating some of the upside of that 0% rate. No annual fee. No rewards. Who It’s For: Hard to say, That 21-month balance transfer offer seems strong on the surface, but the 5% fee on transferred balances is high in comparison to other cards.
Citi Secured MasterCard – This credit card is intended for those who need to build a credit history. If you have been turned down for other cards due to no credit history or limited credit history, a secured card like this could help you. You must put down a security deposit to get the card, then you get a credit line equal to that deposit. (Example: $500 deposit = $500 credit limit on the card.) You use the card like any other credit card, making your bill payments each month. Over time, this could help you build better credit, assuming you make your payments on time. No annual fee, which is nice as many secured cards do have annual fees. Note that your security deposit is returned when you no longer want the card, assuming you have paid off your card’s balance in full. Who It’s For: People who need to build a better credit history in order to be approved for regular, unsecured credit cards.
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students – Very similar to the standard Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, including no annual fee, 2 ThankYou points per dollar charged to the card on dining out and entertainment purchases, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Also 0% interest rate on purchases for 7 months (vs. the 15 months offered by the standard ThankYou Preferred Card). Who It’s For: College students, who are generally unlikely to qualify for “regular” credit cards but can be approved for student cards with slightly reduced features.