If you're in the market for a new credit card, Citi is a name that's sure to come up often in your search. But with over a dozen different Citi credit cards, how do you know which one is right for you? This in-depth guide will not only help you better understand Citi cards in detail, but also decide which Citibank credit card may be right for you. Let's take a closer look:
Citibank is one of the world's largest credit card issuers, so it should come as no surprise that they offer a wide range of cards that span a variety of different purposes. Whether you need flexible travel rewards, cash back, or need to buy materials to grow your small business, there's a Citi credit card for you. Here are the main types of Citi credit cards you can apply for:
Best Cashback Credit Cards
Citi currently only offers one cashback credit card – the Citi® Double Cash Card. This isn't to say, however, that the Double Cash Card isn't worth your attention. If you make enough purchases for it to be worthwhile, the Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the best cashback credit cards you can own.
The Citi® Double Cash Card
With this card, you'll earn cash back twice on every purchase. You get unlimited 1% cash back and an additional 1% as you pay for your purchases with this card. There's no annual fee and the balance transfer intro APR is 0% for 18 months, with a 14.49-24.49% variable APR thereafter. Balance transfers don't earn cash back and you'll need an excellent or good credit score in order to apply for this card.
Best Rewards Points Credit Cards
Reward points, also known as "Thank You Points" are one of the hallmark features of most Citi credit cards. Citi is well known for offering a great deal of rewards points on its credit cards and there are several different types available. If you're considering a rewards card, check out the following options:
The Citi Prestige® Card
The Citi Prestige® card blends rewards points and airfare into a credit card that's great for frequent fliers. The Prestige® card lets you earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account. You can redeem your 40,000 ThankYou® points for $500 in airfare on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates. Or you can redeem them for $400 in gift cards.
You'll also get a $250 air travel credit per year, and a statement credit of up to $100 every 5 years. These are to reimburse your application fee for Global Entry or TSA pre-check.
You can also transfer your points to a wide range of travel loyalty programs, including hotels and airlines. You earn 3X points on air travel and hotels, 2X points on entertaining and dining, and 1X points on all other purchases, making this a lucrative card for business or personal travel. The variable APR for this card ranges from 16.74%-24.74% depending on your creditworthiness, and there is an annual fee of $450. You will need excellent credit to be considered for this card.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
The ThankYou® Premier card is yet another card that offers you a great deal of Thank You points. With this card, you'll get 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. You can redeem your 30,000 Thank You points for $375 in airfare on any airline with no blackout dates. Or you can redeem them for $300 in gift cards.
Much like the Prestige® card, the ThankYou® Premier card lets you earn 3X the points on travel, including gas stations, as well as 2X points on dining and entertainment, and 1X points on everything else. There's no expiration and no limit on how many points you can earn. You can also transfer your points to hotel and airline loyalty programs.
This card has a $95 annual fee which is waived for the first year. The regular APR is 15.49%-24.49% depending on creditworthiness, and you'll need excellent credit to apply for this card.
The Citi Thank You® Preferred Card and the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
If making $3000-4,000 in purchases for the first three months of your account is a bit too much for your bank account, the Citi Thank You® Preferred cards may be right for you. The Thank You® Preferred lets you earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. The intro purchase APR on this card is 0% for 12 months, there's no annual fee, and a regular (variable) APR of 14.49%-24.49%. You'll need excellent credit to be considered for this card.
There's also a ThankYou® preferred card designed especially for college students which lets you earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months. You can exchange your points for $25 in gift cards, electronics and other rewards. You'll earn 2X points on entertainment and dining and 1X on all other purchases. Like the Thank You Preferred card, there's no expiration and no limit on the points you can earn. There's also no annual fee.
The intro APR is slightly different, however – 0% for 7 months, and you'll need good credit to be accepted, however it's a solid card for students looking to build up a credit history on a tight budget.
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Balance transfers are one of the biggest reasons people choose Citi credit cards, and Citi has endeavored to meet their needs through the Simplicity® and Diamond Preferred® cards.
The Citi Simplicity® Card
The Simplicity® card lives up to its name and gives users a lucrative 0% APR on balance transfers for a whopping 21 months. After that, the variable APR is 14.49%-24.49% based on creditworthiness. There's no annual fee and the purchase intro APR is also $0 for 21 months. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5, whichever is greater, but the 0% for 21 months balance transfer intro APR is a strong reason to want to consider this card for balance transfers.
In exchange for these benefits, however, there are no reward points, no airline miles and no cash back. If you just want a simple balance transfer card with a generous intro APR period, definitely give this one your consideration. You'll need Excellent or Good credit to apply.
The Citi Diamond Preferred® Card
Much like the Simplicity® card, the Diamond Preferred® card gives you 0% purchase intro APR for 21 months, and 0% balance transfer intro APR for 21 months. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer or $5, whichever is greater. The variable APR is 13.49-23.49 and there's no annual fee. No points or rewards program with this card either, although you do get 24/7 access to a "Citi Concierge" to help you book hotels and flights. This card also gives you free access to your FICO® score, so it's a great choice for anyone looking to better manage their financial health.
You'll also benefit from $0 liability on unauthorized purchases thanks to Citi's Identity Theft Solutions, making this a good all-around card for people who want to keep a close eye on their credit and who take their security seriously. Good or Excellent credit is needed to apply.
Best Flexible Travel Credit Cards
When it comes to travel credit cards, Citi is no stranger to providing flyers with a great deal. With four different options to choose from based on how often you fly and what airline you use, these travel credit cards from Citi are definitely worth a closer look:
The Citi AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard
This travel credit card allows you to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $5,000 in purchase within the first three months of opening your account. You also get Admirals Club® membership which includes access to 50+ lounges worldwide for you and your family members (even if they aren't members). The purchase APR for this card is 16.74%-24.74% variable and there is an annual fee of $450. You'll need excellent credit to be considered.
The Citi AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard
With this card, you can earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Your first checked bag on a domestic American Airlines flight is free for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same flight reservation. The purchase APR is 16.74%-24.74% variable and there's no annual fee for the first year ($95 every year thereafter). Excellent credit is needed to be considered.
What's unique about this travel card in particular is that you can earn 10% of your redeemed miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles per year.
The Expedia®+ Card from Citi
With the Expedia+ card you can earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of your account opening. Based on your creditworthiness, the purchase APR is 15.99%-23.99% variable APR and there's no annual fee. There's no limit to the number of Expedia+ points you can earn.
The Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi
The Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi goes a step further. You can earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening your account. There's an annual fee of $95 with this card and the purchase rate varies from 14.99-22.99% depending on creditworthiness.
Best Shopping/Small Business Credit Cards
If you shop at certain stores often, or you're working to supply your business with goods, it pays to get rewarded. Shopping and small business credit cards often provide rewards if you shop at specific stores.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere® Visa rewards you (or your business) for shopping at Costco stores and anywhere else Visa is accepted. As long as you have a paid Costco membership, there's no annual fee for either of these cards. The purchase rate is 0% APR on purchases for 7 months, then the variable APR is 16.24% thereafter. These cards are designed specifically for shoppers who frequent Costco wholesale stores for their home or business respectively.
Best Credit Cards for Someone New to Credit
If you're new to building credit and want a solid start in building a credit history, it's worth getting a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you make a "security deposit" of a certain amount, and that becomes your credit limit. This deposit is held in a collateral holding account and does not earn interest.
The Citi® Secured MasterCard®
The Citi Secured MasterCard helps those new to credit build a credit history. Your current income and debt will be reviewed in order to qualify you for this card, and you must not have any bankruptcy filings within the last two years. The purchase APR for this card is 23.49% variable APR and a security deposit – a minimum of $200 is required.
Who is Eligible for a Citi Credit Card?
Individuals with good to excellent credit are generally eligible to apply for a Citi credit card, however, the Citi Secured Mastercard is available to those new to building a credit history and does not typically have the same requirements as an ordinary credit card. It does, however, have a higher interest rate (because those new to credit are generally seen as riskier than those with an established credit history).
What Kind of Rewards Does Citi Offer?
As you can see from the types of cards available, Citi offers a number of rewards depending on your goals. From flights to reward points to shopping discounts, there's a card for virtually everyone.
Also, most people don't realize this, but Citi regularly sends out spending bonuses (such as earning 3x ThankYou points on all purchases for the next 3 months), however, you often have to call their reconsideration line in order to get these generous offers.
To speak with a live representative about getting these valuable bonuses, call 1-800-695-5171 and ask if you have any spending bonuses on your account. You can call as often as you'd like, but it's recommended that you call after 60 days of opening your account, followed by 180 days, the beginning and end of the year.
You can also view pre-approved and targeted credit card offers online. These sign up bonuses are typically more than what you'd see through general, broad public sign on bonuses, but be sure to check often as offers are added and removed frequently.
How Are Citi's Credit Cards Different? How Is Citi Different than Other Credit Card Companies?
As one of the world's largest credit card issuers, Citi has a broad number of cards available for just about every financial need, meaning you're very likely to find a card that fits your goals. Citi is also very generous with its sign-on bonuses. While other credit card issuers have, in essence, "tightened the reins" on things like rewards and flights, Citi still provides great deals for those who know what they want out of a card and aren't afraid to ask for it.
How Do Consumers Feel About Citi? Are They Happy with Citi Credit Cards?
Overall, consumers are happy with their Citi credit cards. With extremely popular cards, such as the Double Cash Back rewards card, many customers are finding that it's a great way to get rewarded for the things they already buy. Even frequent travelers are impressed by the rewards that Citi offers them through their travel cards.
As with any credit card company, however, there are mixed reviews on customer service. It's worth noting that the fraud prevention team is praised for being on top of questionable transactions the moment they happen – giving peace of mind to consumers who are concerned about things like identity theft. Other customers have less than spectacular things to say about requesting a credit limit increase, getting account issues resolved and other common complaints.
As everyone's spending habits and credit history is different, however, your own experience may differ considerably.
What Are the Benefits and Risks of a Citi Credit Card?
The benefits and risks of owning a Citi credit card are much the same as with any credit card on the market. While credit cards do provide funding in case of an emergency, with this kind of convenience comes the responsibility and self-discipline to avoid digging yourself into a deeper hole of debt.
One of the more common caveats comes in the form of cash advance fees. Citi has been known to charge cash advance fees if you fund your bank account with a credit card, for example, or purchase American Express gift cards. You can set your cash advance limit to $0 through your online account area, so be sure to do this to prevent those sudden, unexpected fees.
How Do Citi Cards Compare to Other Credit Cards?
Generally speaking, Citi cards are a great choice for nearly anyone, from those with established credit histories, to college students just starting out on the road to credit responsibility. In particular, the Double Cash rewards card and travel cards are particularly generous in terms of the miles they give in exchange for purchases made within a certain time frame.
Obviously no two credit cards are alike, but as long as you use your card as it was intended, you'll find that your experience is both solid and reliable. As with any credit card, it's best not to carry a balance forward if you can avoid it, but seeing as how there are even lucrative cards made for balance transfers, Citi cards are certainly worth consideration.
One of the best reasons to consider a Citi credit card is their protective security and fraud prevention measures. Citi actively monitors your account for any transactions that seem "out of the ordinary" and will notify you if they suspect fraudulent activity. If you're concerned about buying a product or signing up for a free trial from a questionable merchant, you'll be glad to know that you can create a virtual "one time use" credit card number that's linked to your Citi account, but keeps your actual number hidden.
What Are The Fees Associated with Citi Credit Cards?
The fees associated with Citi credit cards depend on the card you apply for. Some cards have an annual fee, whereas others have the annual fee waived for the first year and then applied thereafter. Some cards have no annual fee at all. There are also balance transfer fees to consider, as well as intro APR and variable APR fees, which depend on your creditworthiness.
Should you decide to apply for a Citi credit card, ensure you read the welcome packet carefully to fully understand the fees and charges that come with your card, as this is part of being a responsible cardholder.
How Do I Apply for a Citi Credit Card?
You can apply directly online for any of Citi's credit cards. You can also check your application status online at any time. If you're denied for a Citi card, call their Reconsideration line at 1-800-695-5171 and make your case. You may be able to turn that denial around to an acceptance!
How Long Should it Take to Receive the Credit Card?
In some cases, such as with the AAdvantage card, you can get the number directly over the phone so that you can use it online right away. Typically, Citi does not expedite shipping on new cards, but if you call 1-800-756-7047 and request expedited shipping, it's possible that you may get your new Citi credit card sooner. Should you have any other questions, here's how to contact Citi directly:
1-800-695-5171 – Personal application status and reconsideration line – speak with a live representative
1-800-763-9795 – General personal application inquiries – speak with a live representative
1-800-645-7240 – Business application status and reconsideration line. Press option 3 and then option 1 to hear application status.
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