Citi Double Cash Vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

February 18, 2016, Written By Jason Steele

LowCards is a Citi partner. These offers, valid when the article was written, may have expired. View our full editorial disclaimer here.

If you think about it, the credit card industry is stacked heavily toward consumers. It’s incredibly competitive, and there is no shortage of credit card issuers that are more than eager to earn your business. Two of the ways that banks try to acquire new customers is to offer cash back rewards and 0% APR interest free promotional financing to new customers. In addition, card issuers also like to include a wealth of travel insurance and purchase protection policies. Citi offers its Double Cash card with both promotional financing, a unique card where you can earn cash back twice–once when you make a purchase and again when you pay. Citi also offers its Diamond Preferred card features one of the top interest-free financing offers as well as numerous travel insurance and purchase protection policies.

Citi Double Cash

card image
The Citi Double Cash card features 1% cash back when customers make a purchase, and another 1% cash back at the time of payment. This is up to 2% cash back with no limits on the amount that you can earn, and no category restrictions. Furthermore, new applicants receive 18 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee.

In addition, this card is offered with several valuable benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption protection, worldwide travel accident insurance, and worldwide car rental insurance. Customers also receive a damage and theft purchase protection policy, as well as an extended warranty coverage that adds up to one year to your manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less. Finally, this card includes Citi’s Price Rewind policy, which automatically refunds a portion of your purchase when a lower price is found on an eligible item.

The Citi Double Cash card is equipped with an EMV smart chip and is compatible with the Apple Pay mobile payment system. There is no annual fee for this card, and cardholders automatically have their first late fee waived. Nevertheless, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the United States.

Citi Diamond Preferred

card image
The Citi Diamond Preferred card is an interesting product as it combines a leading promotional financing offer with a number of cardholder benefits normally reserved for reward cards. But at the same time, the Diamond Preferred does not offer any points, miles, or cash back rewards.

Cardholders receive a 0% introductory APR for 21 months on balance transfers (must be made within the first four months of card membership) and 12 months on purchases. Benefits include access to Citi’s Private Pass program, which features access to tickets for thousands of concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, and complimentary movie screenings. Citi’s Easy Deals program offers discounts for top brands such as Gap, CVS and Footlocker.

Its travel protection policies include $50,000 of worldwide rental car insurance, and $250,000 of worldwide travel accident insurance. Cardholders also receive access to a 24/7 travel and emergency assistance hotline that offers help with emergency travel arrangements, travel issues, as well as medical and legal referrals. Trip cancellation and interruption protection is also offered in case your travel plans go awry for many reasons. This policy offers up to $1,500 in compensation for non-refundable trip expenses, like change fees, if paid for the trip with your Citi card.

The Citi Diamond Preferred also features an extended warranty policy that adds up to a year on your warranty of five years or less, and offers coverage of up to $10,000 per calendar year. Citi’s damage and theft purchase protection policy covers up to $1,000 per item, and up to $50,000 per calendar year if purchases made with your Citi card are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).

There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the United States.

Which card should you get?

While there is no clear answer which card is better, choosing the right card for your needs between these two shouldn’t be hard. Those who need one of the longest possible promotional financing offers should definitely choose the Citi Diamond Preferred over the Double Cash.  And since it’s a very full-featured product, it compares favorably to other 0% APR offers that have very few features and benefits.

On the other hand, those who avoid interest charges by paying their balances in full each month are more likely to look for a card that offers the most valuable rewards possible. By offering up to 2% cash back, the Citi Double Cash card is one of the best cash back rewards cards on the market, especially considering that it has no annual fee. Citi Double Cash cardholders may also wish to take advantage of the 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, but its real strength is in its rewards.

So if you have a large outstanding balance, the Diamond Preferred card is for you, but if you are more into earning rewards, consider the Double Cash card.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 18, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is freelance journalist and an expert on the credit card industry. He contributes to several of the top personal finance sites, and his work is syndicated to mainstream outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
View all posts by Jason Steele