Citi Double Cash Vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

Citi Double Cash Vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

February 18, 2020         Written By Jason Steele

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, travel benefits, purchase protection, and other perks to try and win over credit card applicants.

Two of our favorite cards to compare from Citi are the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.  Citi offers its Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer 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 Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card which features one of the top interest-free financing offers as well as numerous travel insurance and purchase protection policies.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer 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.

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.

This card is a fantastic offer best suited for individuals with excellent credit who are seeking a credit card for balance transfers as well as high on-going cash back on their purchases.  As the card name suggests, the double cash feature on the card makes it one of the most attractive cash rewards credit cards both from Citi as well as across the entire credit card industry.  Combining the balance transfer introductory offer plus cash back potential makes this card a highly ranked offer for consumers.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

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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.   This is one of the longer introductory periods on cards in the industry which offer an intro period on both balance transfers as well as purchases.  If you have immediate needs to transfer a balance but also want the benefits of an introductory purchase APR, this is a fantastic card for you.

The card also includes a variety of other perks and benefits.  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.

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. In addition, there is a 5% balance transfer fee on the amount transferred.

Unlike the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, this card doesn’t offer a rewards program let alone double cash back, so if cash back or rewards are important to you, you may want to heavily consider the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

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 Citi Double Cash card.  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 card 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 Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is for you, but if you are more into earning rewards, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

What are some of the most important factors to consider when comparing two credit card offers?

Consumers often gravitate towards the perks which are most promoted by credit card companies, but they often don’t include some of the things cards are missing.  When we evaluate a credit card offer, especially when comparing two different offers, we always examine the pros and cons of each offer to identify the best card for your needs.  Choosing a credit card is a very individualized experience — there is no blanket statement as to which card is best for everyone.

However in the case of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, there are clear cut differences between the two offers which should be considered to easily help you decide which card is right for you.

If cash back or rewards are important to you, then the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer would be the better of the two offers.  This card also has one of the top balance transfer introductory offers of all credit cards, making it a fantastic option for consumers looking to both transfer a balance as well as earn cash back.

However if an intro period on both purchases as well as balance transfers are important, then the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card should be given heavy consideration.

Beyond these highlights, the cards have many similarities.  It’s important to review the terms of each cards for up-to-date information, however both cards have relatively similar on-going purchase APRs, cash advance APRs, they both have a $0 annual fee, similar late payment fees, similar cash advance fees, similar foreign transaction fees, they are both EMV compatible, and are both designed for excellent credit.  These are all factors that should be considered and reviewed when applying for a new credit card, and in the case of comparing these two cards, many of these terms and fees are very similar.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 18, 2020. 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 a journalist that covers credit cards, travel and consumer credit. As one of the nation's leading experts in credit cards, Jason has contributed to dozens of travel and personal finance outlets including NerdWallet, Credit Karma and the Points Guy, where he serves as the Senior Points and Miles Contributor. Jason has also been widely quoted in mainstream media in outlets such as the Washington Post, the USA Today and Bloomberg Business Week. Jason is also the founder and producer of CardCon, which is the annual Conference for Credit and Credit Card Media.
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