Are you more interested in interest than rewards? Does a credit card that asks you to keep track of points, miles or cash back percentages leave you uninterested, but you are very interested in the interest rate of a credit card? Are you interested in how many times I can say interest in one paragraph? Well, if you have any interest, let me tell you about an interesting card from Citi – or maybe I should say an UN-interesting card. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers an entire year and a half with zero interest on purchases and balance transfers – now are you interested?
For folks who want to transfer a balance or make a big purchase (or a few) and pay it off over the course of an introductory period instead of paying it off right away, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a great choice. Not many cards give you a longer interest-free period than this – many cards offer six months, or twelve, or even fifteen months with no interest, but this one gives you almost two years. That means if you buy holiday gifts in December of 2015, you can take until August of 2017 to finish paying for them, without paying a penny of interest.
HERE ARE THE SPECS ON THIS CARD:
- Purchase APR: 0% intro APR for 21 months. After that regular variable APR will be 11.99% - 21.99%, depending on your credit score.
- Balance transfer APR: 0% intro APR for 21 months. After that regular variable APR will be 11.99% - 21.99%, depending on your credit score.
- Balance transfer fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
- Transaction fee on foreign purchases: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars.
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum.
- No annual fee.
This card is on the simple side – it offers a rewards program which you are free to participate. To participate in the rewards program you will need to register at citieasydeals.com. The program will give you the opportunity to earn Citi Easy Deals Points which can be used to save on products and services. In addition to rewards program, it has some perks for card holders, including the following:
- Unlimited 24/7 access to personal concierge service that will provide card holders with help booking hotels and flights, making restaurant reservations, and other great services.
- Exclusive access to concert tickets and presale event tickets
- Special access to VIP package, preferred seating, and exclusive live entertainment through Citi Private Pass
- Trip cancellation insurance on tickets purchases with Citi card
- Zero liability for fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized purchases
Like many cards that offer a long introductory period on purchases and balance transfers, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card has a slightly higher APR than average, depending on your credit history: 11.99% - 21.99%26 (Variable)
However, there is an easy solution to this. If you pay off your balance in full every month after the promotional period is over, you’ll never pay interest. Easier said than done, perhaps, but it’s always best to stay on a budget and not spend more than you can afford in any case.
For that first 21 months26, decide what your goal is – are you going to transfer a balance and try to get the whole thing paid off before the promotional zero percent offer ends? Or are you going to make some purchases that you need time to pay off? In either case, write out a budget and decide how much you’ll pay each month. By the end of the 21 month period, you’ll want to have your balance down to zero so you’re not charged any interest. As with any card, always make sure you make your minimum payment on time. This is particularly important with a zero-interest promotional offer because if you pay late, your zero percent rate will end, and the ongoing APR will go into effect. So make sure you know your payment due date, and pay in time! Setting up automatic payments is a great way to make sure you don’t lose your zero percent rate.
PRIZE FOR MOST-POPULAR
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is one of the most popular cards around, so that must tell you something. People like it – maybe for the low interest, maybe for the optional rewards program. We recommend this card for people who have a specific purpose for using it; if you want to pay down a balance or make a big purchase, it’s great. After that, you may want to look into a rewards card that will pay you back for spending money – or maybe you won’t. If you aren’t interested in keeping track of a rewards program, you don’t carry a balance after the introductory period, and you always make payments on time, this could be the card for you.