Citi is one of the world’s largest issuers of credit cards. While large doesn’t always mean the best, Citi does deliver appropriately with consumer and small business credit cards for nearly every need.
The issuer offers credit card solutions that match a variety of spending agendas, whether you want a rewards-earning credit card or to manage small business finances while earning miles for travel.
With so many choices, it would be helpful to have a guide that can assist you to select the perfect Citi credit card for your own spending profile and reward redemption preferences, with benefits you’ll find valuable.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this collection of the best Citi credit cards as we cover all the information you need to find the best Citi-issued card for your objectives.
Best Citi Credit Card for Travel
Citi Premier® Card
Earning rewards on the purchases you make, including travel, and being able to redeem those rewards for the same, would be top requirements for a travel rewards credit card. The Citi Premier card does all of that and more.
With a generous welcome bonus and elevated earnings on everyday purchases such as at supermarkets, gas stations, and dining, ThankYou Points will accumulate quickly. We like that the points can be redeemed directly for travel or transferred to airline and hotel partners for potentially even greater value.
To learn more about the Citi Premier card and its benefits for travelers, check out our expanded article on the top benefits of having the card.
Bottom Line: Since the annual fee on the Citi Premier card is only $95, it’s a good choice for earning valuable ThankYou Points if your spending mix aligns with the bonus earning categories.
Best Citi Airline Credit Cards
If American Airlines is your preferred airline, having a Citi AAdvantage credit card can add value with flight benefits, lounge access, accelerated earnings, and much more.
Additionally, American Airlines has made changes to its frequent flyer program to include spending on branded credit cards as counting towards Loyalty Points for AAdvantage elite status. This makes having an AAdvantage-branded card a huge benefit if elite status is important to you.
Here are 2 of the top American Airlines-branded Citi cards that can make your travels more comfortable and provide ongoing benefits:
Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card is top-of-the-line when it comes to AAdvantage credit cards.
If you fly frequently with American Airlines and want extensive travel perks, lounge access, and priority treatment, the card will add value to your travel life. A new annual household membership to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge, for example, costs between $1,100 to $1,250 (depending on your American Airlines AAdvantage program status), so receiving complimentary lounge membership alone is worth the card’s annual fee.
Also, consider the flight benefits of priority check-in, security, and boarding, plus the savings of having a free checked bag for you and your traveling companions.
Hot Tip: You can add up to 10 authorized users to your AAdvantage Executive World Elite card for no extra fee. Authorized users can enjoy the same Admiral’s Club lounge access (with 2 additional guests) as the primary cardholder. Learn more about all the key benefits of the card in our article that goes more in-depth.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
If Admirals Club lounge access isn’t important to you or if you’re looking for an AAdvantage credit card that offers plenty of American Airlines benefits without a high annual fee, consider the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card.
The card comes with priority check-in, security, boarding privileges, and a free checked bag for you and 4 of your traveling companions on the same reservation.
Plus you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent at gas stations, restaurants, and on American Airlines purchases.
Bottom Line: Both Citi and Barclays offer co-branded American Airlines credit cards. We compare the benefits and perks of all the best American Airlines credit cards in our comprehensive guide, as well as the best ways to redeem American Airlines miles for maximum value.
Best Citi Credit Cards for Cash-back
Cash-back credit cards earn the most flexible rewards currency, and that’s a great reason to have one in your wallet for everyday purchases. To help you select a cash-back card that matches up with your spending habits, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Citi’s best cash-back cards, including their perks and benefits, to consider.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
With the Citi Custom Cash card, you’ll earn 5% cash-back on up to $500 for purchases in your highest eligible spending category each billing cycle. There are 10 eligible spending categories, including restaurants, grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, select travel/transit, select streaming services, home improvement, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
This card also has access to the Citi ThankYou Points ecosystem when paired with a premium card like the Citi Premier card.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Cash-back is the most flexible type of reward you can earn and the Double Cash card makes it easy with a total of 2% cash-back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay, earned as ThankYou Points) per dollar on every purchase you make. That’s about as simple as it gets and explains why the card is so popular.
Cardholders have access to select ThankYou Rewards transfer partners — Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Wyndham Rewards — at a reduced ratio but will need a premium ThankYou card in order to access all transfer partner redemptions.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere card can be valuable to Costco members because it earns bonus cash-back on a wide variety of merchants, including gas stations, travel, restaurants, and at Costco. If you look at the earnings for gas stations and EV charging purchases alone, the 4% cash-back (up to $7,000 in purchases each year) equates to a 12 cent discount on each $3 gallon of gas.
Bottom Line: The Citi Custom Cash card ensures your highest everyday expenses earn 5% cash-back. Fixed-rate cash-back cards such as the Double Cash card can help you earn well on every purchase you make, even those that don’t fall into bonus earning categories. For Costco members, the Costco Anywhere card can help members maximize earnings on everyday purchase categories and at Costco.
Best Citi Credit Cards for Business
Citi business credit cards offer many of the same features and benefits as the personal versions of the card.
|Best Citi Business Credit Cards||Benefits||Drawbacks
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®|
(at Citi's secure site)
|Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and at gas stations; 1x on other purchases. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and an annual fee that is waived for the first 12 months. ||Limited bonus earning business categories, and must be an American loyalist to maximize benefits
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi|
(at our partner's secure site)
|4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year (1% after that), 3% cash back on travel and restaurants, 2% cash back at Costco, 1% cash back all other purchases, no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, Visa travel and purchase protection benefits||Cash back rewards are paid annually, card is exclusively for Costco members
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
The CitiBusiness Platinum Select card, for example, offers the same American Airlines flight benefits as the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card. The card also earns 2x miles on select business purchases, such as those with telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental agents, and at gas stations.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere Business card requires a Costco membership but does not charge an annual fee. You’ll enjoy 4% cash-back on gas and EV charging purchases (up to $7,000 in purchases each year) and on dining, plus 3% on select travel, and 2% on all those Costco purchases.
Bottom Line: If you’re a frequent business traveler with American Airlines, you’ll appreciate the travel perks available for you and your travel companions with the CitiBusiness Platinum Select card. If your business shops at Costco, you’ll find a lot of value in having the Costco Anywhere Business Card with cash-back earnings up to 4%, and it comes with no annual fee as long as you have a membership at Costco.
Best Citi Introductory 0% APR Credit Cards
If you’re considering a large purchase or have credit cards carrying high-interest balances, you could save money with a card that offers a 0% APR. Citi shines in this area and issues several cards that carry these valuable offers.
You would save money because purchases and balance transfers made within the required time period will not incur interest charges if the amounts are paid off prior to the offer expiration date. After that date, normal interest rates (see the card tables below) will apply.
Here are a few of the best Citi cards with 0% APR offerings:
Most credit cards charge transfer fees when making a balance transfer, so you’ll want to consider these charges before you make the transfer. It’s important to pay off transferred balances before the introductory period expires to avoid interest. You should also pay off purchases before the promotional rate expires to avoid interest charges and fees.
For more information on 0% APR credit cards, our comprehensive guide to the best 0% APR credit cards has everything you need to know. We also have a guide for the best balance transfer credit cards with 0% intro APR.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to transfer balances from high-interest credit cards and pay the debt off over time with 0% interest, any of these cards can help you facilitate that process. These cards also have promotional 0% APR periods for purchases.
Best Citi Card for Building Credit
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
If your credit history is minimal or you’ve yet to build a strong credit history, Citi has a credit card option that can fit such a scenario.
The no-annual-fee Citi Secured card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The card does require a security deposit, but since it reports your payment history to all 3 credit bureaus, all those on-time payments you make will be reported and reflected positively on your credit report.
Bottom Line: If you have little or no credit, a secured credit card can help you build a credit history. The Citi Secured card accomplishes this by reporting your payment activity on the card to all 3 credit bureaus, allowing you to see your credit score improve over time.
Everything Else You Need To Know
ThankYou Points are a valuable rewards currency, but not all ThankYou Points have equal value. For some great ideas on how to earn ThankYou Points and keep your points active, we’ve put together a guide to the best ways to earn lots of ThankYou Points.
For everything you need to know to maximize Citi ThankYou Points redemption, access our guide to the best ways to redeem ThankYou Points for maximum value. Only cardholders of premium Citi credit cards, such as the Citi Premier card and the Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants), can transfer points to the full suite of airline and hotel partners. Citi ThankYou Points can be also be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, statement credits/cash back, and charitable donations.
We’ve also created an article of frequently asked questions regarding Citi ThankYou Points that explains everything about how the points work.
Citi Shopping Benefits and Protections
Protections and benefits vary by Citi credit card and not all cards will have these benefits:
- Citi Merchant Offers
- Damage and theft purchase protection
- Return protection
- Cell phone protection (Citi Prestige card)
Cit Travel Benefits and Protections
Unfortunately, Citi does not offer any key travel benefits or insurance protections on any of its cards.
Citibank was founded in the early 1800s and started issuing credit cards in the 1960s, so the bank is a well-established institution.
Citi has created a fine collection of credit cards with products for every financial situation, so whether you’re just starting out or a big spender, you’re sure to find the right Citi card to fit your situation.
Although earning and redeeming Citi ThankYou Points certainly offers value, the lack of any travel benefits or protections will require you to select your Citi-issued card wisely, perhaps to supplement a travel rewards credit card.
The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, and Citi Prestige® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.