Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Citibank has a series of unique credit cards, each appealing to a different set of customers. In this case, the Citi Premier® Card is well-suited for frequent travelers who are in need of a rewarding credit card and can consistently pay off balances in full.
In contrast, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a good option for those who are still working on building their credit, are trying to consolidate debt from existing credit cards, or just want to minimize the accrual of interest during an introductory APR period.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of both cards and how they compare against each other. Let’s get into it!
To give you a better idea of what each card offers, we’ve put together a table overviewing each card’s benefits and fees:
|Citi Premier® Card
|Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
|Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
|No welcome offer available.
|$100 annual hotel savings benefit
|Travel Benefits and Protections
|Shopping Benefits and Protections
|No additional annual fees for authorized users
|No additional annual fees for authorized users
When it comes to benefits, the Citi Premier card outperforms the Citi Diamond Preferred card in virtually every way. The only place where the Citi Diamond Preferred card stands out is its APR intro offer.
However, keep in mind that the Citi Premier card has an annual fee and is marketed to those who want more travel benefits and rewards.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card generally has more lax approval odds and is centered around minimizing credit card interest, consolidating debt, and avoiding an annual fee.
One of the features we love so dearly about credit cards is the welcome offer. Simply put, a welcome offer is an introductory offer that’s designed to entice someone to apply for and open a new card.
Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!
This card has no annual fee with its strongest point being its introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a no-annual-fee card that comes with a generous introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card is known as a great 0% APR card, and here is its current offer:
Keep in mind that you’ll still need to make minimum, on-time payments after completing a balance transfer to keep the introductory 0% APR.
Hot Tip: Using a balance transfer card can be a great way to refinance existing credit card debt that has a high interest rate. For more details, read our guide on how to make a credit card balance transfer.
The Citi Premier card earns valuable ThankYou Rewards Points, which can be used in a variety of different ways. These points are typically best utilized by transferring them to airline and hotel partners to book luxury travel, but you can also redeem them for cash-back, statement credits, and travel through the Citi Travel Center.
|Citi Premier Card
|Citi Diamond Preferred Card
We value ThankYou Points at around 1.6 cents each, so earning 3x points with the Citi Premier card is equivalent to a 4.8% return on spending, while earning 1x points is equal to a 1.6% return on spending.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card doesn’t earn any rewards at all.
Citi ThankYou Points can be transferred to airlines and hotels to book award travel — it’s even possible to book high-end first class plane tickets and luxury hotels using Citi ThankYou Points. For example, you can transfer 63,000 ThankYou Points to Avianca LifeMiles and redeem for a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Europe, which routinely sells for upwards of $4,000.
You can also redeem ThankYou Points earned with the Citi Premier card, typically at a rate of 1 cent per point, for things like cash-back, statement credits, travel bookings through the Citi Travel Center, gift cards, and more. Transferring your points to airlines and hotels will usually net you a much higher value than redeeming for the previously mentioned rewards.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card doesn’t earn points or cash-back, so you won’t be able to redeem for any rewards.
Hot Tip: For more ways on how to maximize the value of Citi ThankYou Points, read more about the best use of Citi ThankYou Points.
The Citi Premier card gets an annual hotel savings benefit worth up to $100. When you book a single hotel stay of at least $500 excluding taxes and fees through thankyou.com, you will get $100 back once per year.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card does not offer any statement credit benefits.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the travel benefits offered by these cards.
With the Citi Premier card, you can access the Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio, as the card is a World Elite Mastercard. This means when booking a stay at one of the 3,000+ eligible properties around the world, you’ll get complimentary breakfast for 2 daily, amenity credits up to $100, late checkout (if available), and much more.
The Citi Diamond Preferred doesn’t come with any hotel benefits.
Although this isn’t a huge benefit of the Citi Premier card, if you take 3 Lyft rides in a month you’ll receive a $5 Lyft credit for that month.
This same benefit doesn’t carry over to the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
Both the Citi Premier card and the Citi Diamond Preferred card get you access to Citi Entertainment, a platform to help you access presale tickets and exclusive experiences in music, sports, arts, and culture.
Both of our featured cards can access money-saving deals across shopping, travel, and dining merchants via Citi Merchant Offers.
In this section, we’ll walk you through how these cards can deliver value to you when you’re not traveling.
Because the Citi Premier card is a World Elite Mastercard, you’ll get 3 free months of DoorDash DashPass membership, plus a $5 discount on your first DoorDash order every month until September 30, 2023.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card is not a World Elite Mastercard, so it doesn’t have access to these perks.
The Citi Premier card’s World Elite Mastercard status affords holders a complimentary ShopRunner membership that unlocks free 2-day shipping and free returns at a ton of stores, including Bloomingdale’s Under Armour, and more.
This benefit isn’t included with the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
The Citi Premier card offers a fantastic purchase protection policy that allows you to seek reimbursement if an item you purchase is stolen or damaged shortly after you make your purchase.
If an eligible incident occurs within 90 days after your purchase on your Citi Premier card, you may qualify for up to $10,000 in purchase protection reimbursements per item and up to $50,000 in total purchase protection coverage per calendar year.
Unfortunately, this benefit isn’t offered to holders of the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
The extended warranty coverage from the Citi Premier card is one of the best in the world — it gets you 24 extra months added to your eligible warranty, and total coverage is capped at 7 years after the purchase date.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card doesn’t offer an extended warranty benefit.
Both the Citi Premier card and Citi Diamond Preferred card offer $0 liability on unauthorized purchases to mitigate the risk of credit card fraud.
Citi makes this benefit available for all Citi credit cards, so you can use both the Citi Premier card and Citi Diamond Preferred card while shopping online to generate Virtual Account Numbers so that any fraud that occurs doesn’t actually include your real account number.
Both the Citi Premier card and Citi Diamond Preferred card offer the ID Theft Protection program by Mastercard, which monitors and alerts you if suspicious activity is found.
As is the case with most credit cards nowadays, you can use the Citi Premier card or Citi Diamond Preferred card to make contactless payments.
You can also add your Citi Premier card or Citi Diamond Preferred card to your digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and so on. That way, you don’t need to bring your physical credit card with you while shopping.
The Citi Premier card has no foreign transaction fees, while the Citi Diamond Preferred card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.
The Citi Premier card has a $95 annual fee, while the Citi Diamond Preferred card has a $0 annual fee.
There are no additional annual fees to add authorized users with both the Citi Premier card and Citi Diamond Preferred card.
Authorized users on the Citi Premier card enjoy the same benefits as the primary cardholder except for the $100 annual hotel savings benefit, of which there is only 1 per year.
That being said, you can still use the hotel savings benefit to save on an eligible stay booked for the authorized user. Authorized users will also not get their own welcome bonuses.
Similarly, the Citi Diamond Preferred card shares the same benefits and features as the authorized user — however, the introductory balance transfer promotion cannot be used for any balances that are under the authorized user’s name. Only balances from the primary cardholder can be transferred.
The Citi Premier card outdoes the Citi Diamond Preferred card in almost every way, from a rewards standpoint to the benefits list and so on.
If you like racking up points and want more perks, the Citi Premier card is the way to go. But if you want to cut down on how much of your money goes to credit card interest or need to finance new purchases or refinance existing credit card debt, the Citi Diamond Preferred card is the better option.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card is not particularly hard to get, as long as you have a credit score of around 680 or higher.
Generally, the Citi Premier card is harder to get than the Citi Diamond Preferred card. We recommend having a credit score of 720 or above before applying for the Citi Premier card.
Based on our findings, there have been reports of applicants who get approved for $10,000 or more for the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
No, the Citi Diamond Preferred card is not metal.
No, the Citi Diamond Preferred card does not carry any relevant luxury travel benefits like lounge access.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.