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Citi Premier Card vs. Citi Diamond Preferred Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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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!

Citi Premier Card vs. Citi Diamond Preferred Card — Overview

To give you a better idea of what each card offers, we’ve put together a table overviewing each card’s benefits and fees:

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BenefitCiti Premier® CardCiti® Diamond Preferred® Card
Welcome OfferEarn 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.
Earning
  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels
  • 1x points on other purchases
None
Redemption Options
  • Transfers to ThankYou Rewards airline and hotel partners
  • Citi Travel Center redemptions for 1 cent per point
  • Cash-back and direct deposits to Citi bank accounts
  • Statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Online shopping
  • Charity
None
Statement Credits$100 annual hotel savings benefitNone
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
None
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • DoorDash and ShopRunner benefits
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • World Elite Mastercard shopping perks
  • Access to Citi Entertainment
  • Citi Merchant Offers
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases
  • ID Theft Protection by Mastercard
  • Contactless payments
  • Digital wallets
  • Access to Citi Entertainment
  • Citi Merchant Offers
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases
  • ID Theft Protection by Mastercard
  • Contactless payments
  • Digital wallets
Annual Fee$95$0
Authorized UsersNo additional annual fees for authorized usersNo 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.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

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.

Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

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!

Pros

  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card has no annual fee with its strongest point being its introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

This card has no annual fee with its strongest point being its introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.
None
$0
0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases. After that the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.99%. Note that 0% intro APR is on purchases starting from date of account opening.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a no-annual-fee card that comes with a generous introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 18.24% – 28.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • No Annual Fee – our low intro rates and all the benefits don’t come with a yearly charge.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases. After that the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.99%. Note that 0% intro APR is on purchases starting from date of account opening.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each purchase transaction after conversion into U.S. dollars.

Card Categories

Introductory 0% APR

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is known as a great 0% APR card, and here is its current offer:

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.99%

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.

Citi ThankYou Points

Citi Premier Upgraded Points LLC 05 Large
Citi Premier cardholders earn 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

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.

Earning Potential

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Earning CategoryCiti Premier CardCiti Diamond Preferred Card
Air Travel3x pointsN/A
Hotels3x pointsN/A
Gas Stations3x pointsN/A
Restaurants3x pointsN/A
Supermarkets3x pointsN/A
Other Purchases1x pointsN/A

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.

Redemption Options

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.

Statement Credits

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.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Now, let’s take a look at some of the travel benefits offered by these cards.

Hotel Benefits

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.

Rideshare 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.

Access to Citi Entertainment

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.

Access to Citi Merchant Offers

Both of our featured cards can access money-saving deals across shopping, travel, and dining merchants via Citi Merchant Offers.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Shopping bag
Image Credit: Jacek Dylag via Unsplash

In this section, we’ll walk you through how these cards can deliver value to you when you’re not traveling.

DoorDash Benefits

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.

Complimentary ShopRunner Membership

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.

Purchase Protection

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.

Extended Warranty

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.

$0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases

Both the Citi Premier card and Citi Diamond Preferred card offer $0 liability on unauthorized purchases to mitigate the risk of credit card fraud.

Virtual Account Numbers

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.

ID Theft Protection

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.

Contactless Payments

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.

Digital Wallets

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.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Citi Premier card has no foreign transaction fees, while the Citi Diamond Preferred card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Annual Fees and Adding Additional Users

Wallet in pants
Image Credit: stevepb via Pixabay

Annual Fees

The Citi Premier card has a $95 annual fee, while the Citi Diamond Preferred card has a $0 annual fee.

Authorized Users

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Citi Diamond Preferred card hard to get?

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is not particularly hard to get, as long as you have a credit score of around 680 or higher.

Is Citi Premier card hard to get?

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.

What is the highest credit limit for Citi Diamond Preferred 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.

Is Citi Diamond Preferred card metal?

No, the Citi Diamond Preferred card is not metal.

Does the Citi Diamond Preferred card have lounge access?

No, the Citi Diamond Preferred card does not carry any relevant luxury travel benefits like lounge access.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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