Best Citi Credit Cards of October 2019

Disclosure: We are committed to recommending the best products for our readers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products, but this never affects our reviews or recommendations.

If you’re seeking a generous introductory interest rate offer, cash back, or airline rewards card, you may already have Citibank in mind. Citi offers a wide range of credit cards, from a secured card to a premium airline card, plus all sorts of points and cash back rewards in between. 

There’s a lot to consider before adding a card from this bank to your wallet. Based on our research, these are the best Citi card offers on the market right now:

Editors' Picks

Best Overall

Citi Rewards+℠

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.7
Citi Rewards+℠
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.24% - 25.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2X ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year and 1X points on all other purchases
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%

Why We Chose This Card

We love how this card rewards everyday purchases. Not only do you get 2 points per $1 spent on groceries and gas, but this card rounds up the points earned on each purchase, which is a one-of-a-kind deal. You also get a portion of your rewards back on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year, so you’ll almost always have points to play with. New cardholders will enjoy a competitive 0% purchase and balance transfer APR offer. To top that all off, there’s no annual fee, which makes it our winner in that category, too.

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

Citi® Double Cash Card

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.5
Citi® Double Cash Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%

Why We Chose This Card

This card checks so many “best card” quality boxes. It’s a simple, easy to use card, and the cash-back earning rate is the highest among similar cards on the market right now. There are no purchase categories to track, no limits on your rewards-earning potential, and no annual fee to worry about. For those reasons, it’s also Citi’s best card for cash-back rewards.

Best for Students

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.1
Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.24% - 26.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 7 Months
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2X points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%

Why We Chose This Card

Students can build credit while earning rewards on everyday expenses with this card. There’s also a 7-month 0% purchase APR introductory offer for new cardholders, which is competitive.

Best for Travel

Citi Premier℠

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.0
Citi Premier℠
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations, 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

The already-valuable sign-up bonus is worth even more when used to book airfare. Frequent travelers will quickly rack up rewards thanks to a broad triple-points travel purchase category. And, like all good travel cards, this card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. We also consider this Citi's best card with a sign-up bonus.

Best for Bad Credit

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
3.9
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $200
Allows upgrade to unsecured card Yes

Why We Chose This Card

The best part about this card? No annual fee. It requires a standard minimum deposit and will report account information to the credit bureaus, so you can build a positive credit history with smart use.

Best for Financing Large Purchases

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
3.8
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
Intro Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer an introductory balance transfer fee.

Why We Chose This Card

It schools the competition with one of the longest introductory 0%-interest periods available. Plus, the sweet APR deal applies to both purchases and balance transfers, so you have options for how to use this cost-saving card.

Best for Balance Transfers

Citi Simplicity®

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
3.6
Citi Simplicity®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 26.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 21 Months
Intro Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer an introductory balance transfer fee.

Why We Chose This Card

This card has earned bragging rights for the longest 0% balance transfer APR offer available today. You’ll have nearly two years to pay off transfers, and can even enjoy a decent 0% purchase APR offer. There’s a standard fee charged for each balance transfer, but no annual or late payment fee.

What Is Citi?

Citi (or technically, Citibank) is the fourth largest commercial bank in the U.S. It also issues more than a dozen credit cards, some under the Citi brand and others through co-branded partnerships with merchants like Costco and American Airlines.

Citi is known for its cash back and long promotional APR card offers, but the bank also issues several travel rewards and business cards. You’ll need at least good credit to qualify for most Citi credit cards. However, if you’re new to credit, or rebuilding it, Citi does have secured and student credit card options. 

Note

A good FICO credit score is defined as 670 or above. 

How Citi ThankYou Rewards Work

Citi ThankYou Rewards is the bank-branded program for several Citi credit cards: Citi Rewards+ Card, Citi Rewards+ Student Card, Citi Premier Card, and the Citi Prestige Card.

When you use one of those cards, you’ll earn a set number of points per dollar spent. The earning rate will depend on the card, but you’ll earn at least 1 point per dollar spent, and more on spending in categories that may include groceries, gas, or travel purchases. 

Citi ThankYou points are typically worth about 1 cent each and can be redeemed for:

  • Travel purchases like flights, rental car, and hotel reservations
  • Gift cards
  • Cash back
  • Shop or pay with points at participating online retailers, like Amazon and Best Buy
  • Online bill payments
  • Charity donations

ThankYou points can be transferred to partner loyalty programs, such as Jet Blue’s TrueBlue program, and the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Warning

ThankYou points typically transfer to travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, but if you have the Citi Rewards+ or Citi ThankYou Preferred card, you’ll only get 800 miles in JetBlue’s TruBlue program for every 1,000 points you transfer. 

Citi Card Benefit Changes

Citi is phasing out many of its credit card perks, beginning September 22, 2019. It will discontinue many common travel and shopping benefits, such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay and lost baggage insurance, and lowest-purchase-price guarantees via Citi Price Rewind. Exact changes will vary based on the card, so reach out to Citi directly for more information about your account. 

Citi Customer Service

Citibank customer service is just OK, according to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The bank ranked sixth among 11 major card issuers, scoring 797 on a 1,000-point scale, slightly below the industry average score of 801. 

However, as a Citi cardholder, you will have some useful service benefits, such as free access to your FICO score online and via the Citi mobile app, a 24/7 customer service phone line, and a secure, online portal where you can chat with a customer service representative. 

Methodology

At The Balance, we're committed to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.

Our reviews are always impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

The Balance team created this best card list using the same evaluation process used to score our best overall card rankings, but focused solely on cards issued by Citi (though we excluded co-branded airline cards from this round-up). We re-evaluate this list on a monthly basis, or when there are major changes to Citi's credit card offerings.

What We Score

We consider low APRs, big sign-up offers, valuable rewards, and minimal fees some of the best card qualities, and our scoring model reflects this. Our full methodology includes further detail about how we evaluate credit card attributes.