Best Citi Credit Cards of September 2020

Here's where to find the best Citi credit cards.

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The best Citi credit cards are probably already on your short list if you’re seeking a card with a generous introductory interest rate offer, cash back, or airline rewards. 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. 

Best Citi Credit Cards

Citi Rewards+℠

Best Overall

,

Best With No Annual Fee

,

Best for Financing Large Purchases

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.4
Citi Rewards+℠
Current Offer

Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening.

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 (%) 13.49% - 23.49% 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

    This is our favorite Citi card for several reasons. For starters, we love how it rewards everyday purchases. Not only do you get 2 points per $1 spent on your first $6,000 worth of 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 APR offer, which gives you 15 months to finance a large purchase, interest-free. To top that all off, there’s no annual fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Automatic point-earning boost on all purchases
    • Competitive introductory 0% APR offers
    • For the first 100,000 points you redeem, you’ll get 10% of them back
    • No annual fee

    Cons

    • Points-earning rate is low without extra rewards features
    • Lots of rewards program rules to learn
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • The only card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase.
    • 2X at Supermarkets & Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and 1 point per $1 spent thereafter.
    • 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou Points you redeem per year.
    • Shop with Points at Amazon.com or BestBuy.com or redeem for other great rewards.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.6
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 (%) 13.99% - 23.99% 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 is 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, we think it’s the best cash-back card you can get from Citi.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • High rewards earning rate among flat-rate cash-back cards
    • Generous introductory 0% APR balance transfer deal
    • No annual fee

    Cons

    • Must pay off purchases to earn full 2% cash back
    • Few perks such as extended warranties
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn cash back twice. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, with an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases.
    • No spending categories, rewards caps, or annual fee.
    • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness.
    • Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening, and a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of each transfer (whichever is greater) will apply.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Best for Bad Credit

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
5.2
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 (%) 22.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $200
Allows upgrade to unsecured card Yes
Pay deposit in installments No
  • 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. Unlike a few other credit cards, you’ll need a bank account to apply for this one. You can’t earn rewards with it either, but if you use it as part of a strategy to improve your credit score, you can apply for a better rewards card later.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • No annual fee, which is uncommon among secured cards
    • Relaxed credit score requirements (as with all secured cards)
    • Account and repayment history is reported to all three credit bureaus

    Cons

    • Requires a bank account to apply online
    • No rewards, unlike a few other secured cards
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Build a credit history for your financial future with no annual fee.
    • Secure your credit line with a security deposit between $200 - $2,500.
    • Citi Secured Mastercard is an option for customers with little or no credit history and can help you build your credit when used responsibly.
    • Unlike a debit card, Citi Secured Mastercard is a real credit card that helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card

Best for Balance Transfers

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
5.1
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 (%) 14.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card schools the competition with one of the longest introductory 0% balance transfer APR periods available: 18 months. That’s a very generous offer. If you have high-interest debt on another card that you want (or need) to get rid of once and for all, use this card to spread out the repayment of a no-interest balance transfer and pocket what you’ll save on interest costs. Just note that you’ll pay a standard 3% ($5 minimum) fee for each balance transfer you make.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Outstanding (and one of the best) 0% APR balance transfer deals available
    • Decent 0% purchase APR offer
    • No annual fee

    Cons

    • No grace period on purchases made during 0% APR balance transfer offer period
    • Balance transfer fee reduces savings on interest costs
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from date of first transfer.
    • 0% intro APR on purchaes for 18 months from date of account opening.
    • Get free access to your FICO Score, so you can monitor your credit score as often as you'd like.
    • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable purchase protection, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi Identity Theft Solutions.

Citi Premier℠

Best for Travel

,

Best Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Citi Cards
4.2
Citi Premier℠
Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

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 (%) 15.99% - 23.99% 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

    Frequent travelers will quickly rack up rewards, thanks to a broad triple-points travel purchase category. On top of a hefty sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points (which are worth $750 in airfare, according to Citi) by spending $4,000 on this card within the first three months. On an ongoing basis, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel (including gas), 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment, and then 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. You can use the points for a variety of rewards, though travel is your best bet. And, like all good travel cards, this one doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. 

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Generous rewards rate on airfare, hotel stays, and gas
    • Many ways to redeem rewards, plus the option to transfer points to participating frequent flyer programs

    Cons

    • No interest-free promotions for new cardholders
    • Very few airline transfer partners are based in the U.S.
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • See where 60,000 points can take you after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Redeemable for $600 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
    • Starting on 8/23/20, you will enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, when booked through thankyou.com. Benefit will be available to you once per calendar year.
    • Easy points transfer to certain airline loyalty programs, including TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

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. 

If you want a Citi credit card in your wallet, here’s a quick overview of the bank’s cards we think are best:

Best Citi Credit Cards
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Citi Rewards+ Best Overall $0
Citi Double Cash Card Best for Cash-Back Rewards $0
Citi Secured Mastercard Best for Bad Credit $0
Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card Best for Balance Transfers $0
Citi Premier Best for Travel $95
Citi Rewards+ Best With No Annual Fee $0
Citi Rewards+ Best for Financing Large Purchases $0
Citi Premier Best Sign-Up Bonus $95

How Do 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 1.22 cents each, based on average valuations from The Balance, 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.

How Good Is Citi Customer Service?

Citibank customer service is just OK, according to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The bank ranked sixth among 11 major card issuers, scoring 799 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

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

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.