Every card issuer has their strengths and weaknesses. Would I recommend Citibank credit cards for every category? Absolutely not. But for some categories, they have some decent offerings. However, you should beware that Citi can be notorious for coming out with compelling new reward product offerings and then slash benefits once they’ve attracted enough cardmembers. Many call it bait and switch. Maybe their marketing people go a little crazy and then their finance people have to reign things in after a few years. Regardless, if you get a Citi card just keep an eye on your benefits or consider other comparable offers from other issuers. Here’s a run-down of their most popular offers that I recommend you check out.
Best no annual fee rewards card?
Citi Double Cash .
This card has been advertised fairly heavily and is Citi’s newest reward card in the market. But before you get carried away just remember what I said in the first paragraph above. I’m not thinking this card will continue offering double cash for the long term.
- Double cash. You could even call this 2% cash back. In fact I will. Citi won’t allow their advertisers to say 2% cash back for some interesting reasons. But I don’t advertise their cards so I’ll tell you that it essentially pays 2% cash back for comparison purposes.
- Get 1% when you purchase and another 1% when you pay your bill. 1% + 1% = 2%, right? Or, perhaps it’s just double cash
- Not hard to qualify for.
- No annual fee
Best for low interest and balance transfers?
Over the past year, the Citi Simplicity has become the most popular choice for the 0% category. Why are so many people applying for it? I think the answer is quite obvious…
The offer for the Citi Simplicity is not available. The following information is only for reference purposes.
- There are no late fees and no penalty APRs. Yep you read that correctly. Nowadays banks practically live off of charging fees, so it is definitely shocking to see a credit card that doesn’t charge late fees, which are huge money makers for the industry.
- There’s no annual fee.
- There’s usually a good 0% promotion. Often times, this Citi card has the longest 0% balance transfer offer on the market. And they usually give an intro 0% on purchases, too. Obviously these things change all the time, so click the link below to see the current deal.
Drawbacks? Yes, there is one and that is the fact that you won’t find a rewards program on this card. But that’s because it’s specifically geared towards people who carry a balance. If you don’t carry a balance, then go for something else.
Best for travel rewards?
Q1 2015 update: This offer has also been discontinued. As a replacement to it, here is the best alternative for 2016.
The ThankYou Premier Rewards card is one that I personally use myself. I’ve had it for about 2 years. At $125/year, it’s definitely not going to make sense for everyone. But if you regularly buy airfare without loyalty to a specific airline, then in my personal opinion this program is the top choice.
- You can earn 1 point per mile flown. What’s interesting about this program is that it allows you to earn 1 point per mile flown on tickets purchased with your card. For example, if you flew roundtrip from Boston to Seattle (a total of around 4,992 miles) you would receive 4,992 points from Citi. The only real catch is that the number of points earned from flights can’t exceed the number earned from other purchases (so you need to use the card for more than just flights).
- 15% discount when buying air travel. When you book thru their travel website, you get it 15% cheaper. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, it must be rigged? The prices must be inflated? I can assure you that’s not the case. Here’s an example so you can see for yourself.
- Points are worth 33% more for airfare. These are ThankYou points, but they’re a lot more versatile than the ThankYou points found on other Citi credit cards. With this one, you get 33% more value when you redeem them for airfare. For example, 30,000 points equals about $400.
- Many benefits. No foreign transaction fees, a built-in EMV chip, and a plethora of insurance coverages.