Best Citi Balance Transfer Card to Payoff Debt

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Americans paid off $108 billion in credit card debt in 2020, according to the Federal Reserve. But if you’re one of the 75% of cardholders in the U.S. still carrying a balance, a balance transfer may help you eliminate credit card debt for good.

While the pandemic has caused many issuers to tighten lending standards and pull back on balance transfer offers, Citi is one credit card company that has continued to offer a range of balance transfers. The issuer’s 0% interest offers aren’t as robust as they were before the pandemic, but you’ll find more balance transfer options than many other issuers. 

Citi offers four credit cards with 0% introductory APR offers on balance transfers. Here’s how to choose the right card for you and complete a balance transfer with Citi:

How to Do a Balance Transfer With Citi

To begin, you’ll need to apply for one of Citi’s balance transfer credit cards. These cards charge no annual fee and offer 0% APR periods between 15 and 18 months, with varying ongoing interest rates after the intro period. Take time to determine which may work best for you before applying, based on how much debt you have to pay down and what you’re able to contribute each month.

After you’re approved for your card, log onto your Citi account to initiate your balance transfer. You may also be eligible to apply for a transfer alongside your card application, but the amount transferred cannot be more than your assigned credit limit. With any Citi balance transfer card, you’ll only have four months from when you open your account to complete your balance transfer and qualify for 0% interest. 

These are Citi’s four balance transfer card options:

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card* offers 0% introductory APR for 18 months. After that your variable APR will be 13.74%-24374%. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+ Card offers 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening, then a variable APR of 13.49%-23.49%. You’ll be charged a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. 

Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card offers an 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. After that, your variable APR will be 13.99%-23.99%. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. 

Citi Simplicity® Card

The Citi Simplicity Card* has an 18-month 0% APR on balance transfers. After the 18 months, your APR will be a variable 14.74%-24.74%. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening. There’s a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. 

Card0% APR Intro PeriodOngoing APRBalance Transfer Fee
Citi Diamond Preferred Card18 months13.74%-23.74%$5 or 3%
Citi Rewards+ Card15 months 13.49%-23.49%$5 or 3%
Citi Double Cash Card18 months13.99%-23.99%$5 or 3%
Citi Simplicity Card18 months14.74% – 24.74%$5 or 3%

Citi Balance Transfer Cards Compared

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Editor’s Score: (4.4/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    No current offer
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    No current offer
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.74% – 24.74% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    No current offer
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.74% – 23.74% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

What to Know Before Doing a Balance Transfer with Citi

Balance transfers are powerful tools for eliminating credit card debt, because you can pay down your balance interest-free through the introductory period. 

Make sure you have a plan for tackling as much of your balance as possible within that period. Anything you haven’t paid off during the introductory period will remain on your statement balance and begin to accrue interest at your assigned ongoing APR. 

Also make sure you’re prepared to pay the balance transfer fee, which is added onto the balance you’re transferring to your new card. It may seem small, but if you have a $5,000 balance to transfer, a 3% fee could add $150 to your total.

It can take time to actually transfer your balance to your Citi card. Even if you’re given the option to make a transfer when you apply for the card, Citi specifies that it can take at least 14 days after account opening to process. Until the transfer is finalized, you’ll be responsible for continuing to make payments on your old card. 

Pros and Cons of a Balance Transfer

Pros

  • Interest-free period allows payments to go directly to principal

  • May offer ongoing rewards and benefits after intro period

Cons

  • Requires planning and discipline to pay down balance within intro period

  • Balance transfer fee can be significant

How to Make the Most of a Citi Balance Transfer

To make the most of your Citi balance transfer, make your transfer as soon as you get approved for your Citi card (or when you apply if you’re eligible). In order to qualify for the 0% intro period on any Citi balance transfer card, you’ll need to transfer your balance within 4 months of account opening.  But transferring the balance quickly will give you as much of a head start on paying down your debt. 

Also make sure you transfer the complete balance at once, instead of attempting multiple transfers. It’ll take time for the balance to settle in your account, and you want as much time as possible to take advantage of your 0% introductory period. Just be aware that the amount you transfer cannot exceed your assigned credit limit.

Finally, commit to paying down as much of your debt balance as possible over the next several months. Create a realistic budget, determine the monthly payments required to eliminate your debt over the intro period, and dedicate any extra funds you have toward your debt payoff. 

*All information about the Citi Diamond Preferred Card and Citi Simplicity has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.