Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Citi is one of the world’s largest issuers of credit cards. While large doesn’t always mean the best, Citi does deliver appropriately with consumer and small business credit cards for nearly every need.
The issuer offers credit card solutions that match a variety of spending agendas, whether you want a rewards-earning credit card or to manage small business finances while earning miles for travel.
With so many choices, it would be helpful to have a guide that can assist you to select the perfect Citi credit card for your own spending profile and reward redemption preferences, with benefits you’ll find valuable.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this collection of the best Citi credit cards as we cover all the information you need to find the best Citi-issued card for your objectives.
|Card||Welcome Offer and Annual Fee||Benefits|
Earning rewards on the purchases you make, including travel, and being able to redeem those rewards for the same, would be top requirements for a travel rewards credit card. The Citi Premier card does all of that and more.
With elevated earnings on everyday purchases such as at supermarkets, gas stations, and dining, ThankYou Points will accumulate quickly. We like that the points can be redeemed directly for travel or transferred to airline and hotel partners for potentially even greater value.
To learn more about the Citi Premier card and its benefits for travelers, check out our expanded article on the top benefits of having the card.
If American Airlines is your preferred airline, having a Citi AAdvantage credit card can add value with flight benefits, lounge access, accelerated earnings, and much more.
Additionally, American Airlines has made changes to its frequent flyer program to include spending on branded credit cards as counting towards Loyalty Points for AAdvantage elite status. This makes having an AAdvantage-branded card a huge benefit if elite status is important to you.
Here are 2 of the top American Airlines-branded Citi cards that can make your travels more comfortable and provide ongoing benefits:
The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card is top-of-the-line when it comes to AAdvantage credit cards.
If you fly frequently with American Airlines and want extensive travel perks, lounge access, and priority treatment, the card will add value to your travel life. A new annual household membership to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge, for example, costs up to $1,650 (depending on your American Airlines AAdvantage program status), so receiving complimentary lounge membership alone is worth the card’s annual fee.
Hot Tip: Learn more about all the key benefits of the card in our article that goes more in-depth.
If Admirals Club lounge access isn’t important to you or if you’re looking for an AAdvantage credit card that offers plenty of American Airlines benefits without a high annual fee, consider the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card.
The card comes with priority check-in, security, boarding privileges, and a free checked bag for you and 4 of your traveling companions on the same reservation.
Plus you’ll earn 2x miles at gas stations, restaurants, and on American Airlines purchases.
Cash-back credit cards earn the most flexible rewards currency, and that’s a great reason to have one in your wallet for everyday purchases. To help you select a cash-back card that matches up with your spending habits, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Citi’s best cash-back cards, including their perks and benefits, to consider.
With the Citi Custom Cash card, you’ll earn 5% cash-back on up to $500 for purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. There are 10 eligible spending categories, including restaurants, grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, select travel/transit, select streaming services, home improvement, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
This card also has access to the Citi ThankYou Points ecosystem when paired with a premium card like the Citi Premier card.
Cash-back is the most flexible type of reward you can earn and the Double Cash card makes it easy with a total of 2% cash-back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay) on every purchase you make. That’s about as simple as it gets and explains why the card is so popular.
Cardholders have access to select ThankYou Rewards transfer partners — Choice Privileges, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Wyndham Rewards — at a reduced ratio but will need a premium ThankYou card in order to access all transfer partner redemptions.
The Costco Anywhere card can be valuable to Costco members because it earns bonus cash-back on a wide variety of merchants, including gas stations, travel, restaurants, and at Costco. If you look at the earnings for gas stations and EV charging purchases alone, the 4% cash-back (up to $7,000 in purchases each year) equates to a 12 cent discount on each $3 gallon of gas.
Citi business credit cards offer many of the same features and benefits as the personal versions of the card.
The CitiBusiness Platinum Select card, for example, offers the same American Airlines flight benefits as the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card. The card also earns 2x miles on select business purchases, such as those with telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental agents, and at gas stations.
The Costco Anywhere Business card requires a Costco membership but does not charge an annual fee. You’ll enjoy 4% cash-back on gas and EV charging purchases (up to $7,000 in purchases each year) and on dining, plus 3% on select travel, and 2% on all those Costco purchases.
If you’re considering a large purchase or have credit cards carrying high-interest balances, you could save money with a card that offers a 0% APR. Citi shines in this area and issues several cards that carry these valuable offers.
You would save money because purchases and balance transfers made within the required time period will not incur interest charges if the amounts are paid off prior to the offer expiration date. After that date, regular interest rates will apply.
Here are a few of the best Citi cards with 0% APR offerings:
|Best Citi Introductory 0% APR Credit Card||Benefits||Drawbacks|
Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
|There is an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater for balances transfers completed within 4 months of account opening.|
|Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card||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 17.99% - 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.||Balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater, does not earn rewards.|
|Balance transfer fee of $5.00 or 5.00% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.|
|0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.49% - 28.49%, based on your creditworthiness.||Balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).|
Most credit cards charge transfer fees when making a balance transfer, so you’ll want to consider these charges before you make the transfer. It’s important to pay off transferred balances before the introductory period expires to avoid interest. You should also pay off purchases before the promotional rate expires to avoid interest charges and fees.
For more information on 0% APR credit cards, our comprehensive guide to the best 0% APR credit cards has everything you need to know. We also have a guide for the best balance transfer credit cards with 0% intro APR.
If your credit history is minimal or you’ve yet to build a strong credit history, Citi has a credit card option that can fit such a scenario.
The no-annual-fee Citi Secured card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The card does require a security deposit, but since it reports your payment history to all 3 credit bureaus, all those on-time payments you make will be reported and reflected positively on your credit report.
ThankYou Points are a valuable rewards currency, but not all ThankYou Points have equal value. For some great ideas on how to earn ThankYou Points and keep your points active, we’ve put together a guide to the best ways to earn lots of ThankYou Points.
For everything you need to know to maximize Citi ThankYou Points redemption, access our guide to the best ways to redeem ThankYou Points for maximum value. Only cardholders of premium Citi credit cards, such as the Citi Premier card and the Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants), can transfer points to the full suite of airline and hotel partners. Citi ThankYou Points can be also be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, statement credits/cash-back, and charitable donations.
We’ve also created an article of frequently asked questions regarding Citi ThankYou Points that explains everything about how the points work.
Protections and benefits vary by Citi credit card and not all cards will have these benefits:
Unfortunately, Citi does not offer any key travel benefits or insurance protections on any of its cards.
Citibank was founded in the early 1800s and started issuing credit cards in the 1960s, so the bank is a well-established institution.
Citi has created a fine collection of credit cards with products for every financial situation, so whether you’re just starting out or a big spender, you’re sure to find the right Citi card to fit your situation.
Although earning and redeeming Citi ThankYou Points certainly offers value, the lack of any travel benefits or protections will require you to select your Citi-issued card wisely, perhaps to supplement a travel rewards credit card.
The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi Simplicity® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi® Secured Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Yes, you can have more than 1 Citi credit card. Citi will determine how many based on several factors, including income, credit limit, and credit history.
Citi defines travel purchases as those made directly with “airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies/travel aggregators/tour operators, gas stations, commuter transportation, ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis/limousines/car services, passenger railways, cruise lines, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages, campgrounds and trailer parks, timeshares, bus lines, motorhome/recreational vehicle rentals and boat leases and rentals.”
Credit card issuers are required to disclose all fees including any interest charged. Pricing information tables called Schumer boxes (named after the congressman who proposed the legislation) contain this information that differs by card.
You’ll find the table by selecting rates and fees, pricing and fees, or similar text when reviewing or applying for any card.
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