Citi Simplicity® Card Vs Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: Read This Before Applying

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Last updated on April 26th, 2023

Citibank offers several credit cards designed to streamline your spending and pay down debt. These options include two credit cards that avoid rewards and instead focus on an exceptionally-long intro APR: the Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. But which card is right for you?

At a Glance

Citi Simplicity® Card or Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: Which Is Right for You?

Before deciding which Citi credit card is right for you, here is a detailed breakdown of both cards, their features, and their suitability:

Pre-Qualification Before Applying

Applying for a credit card requires a credit check. Often, these credit checks (or credit inquiries) are known as “hard inquiries,” meaning the bank pulls your full credit report before approving (or denying) your credit card application. If you apply for a credit card and are declined, your credit score will likely take a minor hit. One way to avoid a negative impact on your credit score before getting a new credit card is by pre-qualifying before you apply.

Does Citi Offer Online Pre-Qualification Before Applying?

Yes. Citibank provides an online pre-screening for several of its proprietary credit cards. Currently, only four cards apply for this pre-screening process: the Citi Simplicity® Card, Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, and the Citi® Double Cash Card.

To get started with the Citi “pre-approval” process, follow the “Apply Now” button on the relevant Citi credit card review. Hover over the “Credit Cards” tab on the top of the credit card landing page and select “See if You Are Pre-Selected.”

Here is the information you will need to get pre-qualified offers from Citibank:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Last four digits of your SSN
  • Current address

Related Article: How to Pre-Qualify for a Credit Card

Credit Score Needed

Citi provides credit cards to fit a huge number of credit profiles. Both Citi rewards cards require a “good” or “excellent” credit score, meaning a FICO Score of 670+ is the minimum you should expect to have before applying. For versatile, no annual fee credit cards like the Simplicity and Diamond Preferred; however, a credit score of 700+ is likely needed.

However, keep in mind that your credit score is only one part of the equation. Citi also considers other factors, including how your income compares to your debt obligations and your overall ability to make your monthly credit card payments.

How to Apply

Here is the information you’ll need to have handy before you apply for a Citi credit card:

  • Full name (middle name and suffix optional)
  • Social Security Number
  • Birthdate
  • Citizenship
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Income
  • Monthly rent/mortgage expenses

Citi will also ask you for a security word and hint during the initial application process. This information helps reference the application should you need to exit and return later. Additionally, this code can help you access your application if there is a pending decision.

Annual Fee

Both cards feature no annual fee. This lack of a yearly charge is excellent (but common with balance transfer cards), meaning there is no overhead charge before you can begin paying down your existing balances.

Introductory APR

Low-rate credit cards often feature introductory APR as a welcome offer – and the two Citi balance transfer credit cards are no different.

Cards that offer a 0% intro APR on balance transfers or purchases are specially designed to attract those who want to pay off their existing credit card balances quickly – and at a lower interest rate. This process works by combining two (or more) credit card balances into one. The cardholder can then pay down both balances with one payment.

Credit cards that offer smaller introductory periods are great for those with lower balances. Those with more significant balances – or those who want to finance a substantial purchase – will benefit more from a card that offers a year (or more) of introductory APR.

Do the Citi low-rate credit cards offer intro APR on purchases?

Yes. Both the Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred cards offer 12 months of 0% intro APR on purchases. Enjoying a full year with no interest charges on purchases is an exceptional offer for anyone either planning a significant purchase in the coming months or simply looking to bolster their emergency spending power.

The 12-month intro APR period with the Citi credit cards is less than the 18-month intro period with the Chase Slate Edge. Fortunately, both the Simplicity and Diamond Preferred to offer a lower regular APR versus many rivals, making them a potentially better fit in the long-term.

Do the Citi low-rate credit cards offer intro APR on balance transfers?

Both Simplicity and Diamond Preferred also offer introductory APR on balance transfers. Both credit cards provide 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of the first transfer – so long as the transfer is completed in the first four months from account opening.

A lengthy intro APR on BTs Is an exceptional feature – and it is here where both the Simplicity Card and the Diamond Preferred Card shine. Here are the current longest 0% introductory APR periods on credit cards from the leading banks, showing how impressive the balance transfer intro APR with both citi credit cards is:

Credit Card Purchase Intro APR Balance Transfer Intro APR

Citi Simplicity® Card
0% for 12 months on Purchases 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
0% for 12 months on Purchases 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers

Chase Slate Edge
0% for the first 18 months from account opening date 0% for the first 18 months from account opening date

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
0% for 18 months from account opening date 0% for 18 months on balances transferred within 60 days from account opening

Wells Fargo Reflect Card
0% for 18 months, potential extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements 0% for 18 months, potential extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements

Everyday APR

The Simplicity and Diamond Preferred are very similar credit cards. Both cards offer up to 21 months of 0% intro APR, with 12 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and a whopping 21 months of introductory interest on balance transfers.

So, how does the Diamond Preferred credit card differ from the Citi Simplicity? The most significant difference is the regular APR, but that variation is modest. The Diamond Preferred features a standard APR one percentage point lower than the Simplicity.


Neither the Diamond Preferred nor the Simplicity offer rewards such as cash back or ThankYou Rewards points. Anyone interesting in a rewards credit card from Citi should consider the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card or the Citi® Double Cash Card.

While the Simplicity and Diamond Preferred credit cards don’t offer rewards, both cards are eligible for Citi Merchant Offers. Citi Merchant Offers is a deals program that provides statement credits or bonus ThankYou points when making eligible purchases with a Citi credit card. The Citi Merchant Offers marketplace provides discounts on select shopping, dining, and other categories.


Here is a quick recap of all the features of both cards:

Citi Simplicity® Card Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Intro APR on purchases 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening
Intro APR on balance transfers 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer
Annual Fee No annual fee No annual fee

Related Article: The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Featured image by Gam-Ol  / PixaBay

The information related to Citi Double Cash Card, Citi Custom Cash Card, Citi Simplicity Card, and Citi Diamond Preferred Card has been collected by and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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