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12 Apr 2018

Top-Rated Citi Cards of 2018

Looking for a new credit card? Want to improve your credit or simply have more money to spend? Either way, consider the credit cards offered by Citibank.

The company has been in business since 1812. Today, it has over 200 million customer accounts worldwide. In 2017, it had a revenue of $17.3 billion.

Citi cards appeal to individuals and businesses. Some are designed for students and customers with average credit ratings. Others feature travel and shopping rewards, free airline miles, free balance transfers, and other perks.

With so many options available, choosing a credit card can be difficult. How can you tell which one suits your needs?

To help you out, we’ve compared Citi’s best credit cards in 2018, so keep reading.

Why Choose Citi?

With millions of customers, Citi is one of the most trusted financial groups in the U.S. It’s also the country’s first bank to offer dispute resolution for credit card purchases as well as mobile tracking abilities for cardholders.

In 2016, the company has experienced a 66 percent increase in mobile app downloads. Its customers have access to online banking, free online bill payment, and free financial tools. Other perks that come with its Citi cards include:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Online and mobile fraud protection
  • Expense analysis tools
  • Online transfer services and bank statements
  • Online check images
  • Virtual Account Numbers for online shopping
  • SMS and account alerts
  • Mobile apps for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Android devices
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions

Credit card holders can also opt for additional services, such as overdraft protection and free split tax refund.

Another popular feature is the Citibank Mobile Check Deposit, which allows you to deposit checks from anywhere through a mobile app. Have we mentioned that it’s free?

With the Citi Mobile App, customers can access their account balances, set up real-time notifications, and pay the bills.

If you have a new card, you can activate it directly from your smartphone. This app streamlines the most common banking operations, making everything a lot easier.

Compare the Best Citi Cards

What differentiates Citi cards from the rest is the wide array of features available to customers. These perks come at no extra charge and provide a lot of flexibility.

Over the past few years, Citi has focused on digitizing key components of the mobile banking experience. The moment you receive a card, you gain access to online tools and versatile payment options.

Their credit cards include diverse rewards, cash back, low introductory APR, and other perks. This makes them ideal for students, small business owners, and general customers alike.

Let’s say you need a credit card for shopping. With the Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll earn cash back twice. Plus, if you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening, you’ll get $100 back.

Do you travel a lot and enjoy seeing new places? In this case, the Expedia+ Card is a great choice.

Spend $1,000 within three months of account opening, and you’ll earn 15,000 Expedia bonus points to use for traveling the world. Later, your account can be upgraded to Silver or Gold status, which brings extra perks.

Ready to discover and compare the best Citi cards in 2018? Check out our favorite picks!

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card is a popular choice for students and customers with no credit history.

It features a zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. Afterward, the APR will vary based on your creditworthiness.

With this credit card, customers earn reward points for shopping and dining out. They also receive $0 liability on unauthorized charges and free access to Citi Concierge and Apple Pay.

Benefits

Most customers find the card appealing for its zero percent introductory APR and unlimited bonus points. Plus, there is no annual fee to worry about.

The points don’t expire as long as your account is open. Plus, you’ll enjoy various perks like:

  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Car rental insurance
  • Worldwide travel accident insurance
  • Trip cancellation protection
  • Earn double points on entertaining and dining out
  • Receive one point for every dollar spent

Drawbacks

The only drawback would be the variable APR after 15 months of account opening. Depending on your credit history, you’ll pay between 14.75 percent and 24.74 percent, which isn’t exactly cheap.

Not sure if it’s right for you? See other cards for customers with no credit score.

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

If travel and shopping come first on your list, choose a credit card that meets these needs. With no fees on foreign transactions, the Citi ThankYou Premier Card is an excellent option.

Customers who spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening earn a whopping 50,000 bonus points. Later, they receive reward points for the money spent on hotels, taxis, flights, gas, and other travel expenses.

Benefits

With this credit card, you’ll get the following perks:

  • 2 reward points for every dollar spent on entertaining and dining out
  • 3 reward points on travel-related purchases
  • 1 reward point for everything else
  • No limit and no expiration for bonus points
  • The ability to transfer points
  • EMV Chip technology
  • Free online and mobile banking tools
  • Free access to Citi Concierge
  • Full protection against unauthorized charges

At first glance, this card looks perfect. Just like everything, it has its drawbacks. Let’s get into it!

Drawbacks

What we don’t like about this card is the high-interest rate, which varies between 15.74 and 24.74 percent. Additionally, it doesn’t come with a low introductory APR like most credit cards do.

The annual fee is $95. Considering that many cards nowadays have no annual rates, think twice before opening an account.

Despite the high APR and annual fee, this card comes with lots of perks. If you’re always on the go, you could end up saving a fortune.

Assess your needs, compare the pros and cons, and then decide whether or not it’s right for you.

Citi Prestige Card

Avid travelers will appreciate the generous perks that come with the Citi Prestige. These include complimentary hotel nights, $250 air travel credit annually, and discounted travel deals.

With this credit card, you’ll get the most out of your travel experience and save money on the go. The reward points can be redeemed for gift cards, activities, cruises, hotels, flights, and more.

Benefits

As one of the best Citi cards for travelers, the Citi Prestige offers premium hotel and airfare rewards. Customers can enjoy a higher standard of travel while reducing their expenses. They receive:

  • $250 air travel credit every year
  • Complimentary fourth night stay at any hotel
  • No international transaction fees on purchases
  • Special discounts on cruises, vacation packages, and luxury tours
  • Complimentary access to VIP airport lounges
  • Access to the Citi Prestige Concierge
  • 3 reward points for air travel and hotels
  • 2 reward points for entertainment and dining
  • 1 reward point on other purchases
  • Redeem your points for almost anything
  • Fraud Early Warning system
  • Access to the Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Lost Wallet service

Drawbacks

These perks come at a price. With an annual fee of $535, the Prestige Card isn’t exactly the most affordable option.

Another drawback is the annual income requirement. To qualify for this card, it’s necessary to earn at least $120,000 per year.

All in all, the Citi Prestige card is a good choice for those who enjoy luxury travel. However, there are better options for those who don’t travel that much or spend less than $4,000 or so per month.

Citi Secured MasterCard

Rated as one of the best Citi cards for customers with no credit history, the Citi Secured MasterCard can help you build and improve your credit score.

It has no annual fee with lots of features, such as worldwide acceptance and 24/7 online access.

At Bonsai Finance, we have reviewed and compared secured credit cards from different providers. If, for some reason, the Citi Secured MasterCard doesn’t suit your needs, check out other options.

Benefits

What we like about the Citi Secured MasterCard are its low rates and flexible eligibility criteria.

It’s a good choice for customers looking to establish, rebuild, or improve their credit. All they need to do is to pay their bills on time.

Other notable features include:

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Complete protection against unauthorized charges
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • The ability to use your card worldwide
  • Monthly notifications to the credit bureaus
  • No annual fees
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Receive a credit line equal to your deposit (maximum $2,500)

You have the freedom to use this card at any ATM or merchant that accepts MasterCard. This means you can travel without having to worry that you’ll run low on funds.

Drawbacks

Like other Citi cards, this one requires a security deposit of $200 to $2,500. Your line of credit depends on the deposit. If you only pay down the minimum deposit, you won’t get too much in return.

The Citi Secured MasterCard has a variable APR of about 23.74 percent. It’s not exactly the lowest interest rate, which may turn you off.

Another downside is that customers with a bankruptcy history within the last two years are not eligible for this card.

Citi Double Cash Card

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Double Cash Card is one of the most popular Citi cards for shopping enthusiasts.

Customers earn one percent cash back on everything they buy–plus another one percent as they pay for those products. There are no limits on cash back.

Another great feature is the zero percent introductory APR for the first 18 months. After that, the interest rate will vary from 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent depending on your credit history.

Benefits

The Citi Double Cash Card appeals to customers with good or excellent credit. Your only job is to be responsible for your payments.

With this card, you’ll earn cash back twice on everything you buy. Moreover, customers get a generous $100 cash back bonus after $500 in purchases within three months of opening an account. Other benefits include:

  • No product category restrictions for cash back
  • No caps
  • The ability to redeem cash back for gift cards, statement credits, or checks
  • Special access to dining venues, sports events, concerts, and more
  • Credit card late fee pass
  • Access to the Lost Wallet Service
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • 24/7 fraud protection
  • Purchase protection against unauthorized charges
  • Easy online and mobile payments

Drawbacks

Apart from the high-interest rate, this credit card seems ideal for most customers. However, beware that you won’t get cash back on balance transfers.

How to Choose the Best Citi Cards

Nowadays, credit cards come in all shapes and sizes. Citi cards are no exception. If you’ve never used one before, you might wonder what to look for.

First of all, assess your individual needs. Think about what you’re going to use the card for. Is it for traveling, shopping, dining out, or building your credit score?

Next, consider your credit history. If you have bad credit or no credit history at all, you might not be eligible for the best Citi cards out there.

Also, determine how much you can afford to pay every month. Check the interest rates and annual fees for each card. Other things to consider include the security deposit, minimum repayment, and introductory interest rates.

If you’re going to use the Citi cards for purchases, choose one that offers cash back, rewards, or loyalty points. Try to find out where and how the points can be used.

Always read the credit agreement to see what other charges may apply. For instance, you could pay extra for using the card in a different country or exceeding the credit limit.

The more you know before signing up, the better.

Final Thoughts

Citi cards appeal to a wide range of customers with different needs. Whether you’re a student, an entrepreneur, or an avid traveler, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Think about your spending habits before opening an account. Consider the incentives as well as the fees and penalties. Check the credit limit and interest rates. If you have poor credit, choose a card that can help rebuild your credit score.

Need help? Check out our credit card reviews to make an informed decision. Contact us if you have any questions about Citi cards, loans, and more!