This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on this page are from our partners, like Citi, but our coverage is always independent.
The best Citi credit cards in 2020:
- Best overall: Citi Premier℠ Card
- Best for travel: Citi Prestige® Credit Card
- Best for cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card
- Best for balance transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card
- Best for airline miles: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Best for Costco members: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
The right type of credit card isn’t the same for everyone, and some consumers are better off pursuing offers with a specific credit card issuer. Citi is an issuer that tends to work well with certain types of spenders, including people who want to earn a high rate of cash back and those who like the redemption options in the Citi ThankYou Rewards program. Citi also boasts a credit card with one of the longest intro APR offers on the market today, making Citi a popular card issuer for debt consolidation and balance transfers.
If you’re in the market for a credit card and you’re a Citi customer already or want to become one, you should know about the top credit cards Citi offers available now. Here are our picks for 2020.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
The best Citi card overall: Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier Card is our top Citi credit card for 2020 based on the fact the rewards you earn are so versatile, yet you don’t have to pay a pricey annual fee. With an annual cost of just $95 per year, this card lets you earn a very sizable initial bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You also earn 3x points on travel including gas, 2x points on restaurants and entertainment, and 1x points on all other purchases through August of 2020.
This card doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, and you can use your rewards for gift cards, statement credits, travel through the Citi portal, or transfers to Citi’s airline partners. You can also shop with points on Amazon.com or BestBuy.com. Most redemption options are for 1 cent per point, but you may get more value when you transfer your rewards to airline partners.
The best Citi card for travel: Citi Prestige® Credit Card
TheCiti Prestige® Credit Card offers a ton of important travel perks including a complimentary fourth night free hotel stay you can redeem up to twice per year, airport lounge access with a Priority Pass Select membership, up to $250 in annual travel credits, and up to a $100 statement credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This card comes with all the redemption options the Citi ThankYou Rewards program offers as well, including transferring your points to Citi’s to airline partners.
In terms of earning rewards, you can rack up 5x points on air travel and dining, 3x points on hotels and cruise lines, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. A $495 annual fee applies, but you can more than make up for this fee if you earn the big initial sign-up bonus and take advantage of all the ongoing travel benefits.
- The information related to the Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
- Unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
- No annual fee.
- Rewards can redeemed for cash back as a statement credit, direct deposit, or check; you can also convert them to points
- No annual fee
- Simple earning structure
- Some cards earn higher rates of cash back on rotating categories
The best Citi card for cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card allows cardholders to earn 2% cash back on everything they spend — 1% when they make a purchase and another 1% when they pay it off. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and you can choose from redemption options like a check in the mail or a statement credit on your credit card account.
This card also has a generous 0% APR offer, which lets you pay 0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%. That makes the Citi® Double Cash Card a good option for debt consolidation, although you only earn rewards on purchases, and not on balances you transfer from other credit cards.
14.74% – 24.74% (Variable)
Good to Excellent
- The information related to the Citi Simplicity® Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
- One of the longest 0% APR periods on balance transfers (see terms for details)
- No rewards program
- Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
- Purchase Protection
- Automatic Account Alerts
- Offers the longest intro APR period for balance transfers (21 months)
- No late fees or penalty APR for late payments
- Higher balance transfer fee than some other cards
- Doesn’t offer rewards, so you may want to upgrade to another card once you’re done paying off your debt
The best Citi card for balance transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card
The Citi Simplicity® Card gives you 21 months with 0% APR on balance transfers and 12 months with 0% APR on purchases, both followed by an APR of 14.74% – 24.74% (Variable). Note that, when you transfer debt to this credit card, you’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee of 5% (minimum $5) upfront. There’s no late payment fee, though.
With so much time on the 0% APR offer, you have an excellent chance to pay off debt without any interest. During this time, every cent you pay on your bill will go directly toward the principal of your balance, which will expedite the process of paying down your debt. Plus, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee.
$99, waived for first 12 months
15.99% – 24.99% variable
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
- Bonus categories help you earn miles on everyday purchases
- Fee checked bag on domestic American Airlines flights
- $125 American Airlines flight discount is nice, but you need to spend $20,000 in a cardmember year to earn it
The best Citi card for airline miles: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a winner for frequent flyers who like to fly with American Airlines and partners like British Airways, Finnair, and Cathay Pacific. Not only can you earn an initial bonus of 50,000 miles with this card after you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months of account opening, but you’ll earn 2x miles on American purchases, dining, and gas station spending, and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases you make.
Cardholder benefits include priority boarding, 25% off in-flight food and beverage purchases when you pay with your credit card, and a free checked bag for you and up to four companions on your itinerary when you fly American. This card comes with a $99 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.
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- Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
- 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
- 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
- Generous cash-back categories, especially for gas purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
- You can only receive rewards once per year
- You need to visit a Costco location to redeem rewards for cash back instead of merchandise
The best co-branded Citi credit card: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi could be a great choice if you’re a Costco member and you like earning cash back good for more Costco purchases. This card lets you earn 4% back on eligible gas purchases on up to $7,000 in spending each year (then 1%), but you’ll also earn 3% back on dining and eligible travel. In addition to 1% back on regular purchases, you’ll also earn 2% back when you shop in the store at Costco or make purchases on Costco.com.
This card lets you cash in your rewards after your February statement credit each year, and there’s no annual fee with a paid Costco membership. You also won’t pay any foreign transaction fees, and this card comes with extended warranties on eligible purchases that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Before you sign up for a Citi credit card, it can help to understand this card issuer’s sign-up bonus rules. These rules state that, if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus on a Citi card within the same “rewards family” or opened or closed an account within that family within the past 24 to 48 months, you cannot earn the bonus again.
The 24-month timeframe applies to Citi ThankYou Rewards cards like the Citi Premier Card and the Citi Prestige® Credit Card, whereas the 48-month language applies to American Airlines credit cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.
With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure you know when you last closed a Citi credit card before you apply. If you sign up too early, you won’t receive the bonus on these cards — even if you’re approved and you meet the minimum spending requirement.
Citi has some other great credit cards that missed the cut for our list, but depending on your needs and spending habits, they could be a great fit for you.
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card: Like the Citi Simplicity® Card, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months (followed by a variable APR of 13.74% to 23.74%). The main difference is that the Citi Simplicity card doesn’t charge a late payment fee.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: This is the premium American Airlines credit card, with a $450 annual fee and membership to the airline’s Admirals Club airport lounge program. If you fly American all the time, this could be worth it — especially because purchasing an Admirals Club membership can cost $550 or more, so it’s cheaper to get the card.
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the AAdvantage MileUp card with no annual fee. If you want to earn American Airlines miles but you don’t fly frequently enough to warrant an annual fee, this is a good option.
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi: If you’re a small business owner, the business version of Citi’s Costco card is worth considering.
The information related to the following cards has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer: Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom®, Chase Slate®, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, United ClubSM Infinite Card, United℠ Business Card, British Airways Visa Signature® Card, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, Citi Diamond Preferred Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Citi Rewards+ Student Card, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite™ Mastercard, American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card, Citi Secured Mastercard, Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi, Citi Prestige Credit Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Simplicity® Card
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
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