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The best Citi credit cards of November 2021

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The best Citi credit cards of November 2021

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The best credit card for you might not be a good fit for others, and some consumers are better off pursuing offers with a specific credit card issuer. Citi tends to work well for 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.

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Citi ThankYou points

Citi also boasts a credit card with one of the longest intro APR offers available today, making Citi a popular card issuer for debt consolidation and balance transfers.

If you’re looking for a new credit card and you’re a Citi customer already or want to become one, you should know about the top credit cards Citi offers. Here are our picks for 2021.

Best overall: Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier Card is our top Citi credit card for 2021 because the rewards you earn are so versatile, yet you don’t have to pay a pricey annual fee. With an annual cost of just Citi Premier® Card per year, this card is offering a record-high bonus of 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.

You also earn 3x points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels – which makes the card worth considering for everyday expenses, as well as for travel down the road.

Read more: Citi Premier credit card review

The Citi Premier Card doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, and you can use your rewards for gift cards, statement credits, travel through the Citi portal, transfers to Citi’s airline and hotel partners, and even toward student loans and mortgages. 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 loyalty program partners.

For a limited time, Citi has added American Airlines as a transfer partner – which makes earning Citi ThankYou points even more lucrative. When you have the Citi Premier Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to applications), the transfer ratio is 1:1, but this option is only available until November 13, 2021.

Citi also recently added Choice Hotels as a partner – the first hotel transfer partner since Hilton left the ThankYou Rewards program in 2017.

Best for cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card

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.

Read more: Citi Double Cash credit card review

You can also convert the cash back you earn from the Citi® Double Cash Card into Citi ThankYou points and unlock most of the redemption options available on other Citi ThankYou cards. To transfer to Citi’s full list of airline partners, you’ll also need a Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to applications).

This card also has a generous introductory 0% APR offer, which lets you pay 0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by an APR of Citi® Double Cash Card. 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.

Best if your spending changes month to month: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a great choice if your spending habits tend to change from month to month. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $500 in purchases in the eligible category they spend the most in each billing cycle (then 1%), and 1% on all other purchases.

The qualifying categories include everyday expenses that should appeal to most folks: restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.

Read more: Citi Custom Cash credit card review

Although it’s marketed as a cash-back card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card actually earns rewards in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which are worth 1 cent apiece for cash back, travel booked through Citi, gift cards, merchandise, and more. And again, if you have the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available to new applicants), you can pool your rewards and transfer points to airline partners.

Best with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card offers an introductory 0% APR for 21 months from the date of first transfer on balance transfers and 12 months from account opening on purchases (then a 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR) – one of the longest of any card on the market right now (balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening).

Read more: Citi Diamond Preferred card review

There’s no annual fee, but you’ll pay a 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5). While the card doesn’t earn rewards, it offers an excellent opportunity 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.

Best for airline miles: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

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 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, but you’ll earn 2x miles on eligible American purchases, restaurant, and gas station spending, and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases you make.

Read more: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card review

Cardholder benefits include preferred boarding, 25% off inflight food and beverage purchases when you pay with your credit card, and a free checked bag for you and up to four companions on domestic itineraries when you fly American. This card comes with an annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months.

Best co-branded card: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

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 earns 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.

Read more: Citi Costco Anywhere Visa credit card review

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.

Don’t forget about Citi’s sign-up bonus rules

Before you apply for a Citi credit card, it can help to understand the bank’s application rules. Depending on the card, you might not be eligible if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus, or closed a particular card or one within the same “rewards family” within the past 24 to 48 months.

The 24-month timeframe applies to Citi ThankYou Rewards cards like the Citi Premier Card, whereas the 48-month language applies to American Airlines credit cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.

Read more: 6 steps you can take to boost your chances of being approved for a credit card right now

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.

Other Citi credit cards

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® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: This is the premium American Airlines credit card, with a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® 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.

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