If you are paying high rates on your credit cards, it may be time to consider transferring those balances to a Citibank card that offers lower interest rates on transferred balances. However, before choosing a card from Citibank, it is important to know who Citibank is, what the card requirements are and what the various options are for cards from the bank.
Citibank is a global bank that operates in more than 160 countries. It was founded in 1812 in New York, led by Samuel Osgood, as the City Bank of New York. In 1976, when the bank was known as the First National City Corporation, the name was changed to Citibank, creating its own one-bank holding company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Citicorp. Not long after the bank changed names, it issued the Citicard, allowing customers to use the card to withdraw money, check balances and perform other bank functions without a bank teller, making Citibank one of the first to begin using ATM cards. In the Citibank entered the credit card industry, first purchasing Carte Blanche from the Hilton Hotel chain. They sold that division in 1968 and then created their own card, known as the Everything Card which they later merged with MasterCard. In 1981, Citibank purchased the Narre Warren-Caroline Springs credit card company and have been issuing credit cards since that time.
Citibank Credit Cards
Citibank offers eight different credit cards to consumers, five of which offer zero interest on balance transfers and with varying interest rates. The cards include:
- Citi Diamond Preferred Card – Balance transfers are offered zero percent interest for 18 months and zero percent interest on purchases for the first 18 months. Rates rise to between 11.99 and 21.99 percent APR after the introductory period. The card has no annual fee, but there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or three percent, whichever is greater.
- Citi Simplicity Card – The Simplicity Card is offered in both MasterCard and Visa formats with both having the same introductory rates. Balance transfers are given zero percent interest for the first 18 months and zero percent on purchases for the first 18 months. After the initial period, rates rise to between 12.99 and 22.99 percent APR. The card has no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee. This card also has a balance transfer fee of $5 or three percent, whichever is higher.
- Citi Double Cash Card – The Double Cash Card offers zero percent on balance transfers and on initial purchases for 15 months. After the initial period, rates rise to between 12.99 and 22.99 percent APR. However, this card also offers double cash back on every purchase. There is no annual fee but there is a balance transfer fee that is the same as other Citibank cards.
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card – The ThankYou Card offers zero percent interest on balance transfers and initial purchases for 12 months. Interest rates are 12.99 to 22.99 percent APR after the initial period. This card offers ThankYou points on purchases that can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards and cash. There is no annual fee, but there is a balance transfer fee.
Applying for Citibank Cards
In order to apply for the low balance transfer accounts at Citibank, you must have a valid social security number and be at least 18 years of age. In order to qualify for any of these cards, your credit score must typically be excellent and in the 700 or above range. In order to apply, visit the Citibank website and choose the card you would like to apply for. Complete the online application and your account is either approved or declined within minutes.
Transferring balances to a zero interest credit card is a good way to pay balances more quickly in order to eliminate debt. Be sure to review all terms and conditions before choosing any credit card.