Updated: March 20, 2020

If you’re paying down your credit card debt, a balance transfer can help lift the burden of interest and supercharge your payments. By transferring your credit card balance from one card with a high interest rate to another credit card with a low APR on balance transfers, you can put more money toward your balance every time you make a payment. Citi (a NextAdvisor advertiser) has several credit cards with a low balance transfer and purchase APR, which makes it an ideal issuer for balance transfers or avoiding interest on new purchases. Keep reading as we show you how to do a Citi balance transfer so you can get out of credit card debt faster.

Pick and apply for the right card for your transfer

Your greatest challenge for transferring a credit card balance will be finding the right card. Most credit cards allow for balance transfers, which have their own interest rate and might include a balance transfer fee. If you choose a card that has a similar APR to the card you already have, you might actually put yourself in an even worse situation by adding a balance transfer fee onto your existing balance. We should note that paying a balance transfer fee isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although you’ll likely want to avoid the fee, you should know that the one-time fee is still worth paying, especially when you compare the balance transfer fee to your current credit card interest rate.

The best balance transfer credit cards combine low balance transfer fees, a low balance transfer APR and an extended intro period APR on balance transfers. Choosing a card that checks all three boxes ensures you transfer your credit card balance to an account that will let your payments work as quickly as possible to get you out of credit card debt. Below are two of our favorite Citi credit cards that are great for balance transfers.

Best Citi balance transfer credit cards

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser) checks all three boxes as a great credit card for balance transfers. It starts you off with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a whopping 21 months, giving you almost two years to pay off your existing credit card balance. It does come with a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), but you’ll more than make up for this one-time fee with the interest savings during the intro period. After the 21-month intro period, your remaining balance transfer will see a standard 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) APR.

You’ll also find a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, which changes to a standard 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) APR after that. The Diamond Preferred has no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra just for the privilege of having the card. Lastly, it doesn’t reward you with cash back or points for purchases, so you might want to consider another card for your everyday purchases after you’ve paid off your credit card debt through a balance transfer.

Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is another excellent option for a balance transfer. Its 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers gives you plenty of time to make a massive dent in your credit card debt. After the 18-month intro period, Double Cash has a standard variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable) on balance transfers, depending on your creditworthiness. The fees are where the Citi Double Cash Card shines. With no annual fee and a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), you won’t see too much extra added to your balance when you bring it over from another credit card.

Keeping the Citi Double Cash Card after you pay off your credit card debt could be a worthwhile decision. You’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase in an unusual way — the first 1% arrives when you make the purchase, then you’ll receive the second 1% cash back after you pay off the purchase. Unfortunately, balance transfers don’t earn any rewards points. Just remember, any balance you carry after the intro periods end is subject to the standard APR, which may quickly wipe out any rewards you earn from using the card. Also, note that this card has no 0% intro APR on purchases.

Initiate the transfer

After you pick a balance transfer credit card, you need to apply for both the card and the balance transfer. Assuming you are approved for your balance transfer credit card, you can apply for the balance transfer either online or over the phone. To apply for your balance transfer online, go to your account and select your balance transfer offer. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your balance and the card (or cards) that currently holds it. Citi also allows you to initiate the transfer when you apply for the credit card, which is usually the easiest way to do it.

Your approval and how much you can transfer to your new card depends on a few factors. Just like in your credit card application, Citi will look at your credit scores and debt-to-income ratio to determine whether you can transfer to your new card. The total balance and transfer fees must be less than your current available credit limit, and you’ll be subject to the standard APR on any remaining balance after the intro period, so work hard to pay it off in full within that time.

Follow up

If your Citi balance transfer is approved, it will take at least 14 days to complete your transfer. Because Citi will pay your old card issuer directly and charge your new credit card with the amount transferred plus any balance transfer fees, you need to continue making payments to your old credit card until the transfer is complete. Don’t make the mistake of stopping payments after you apply, as you could be hit with late payment fees and additional interest while you wait for the balance transfer to go through.

Once you see that Citi has paid the transfer amount to your old credit card, you’ll be ready to close that account (assuming you transferred your entire balance). Thanks to your intro APR on balance transfers, you’ll be ready to hustle your way out of credit card debt without being bogged down by additional interest payments.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.