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The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a great option for debt repayment and has no annual fee. With a 21-month 0% introductory APR offer on balance transfers (after which the regular annual interest rate varies from 15.99 to 25.99 percent), this is one of the best balance transfer cards on the market.
If you would like to pay off your credit card debt with a Citi Diamond Preferred Card, you must first apply. Of course, before you apply, you need to know if you stand a chance of getting approved. Read on to learn about the credit score and other factors you’ll most likely need to qualify for this popular balance transfer card.
What credit score do I need to get a Citi Diamond Preferred Card?
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is for customers with a FICO credit rating ranging from good to excellent. In other words, you’ll need a score between 670 and 850.
While it is possible to get approved with a good credit score (between 670 and 739), your score will also affect your regular annual income after the initial annual income period ends. If higher APR rates bother you at all, you should consider working on your credit score before applying, especially now that average credit card interest rates are at an all-time high. This is one of the worst times for accumulating credit debt when interest rates are as high as they are, across the board.
An excellent credit score will make it easier to get a card and can give you an annual interest rate at the bottom of the card’s range.
What can I do if Citi rejects my application?
If your application for a Citi Diamond Preferred card is rejected, you have several options.
If denied, you can directly ask Citi why your application was rejected. The issuer is required to provide this information and it will give you an idea of what you should do next. While your credit score is one component of your card application, there are other factors that lenders take into account as well. For example, you may be denied because you accidentally entered your address in the application incorrectly, or because your income level is too low and the issuer is not sure that you will be able to make your monthly payments.
If everything is in order on your application, you can also check your credit report – and if your credit report contains errors, you can open a dispute to correct them. Every 12 months you can get a free copy of your credit report from all three national credit bureaus through AnnualCreditReport.com.
If after these steps you are still not eligible for Citi Diamond Preferred, Citi has other card options that may better suit your needs. If you need a card with an introductory period for balance transfers but are also interested in cash back, the Citi® Double Cash Card may be the right choice for you. This card is a secure flat rate cash back card offering up to 2 percent cash back (1 percent on purchases and an additional 1 percent on those purchases) with an 18-month initial annual return of 0 percent on balance transfers (followed by 16 .24 percent to 26.24 percent with a variable annual interest rate).
However, before applying or reapplying for a card, you should take the time to check your credit score and work on improving it if it doesn’t meet your requirements. The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and start building up your credit instead of driving it down even more because of the recurring tough questions that come up every time you apply for a new credit card.
How can I improve my score to receive this card?
Understanding how your credit score is calculated makes it easier to improve. Your credit score is based on five factors: payment history, credit usage, length of credit history, new lines of credit and credit structure. Each one makes up a different percentage of your overall credit score, making it easy to prioritize which needs the most improvement.
Your payment history has the biggest impact on your credit score. In fact, this is 35 percent of your total FICO score. Making regular and timely payments on all your loans and credit cards is the best way to improve your credit score. If your payment is overdue by 30 days or more, your score may be significantly reduced. Consistency is also key here because you need a long-term history of timely payments in order to build and maintain a good credit score.
Credit usage makes up 30 percent of your credit score, making it the second most important factor after your payment history. Keeping your credit utilization ratio low demonstrates good credit management for lenders and improves your score. You can calculate the credit utilization ratio by dividing current balances by the total credit limit. It is often recommended to keep renewable usage below 30 percent, but it is best to try to keep it as low as possible. As you pay off balances, your credit usage decreases, so it’s always best to pay all your bills at once.
There are several other things that improve your score, such as having a longer credit history, diversifying loan types, and not filing or opening multiple new accounts in a short period of time. If you are starting out with bad credit, it will likely take a bit of effort and patience to get a grade that will qualify you for Citi Diamond Preferred. But if you already have a fair or good score, a little extra attention to your credit habits can boost you to a good or excellent score before you know it.
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a great card for those who are serious about paying off debt. To be approved for this card, you will need a FICO score ranging from good to excellent. If your score is already in that range and you know you can pay your bills within the 21-month initial period, the card might be right for you. If you haven’t already, the first easy step is to systematically make payments on your existing cards and loans on time to grow your score.