Citi Simplicity Card

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One of the best balance transfer credit cards available today.

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If you have a great deal of credit card debt, you have a choice to make when it comes to balance transfer credit cards: Pick the one that on the surface offers the cheapest way to get out of debt, or pick the one that gives you the longest 0% APR introductory period possible.

The Citi Simplicity Card falls into this second group, offering an industry leading 21-month no-interest APR on balance transfers and purchases. That’s particularly handy for people who think they won’t be able to pay off their card balance within 12 to 18 months.

Review

There are two things to really like about this card: it’s long introductory period and its stance on late fees. There are none. Ever. On most other credit cards, if you make a late payment you’ll get hit with a late fee of as much as $35. You may also get stuck with a penalty APR somewhere in the neighborhood of 30%.

As for the intro period, this is a real opportunity to save on interest payments. Let’s say you have $10,000 in credit card debt on a card that charges 17% APR. To pay that down in 21 months, you’d have to make an approximately $554 monthly payment. Your interest charges would be $1,844.

Transfer that balance to a Citi Simplicity card and you’ll save that interest payment. With the 3% transfer fee, your total cost would be $300.

Who should get this card

The Citi Simplicity card is ideal for those who got themselves in a credit card jam and want to pay it down without penalty.

It’s hard to beat a card that gives you nearly two years to pay off your credit card debt. Without any annual fees, late charges or APR penalties, the Citi Simplicity card gives you a chance to make some headway on reducing credit card debt.

But you’ll have to do the math in comparing Simplicity to other card offers. A few major credit cards, including Chase Slate, charge no transfer fee, which could significantly impact your total cost.

Here’s how to make your decision on which balance transfer card to choose. If you can reasonably expect to pay off your balance in 15 months, Chase Slate will be your cheapest option because it charges no transfer fee.

If you need an extra six months – or longer – to pay off your balance, Simplicity may be the better choice. Once that intro offer expires on Slate, you’ll begin to pay interest on your debt again.

Do the math to see how much that extra six months could save you in interest payments versus the cost of the transfer itself.

Advantages
  • There's no annual fee.
  • The card has a 0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • You won't pay any late fees or be subject to a penalty APR if you are late.
  • The card has Citi’s price rewind feature which can help refund the price difference if you made a purchase that can be found for less elsewhere.
Disadvantages
  • There aren’t any rewards or bonuses with this card.
  • You'll pay a 3% balance transfer fee, although this is the lower end of the typical 3% to 5% range charged by most cards.
  • There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the United States.

Fees and APR

  • There is no annual fee to own this card.
  • You’ll be charged no late fees and you won’t face a penalty APR if you make a late payment.
  • Citi charges a 3% balance transfer fee.
  • You’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee for all purchases made outside of the United States.
  • After the introductory period ends, you’ll pay a variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Extras and perks

The card comes with Citi’s Price Rewind feature, which will refund the price difference if you made a purchase that can be found for less elsewhere.

Anyone who is driven mad by endless voice prompt menus will love that you can just say “representative” to be connected to a live person.

How this card compares

Card Details
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts - Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • No annual fee.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 14 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 14 months

Discover it Cashback Match comes with a generous introductory offer, which is good for anyone looking to pay off another high-interest credit card or finance a big purchase cheaply over time. The 14-month intro offer is not the best balance transfer on the market, but combined with the other benefits of this card, it makes the Discover it all the more attractive.

Card Details
  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • Chase Slate named "Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers" four years in a row by Money Magazine
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

There are other credit cards on the market offering longer terms like 18- and 21-month 0% APRs on balance transfers, but nearly all of them charge a 3% balance transfer fee. Where the Chase Slate stands out is the option to forgo a balance transfer fee if you make the transfer within the first 60 days of opening the account.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Card Details
  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year*
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • No annual fee*
  • Free access to FICO® Scores*
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*

Citi Diamond Preferred gives you 21 interest-free months to pay off purchases and balance transfers. That’s the longest 0% introductory period available today.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.