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Credit card simplified, by Citi

By Janna Herron ·
Monday, July 25, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

If your to-do list is 10 items deep (at least), you've probably let one credit card payment slip through the cracks.

Now Citi has a card for you.

Like its name suggests, Citi Simplicity features no late fees, no penalty fees and one single interest rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.

That means if you forget to stop at the post office to mail your payment on your way to pick up the kids from school, drop one off at baseball practice, the other at art class and the littlest one at gymnastics, while fitting in grocery shopping and a run to the pharmacy, Citi won't charge for your tardiness.

Feel free to exhale.

The new card resulted from surveys that Citi conducted with current and prospective customers. Citi found that two in five consumers paid a bill late in the last year. More than 60 percent of them said they forgot the due date.

"Citi Simplicity provides peace of mind for that chief household officer," says Anthony Merola, executive vice president of Citi Cards. "It's a simple and straightforward credit card experience."

But simplicity comes with a price.

The annual percentage rate, which is variable, is 16.99 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than the 14.40 percent average on variable-rate cards, according to Bankrate's latest survey of interest rates. But Merola says Citi's market research has shown that consumers are willing to pay up for the convenience.

The card isn't for habitual late payers, however. Merola wouldn't disclose credit score requirements, but noted that this card is for someone who "manages finances responsibly, but may miss a payment here or there." If a cardholder misses too many payments, Citi could suspend the card's privileges, Merola says.

To gird against a senile moment, the card comes with automatic alerts, either by email or text, to help jog the cardholder's memory when a payment is coming due.

That's all. Resume your duties.

Which card features are the most important to you?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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