Citi Simplicity® Card

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A great choice in a balance transfer credit cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertising partners.

With the new and improved Citi Simplicity card it’s now the only card with no late fees, no penalty rate, and no annual fee… ever.

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 a 21-month no-interest APR on balance transfers (all transfers must be complete within the first 4 months to qualify) and 12-month 0% APR on purchases. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% – 25.99%. That’s particularly handy for people who think they won’t be able to pay off their card balance within 12 to 15 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.

Transfer that balance to a Citi Simplicity card and you’ll save that interest payment. With the 5% transfer fee, your total cost would be $500, instead of the $1,700 in interest you’ll pay over the course of a year.

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 a year and a half 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.

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, a card that doesn’t charge a transfer fee will be your cheapest option.

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 a card with no transfer fee but a shorter 0% APR term, you’ll begin to pay interest on your debt again.

Do the math to see how much that extra time 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 balance transfers; 15.99% - 25.99 variable after that.
  • 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 balance transfer fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater.
  • 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 balance transfer fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater.
  • 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 15.99% to 25.99% 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

Discover it® Cash Back
  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

13.99% - 24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 14 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 14 months

Discover it® Cash Back cardholders can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in accordance with Discover’s 2018 Cashback Calendar after enrollment. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in various categories throughout the year.

You won’t earn one of those huge sign-up bonuses other cards offer, but if you’re looking for a no-frills cash-back card, the Discover it® Cash Back credit card does come with one intriguing feature: Discover will pay a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

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.