Key takeaways

  • The Citi Simplicity® Card offers one of the longest introductory APR offers for balance transfers, with a 0 percent intro APR for 21 months followed by a 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent APR thereafter.
  • This card doesn't charge an annual fee or late payment fees, but it also doesn’t offer a welcome bonus or ongoing rewards. It’s primarily for people looking to pay off existing debt or make a large purchase and avoid interest for a limited time.
  • If you’re looking for long-term value, there may be better options available that offer both rewards and introductory APR offers.

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A balance transfer credit card can be a powerful tool to help you pay down an existing balance while avoiding interest for a limited time. While these intro offers typically range from 12 to 18 months, you’ll find that the Citi Simplicity® Card trumps that with one of the longest intro balance transfer APR offers available today.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the Citi Simplicity Card’s perks and potential drawbacks.

When is the Citi Simplicity worth it?

The Citi Simplicity Card is primarily a balance transfer credit card. While you won’t get high-value, long-term rewards earnings, this card is a great tool for building credit and paying down debt. That’s why this card could be worth getting in the following scenarios:

If your main goal is paying off credit card debt

The Citi Simplicity is worth it if you have high-interest credit card debt that you want to pay off. When you take advantage of the 0 percent intro APR offer on balance transfers, you’ll have 21 months to pay down debt interest-free (then a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent applies). Note, you must transfer your balance within the first four months of holding the card to qualify for the intro APR offer. A 3 percent intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) also applies.

Let’s say you open your account and transfer $5,000 to the Citi Simplicity. You’ll pay a 3 percent balance transfer fee, which comes to $150. So your total balance to pay off is $5,150. To completely pay off your balance before the introductory balance transfer offer expires, you’ll need to pay $246 monthly for 21 months. After that, the 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR applies.

For comparison, let’s say you left your $5,000 balance on a card with a 20 percent APR (that’s about the average rate right now). Even if you pay $246 monthly toward the balance, it will take you 26 months to pay off the debt and you’ll rack up $1,155 in interest charges during that time, according to Bankrate’s credit card debt payoff calculator.

If you need to pay off a large, upcoming purchase

The Citi Simplicity may also be worth it if you want to finance a big-ticket item and avoid paying interest for a period of time. This card comes with a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, after which a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent applies. So, let’s say you purchase $3,000 worth of kitchen appliances using your new Citi Simplicity Card. If you pay $250 a month for 12 months, you’ll pay it down in full without paying a penny in interest.

Note, though, that if paying off a large purchase is your main goal (instead of a balance transfer), there are cards that have longer intro APR offers on new purchases. For example, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a 0 percent intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases. After the intro APR offer ends, a 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR will apply.

The information about the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card was last updated on May 8, 2024.

When is the Citi Simplicity not worth it?

Since the card’s primary benefit is its introductory APR offer for balance transfers and new purchases, this card isn’t for everyone. Here are some scenarios where the Citi Simplicity might not be worth getting:

If paying off debt isn’t on your radar

The Citi Simplicity Card isn’t worth holding if you don’t need a long intro APR offer since this card doesn’t boast too many other benefits. There’s no rewards program, so you won’t earn points, cash back or miles when you use it for purchases, and there’s also no welcome bonus. But you also won’t take on an annual fee or late payment fees, which are perks worth mentioning.

If you’re looking for long-term value

Although you’ll be hard-pressed to find a longer intro APR offer for balance transfers, you may not find as much value with this card once you’ve paid off debt or a large purchase. There are plenty of other balance transfer cards that feature both intro APR offers and ongoing rewards on your spending, so it’s worth taking a look at some of the best balance transfer credit cards on the market to determine if the Citi Simplicity is truly your best option.

For example, the Citi Double Cash® Card offers 2 percent cash back on all purchases (an unlimited 1 percent as you make purchases and another 1 percent back when you pay off purchases) and a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR after; transfers must be made within the first four months to qualify). If you can manage to pay off your debt in 18 months rather than 21 months, the Citi Double Cash is a solid option to consider in terms of ongoing value.

Should you get the Citi Simplicity Card?

You should really only consider getting Citi Simplicity if you want to take advantage of the long intro APR offer and do a balance transfer with Citi.

However, if you’re looking to earn rewards on your purchases, there are better options to consider. A variety of credit cards come with both ongoing rewards and intro APR offers, and there’s no sense sacrificing additional card benefits if you can swing paying off debt in a slightly shorter period of time.

The bottom line

The Citi Simplicity can help you pay down an existing debt balance or a large purchase over time, but it doesn’t offer much long-term value. Still, there are a few additional benefits to know, including no annual fee and no late payment fees. Note, however, that you’ll need a good to excellent credit score (typically between 670 and 850) to qualify.