Key takeaways

  • The Citi Simplicity® Card offers one of the longest introductory APR offers for balance transfers on the market, 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, penalty rate 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. But is the Citi Simplicity worth it if there are no rewards after you pay off your balance?

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.

When I wanted to pay off about $4,000 in credit card debt, the Citi Simplicity stood out to me because it offered minimal fees, a super long zero APR period and because it didn’t have rewards. Without rewards there was nothing to tempt me into using the card. That made it easier for me to stay focused on paying off my debt before the 21 months ended. And when I did pay off the balance, I saved over $1,300 in interest charges and fees. — Seychelle Thomas, Bankrate credit cards writer

To illustrate how much you could save by transferring a balance to the Citi Simplicity, let’s run the numbers on an example. Let’s say you have a $5,000 balance you want to transfer, which currently has a 20 percent APR (that’s about the average rate right now). Even with the three percent balance transfer fee, you could still walk away with significant savings. Here’s what payoff looks like if you didn’t transfer the balance vs. transferring the balance to the Citi Simplicity:
Keep current credit card Balance Transfer to  Citi Simplicity Card
Balance transfer fee (3%) $0 $150
Balance $5,000 $5,150
Total Interest charges $1,155 $0
Monthly Payment $246 $246
Payoff Time 26 months 21 months
Total amount repaid $6,155 $5,150

To completely pay off your balance before the introductory 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.

To apply this math to your own numbers, use the Bankrate 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 had to replace $3,000 worth of kitchen appliances using your 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 June 24, 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, penalty rate 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, Citibank offers another card for balance transfers — the Citi Double Cash® Card. It 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 the 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. If you think The Citi Simplicity is a good card, but just not right for you, these cards also offer slightly shorter balance transfer periods plus a rewards program, which keeps the card useful after you’ve paid off your balance.

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. Enjoy a 0 percent intro APR on qualifying balance transfers for 15 months (transfers must be made in the first 120 days to qualify) with a 20.24 percent, 25.24 percent or 29.99 percent variable APR thereafter. Additionally, earn an unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases with no annual fee.
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Take advantage of an introductory 0 percent for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then an ongoing 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR). Earn travel rewards once you’re ready to start making purchases with the card at a rewards rate of 1.5x on all purchases. This card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and has moderate travel-related perks.
  • Discover it® Chrome. Balance transfers have an intro APR of 0 percent for 18 months with the Discover it Chrome (then an 18.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable APR). You’ll also earn 2 percent back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 per quarter, then 1 percent) as well as 1 percent back on other purchases.

Choosing a card that’s useful beyond the balance transfer period will require you to compare your options closely and find out which one works best for your budget. To get a clearer idea of which cards you qualify for and fit your unique lifestyle, use Bankrate’s Cardmatch tool to get matched with cards that fit your preferences.

The bottom line

The Citi Simplicity lives up to its name and is absolutely worth it when your primary focus is paying off debt, cutting down your payoff time and saving money on fees. However, it doesn’t provide substantial value or rewards after you’re done paying off your balance. It’s worth noting that the Citi Simplicity has no annual fee, no late payment fees and no penalty rates which saves you even more compared to other balance transfer cards. But if your credit isn’t in the best space, you may want to reconsider applying until your score is in the good to excellent range.

Information about the Bank of America products mentioned in this article was last updated June 24, 2024.