Citi Simplicity Card benefits guide
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If you need to pay down high-interest debt, good news — the market is heating up for balance transfer cards, and issuers have been increasing the length of 0 percent intro APR offers. One such card is the Citi Simplicity® Card, which now has a 0 percent intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers made within the first four months (18.49 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR thereafter). Although there aren’t any rewards or enhanced benefits to speak of, the card is light on fees — no annual fee, late fees or penalty rates.
If you think this balance transfer card could work well for you, here’s a quick benefits guide that breaks down key perks the Citi Simplicity has to offer.
Citi Simplicity Card benefits
The first thing you might notice is that the Citi Simplicity Card is relatively low on bells and whistles, but don’t let the lack of rewards and benefits deter you. Depending on how much debt you stand to pay off with this card, it could still be worthwhile to hold.
0% intro APR offers
First and foremost, the Citi Simplicity offers an exceptionally long 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers made within the first four months — you’ll get a full 21 months to pay off your debt, interest-free (followed by a variable APR of 18.49 percent to 29.24 percent). Compared to other balance transfer cards on the market, this is one of the longest 0 percent intro APR periods available — matched also by the no-annual-fee Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, which comes with a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, followed by a variable APR of 17.49 percent to 28.24 percent.
The Citi Simplicity also offers a much shorter 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, followed by 18.49 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR.
Like many credit cards, you’ll enjoy fraud protection, meaning you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges made to your account. Since this benefit comes through the Mastercard network, you’ll be able to report unauthorized charges through the Mastercard app for a quicker response.
Account activity alerts
With the Citi Simplicity Card, you’ll receive automatic alerts for updates made to your account. Your Citi Simplicity account allows you to set alerts for withdrawals, password changes, balance transfers and payments.
Identity theft protection
There are a few features that can help protect both your Citi credit card account and your identity in general. Citi’s Fraud Early Warning feature informs you of any suspicious activity on your account and will contact you by text, email, phone or mail to confirm account activity or raise concerns with you. Another plus is that, if you’re a victim of identity theft, you’ll receive free support from Citi as a Citi cardholder — even if the fraud occurred on a product from another company.
Low on fees
Aside from the lengthy 0 percent intro APR offers, another main benefit of the Citi Simplicity is its lack of fees. There’s no annual fee and no late fees — and if you make a late payment, there’s no penalty APR.
The main thing you need to take note of is this card’s balance transfer fee. There is an introductory balance transfer fee of 3 percent of the amount of each transfer (minimum $5) for balances transfers completed within four months of account opening. After the first four months are up, the balance transfer fee will be 5 percent (minimum $5).
Maximizing the Citi Simplicity’s benefits
The best way to ensure you’ll fully maximize the Citi Simplicity Card is to transfer your balance as soon as possible. Balance transfers must be made within the first four months of holding the card in order to receive the 0 percent intro APR offer — otherwise, you’ll be stuck with the standard 18.49 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR.
Further, before applying, be sure that you’re okay with the long-term value the Citi Simplicity has to offer. If you can get away with an 18- or 15-month introductory term, there are plenty of other rewards cards out there with shorter introductory terms that might offer more value in the long run.
For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers both rewards — 1 percent cash back as you buy and an additional 1 percent back as you pay for your purchase — and a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (followed by an 18.49 percent to 28.49 percent variable APR).
The bottom line
As noted, the Citi Simplicity Card is extremely light on benefits and perks, but it could be worthwhile for someone who needs a longer period of time to pay down high-interest debt. All in all, be sure to review all the options available to you, including our list of the best balance transfer credit cards, before you apply.